How to Choose the Best Kilimanjaro Route: A Comprehensive Guide

Choosing the best Kilimanjaro route is crucial to ensure a successful and enjoyable trekking experience. Factor in your capabilities, budget, and desired challenges, and consult with experienced guides or agencies for personalized advice.

Our guide simplifies this choice, considering factors like trekking ability, previous altitude experience, and budget constraints.

What's the Best Kilimanjaro Route?

Best Kilimanjaro route comparison table

Finding the best Kilimanjaro route is perhaps the most frequent question we encounter. Kilimanjaro's beauty is unparalleled, and irrespective of the chosen route, trekkers will traverse through lush forests, sprawling moorlands, the vast alpine desert, and finally, an icy summit. Hence, your personal trekking profile will largely dictate the optimal route for you.

We believe a 9 day Northern Circuit Trek, 8 day Lemosho trek or 7 day Machame trek are the best Kilimanjaro route options when considering acclimatization, scenic beauty, traffic and overall route profile. There however is no perfect choice for everyone. Your previous experience on mountains or at a high altitude as well as overall days available and budget may also help decide on the ideal route choice for you and your group.

The minimum trek up to the summit (and back) is a 5 day hike (via the Marangu or Rongai routes) however picking a short route dramatically decreases your chances of reaching the summit.

No route can guarantee reaching the summit however for proper acclimatization we highly recommend picking a 7+ day trek unless you have previous experience or are already acclimatized prior to your trek.

Categorizing all Kilimanjaro Routes

All Kilimanjaro routes comparison table

To simplify your decision-making process, we've grouped all routes into three categories:

Beginner Routes:

Ideal for those new to high-altitude trekking, these routes have longer trek durations, minimizing daily walk distances. They boast superior acclimatization profiles and have little to no technical sections. No specialized equipment or experience is required.

Intermediate Routes:

Offering flexibility in terms of duration, these routes are suitable for those with some trekking background. They generally include a few technical parts but don't necessitate prior mountaineering experience or special gear.

Advanced Routes:

Tailored for seasoned mountaineers seeking a robust challenge, these routes might involve a swift ascent or require technical climbing. Some might even venture through the challenging Western Breach or include high-altitude camping, such as in the Kibo crater.

Kilimanjaro Routes map

All Kilimanjaro routes map