It doesn’t get more epic than ticking climb Kilimanjaro off your bucket list. There is no better feeling of accomplishment than reaching the highest peak of Africa, knowing your own two legs brought you there.
Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world! This impressive monolith is made up of three volcanic cones, Mawenzi, Shira and Kibo. Mawenzi and Shira are no longer active, but Kibo, the highest peak, is simply dormant and could erupt again! Don’t worry though, the most recent activity was about 200 years ago. Kilimanjaro has been a popular mountain for climbers, not only due to it’s height, but because of the variety of ecosystems found on the mountain. In fact, nearly every type of ecological system can be found on the mountain from cultivated land, forest, heath, and moorland to alpine desert and an arctic summit.
There are 6 official routes to Uhuru, the peak of Kilimanjaro. Each offers a different level of difficulty and each is a totally unique experience. These routes are the Machame route, Lemosho route, Rongai route, Shira route, Umbwe routes and the Marangu route.
Which route should you pick?
Marangu – otherwise known as the ‘coca-cola route’, this is the oldest and one of the most popular routes. Many agree that this is the easiest path to the summit point. Although it is the easiest route, it is not as scenic as other routes. However, it does offer huts for accommodation whereas the other routes only have tented accommodation. Minimum days required is 5 days.
Machame – this is the ‘whiskey route’. This is undoubtedly the most popular route. Although more taxing physically, it offers beautiful scenery! The minimum days required for this route is 6 days.
Lemosho route- A relatively new route up the mountain, there is less traffic on this adventure. This may be the most beautiful route to take, with breathtaking views on all sides of the mountain. The minimum days required for this route is 6 days.
Shira route – This is almost identical to the Lemosho route. However, the start of your journey varies slightly, bypassing the walk through the rainforest with vehicle transport instead. The minimum days required for this route is 6 days.
Northern Circuit Route – The newest addition to the Kilimanjaro family, this route offers the highest level of successful summits. An incredibly beautiful journey, the minimum days required for this route is 9 days.
Rongai Route – Close to the Kenyan border, this route is perfect for those looking for an alternative to the Marangu route. This hike will feel more remote and removed from other hikers. This route is good for people without much experience hiking. The minimum days required for this route is 6 days.
Whichever route you pick, your adventure will take you through lush rainforest, unique heather and moorland, challenging alpine desert and a snow-capped destination!
The best times to climb are December to March and June to October.
Size: 5,895 meters to Uhuru Peak