What Is The Easiest Route Up Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro, East Africa’s highest peak, is one of the most iconic sights in the world. The mountain, which stands at 5,985m (19,341 feet) above sea level and weighs an estimated 3 trillion tons, presents a unique challenge for even the most experienced of mountaineers. With six different trails leading up to the summit, it can be hard to decide which route is best for you. Here, we take a look at the five easiest routes up Kilimanjaro and the advantages of taking them.

The first route is the Marangu Route. This is the oldest, most-established route and is popular with climbers due to its short duration (five days) and relatively low cost. It is also the only route on the mountain that offers sleeping huts on the way up, meaning climbers don’t have to carry tents and other camping equipment. This makes it an ideal choice for those looking for a more comfortable climb. However, it is worth noting that the Marangu Route is the busiest, so it may be more crowded than other routes.

Next, the Machame Route is another popular option. This 6-7 day route takes climbers through different ecosystems, including rainforest, moorland and high alpine desert, providing climbers with an unforgettable experience. Additionally, it also offers stunning views over Kilimanjaro and the surrounding landscape. One of the main advantages of this route is that it has a higher success rate than other routes due to its gradual ascent. This makes it a good choice for those looking for more of an endurance challenge.

The Lemosho Route is for experienced climbers looking for some of the most awe-inspiring views of the mountain and the surrounding area. This challenging 8-9 day route takes climbers through a dense forest and past some of Kilimanjaro’s most impressive glaciers. As this route is less popular, there are fewer people and more wildlife to see, making it an ideal choice for those looking for a more isolated experience. However, given the length of this route, it is best for experienced climbers who are willing and able to take on the higher level of difficulty.

Those looking for a more leisurely climb should consider the Northern Circuit Route. Taking 6-7 days, this route is the longest way up Kilimanjaro, providing climbers with plenty of time to take in their surroundings and appreciate the culture of the mountain. This route is also known for its lower levels of difficulty and it is less crowded, providing a more peaceful experience.

Finally, the Shira Route is the shortest route up Kilimanjaro. This 5-day route is perfect for those looking for a quick climb with minimal difficulty. It is also the only route that starts at the highest altitude, making it a good option for those who are fitness-conscious or have difficulty with altitude. However, this route is not recommended for those looking for an adventure, as it does not take climbers past any of the main points of interest.

Climbing Gear

Once you have chosen your route up Kilimanjaro, it is important to make sure you have the right gear to make your climb as comfortable as possible. It can be tempting to try and save weight by leaving certain items behind, but it is important to remember that safety should always come first. Make sure you have the essentials such as waterproof clothing, a shelter, headlamps, and plenty of food and water. Additionally, investing in quality climbing gear (such as boots, crampons and ice axes) can make the climb much more enjoyable and help to reduce the chance of any injuries.

Physical Training

Although some of the routes up Kilimanjaro are relatively straightforward, it is important to make sure you are physically prepared for the climb. It is recommended that you have several months of regular physical training before attempting the mountain, to ensure you are in the best possible shape. This should include strength training, cardiovascular exercise (such as running and cycling) and acclimatization hikes at altitude. Additionally, make sure you are familiar with altitude sickness and its symptoms, as this can be a serious issue if not taken seriously.

Picking the Right Guide

When attempting to climb Kilimanjaro, it is important to pick the right guide. Experienced and knowledgeable guides are key to ensuring a safe and successful summit attempt. Make sure you research the various guiding companies on the mountain and pick the one that best suits your needs. It is also important to make sure that any safety equipment is in good condition. A reputable guide should provide quality kit such as crampons, helmets and headlamps, so make sure to enquire when booking your trip.

Altitude Acclimatization

Altitude acclimatization is essential for a successful summit attempt. As you ascend, the air becomes thinner, making it harder to breathe at higher altitudes. It is important that you allow your body to adjust to this by taking regular breaks and drinking plenty of water. Additionally, it is important to pay attention to your body and be aware of any symptoms of altitude sickness, such as headache, dizziness, nausea and fatigue. Finally, if you begin to experience any serious symptoms, it is best to turn back and descend immediately.

Teamwork and Positive Attitude

The last two ingredients of a successful summit attempt is teamwork and positivity. Many challenging climbs require a team effort, with climbers supporting and encouraging each other. Additionally, having a positive attitude can make a huge difference. As the climb gets more difficult, it can be easy to become disheartened, but it is important to stay motivated and to focus on the goal of reaching the summit. Remembering why you set out on the climb in the first place can be a great way to stay inspired.

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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