Welcome to Kilimanjaro Trails™, your gateway to unparalleled adventure and unforgettable experiences on the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro. As a premier expedition company, we specialize in crafting exceptional journeys along Kilimanjaro’s diverse routes, each imbued with its own unique charm and challenges. With our unwavering commitment to safety, sustainability, and personalized service, we guide you through awe-inspiring landscapes, fostering acclimatization and camaraderie. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced trekker, Kilimanjaro Trails is your trusted companion, dedicated to transforming your ascent into an extraordinary triumph and lifelong memory. Join us and conquer the heights with confidence and camaraderie.

Mountain Kilimanjaro is found in Tanzania and stands at a height of 19,341 feet or 5,895 meters. This snow-capped mountain is the highest peak on the African continent and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Kilimanjaro is the highest walkable mountain in the world. To reach its summit (Uhuru Peak), you have to walk through its five different climate zones which include; the rainforest, alpine desert, and the glacial Arctic.

Although Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed without any special equipment or unique mountaineering training, we have to mention that it is not easy to summit the ‘Roof of Africa!’  A good Kilimanjaro climbing tour operator is equally important to ensure that your hike is not only a successful climb but also a safe Mount Kilimanjaro trek.

The best Kilimanjaro Trails, Choosing the best route to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Choosing the best route between the seven Kilimanjaro trails requires an experienced Mount Kilimanjaro trekking expert, and we provide accurate and up-to-date advice and consultation at no cost.

The journey to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania unfolds through seven well-established routes: Lemosho, Machame, Marangu, Rongai, Northern Circuit, Shira, and Umbwe.

Additionally, there exists a specialized descent-only route which is known as the Mweka route. This Route is used to descend from the summit by climbers who use all routes except Marangu Route and Rongai Route. Rongai Route and Marangu Route utilize the Marangu Route during the descent from Mount Kilimanjaro.

Each of these seven Kilimanjaro routes boasts its own set of advantages and disadvantages, encompassing factors such as cost, the variety of landscapes encountered, and the success rate of reaching the summit. Hence, it is prudent to thoroughly examine each route, enabling you to make an informed decision regarding the most suitable path for your ascent.

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How much does it cost to climb Kilimanjaro?

The average cost of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is USD 2100 to USD 5000 depending on the route that you take, and the company that is planning your climb. We offer affordable Kilimanjaro hikes through all Mount Kilimanjaro trails.

Briefly, it does not take spending a fortune for a safe, comfortable and successful climb. However, the price below USD 1600 should alert you, as it is the first signal that your tour operator forsakes basic safety measures and hires semi-qualified (or unqualified altogether) guides and porters, who agreed to work for a pay far below the market average.

Which route to choose for hiking Kilimanjaro?

Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed through seven main routes. These Kilimanjaro trails takes you from the slopes of this amazing mountain, to Uhuru Peak which is the Summit of the Mt Kilimanjaro. Among these Mount Kilimanjaro routes; 6 of them start on the Southern side of the mountain while one only approaches the summit from the Northern side close the Kenyan border; which is the Rongai Route.

The Seven Routes for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Outlined below are the seven established pathways that lead to the pinnacle of Kilimanjaro:

  1. Lemosho Route – Renowned for its stunning beauty and widespread popularity, this route ascends the mountain’s western slope.
  2. Machame Route – Standing as the most favored path to Kilimanjaro’s summit, it winds up the southern slope. This route takes 6 to 8 Days to summit Uhuru Peak, up and down.
  3. Marangu Route – Distinguished as the sole route offering hut accommodations, this route takes on the eastern slope. It is the oldest route on the Kilimanjaro, and here climbers use the same route up, and down.
  4. Rongai Route – Singular in its approach, it navigates from the northern side to reach the summit. One of the most beautiful routes on Mount Kilimanjaro, the route takes 5 to 7 Days up dan down.
  5. Shira Route – Embarking from the highest starting elevation, it commences its journey on the western slope.
  6. Northern Circuit Route – The most recent and lengthiest route, it initiates from the west but then circumnavigates the mountain’s northern face.
  7. Umbwe Route – Acknowledged for its brevity, steepness, and challenging nature, this route ascends the southern slope.


Which is the easiest route for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

In our perspective, the Northern Circuit stands out as the least demanding Kilimanjaro hiking trail.

Our assessment rests on several key factors. Firstly, the extended duration of the Northern Circuit (spanning nine to ten days) allows for a gradual adaptation to the high altitudes. This allows for great acclimatization which is vital for successfully summiting Uhuru Peak; the highest peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. Rapid ascents often trigger altitude sickness, impeding progress to the summit.

Furthermore, the Northern Circuit Route strategically incorporates a slight descent in elevation on Days 5 and 6. This deliberate descent aids in acclimatizing to the demanding altitude conditions, aligning with the ‘climb high, sleep low’ strategy. This approach significantly contributes to the route’s impressive success rate in reaching the summit.

The Northern Circuit’s unique attribute as the least challenging Kilimanjaro route lies in its absence of particularly steep sections. Unlike the other routes featuring strenuous segments like the Barranco Wall, the Northern Circuit’s path leads climbers upward with a gradual and consistent incline. This characteristic enhances overall comfort and safety during the ascent.

There are many factors to consider when choosing your best route for climbing Kili, personally and we have explained; 9 factors to consider when choosing your Kilimanjaro Trail.

Mount Kilimanjaro Routes Glaciers

Which is the best Mount Kilimanjaro Route?

In our assessment, we believe that the Lemosho, Machame, and Northern Circuit routes stand out as the top choices of all the Kilimanjaro trails. This viewpoint is shared by many tour operators as well. We hold these routes in high regard due to their scenic diversity, avoidance of repeated descent paths, and impressive success rates in reaching the summit. Naturally, our utmost wish is for every climber to relish the exhilarating summit moment.

Were we compelled to select a sole Kilimanjaro route, it would be a close call between the Lemosho and the Northern Circuit routes. The allure lies in their comparative seclusion when contrasted with the popularity of the Machame route.

Embracing the Exquisite Beauty of the Lemosho Kilimanjaro Route

Our primary objective transcends the sheer volume of climbers we send to Kilimanjaro. Rather, we strive to craft experiences that etch indelible memories and triumphant summits into the minds of our valued clients.

In this spirit, we consistently advocate and endorse three premier Kilimanjaro routes to our esteemed clients:

  • The Machame route (with a meticulously planned seven-day itinerary)
  • The Lemosho route (unfolding across a well-structured eight-day route)
  • The Northern Circuit route (spanning a leisurely nine-day climb)

Renowned for their picturesque vistas and encompassing diversity, these routes stand as epitomes of scenic grandeur. Moreover, each route presents ample opportunities for acclimatization, ensuring a smoother ascent.

For those seeking to bypass the challenging Barranco Wall yet constrained by time, budget, or inclination for a lengthier climb that is associated with climbing Mount Kilimanjaro through the Northern Circuit Route, we wholeheartedly recommend the seven-day Rongai route. This alternative presents a pragmatic compromise without compromising the essence of the Kilimanjaro experience.

The Machame route is one of the most frequented pathways for ascending Mount Kilimanjaro. Known for its popularity, stunning vistas, and diverse landscapes, the Machame route attracts a significant number of climbers seeking to conquer the summit of Africa’s tallest peak.

Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes

Machame Route

Machame Route

At Kilimanjaro Trails we offer Mount Kilimanjaro climbing through the Machame
machame Route

Marangu Route

Marangu, also known as the Coca-Cola route, is the easiest route of all Kilimanjaro trails.
Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho is a fairly new Kilimanjaro route and it is greatly recommended by operators.
Northern Circuit Route

Northern Circuit Route

Climbers having ample time for this trek should actually think of taking
Rongai Route

Rongai Route

The only route that approached the summit from the north, close to Kenyan border
umbwe route

Umbwe Route

Umbwe Route is a less used and the most challenging trail used to climb Kilimanjaro.
Mount Kilimanjaro's Diverse Routes

Unveiling the 7 Epic Kilimanjaro Trails

Join Kilimanjaro Trails™ on a journey of epic proportions as we delve into the intricate network of Kilimanjaro’s climbing routes. With seven distinct trails leading to the iconic summit; Uhuru Peak, each route presents its own array of challenges and charms. From the majestic Lemosho’s untouched wildness and the popular Machame’s scenic allure to the strategic acclimatization opportunities of the Northern Circuit, these trails offer a spectrum of experiences for every adventurer. Whether you seek panoramic vistas, wildlife encounters, or a gradual ascent, our exploration of Kilimanjaro’s routes promises insights that will aid in your quest to conquer Africa’s tallest peak.

Lemosho Route: The best of Mount Kilimanjaro Routes

  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Distance: 70 km
  • Duration: 7-8 days
  • Success Rate: High

Our fondness for the Lemosho route is undeniable. It captivates with its versatility, picturesque landscapes, and pristine, untamed initiation to the ascent. Often hailed as the route with the most diverse experiences, encountering significant wildlife like antelopes, though rare, remains a possibility.

Distinctively, this route grants trekkers the privilege of traversing the expansive Shira Plateau, one of the planet’s largest high-altitude plateaus. Spanning from the western flank, the Lemosho route ensures an excellent acclimatization profile, featuring vital climb-high-sleep-low opportunities during the ascent.

While many complete the Lemosho route in seven days, an extended eight-day version is recommended for heightened summit prospects. Opting for the eight-day itinerary provides an improved acclimatization window. Camping exclusively constitutes the accommodation option for The Lemosho Route. Our preference lies with the intimate ambiance of our Kilimanjaro Trails camp setups, a contrast to the communal hut lodging on the Marangu route.

The Machame Route: Most Frequented of all Kilimanjaro Trails

  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trail Distance: 62 km
  • Duration: 6-8 days
  • Success Rate: High

Earning its place as our second-favorite Kilimanjaro route, the Machame route stands as a captivating journey in tandem with the Lemosho. Renowned for its captivating scenery and diverse terrain, it is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque trails. In fact, recent statistics indicate that over 20,000 individuals opt for the Machame route annually, a testament to its popularity. However, its appeal also brings along its challenge – the route tends to become congested during peak periods.

With a well-structured acclimatization approach, the Machame route adeptly employs the climb high, sleep low principle. Emerging from the southern approach, its commendable success rate is particularly prominent among those opting for the seven-day option. Nonetheless, the six-day itinerary is advised against for novices due to its limited time for acclimatization. Notably, the Machame route exclusively offers camping, with no hut accommodations available.

The Machame Route can be used to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in 6 days for the physically fit and experienced in altitude hiking or 7 days if you want to have an extra day for acclimatization.

The Marangu Route: The oldest route on Mount Kilimanjaro

  • Level of Difficulty: Low
  • Trail Distance: 72 km
  • Duration: 5-6 days
  • Success Rate: Low

Historically renowned as the ‘Coca Cola’ route, the Marangu route has long held the distinction of being the most favored path to Kilimanjaro’s summit. However, its popularity now contends with the newer and increasingly popular Machame and Lemosho routes.

With approximately 12,000 annual climbers, the Marangu route often attracts budget-conscious individuals. It stands out as the sole Kilimanjaro route providing dormitory-style accommodations complete with mattresses and rudimentary amenities, appealing to budget-oriented Kilimanjaro operators without camping equipment. Additionally, the Marangu route’s shorter completion time of five or six days renders it a cost-effective alternative to lengthier routes.

Notably, the Marangu route offers respite from the daunting Barranco Wall, a precipitous section that can unsettle some climbers. However, its acclimatization profile falls into the moderate category, consequently leading to a notably low summit success rate. This aspect, coupled with its ascent-descent homogeneity, contributes to our perspective that the Marangu route lacks value for money.

While showcasing rewarding views from ‘the Saddle’ between Kibo and Mawenzi Peaks, and featuring enchanting rainforest and moorland segments, the Marangu route’s overall scenic appeal ranks comparatively lower. This assessment arises due to its employment of the same path for both ascent and descent.

The Rongai Route: A Beautiful Kilimanjaro Trail in the North

  • Level of Difficulty: Low
  • Trail Distance: 73 km
  • Duration: 6-7 days
  • Success Rate: Medium

The Rongai route presents a gradual, easily navigable ascent, rendering it a trail of low difficulty. Distinguished as the sole route approaching Kilimanjaro from its northern side, the Rongai is less frequented, accommodating around 4,000 climbers annually. The climb affords enchanting northern views, potentially granting glimpses of majestic wildlife in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park that dominates the northern plain.

The journey through rainforest and moorland segments bestows captivating aesthetics, with a night’s campsite positioned beneath the stunning Mawenzi Peak. Progressing across the Saddle offers panoramic perspectives in both the north and south directions of the mountain.

Parallel to the Marangu route, the Rongai route lacks ‘climb high, sleep low’ opportunities. Therefore, opting for the seven-day itinerary, instead of the six-day variant, is advisable. This additional day is crucial for acclimatizing to the escalating altitude.

Positioned as a strategic choice, the Rongai route provides an alternative to confronting the demanding Barranco Wall. While our general recommendation for evading steep sections leads us to the Northern Circuit, the Rongai route emerges as another compelling option. This is especially pertinent for those seeking a balanced compromise between time and budget compared to the lengthier Northern Circuit.

The Shira Route: Discovering the Majesty of Mount Kilimanjaro’s Pathways

Level of Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Distance: 56 km
Duration: 7-8 days
Success Rate: High

Venturing along the Shira route unveils a parallel journey to the Lemosho, with a notable distinction in its elevated starting point. Embarking on this route entails embarking on an extended, rugged half-day drive to access the trailhead, where the first night’s rest awaits at an impressive altitude of 3,500 meters.

Embarking on your ascent from such a lofty elevation introduces an elevated risk of altitude sickness, stemming from the abrupt acclimatization challenge. To counteract this, those considering the Shira Route would benefit from engaging in a pre-acclimatization trek, such as conquering the heights of Mt. Meru. This strategic approach better readies your body for the altitude changes that lie ahead.

Encompassing a camping-focused accommodation experience throughout the journey, the Shira route mirrors the Lemosho’s allure through its awe-inspiring scenery. However, it deviates from the captivating rainforest segment that graces other paths of ascent. Despite this deviation, the Shira route’s panoramic vistas, coupled with its unique challenges, promise an indelible climb etched in memory.

The Northern Circuit Route: The Easiest Route on Mount Kilimanjaro?

  • Level of Difficulty: Low
  • Trail Distance: 98 km
  • Duration: 9-10 days
  • Success Rate: High

The Northern Circuit emerges as the most recent and extensive path to the peak, spanning a substantial distance of approximately 98 Km to be trekked within 8-9 days. Earning monikers like the “360 route” or the “Grand Traverse,” this route stands out as the longest. Its elongated journey enables profound acclimatization, contributing to the highest overall summit success rate witnessed among all routes. Impressively, roughly 90% of climbers venturing the Northern Circuit stand triumphant at the summit.

While the Northern Circuit remains a choice less traveled due to its extended itinerary, this attribute augments the probability of wildlife sightings and fosters quieter camp environments during the nights. Departing from the same point as the Lemosho route, the Northern Circuit promises comparably mesmerizing vistas. Camping alone constitutes the available accommodation option on this route.

The Umbwe Route: Hardest Route on Mount Kilimanjaro

  • Level of Difficulty: High
  • Trail Distance: 53 km
  • Duration: 5-6 days
  • Success Rate: Low

Distinguished as the shortest and steepest path to Kilimanjaro’s summit, the Umbwe route carves a challenging trajectory. As the least frequented trail, it comes as no surprise, given its limited acclimatization potential. With a mere 589 annual climbers, this route records a notably low summit success rate.

Approaching from the south, the Umbwe route exclusively offers camping accommodations. Opting for pre-acclimatization becomes a prudent choice for those daring to tread this demanding path. As the route’s altitude challenges are formidable, adequately preparing the body can be a crucial step towards overcoming the obstacles posed by the Umbwe Route.

Uhuru Peak, The Roof Top of Africa!


Kilimanjaro tours combined with safaris and Zanzibar Beach Holidays

Trek to the roof of Africa, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Explore the wilderness of the Serengeti, before you fly to the Spice Island of Zanzibar for the best beach holiday in Africa.

Ready to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with Kilimanjaro Trails?

At Kilimanjaro Trails we work hard with our dedicated team of professional guides and hard-working and social porters to try our best to get you to the peak of Kilimanjaro.

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