Kilimanjaro Route Comparison

Marangu Route

* It is the easiest route with gentle gradients
* You can do it in 5 days and it is therefore the most affordable option
* It offers the comfort of sleeping in simple dormitory-style huts; good choice when hiking during rainy season
* There are 60 bunk beds each at Mandara and Kibo Huts and 120 at Horombo hut and shared basic washrooms and toilets
* Soft drinks, beer and bottled water are sold
* You will see less variety of the mountain, as descent and ascent are the same, but it has a beautiful rainforest section at lower altitudes
* Due to its shorter duration, it is not so good for acclimatization

Machame Route

* It is very scenically varied; you ascent in the west and descent down the north
* It is more difficult than Marangu due to steep terrain
* Recommended if you have hiking experience
* It is very good for acclimatization; 6 days hike
* Only camping available
* It is the second most popular route after Marangu Route and can have heavy traffic, too

Rongai Route

* It is remote and less frequented, a quiet hike
* It is relatively easy with gentle gradients
* It is beautiful, but not as scenically varied as Machame
* Only camping available
* Good for acclimatization; 6 days hike
* More recommended during rainy season than Machame, as the north side receives less rainfall

 

While climbing the Kilimanjaro maybe a lifelong dream or an adventure you decided to plunge into, there are several considerations you need to keep in kind before choosing the route you want to take:

• The expertise of the whole group: How much experience does each individual in the group have in climbing? Is there anybody who is new to climbing?

• Your time and budget constraints

• Climbing the Kilimanjaro can be extremely strenuous if the right route is not chosen. Are you up for a challenge or do you prefer an easy hike? 

• Do you prefer a kind of scenery over another? Or would you rather have a little bit of everything? The routes can take you through breathtaking beauty – through forests, rocks, fields, waterfalls, etc. 

• What are your reasons for climbing? Is it to reach the summit as a personal challenge? Or is it for the scenic beauty and the best pictures? 

• The time of your climb is also an important consideration – keep in mind weather conditions and popular climbing seasons.