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Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking Routes: Which Route is the Best?

Mount Kilimanjaro
Written by Jane Sophia

What is the best route to trek Mount Kilimanjaro?

Mount Kilimanjaro, the most romantic mountain in the world and the most scenic mountain in entire Africa is rightly called the ‘roof of Africa’ as its peak stand at a height of 19340 feet! Kilimanjaro is probably the most filmed and photographed mountain in the world.

Trekking on the spectacular Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the highly pursued adventure tourism packages in Africa. With no age restrictions and no big demands of your fitness level, thousands of adventure tourists take part in a guided expedition to Kilimanjaro.

Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking Routes: Which Route is the Best?

A unique fact about Mount Kilimanjaro is, it is the tallest stand-alone mountain in the world which means, all other tall peaks such as Mount Everest belong to a range of mountain like the Himalayas.

In this blog, I will take you through a trekking expedition on Mount Kilimanjaro.

Location of Mount Kilimanjaro.

It is located in Tanzania, an African nation. The Kilimanjaro mountain is close to the Kenyan border.

Overview of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Mount Kilimanjaro is mostly mentioned without the word, ‘Mount’. That speaks of its prominence among geologists, travelers, trekking expedition organizers and travel guide writers.

Kilimanjaro is actually a volcano but a dormant one. Trekkers’ ultimate destination is to reach up to all the 3 craters namely:

  • Kibo
  • Shira
  • Mawenzi

The Kilimanjaro expedition apart, you can explore deeply the Kilimanjaro National Park that surrounds the Eastern Ridge Mountain.

What can you expect to see on your Mount Kilimanjaro trekking expedition?

  • Rainforests
  • Heather Moor ( a vast expanse of grassland that is an ideal habitat for a range of wildlife.)

Mount Kilimanjaro Heather Moor

  • Lava formation
  • Glaciers (seasonally only)
  • Herds and herds of wildebeest and zebra
  • Occasionally spot the big cats
  • A large variety of bats numbering 24 species
  • Incredible flora

How to reach the base of Mount Kilimanjaro?

From most of the African big cities, flights are operated up to the Kilimanjaro International Airport.

So, from where you start your Kilimanjaro trekking?

The starting point of your Kilimanjaro expedition is Arusha town, irrespective of the route you take.

How many hiking routes are in Kilimanjaro.

There are 7 proven and trodden trekking routes. The distance varies slightly and the flora to might vary.

  • Machame
  • Marangu
  • Rongai
  • Lemosho
  • Umbwe
  • Shira
  • Northern Circuit

Do you know that you descend through a different than your climbing route in Kilimanjaro? One such descent route is called Mweka. It is used only for descending purpose.

Mount Kilimanjaro 1

Which is the best of 7 climbing paths to Mount Kilimanjaro?

All are great routes of course. We will talk about the Lemosho Route in this article.

This route is full of surprising wild animal sightings including the wild African buffalo and the giant African elephants.

What is the duration to reach the Mount Kilimanjaro peak if you take the Lemosha Route?

People with a normal physique take about 45 hours of actual climbing spread over 6 days.

What are all the halting points on each day of trekking the Mount Kilimanjaro?

  • Londorossi Gate
  • Mti Mkubwa Camp
  • Shira Camp
  • Barranco Camp
  • Barafu Camp
  • Uhuru peak
  • Mweka Camp

Which crater peak is the most trekked up to peaks in Mount Kilimanjaro?

It is definitely the Kibo crater peak because it is the highest of the three craters in Kilimanjaro. In addition, you can see snow right through the year. Incredible! I suppose the 19k altitude is the reason.

What are the attractions on your hiking route in Mount Kilimanjaro?

  • Shira Plateau. It was once a volcano but 5 million years ago. The caldera is too diverse in flora making it an attractive place for a wide variety of fauna that includes elands ( a type of antelope), buffalos, lions, and elephants.
  • Chala Crater Lake. Being a crater lake, you can call it a Caldera. It is not exactly on your trekking path but lies near the Kenyan border. A walk around the stunning blue lake is highly recommended to see breathtaking scenes.
  • Meeting the Maasai tribesmen. Your trekking guide will arrange a road-show, a local cultural show by the Maasai tribes. This will take place in Olpopongi village comprising of only the Maasai people. Their colorful dresses, bold ornaments, and strange musical instruments will enchant you.Mount Kilimanjaro waterfalls

Wildlife sightings in Mount Kilimanjaro.

It is just not possible to list out every animal, bird, and reptile that crosses your path in Kilimanjaro. The God’s creation is too diverse and colorful, especially the nocturnal flying insects. You would wonder what they prey on during the night.

Here some of the wild animals and birds your guide will point out to you:

    • Colobus monkeys

Mount Kilimanjaro Colobus monkeysWow! I have never seen anything like that. The bushy black and white fur is truly exotic!

  • Blue Monkey
  • Sunbirds
  • Raven
  • Hornbill
  • Buffalo
  • Leopards

Are there any dependable Mount Kilimanjaro trekking expedition organizers?

Of course, there are many including the National Geographic. Other Kilimanjaro tour organizers you can contact are:

  • Kilimanjaro Climbing and Safari Center
  • Meru Wellness Retreat,
  • Arusha Hostel Lodge and Adventures
  • Kilimanjaro Tours LTD
  • Globeinter Safaris Ltd
  • Kilimanjaro Tanzanite Safaris Ltd
  • E-Trip Africa,
  • Climbing Kilimanjaro Outfitter

Lodging facilities in Mount Kilimanjaro.

Since you are hiring the services of an organized expedition company, it is their duty to take care of your lodging and boarding.

I urge you to shed your fears about climbing the tall Kilimanjaro. Turn your attention away from beaches and cities and go wild, at least once in your life.

About the author

Jane Sophia

1 Comment

  • Beautiful post with lot of information but I want to know whether we can do it without any professional guide or tour agency ?

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