The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Different Kilimanjaro Climb Routes
Climbing /Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro using Marangu Route
Marangu route is commonly known as Coca Cola route as it is the easier climbing popular route. For many years Marangu route is used to be the most popular Kilimanjaro route. It has now been delegated to number two by the Machame route. This could partly be as a result of the fact that the Marangu is the least expensive route, but more so, perhaps the fact that it is possible to do the Marangu route in 5 to 6 days, thereby getting to the summit one day earlier than on the Machame route.
Duration: 5 days, acclimatization day can be added
Advantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu route:
- Low cost
- Accommodation is in huts, no camping equipment needed
- supposedly the easiest route (I beg to differ)
Disadvantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu route:
- Lowest success rate
- Very crowded
- Camping is not allowed
- The only route that uses the same way up and down
Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Machame Route
The Machame route is one of the most scenic routes on Kilimanjaro. Since the budget operators discovered it, Machame is also the most popular Kilimanjaro route. Machame route sometimes called the Whisky Route. This is a popular route up steep paths through magnificent forests to gain a ridge leading through the moorland zones to the Shira Plateau. It then traverses beneath the glaciated precipices of the Southern Ice fields to join the Barafu Route to the summit.
Duration: 6 or 7 days
Advantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Machame route:
- Relatively low cost
- A very scenic Kilimanjaro route
- Higher success rate than Marangu
Disadvantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Machame route:
- Higher level of difficulty
- Very crowded
Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route
The Rongai route is the easiest route up Kilimanjaro. It has a reputation as a remote wilderness trail. Rongai is the only route to approach Kilimanjaro from the north. Mount Kilimanjaro Hiking Rongai Route is one of the remote and less frequently used route is the second easiest route to Kilimanjaro. The approach to the mountain is from the less-forested north side and the descent is by the Marangu Route. There are several variations; the one described is a longer route taking in Mawenzi Tarn.
Duration: 5 or 6 days
Advantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai route:
- The easiest Kilimanjaro route
- One of the quieter routes on Kilimanjaro
- Approaches the mountain from the driest side, best chances of good weather
- Ascent and descent are on opposite sides, you see both sides of Kilimanjaro. (You descend on the Marangu route).
Disadvantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai route:
- Higher cost due to additional travel to reach other side
- Considered somewhat less scenic
Climbing/ Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Shira Route
The route over the Shira Plateau has several possible variations. The Shira route, approaches Kilimanjaro’s summit from the west and crosses the caldera of Shira Volcano before heading beneath the southern ice fields of Kibo. The route is seldom used by other trekkers and so your initial two days on the mountain are less crowded than on most other routes.
Duration: 6 – 8 days
Advantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Shira route:
- Less crowded
- Very scenic
Disadvantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Shira route:
- Higher cost
- Higher difficulty level
- Meets the Machame trail, hence possibly busy on the later days
- Climbing Kilimanjaro on the Shira Route
Climbing/ Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route
Remote and beautiful, but long and expensive, this route also approaches Kilimanjaro across the Shira plateau. Lemosho Route Mount Kilimanjaro trekking, this is the longest and most remote route to Kilimanjaro. After beautiful forests and moorlands it crosses the Shira Plateau to meet up with the Machame Route. Groups may be accompanied on the first day by an armed ranger as the forests around the Lemosho Glades are rich in buffalo, elephant and other game.
Duration: 7 – 8 days
Advantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho route:
- Extremely scenic route
- Very low number of climbers during the first days
- Plenty of time for acclimatization
Disadvantages of Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho route:
- High cost
- Higher difficulty level
- Meets the Machame and Shira trail, hence possibly crowded on the later days
Climbing/Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro Umbwe Route
The steepest Kilimanjaro route with scenic view, the Umbwe route is one of the shortest routes to the Southern Glaciers and the Western Breach. It is probably the most scenic, non-technical route on Kilimanjaro. It is quite taxing, primarily due to the relatively fast ascent to higher altitude, but the rewards are plentiful. Very steep route best suited to experienced trekkers.
Duration: 6 – 7 days.
This route is not used much. The Umbwe route is only suitable for people with mountain climbing experience.