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Kilimanjaro Routes Comparison

Kilimanjaro Routes Comparison

Kilimanjaro Routes Comparison

By Simbo Natai

There’s a total of seven routes that lead up to Mount Kilimanjaro. Each of them has its set of advantages and disadvantages, like the acclimatization profile, scenic surroundings, etc. This post will include a complete Kilimanjaro Routes Comparison covering different aspects of your climb so that you can decide which route suits you best.

Our Kilimanjaro Climbing Packages include 4 routes but should you be interested in other routes; private treks can always be arranged. This is thanks to our fully customizable climbing itineraries.

Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes

We at African Scenic Safaris offer 4 primary Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes. They are Rongai, Machame, Lemosho, and the Northern Circuit. Below is a Mount Kilimanjaro Route Comparison of each route:

Rongai Route – Northern Approach To Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro Routes Comparison

This is the most preferred route for those in search of a remote Kilimanjaro trek. Also, as the north side of Kilimanjaro receives less precipitation, you can climb the mountain via the Rongai Route during the rainy season.

Days Required – 6-7 Days


  • Offers a more remote and less crowded experience.
  • Provides panoramic views of both the Kenyan and Tanzanian sides of Kilimanjaro.

Disadvantage – Generally considered to be less scenic when doing a Kilimanjaro Routes Comparison.

Our Point of View – Recommended

Machame Route – Navigate Thrilling Passageways

Kilimanjaro Routes Comparison

Also called the ‘Whisky’ Route, Machame Route is one of the most popular routes on Kilimanjaro. It’s considered a bit challenging in terms of the terrain but is the best choice if you want a more adventurous climb.

Days Required – 6-7 Days


  • Known for its diverse and stunning landscapes, including lush rainforests and breathtaking views.
  • Provides good acclimatization opportunities due to its gradual ascent profile.

Disadvantage – The steep sections may be challenging for some climbers

Our Point of View – Recommended

Lemosho Route – Revel In Kilimanjaro’s Untouched Beauty!

Kilimanjaro Routes Comparison

This is one of the newer Kilimanjaro Routes and approaches the mountain from the west. Lemosho Route is regarded as the most scenic route up the mountain and offers a great combination of low, traffic, scenic views, and high success rates.

Days Required – 7-9 Days


  • Offers a longer trek, allowing for better acclimatization and increased chances of summit success.
  • Provides scenic beauty and a sense of wilderness, particularly during the early stages of the route.

Disadvantage – Can be physically demanding due to its length and elevation gain.

Our Point of View – Highly Recommended

The Northern Circuit Route – The Grand Kilimanjaro Route!

Kilimanjaro Routes Comparison

This is the newest and most exciting route up Kilimanjaro. Northern Circuit Route traverses the mountain around the rarely frequented northern slopes. Boasting a low number of visitors, varied sceneries, and a high rate of success, it’s undoubtedly one of the best Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes.

Days Required – 8-9 Days


  • Known for its excellent acclimatization profile, increasing chances of reaching the summit.
  • Offers stunning views from different angles as it circumnavigates the mountain.

Disadvantage – Requires a longer time commitment, typically spanning around 8-9 days.

Our Point of View – Highly Recommended

Unlock the secrets to a successful Kilimanjaro Climb

Explore our featured Kilimanjaro Route comparison and land on the perfect route that’s suited to your needs.

Most Scenic Kilimanjaro Climbing Route

The most beautiful route among the Kilimanjaro Routes is the Lemosho Route. On this trail, you’ll walk through the lush rainforest for the first two days. It also gives the experience of traversing through the Shira Plateau. The plateau offers fantastic views of the Shira Cathedral.

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Most Remote Kilimanjaro Route

If you prefer a Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing experience away from the crowds, then the Rongai Route is the best choice.

Lemosho Vs Machame Route Comparison

We prioritize your needs first! Find the choice of the route that suits you best with our Kilimanjaro Climbing Route breakdown.

Best Overall Kilimanjaro Route

This honor goes to both the Lemosho and Machame Route. They both offer a great blend of high success rates, good acclimatization, and beautiful scenery.

The following is a representation of the Kilimanjaro Route Comparison covering all the climbing aspects:

Starting Point

Rongai Gate

Machame Gate

Londorossi Gate

Londorossi Gate

Ending Point

Marangu Gate

Mweka Gate

Mweka Gate

Mweka Gate


73 km

62 km

70 km

98 km


6-7 Days

6-7 Days

7-9 Days

8-9 Days











Difficulty Level

Relatively Easy

Moderately Difficult

Moderately Difficult


Success Rate

Medium to High

Medium to High


Very High


3 out of 5

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

4 out of 5

% of climbers on the Route






Not as Scenic

Incredibly Beautiful

Most Scenic

Extremely Beautiful

Best Season to Climb

Throughout the Year

Throughout the Year

Throughout the Year

June to September, and November

Crowd Levels

Fewer Crowds due to the Remote Location

Very Crowded

Expect few crowds

Extremely Remote






Cost to Climb (per person)

From $2,630

From $2,540

From $2,590

From $3,325

Machame Vs Marangu Route Comparison

Figure out which one suits you best with our Mount Kilimanjaro Route Comparison

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Route To Climb Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro Routes Comparison

The following are some factors that should be taken into consideration when doing the Mt. Kilimanjaro Route Comparison:

How Many Days You Have

Consider the duration of your climb - longer routes like Lemosho or Northern Circuit provide better acclimatization with 8-10 days, while shorter routes like Marangu can be completed in 5-6 days for those with limited time.

When You Want To Climb

Choose a route based on the time of year - drier months of January to March and June to October are popular, but the Rongai or Northern Circuit Route offer more flexibility for year-round climbs.

Budget Considerations

Keep your budget in mind - routes like Marangu are more cost-effective due to accommodation in huts, while Lemosho or Northern Circuit routes may be pricier with longer durations and camping options.


Prioritize routes with good acclimatization profiles - Machame and Lemosho routes have gradual ascents, allowing for better adaptation to altitude, while Northern Circuit provides the longest acclimatization period.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The best Kilimanjaro Climbing Route depends on personal preferences and factors like acclimatization needs, desired scenery, and available time. Popular routes include Machame, Lemosho, and Northern Circuit.

The Marangu route is often considered the easiest Kilimanjaro Route due to its gradual ascent profile and accommodation in huts.

The Lemosho and Northern Circuit routes generally have higher summit success rates due to their longer durations and better acclimatization profiles.

The Machame route is known for its good acclimatization opportunities with a gradual ascent, allowing climbers to adapt better to the altitude.

The Rongai and Northern Circuit routes are generally less crowded compared to popular routes like Machame and Marangu, offering a quieter climbing experience.

The Machame and Lemosho routes are renowned for their stunning and diverse scenery, providing picturesque views throughout the climb.

Kilimanjaro Routes differ in difficulty based on factors like steep sections, length, and terrain. Generally, routes like Marangu and Rongai are considered less challenging, while Machame and Northern Circuit are more strenuous.

The Marangu or Machame routes are often recommended for first-timers due to their popularity, infrastructure, and reasonable difficulty levels.

Different Routes On Kilimanjaro can indeed have varying success rates in reaching the summit. Factors like duration, acclimatization, and crowd levels contribute to these differences.

The Northern Circuit Route often provides the best camping sites and accommodations, allowing for a more comfortable and scenic experience compared to other routes.

The Route Puzzle, Piecing Together The Kilimanjaro Ascent!

Each of the routes in a Kilimanjaro Route Comparison offers unique advantages. For example, the serenity of Rongai, the scenic beauty of Machame, the beauty of Lemosho, or the comprehensive experience of the Northern Circuit. Carefully evaluate your preferences and circumstances for a memorable Kilimanjaro Climb that aligns perfectly with your aspirations and needs.

Safaris In Tanzania during the green season are more budget-friendly. Yet, the dry season is the optimal time for a safari. So, you should select when to go on a safari based on your preferences.

Safaris In Tanzania during the green season are more budget-friendly. Yet, the dry you should select when to go on a safari based on your preferences.

Safaris In Tanzania during the green season are more budget-friendly. Yet, your preferences.

Simbo Natai

Simbo Natai was born and raised on the foothills of Kilimanjaro. After completing Secondary School, he attended Tourism College, where he discovered his love for African wildlife. Simbo started in the industry as a guide, Climbing Kilimanjaro before specializing as a safari guide. He runs the logistics of African Scenic Safaris and will be behind the scenes, ensuring your safari or climb is perfectly organized.

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