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Kilimanjaro Routes

Kilimanjaro routes, there are seven established routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro – Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai, Northern Circuit and Umbwe. The Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe routes all approach from the south of the mountain (Mweka is used only for descent). The Lemosho, Shira and Northern Circuit routes approach from the west.

The Rongai route approaches from the North. The illustrations below depict a three-dimensional view of Kilimanjaro’s climbing routes and a close up of the approaches to the summit. Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Rongai, Umbwe, Northern Circuit and Western Breach. Those are Kilimanjaro routes for climb Mount Kilimanjaro while Mweka is used only for descending.

Marangu route is Eastern side of Mount Kilimanjaro while Machame and Umbwe route are from the South of the Mountain Kilimanjaro, Lemosho and Northern Circuit are from the West of Mountain and Rongai route is from the North side.

Western Breach is an alternative route to the summit approaches Uhuru Peak from the west, called the Western Breach. The strenuous Western Breach ascends 2,800 ft (850 m) in about 1.25 miles (2 km), and requires some scrambling (climbing on hands and feet) at certain points. This path is very beautiful but also very challenging due to its rocky, steep slope. The Western Breach was gaining popularity by climbers using the Umbwe, Lemosho, Shira and Machame routes until rockfall claimed the lives of three climbers in January 2006. In response, Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA) closed the Western Breach.

The Western Breach re-opened in December 2007. However, the route is still considered by prominent Kilimanjaro operators to be unsafe and to carry an unreasonable degree of risk. Sote Tours is no longer utilizes the Western Breach approach due to safety concerns for clients and staff.

Below provided map and table shows all the Kilimanjaro routes of Mountain Kilimanjaro and how long to climb Kilimanjaro. You can choose the best according to your experience, budget and interest

RouteDescriptionDaysLength
Northern CircuitNewest route on Kilimanjaro. Very low traffic due to very long time on the mountain traverses nearly the entire mountain including the north side. Long route with Excellent views.990 kilometers (56 mi)
LemoshoLong access drive, remote, less frequented, beautiful forests, scenic traverse to Barafu, camping. Excellent for acclimatization.856 kilometers (35 mi)
MachameSecond most popular route. Beautiful forest, very good for acclimatization, scenic traverse to Barafu.6-749 kilometers (30 mi)
MaranguVery popular (crowded). Gentle gradients and long sections up to 4700m (2.9 mi). Beautiful forests and moorlands, comfortable but basic huts. The 6 day variant provides good time for acclimatization.5-664 kilometers (40 mi)
RongaiLong access drive, remote, less frequented, some fine, wild, least scenic, camping. Good for acclimatization.5-665 kilometers (40 mi)
UmbweShortest and steepest route, very physically taxing and requires serious endurance. Beautiful forest, spectacular ridge, bad for acclimatization, scenic traverse to Barafu, camping.5-637 kilometers (23 mi)

Kilimanjaro routes

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