Mt Kilimanjaro Routes map & info

Not all Mt Kilimanjaro routes are equal. Choosing the best Kilimanjaro route could make the difference between summiting or not. There is no easy route up Kilimanjaro, however some Mt Kilimanjaro routes are more challenging than others and some routes are more successful than others. Use our Kilimanjaro routes map to get a better perspective of the mountain.

Kilimanjaro Routes Map Small Edition

Please click on the Mount Kilimanjaro routes map to see an enlarged Mt Kilimanjaro routes map.

Hiking Kilimanjaro is very popular. The most successful routes are unfortunately also the most popular routes, where you can expect the highest number of hikers.   

In total there are seven routes leading to the roof of Africa: the Shira route, Lemosho route, Machame route, Umbwe route, Rongai route, Marangu route and the Northern Circuit route. Please refer to our detailed Kilimanjaro routes map.

The following routes comparison chart is a summary of the routes:

Mt Kilimanjaro Comparison Chart
RoutePrice RangeOvernightDifficultySceneryTrafficSuccess RateAscent / Descent
5 Days Marangu routeLowA-Frame hutsHigh to Very HighGoodMediumLowMarangu / Marangu
6 Days Marangu routeLowA-Frame hutsMedium to HighGoodMediumMediumMarangu / Marangu
6 Days Machame routeLowTentsMedium to HighVery goodHighMediumMachame / Mweka
7 Days Machame routeMediumTentsMedium to HighVery goodHighHighMachame / Mweka
6 Days Lemosho routeMediumTentsMedium to HighVery goodMedium to HighMediumLemosha / Mweka
7 Days Lemosho routeHighTentsMedium to HighVery goodMedium to HighHighLemosho / Mweka
8 Days Lemosho routeVery HighTentsMedium to HighVery goodMedium to HighHighLemosho / Mweka
6 Days Rongai routeMediumTentsHighVery goodLow to MediumMediumRongai / Marangu
7 Days Rongai routeHighTentsMedium to HighVery goodLow to MediumHighRongai / Marangu
8 Days Rongai routeVery HighTentsMedium to HighVery goodLow to MediumHighRongai / Marangu
6 Days Umbwe routeMediumTentsHigh to MediumVery goodMedium to HighMediumUmbwe / Mweka
7 Days Umbwe routeHighTentsHigh to MediumVery goodMedium to HighHighUmbwe / Mweka
6 Days Shira routeMediumTentsHighVery goodMedium to HighMediumShira / Mweka
7 Days Shira routeHighTentsMedium to HighVery goodMedium to HighHighShira / Mweka
8 Days Northern Circuit routeVery HighTentsHighVery goodLow to MediumHighLemosho / Mweka
9 Days Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit routeVery HighTentsHighVery goodLow to MediumHighLemosho / Mweka

Below is a brief routes description of all the routes up Kilimanjaro. For more detailed information regarding each of the routes, including hiking distances and route summit success rates. Please refer to our detailed and comprehensive route descriptions under the main routes link bar above. This should enable you to choosing the best Kilimanjaro route to climb.

Mt Kilimanjaro routes – The Marangu Route

An image of the A-frame hut along the mt Kilimanjaro routes

Also known as the “Coca Cola route” – the Marangu route is one of the oldest routes leading to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. The Marangu route can be completed in 5 or 6 days and is a popular route option. Since it is the only route offering accommodation in communal A-frame huts and meals are served in comfortable dining halls. The route is mistakenly chosen by many hikers, as the easiest Kilimanjaro route. The actual hiking trail from the Marangu gate to Kibo hut, is one of the easiest trails up Mt Kilimanjaro. Daily hiking distances are relatively short and there are no major obstacles en-route

However from Kibo hut to the Kilimanjaro summit and back down to the Marangu gate, the Marangu route is longer, more strenuous and challenging than other Kilimanjaro routes. For more information on the Marangu route, please click here. Marangu route

Mt Kilimanjaro routes – The Machame Route

The Machame route is one of our most popular and successful Kilimanjaro trails leading to Uhuru peak. Hikers sleep in tents which are carried up the mountain by porters and pitched at campsites along the way. The Machame route is a beautiful and scenic Kilimanjaro route, which can be completed in 6 or 7 days. The key to the success of the Machame route is its topography. This allows hikers to climb high and sleep low, helping towards better acclimatization.

There are however two drawbacks on this route:

Ø  Baranco wall can be a potential problem for hikers with a fear of heights.

Ø  The route has a lot of traffic due the Machame route’s high success rate

Descend is via the Mweka route. For more information on the Machame route, please click here. Machame route

The Lemosho Route

The Lemosho route is one the most scenic routes and a very beautiful route. In addition sightings of wild game in the forest section is possible. Lemosho route can be completed in 6, 7 or 8 days and share the same pro-acclimatization features of the Machame route, which it joins just before reaching Lava Tower. The Lemosho route used to be one of the quiet Kilimanjaro routes. However in recent times has become busier due to its popularity and being one of the successful routes.

We do not recommend hiking the Lemosho route during the rainy season. The starting point of the Lemosho route can be particularly inaccessible during the wet season. Descent is via the Mweka route. For more information on the Lemosho route, please click here. Lemosho route

The Rongai Route

mount Kilimanjaro routes

The Rongai route ascends Kilimanjaro from the north-eastern side of the mountain and can be completed in 6, 7 or 8 days. Rongai route retains a sense of unspoiled wilderness and offers a different perspective on Mount Kilimanjaro by approaching it from the North. A premier advantage to the Rongai route is that it is a quiet route. One disadvantage is the long travel time to the starting point of the Rongai route. When connecting with the Marangu Route just before reaching Kibo hut the Rongai route does become busy.

The summit path, shared with the Marangu route, is also longer, more strenuous and challenging than the summit path used by the Machame route, Lemosho route and Umbwe route. For more information on the Rongai route, please click here. Rongai route

Kilimanjaro routesThe Umbwe Route

Umbwe route is known for its caves and can be completed over 6 or 7 days. On the first night, you actually sleep at the Umbwe Cave Camp with two more caves that can be visited en-route the following day. Umbwe route is one of tge shortest routes to the Southern Glaciers and the Western Breach. It is probably one of the most scenic, non-technical routes. The Route is very steep and fast ascending, probably the most challenging routes.

Due to higher risks involved when attempting to summit via the Western Breach / Arrow Glacier and to overnight at the Arrow Glacier camp, all our Umbwe route hikes are currently re-routed, to merge with Mt Kilimanjaro southern circuit from night 2 onwards and summit via Barafu camp. Descend is via the Mweka route. For more information on the Umbwe route, please click here. Umbwe route

Mt Kilimanjaro routes – The Shira Route

Shira Plateau is one of the most scenic and most fascinating areas on Mt Kilimanjaro. Depending on the weather conditions, you can drive by 4 wheel drive vehicle to the Morrum Barrier, which is within a couple of hours walk to Shira 1 Camp. Driving is spectacular indeed and offers some magnificent views of Mt Meru and the Great Rift Valley in general. The fast ascend by vehicle to about 3 400m / 11 154ft will require additional acclimatization, after which it will be possible to ascend Uhuru Peak via Barafu camp. Descent is via the Mweka route.

The Shira route is only offered to hikers who are already acclimatized to 3 500m / 11 482ft, by either hiking Mt Meru or Mt Kenya a few days before attempting Kilimanjaro. For more information on the Shira route, please click here. Shira route

Mount Kilimanjaro routesThe Northern Circuit route

Most scenic route hiking along the mount Kilimanjaro routes

The Northern circuit route is the longest route and most scenic route, which can be completed over 8 or 9 days. Northern circuit shares the Lemosho route for the first couple of days and then heads north, just before reaching Lava tower. Circling around the northern slopes, offering incredibly varied scenery with very few hikers on the route. The northern circuit route then finally connects with the Rongai route, ascending via Kibo hut and descending via the Mweka route. For more information on the northern circuit route, one of the quieter routes, please click here. Kilimanjaro Northern circuit route