How Many Routes Up Mount Kilimanjaro


Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano located in the northeast of Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa standing at 5,895m (19,341 ft) above sea level. The mountain has been a popular tourist destination for decades, and is an iconic part of the African landscape. The mountain is so popular that it has been used as a symbol of ambition and achievement. Climbing Kilimanjaro has become an increasingly popular activity for those who wish for an adventure holiday.

Routes Up Mount Kilimanjaro

There are six main routes up Mount Kilimanjaro and they are all different in difficulty and cost. The two main routes are the Marangu route, also known as the ‘Coca-Cola route’ and the Machame route, also known as the ‘Whiskey route’. The Marangu route is usually chosen by those who want a quick ascent, and the Machame route is chosen by those who want a more challenging and strenuous climb. There are other routes such as the Rongai, Umbwe, Shira and Lemosho which are more difficult and costly to take.No matter which route a person takes, the summit of Kilimanjaro is available to all, and it is an amazing experience.

Difficulty of the Routes

The Marangu route is considered to be the easiest route, and it is known as the ‘Coca-Cola route’ because of the large number of tourists taking this route. The Machame route, or the ‘Whiskey route’, is the second most popular route and is considered to be more difficult.However, both routes take five to six days to complete, and the terrain can be challenging for even experienced climbers.The other four routes offer more challenging terrain, and more days for acclimatization, which is vital for any successful ascent.

Benefits and Drawbacks

The main benefit of all the routes is that they provide an accessible, guided route to the summit of Kilimanjaro.All tours are catered and supported, so that climbers have a enjoyable and safe experience. The drawback of these routes is that they can be more expensive and crowded than other routes. Some routes also require more days for acclimatization, which means that climbers may have to invest more time and money than others who may choose the Marangu or Machame routes.


The accommodation on the mountain varies depending on the route taken. On the Marangu route, climbers stay in basic huts which provide basic amenities. On the other routes, climbers may stay in tents, depending on the budget and the level of comfort they are looking for. The tents accommodate two to six people, and they usually have a common tent area, as well as a kitchen and dining area.


No matter which route is taken, the appropriate and safe mountain gear is necessary. This includes a good waterproof jacket, a warm hat, gloves, good hiking boots, a sleeping bag, a thermal mat and warm clothes. Depending on the route taken, climbers may also need a head torch, crampons and an ice axe, as well as food for each day of the trip. A guide is also important to ensure a safe and successful expedition.

Weather Conditions

The weather on Kilimanjaro is unpredictable and can cause problems for climbers. Generally, the summit can be quite cold, with temperatures dropping to -7°C in the night. It is important to bring the right type of clothing and equipment to ensure that climbers stay warm. Additionally, climbers should be aware of potential thunderstorms, strong winds and low visibility.

Achievements and Rewards

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a challenging and rewarding experience. The view from the summit is truly remarkable and can provide a lifetime of memories. It can also provide a great feeling of accomplishment, as reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro is a challenge that very few people can achieve. Additionally, it is a great opportunity to explore the culture and lifestyle of the local Chagga people, who inhabit the mountain and its surrounding area.

Environmental Impact

Unfortunately, the increase in visitors to Kilimanjaro has caused some environmental damage to the mountain. The increase in foot traffic has caused erosion of some of the walking trails, and there is now a significant presence of plastic waste and litter at the base of the mountain. This means that it is essential that climbers take care to minimise their impact on the environment and respect the natural beauty of the mountain.

Training for Climbing Kili

Physical training and preparation is essential for any successful summit attempt of Kilimanjaro. It is recommended that climbers should start preparing for the climb at least three to four months in advance. It is important to build up muscle strength and endurance, as the terrain and altitude of the mountain can be physically demanding. Additionally, it is important to be aware of the physical risks of altitude sickness and have a plan in place to deal with this if it arises.

Hydration and Nutrition

Staying hydrated and fuelled throughout the climb is essential, as dehydration and exhaustion can make the climb a lot more difficult. It is important to drink at least 2-3 litres of water per day and to snack regularly, ensuring that climbers consume enough carbohydrates to maintain their energy levels. It is also important to bring and consume snack foods such as dried fruit, nuts and energy bars, as these can provide a quick and easy boost of energy when needed.


At the end of the day, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is an amazing experience, no matter which route is taken. All the routes have their benefits and drawbacks, and it is important to know the differences between them so that climbers can make the best decision for their own personal level of ability and experience. Climbing Kilimanjaro is an experience that will stay with climbers for a lifetime and is worth the effort.

Herman Shaw is a passionate traveler and avid photographer who has seen many of the world's most awe-inspiring monuments. He has developed expertise in various aspects of world architecture and culture which he enjoys sharing with his readers. With deep historical knowledge and insight, Herman's writing brings life to these remarkable artifacts and highlights their importance in the grand scheme of human history.

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