Hiking in Kilimanjaro national park Tanzania : Kilimanjaro national park is among the popular hiking destination found in the northern part of Tanzania.
Mount Kilimanjaro is a snow capped mountain which many tourists travel to see in Tanzania and also to hike to the summit of the mountain using the different hiking routes found on the mountain.
The duration it takes for hikers to get to the top of the mountain also depends on the route used or the hike in Kilimanjaro national park. It can take about 5 days or more to get to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro which is the Uhuru peak at 5895 meters.
Mount Kilimanjaro is also made up of volcanic cones such as Shira, Kibo and Mawenzi. From the town of Moshi, the hikers visiting Tanzania start their adventure of hiking to the top of the mountain. Many hotels are found around Moshi where hikers can spend the night before starting their hike of Mount Kilimanjaro and these hotels are in different ranges including budget hotels, midrange hotels and also luxury hotels.
Hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro is an exciting experience and the mountain is the highest in Africa and is also among the seven summits of the world. The routes which are used for hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro are six in number.
Lemosho route, Marangu route, Machame route, Shira route, Umbwe route and Rongai route are the routes used to hike on Mount Kilimanjaro during tours in Tanzania. Each route follows a different trail and they are found on different sides of the mountain.
- Marangu route
The Marangu route is the shortest route for hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro and it is also the only route which offers hikers hut accommodation. When hiking along this route, the hikers spend their nights at Horombo hut, Kibo hut and also Mandara hut.
Descent and ascent using the Marangu route follows the same trail during hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro. It takes about 5 days to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and get to the Uhuru peak using Marangu route.
The hike starts from Marangu gate to Mandara hut and this hike takes about 4 to 5 hours. From Mandara hut, you continue to Horombo hut and the hike takes about 6 to 8 hours. From Horombo hut the hike continues to Kibo hut which also takes about 6 to 8 hours.
From Kibo hut, the hikers can finally reach Uhuru peak which takes about 6 to 8 hours and from the peak the hikers start their descent to Horombo hut which takes 4 to 5 hours. And the final day for the hike on Mount Kilimanjaro along Marangu route starts from Horombo hut to Marangu route which takes 5 to 7 hours.
- Machame route
Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro using the Machame route takes about 7 days for both descent and ascent. This route is said to be very scenic with varied landscape every day of the hike and also offers great acclimatization.
Many hikers visiting Kilimanjaro national park in Tanzania also choose the Machame route and it sometimes gets crowded with tourists. Hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro along this route starts from Machame gate to Machame camp which takes 5 to 7 hours.
From Machame camp, the hike continues to Shira 2 camp and it takes 4 to 6 hours. After spending a night at Shira 2 camp, the hike which takes 4 to 5 hours leads the hikers to the lava tower and then from the Lava tower to Barranco camp which takes 2 to 3 hours of hiking.
Hiking from Barranco camp to Karanga camp along Machame route takes 4 to 5 hours. The hike from Karanga camp to Barafu camp takes 4 to 5 hours and from here the hike will continue the next day from Barafu camp to Uhuru peak which takes 7 to 8 hours.
From Uhuru peak descent begins from the peak to Mweka camp which takes 4 to 6 hours. On the final day of the hike, you start from Mweka camp to Mweka gate and this takes 3 to 4 hours.
- Lemosho route
The Lemosho route is another route which is used for hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro and it is another scenic route used for hiking on the mountain.
This route follows a similar route to the Machame route during tours in Kilimanjaro national park and the hikes along the Lemosho route take 7 to 8 days. The hike that takes place along Lemosho route starts from Londrossi gate to Mti mkubwa which takes 3 to 4 hours.
From Mti Mkubwa, the hike continues to Shira 2 camp which takes 8 to 10 hours. You will start another day of hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro from Shira 2 camp to Lava tower which takes 4 to 6 hours.
From Lava tower the hike take you to Barranco camp and this takes 2 to 3 hours. After spending the night at Barranco camp the hike starts from Barranco camp to Karanga camp which takes 4 to 5 hours and from Karanga camp, the hikers continue to Barafu camp which takes 3 to 4 hours.
From Barafu camp, the hike to the Uhuru peak begins and this takes 6 to 8 hours and from the peak descent begins to Mweka camp which takes 4 to 6 hours of hiking. From Mweka camp the hike proceeds to Mweka gate which takes 3 to 4 hours, Hiking in Kilimanjaro national park Tanzania .
- Shira route
Shira route is another hiking route followed when visiting Kilimanjaro national park and it takes 7 days or more to hike using the Shira route which approaches the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro from the western side.
- Umbwe route
Umbwe route is another route which is used to hike on Mount Kilimanjaro and 6 to 7 days to hike on the mountain.
The hikes on Umbwe route start from Umbwe gate to Umbwe camp which takes 6 hours. From Umbwe camp to Barranco camp which takes 4 to 5 hours. The hike from Barranco camp to Karanga camp it takes 4 hours. From Karanga camp the hike continues to Barafu camp which takes 3 hours.
From Barafu camp to Uhuru peak it takes 6 to 7 hours and then descent from Uhuru peak to Mweka hut takes 7 to 8 hours. From Mweka camp to Mweka gate, the hike takes 3 to 4 hours.
- Rongai route
Rongai is another route which is used for hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro and it takes 7 days to hike to the summit of the mountain.
Visit Tanzania for a tour and enjoy a hike on the highest mountain in Africa along different routes.