Lemosho is everybody’s favourite route as it is the most beautiful route on Mount Kilimanjaro with a very scenic environment and all-around stunning panoramic views of the mountain. It is also our top pick and wins over all the other routes in terms of many aspects. This route can easily be termed the best route to choose as it is not congested like the other popular routes, offers low traffic, scenic views and a high summit success rate. Most clients recommend this route so much, that is why we also recommend it to climbers.
Choosing the route to climb Kilimanjaro can be an uphill task if you are not sure what works best for your needs but it is an easy thing if you know what you want and when. Before you settle on which route you want to take, please bear the following ideas in mind:
- Choose the best time of the year for all the routes. The best time is during the warm and dry months. If your timing is not right, and you are climbing during the wet season, choose the Rongai Route that follows the northern slopes.
- Consider longer routes as they offer enough acclimatization time giving you a higher summit success rate.
- Pricing: Longer routes are more expensive due to the number of days spent on the mountain, hence a higher cost.
- Climbing during the peak season has more traffic and the routes are busier with climbers.
- Scenery: Some routes, especially the longer ones are more scenic. But all routes offer stunning views and scenery.
- Accommodation type, tents or huts? Other than camping, one route, the Marangu route offers huts accommodation in dormitory-style cabins. So, you can choose the Marangu route huts or tents for the other routes as a way of accommodation.
- Some routes use the same route for ascent and descent, like the Marangu Route. It is monotonous at times and has a lot of traffic.
- Your budget and how many days you have for vacation
- Take training seriously. The summit and immediate long descent are very tough. Do not underestimate how tiring it is to come from 19,340 feet to 9,000 feet.
- Bring the right gear. You need apparel that will keep you warm and dry. You also need well broken-in, comfortable boots. You will be spending a lot of time on them. Take care of your feet too.
There is no ultimate best route on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is mostly a matter of personal opinion and choice. Each route has a significant role and features. At the end of the day, it will depend on which route works best for you. Below are the important things to consider when choosing the best route for your Mount Kilimanjaro climb.
Things to Consider when Choosing a Kilimanjaro Route
To choose the best route for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, there are a lot of things to keep in mind before you settle for one route that will take you to the summit of the mountain and back.
- Who: Who is going on the trip to climb Mount Kilimanjaro? Each and every individuals’ capabilities and condition must be put into consideration when choosing a route. Are there first-timers or experienced climbers in your group? What about the age factor, are there children and old people in your group? Do the people in your group have previous altitude experience? Choose a route that the members of your group can realistically find success in a more comfortable way.
- What: What obstacles dictate your climb? Is it the budget or amount of time that is limited? There are shorter routes that are much cheap. There are also longer and scenic routes. You can get a free quote and estimate the cost of your Kilimanjaro to climb here.
- How: How do you want to approach your climb? Do you want an easier route or you are an experienced climber? Do you want a challenging climb or a moderately challenging climb? Do you want to do a private group climb, a solo climb or join an open group?
- Where: Where do you want to begin your climb? The routes up Kilimanjaro start from all sides of the mountain. Where you begin will affect the cost. It will also affect the scenery and scenic variety you experience. For instance, the western routes are more scenic because they cover more of the mountain.
- Why: Why are you climbing Mount Kilimanjaro? If your goal is to the summit, choose a longer route with a higher success rate, if it is for the captivating pictures, choose a more scenic route with stunning views, if you want privacy and tranquillity, choose the less frequented route.
- When: When are you going for your trek? Peak seasons are around full moons and on holidays where traffic is high and the mountain is kind of overwhelmed by tourists. Also, the weather depends on which months you choose to climb Kilimanjaro. The dry season gives you the flexibility to climb the mountain using any route but during the rainy season, some routes become a challenge mainly because the trails become wet and slippery. Some routes, however, receive less rainfall and precipitation than others.
Other factors to consider when choosing your route
We have put some other factors that many climbers should ponder before climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Below are some of these things to consider when choosing to climb Kilimanjaro suing your preferred route.
What is the experience of your group as a whole?
Choosing a trail will depend on a few factors of your members’ conditions. Is it your first time to tackle a mountain of such high altitudes and how fit are you? If fitness and experience is an issue then the best option would be a longer route. We recommend a 7-day to 9-day Kilimanjaro route.
Are you limited by the number of days you can take?
For a higher summit success rate, you will need at least 7 days on the Mountain. This does not include the extra day before and after climbing Kilimanjaro. If not possible then you can opt for the 6-day Marangu route which is the longer variation of the same route but with a lower summit success rate compared to the longer routes that may take 7-9 days on the mountain.
Is your budget a restriction?
The budget and overall cost of your climb have a direct relation with the number of days you will spend on the mountain. Longer routes are more expensive and at most times, more scenic. Longer routes also give you a better summit success rate and chance.
How challenging do you want to make the climb?
Are you the adventure type, do you want more addons like the Crater Camp options for your route? We can adjust your climb to make it more adventurous and challenging.
How important is the scenery?
Some routes are more scenic than others. The northern slopes are good for any time of the year as the mountain creates a rain shadow on the northern side hence it is drier there. The South and West sides of the mountain give different vistas and a variety of sceneries but they are the wettest parts of the mountain.
What is the motivation for climbing?
Reaching the summit is most climbers’ main goal. Some people choose a day trek to Shira Plateau, some just want to see the mountain. It depends on what you prefer. Tranquil Kilimanjaro is here to help you realize your dream, whether you are climbing for charity or a team-building and bonding climb.
When do you want to do your climb?
Choosing the right time of the year to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is a very important factor. Make sure the weather is right and the Mountain is not too overcrowded. You can opt for the quieter routes that are dry all year round, like the Rongai Route.
Picking the best Kilimanjaro route depends on you.
Below is a summary that will guide you to choose the best route that works for you.
When choosing the best route for your climb, please consider the following:
- The routes have starting points located on different sides of Mount Kilimanjaro.
- The routes have different lengths and duration.
- There are different difficulty levels, from easy trails, challenging, difficult routes, and even dangerous ones.
- Some routes have longer route variations or are long enough for acclimatization by default.
- There are great all-weather routes even for rainy seasons.
- Almost all the routes offer tent/camping accommodation apart from the Marangu route that uses huts as the sole form of accommodation.
Route Success Rates
Machame being the most popular route on Mount Kilimanjaro has an average summit success rate of about 45% of all climbers using this route.
Marangu route has an average summit success rate of about 40% of all climbers choosing this route.
Northern Circuit, Lemosho Route and Rongai have comparatively higher success rates of 64%-80% depending on the number of days that you will spend on the mountain.
Shira, Umbwe have a low summit success rate of about 27% to 44%.
Choosing the wrong route to climb Mount Kilimanjaro can have negative repercussions as you might end up falling ill or even injured. It is important to choose your route wisely.