Where do Kilimanjaro treks usually end? Including the exit gates
Ending Kilimanjaro trek at Mweka gate

Kilimanjaro treks typically end at the same place where they began, which is usually around the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. After reaching the summit and completing their trek, climbers do not usually descend along the same route; they ascend apart from the Marangu Route, which uses the same route to ascend and descend.

This is because descending along a different route allows climbers to experience new scenery and terrain, adding variety to their overall trekking experience. Additionally, descending along a different route can also help prevent overcrowding on popular trails and minimize environmental impact.

Upon reaching the entry gate after their trek, climbers typically sign out with park authorities, collect any certificates of achievement, and celebrate their accomplishments before departing Kilimanjaro National Park. From there, they may continue their journey to nearby towns or return to Kilimanjaro International Airport to conclude their adventure. Some climbers choose to spend a few days exploring the local culture and wildlife in Tanzania before heading home. This allows them to fully immerse themselves in the experience and make the most of their trip to East Africa.

Ending points for Kilimanjaro itineraries

Here are the exit gates and routes for each Kilimanjaro route:

  1. Marangu Route:

  2. Machame Route:

    • Exit Gate: Mweka Gate
    • Route: Often referred to as the “Whiskey” route, the Machame Route is known for its scenic beauty and varied landscapes. Trekkers descend via the Mweka Route, reaching Mweka Gate at the end of the journey.
  3. Lemosho Route:

    • Exit Gate: Mweka Gate
    • Route: The Lemosho Route offers stunning views and a gradual ascent. Trekkers descend via the Mweka Route, ending their journey at Mweka Gate.
  4. Rongai Route:

    • Exit Gate: Marangu Gate
    • Route: The Rongai Route approaches Kilimanjaro from the north and is less crowded than other routes. Trekkers descend via the Marangu Route, reaching Marangu Gate at the end.
  5. Northern Circuit Route:

    • Exit Gate: Mweka Gate
    • Route: The Northern Circuit Route is the longest route and offers excellent acclimatization. Trekkers descend via the Mweka Route, concluding their journey at Mweka Gate.
  6. Umbwe Route:

    • Exit Gate: Mweka Gate
    • Route: The Umbwe Route is known for its steep ascent and challenging terrain. Trekkers descend via the Mweka Route, ending their journey at Mweka Gate.

These exit gates mark the end of the trekking routes and are where climbers officially sign out with park authorities before departing Kilimanjaro National Park.

Departing after finishing your Kilimanjaro Itinerary

After completing their Kilimanjaro trek, trekkers typically depart from nearby towns and airports to return home or continue their travels with addons like safaris, gorilla treks, day trips or Zanzibar beach getaways. The primary airports and towns commonly used by trekkers for departure include:

  1. Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO):

    • Location: Located near the town of Arusha, Tanzania.
    • Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) is the main gateway for travelers visiting Kilimanjaro and the northern circuit of Tanzania’s national parks, including Serengeti, Ngorongoro, and Tarangire. Trekkers often depart from JRO after their Kilimanjaro adventure, as it offers international flights to various destinations worldwide.
  2. Arusha:

    • Location: Arusha is a city in northern Tanzania, situated at the foot of Mount Meru.
    • Arusha serves as the primary hub for travelers exploring northern Tanzania, including those embarking on Kilimanjaro treks. It offers accommodation, dining, and transportation options, making it convenient for trekkers to stay before and after their climb. Many trekkers depart from Arusha after completing their Kilimanjaro expedition.
  3. Moshi:

    • Location: Moshi is a town located in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania, near the base of Mount Kilimanjaro.
    • As the gateway to Mount Kilimanjaro, Moshi is a popular starting point for trekkers undertaking Kilimanjaro climbs. The town offers various amenities and services catering to climbers, including gear rental shops, tour operators, and accommodations. Trekkers often return to Moshi after their climb before departing for their next destination.

Both Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and the towns of Arusha and Moshi serve as convenient departure points for trekkers concluding their Kilimanjaro adventure. From these locations, trekkers can access international flights, ground transportation, and other travel services to continue their journey or return home.


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