Best route for climbing Kilimanjaro
Best route for climbing Kilimanjaro : There are different routes which are used for climbing on Mount Kilimanjaro which is located in the northern part of Tanzania.
Mount Kilimanjaro is part of Kilimanjaro national park which is managed by Tanzania National Parks Authority. There are different climatic zones which hikers go through as they climb to the top of the mountain and they include the bushland zone, rainforest zone, moorland zone, alpine desert zone and the arctic zone.
For a successful hiking experience on the Mountain choosing the best route is very important so as to get to the top of the mountain. The routes which are used for hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro include the following;
- Machame route
Machame route on Mount Kilimanjaro is another popular route used for hiking on the mountain that has beautiful scenery.
This route is also crowded by tourists during hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro. Machame route has steep trails and is also very scenic. It takes about 6 days or more to hike on the mountain using this route.
The cost for hiking using Machame route on Mount Kilimanjaro is higher. There is a 60% success rate for hikes using this route due to its beautiful scenery. Tents are the form of accommodation where trekkers stay during their hikes along the Machame route.
- Marangu route
Marangu route is the oldest hiking route on Mount Kilimanjaro and is the only route on the mountain which has hut accommodation.
This route is considered the easiest route for hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro which takes a minimum of 5 days to climb. The Marangu route also has the lowest price which is charged for climbing the mountain.
Many tourists hike on Mount Kilimanjaro using the Marangu route which is used for both ascent and descent. About 35% of the hikers who use this route to get to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro make it to the top of the mountain.
- Lemosho route
Lemosho route starts from the western side of Mount Kilimanjaro and is also a beautiful route for hikes.
During hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro using Lemosho route hikers start ascent using the Machame route and this trail joins Mweka route during descent on the mountain. Lemosho route covers a big part of rainforest which is one of the climatic zones on the mountain and wildlife species can be encountered during the hike.
It takes about 7 days to hike on Mount Kilimanjaro via Lemosho route which is one of the best routes for acclimatization. About 8% of hikers use this route for hiking on the mountain.
- Rongai route
Rongai route is on the Kenyan border and approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the north and is considered among the best routes for hiking on the mountain.
Hiking using Rongai route takes about 7 days or more and is similar to Marangu route which is used for descend on the mountain. This route also goes through the rainforest and has amazing views on both sides of the mountain.
There is also a possibility of seeing wildlife species during hikes along the Rongai route on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is also the driest route on the mountain and climbing using the route is moderately difficult.
- Umbwe route
Umbwe route starts on the western part of the mountain and is another route which is used for hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro.
This route is steep and a few hikers use the Umbwe route for hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro. The route has little time for acclimatization and is not the best for acclimatization. Descend along this route is done via the Mweka route.
It takes a period of a minimum of 6 days to hike along the Umbwe route and is considered the most difficult route for hiking.
- Shira route
Shira route is also considered among the difficult routes for hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro and approaches the mountain from the west.
A unique feature along the Shira route is that it starts with driving before the actual hike on Mount Kilimanjaro and is favorable for climbers to experience some parts of the mountain by driving. During descent, hikers use the Mweka route. Shira route has a higher success rate of climbing to the top of the mountain.
More time for preparation before actual climbing is recommended for hikers using the Shira route to get to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.
- Northern route
The northern route is the newest route used for hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is also the longest route used for hikes on the mountain.
There is also a high success rate when using the northern route to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Descent from the mountain along this route is done via the Mweka route. About 9 days minimum is required for hikes along the northern route.
This route also has beautiful scenery and allows time for acclimatization.
Best time for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro can be visited at any time of the year and is among the 7 summits of the world.
The mountain is the highest free standing mountain in Africa at 5,895 meters and is also a snow capped mountain. The highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro is known as Uhuru peak and this mountain has 3 volcanic cones such as Kibo which is dormant and also Shira and Mawenzi which are extinct.
Some of the neighboring towns of Mount Kilimanjaro include Moshi and Arusha where views of the mountain can be seen. Moshi is at the foothills of the mountain.
The times of the year which are recommended for hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro include December to March and also from late June to October. The weather during these months is favorable and this offers amazing views of the mountain and also increases success rate of the mountain.
The cost of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro has no fixed cost and different routes are used for hiking on the mountain, number of days for hiking, number of hikers, equipment used and the company booking the hiking trip and these factors attribute to the variation in the cost of climbing.
Trekkers are also accompanied by guides, porters and cooks during their hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro. Tipping of the guides, porters and cooks is recommended during hikes on the mountain.
Visit Mount Kilimanjaro and enjoy hiking along different routes to get to the top of the mountain.