Mount Kilimanjaro climb is a once-in-a-lifetime feat for adventure seekers from all around the world. Gracing the intriguing land of Tanzania, Kilimanjaro stands tall at a height of 5,895 m (19,340 ft) as the highest mountain in Africa. The volcanic mountain towers over the savannah in isolation with a pristine panoramic view of the region from atop. The fascinating landscape and unique experience make Kilimanjaro one of the top adventure destinations in Africa.
With success rates ranging from 50% to 70%, the Kilimanjaro trek will test your endurance and determination rewarding you with an unforgettable experience. The trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro will take you through a diverse landscape, from alpine deserts to lush rainforests. The journey to the summit of the highest free-standing mountain in the world begins from the lively town of Moshi, at the foothill of Kilimanjaro. There are several routes to reach the summit, ranging from the challenging Northern Circuit route to the leisurely Marangu route. The journey can push you to the limits, but the reward of touching the summit is immeasurable, leaving you with the memory of a lifetime.
- Highlights of Kilimanjaro Climb
- What are Different Routes to Climb Kilimanjaro?
- How Hard is It to Climb Kilimanjaro?
- Best Time to Climb Kilimanjaro
- How to Prepare for the Kilimanjaro Climb?
- How Much Does It Cost to Climb Kilimanjaro?
- Ending Note
Highlights of Kilimanjaro Climb
The journey to the Kilimanjaro summit demands a lot but the diverse landscape and captivating sight from the peak is a huge reward. The multi-day trekking routes to the summit promise unique experiences as you make your way higher into the sky. Some of the highlights of the trip are:
- As you begin your endeavor to the summit, you will come across various indigenous communities.
- The intriguing landscape will take you through the scenic sights of glaciers, lush forests, and alpine deserts.
- Encounter the diverse flora and fauna throughout your trek and pass through Kilimanjaro National Park.
- Reach the summit of the highest mountain in Africa and soak in the captivating view of the African sky from the peak.
What are Different Routes to Climb Kilimanjaro?
One of the interesting things about the Kilimanjaro climb is that you can approach the summit through different trekking routes. There are at least six trekking routes to the peak of Kilimanjaro and each route guarantees a memorable experience. Explore the six famous routes to the top of the African highest peak through the pointers below:
1. Lemosho Route
Climbing Kilimanjaro via the Lemosho route is one of the famous paths to the summit. The journey offers captivating scenic sights and is known to be the most beautiful route to the peak. This is a highly recommended route for the Kilimanjaro climb. Although the route may not be the easiest one, it is worth your determination. Check out the standard itinerary for Kilimanjaro climb via Lemosho route for more details. Some of the highlights of the route are:
- Explore the picturesque nature throughout the route.
- Hike through the rainforest all the way to Shira Ridge.
- Encounter lower traffic until you join the Machame route.
- Ascend from Londorossi Gate and descend the Mweka Gate.
- Reach the summit of the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
2. Marangu Route
The Kilimanjaro climb through the Marangu route is considered the easiest of all the routes to the peak. The Marangu route, also known as the Coca-Cola route, is a perfect fit for those looking for an easier route to the summit. Although you can hike through this trail with ease, the route does not offer a diverse scenery, it’s not highly recommended. However, it receives high traffic compared to other routes. This 8-day-long trek to Kilimanjaro via Marangu route offers the following highlights:
- Hike to the peak of Kilimanjaro with ease and comfort.
- Well-facilitated sleeping huts throughout the trail.
- Explore the scenic view of the landscape.
- A beginner-friendly and cheaper route to the top of Africa’s tallest peak.
3. Northern Circuit
The northern circuit is the newest route to the Kilimanjaro summit. This is the route with the least traffic and you can enjoy scenic nature in peace. The itinerary to this route is similar to the Lemosho route until you ascend to Shira Ridge. Explore the standard itinerary guide to the Kilimanjaro climb via Northern Circuit for more details. Some intriguing highlights of the route are:
- Explore the new hiking route to Kilimanjaro.
- Trek through the longest route to the summit with sufficient acclimatization time.
- As the least crowded route, it will allow you to explore nature in peace.
- Experience the stunning sight of Ambroselli Valley and Tsavo Valley.
4. Machame Route
This is one of the most popular trails to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro. Among the rest of the routes, this is a bit more demanding trail. The Kilimanjaro hike via the Machame route can be the best fit for thrilling adventure seekers. However, it is not technically difficult and is absolutely doable for those looking for a thrilling experience in the glorious mountain of Africa. The 8-day-long climb to Kilimanjaro via Machame route has the following highlights:
- The trail allows you to hike through the vast high alpine deserts.
- Witness the breathtaking sights of ice fields and Uhuru peak.
- Experience the scenic view from the top of the summit.
- Enjoy the stunning view of the Kibo mountain range and the Shira Ridge.
- Climb through the picturesque landscape with the view of the extraordinary Lava Tower.
5. Rongai Route
This is also one of the least crowded paths among the Kilimanjaro routes and is beginner-friendly. The journey to Kilimanjaro via the Rongai route begging from the northern side of the mountain with a stunning view of Keny initially. It offers some scenic sights but is not as diverse as the other routes. However, this might be the best route to follow for less experienced trekkers. Some of the major highlights of the Kilimanjaro climb via Rongai route are:
- Stunning sights of the Kenyan landscape as the route is the nearest to the Kenyan border.
- Easy hiking experience through the gradual slopes to the top.
- A better approach to the top during the rainy season.
- Hike through the barren desert and fascinating wilderness.
6. Umbwe Route
The Kilimanjaro hiking route through Umbwe is considered the shortest and the most challenging one. As the trail is short, the ascend is abrupt with quick elevation gain. The route takes you to Kilimanjaro, a.k.a. Uhuru peak, through steep paths. Another challenge of this route is limited acclimatization time. However, if you are an avid trekker, this route can fill your journey with cherishable adventure. Some of the highlights of the Kilimanjaro climb via Umbwe route are:
- Experience trekking through the most challenging route to Kilimanjaro.
- The least crowded trail to the Kilimanjaro summit allows you a secluded hiking experience.
- Witness the untouched wilderness along the route.
- Encounter diverse flora and fauna through the narrow valleys.
There are many options to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro. Ascending via the Lemosho route and Northern Circuit route is highly recommended for beginners. And if you are a well-experienced trekker, other routes might give you the dose of a thrilling adventure. Also, you can check out choosing the best route to climb Kilimanjaro for more details on each trekking trail to the mountain.
How Hard is It to Climb Kilimanjaro?
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro can be a bit daunting if you are fairly new to trekking. However, compared to other renowned mountains in the world, including Everest and Annapurna, the Kilimanjaro climb is a piece of cake for extreme adventure lovers. Interestingly, there are several routes to reach the top of the mountain, ranging from easy to extreme trekking trails. Therefore, the endeavor to Africa’s highest summit can be approached by all kinds of trekkers.
So how hard is it to climb Kilimanjaro? Kilimanjaro might not be the toughest mountain to climb, but the difficulty experience may depend on several factors. Routes to the top, selection of tour operators, risk of altitude sickness in himalayas, climate conditions and weather, and so on, can greatly influence your experience. All the trekking routes to Kilimanjaro are generally 8 days with 4 hours to 8 hours of hiking per day. And, you can pick whatever route you prefer depending on your trekking experience. All in all, Kilimanjaro presents you with several routes to approach your journey to the summit. You just have to go for the right one as per your ability.
Best Time to Climb Kilimanjaro
The best time to climb Kilimanjaro depends on weather conditions, trekking trail conditions, and your personal preferences. To get the best of what Kilimanjaro has to offer, the climbing seasons from January to February are the most preferred. But, the times from June to October, also can be taken as the second most favorable times of the year to ascend the Kilimanjaro summit.
The warm weather from January to February with low cloudiness makes the journey recommendable. Likewise, the moderate weather condition from June to October also allows you to get the most out of the Kilimanjaro trek. The most challenging time is the rainy season, when the trekking routes get slippery inviting unforeseen accidents. Therefore, if you enjoy warm weather and clear sky, you may plan your trip for January and February. Also, check out the best time to climb Kilimanjaro for detailed insight.
How to Prepare for the Kilimanjaro Climb?
Proper preparation is what determines your chances of reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro. According to research, it is said that the average success rate of the Kilimanjaro climb is 65%. Although Kilimanjaro is not among the toughest mountains to click in the world, the journey presents you with a challenge of its own. Some of the pointers you should consider while planning your trip to Kilimanjaro are:
- Ensure your physical fitness with proper training exercises for longer hiking.
- Invest in good quality trekking gear essentials such as hiking boots, sleeping bags, waterproof tents, and so on.
- Make sure to get sufficient acclimatization time to avoid altitude sickness and extreme fatigue.
- Hire a guide for a better travel experience.
- Ensure to get travel insurance.
- Pick trustworthy and reliable tour operators for a safe and successful travel experience.
- Assemble all the necessary travel documents such as visas and tickets.
How Much Does It Cost to Climb Kilimanjaro?
As per the standard travel itinerary of the Himalayan Glacier, the average cost to climb Kilimanjaro may range from $2,300 to $3,000 per person. The cost also depends on the route you chose to trek to the summit and your comfort requirement. The standard cost generally covers your accommodation, food, transport, park fees and permits, and so on. If you are on a tight budget, you can opt for a cheaper travel package. But, lower costing packages come with the risk of a lower quality travel experience. Therefore, a reputed tour organizer, such as Himalayan Glacier, is recommended for a safe and memorable travel experience. Undoubtedly, the cost of climbing Kilimanjaro is worth your investment to experience the thrill of climbing the highest peak in Africa.
Kilimanjaro is the perfect destination to experience the wilderness of Africa. If the Kilimanjaro climb is on your bucket list, take this as your calling to make your travel plan with us. Himalayan Glacier has been organizing travel plans since 1992. Our success rate of 98% speaks volumes about the quality service our dedicated team of staff provides. To plan your trip, contact our team of experts. You may as well check out the Kilimanjaro climbing FAQs section to learn more about the trip. Lastly, make sure to follow us on Facebook to get travel updates and travel plans.
Frumence Michael Malya who had spent almost two decades exploring the different routes on the Kilimanjaro possesses every skill that a mountain leader should have. He has a simple mission of promoting and exploring his country showing guests the real beauty of Tanzania in the best possible way.