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Well, even if not as scenic as other routes, it is still a spectacular experience with great views all along. There are two reasons why you may want to climb Kilimanajaro on the Marangu route:. You absolutely can not, under no circumstances, imagine sleeping in a tent for five nights or more. But don't think those huts offer luxury accommodation or that there are any amenities.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: a beautiful and gruelling challenge

There aren't. You get a mattress and pillow - no linen - on a bunk bed, and you get to eat in a crowded dining hall.

No less and no more. The other reason to select Marangu is if money is your main consideration, before everything else. I you don't care about scenery, aren't worried by big crowds, and are willing to accept a reduced chance of success, Marangu is the cheapest option you have.

Mount Kilimanjaro from Amboseli - beautiful view to Kilimanjaro

But do yourself a favour and take that optional extra acclimatisation day. Read a detailed description of a Kilimanjaro climb on the Marangu route. Machame is "tougher" than that. Machame is indeed a more difficult climb in some respects, but it does have much higher success rates than Marangu, especially if you choose the seven day version.

The seven day version gives you a very short day before your summit attempt, which leaves plenty of time to recover, acclimatise and get ready. The six day version has the same problem as the Marangu route in that respect. See above. The Machame route is not technically difficult.

It is more strenuous. The trail is often steeper and it involves many ups and downs, crossing a succession of valleys and ridges. But that's why it is also one day longer than Marangu. Still, for people who have never done any longer hikes in their life and are not well prepared it can be demanding and tiring.

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There is also the Barranco Wall to cross, a very steep, one and a half hour climb that will require you to occasionally use your hands for balance. It sounds and looks a lot more difficult than it actually is!

Well, and you have to camp all the way. If you go with a budget operator that alone can be demanding, especially if the weather turns bad. You start from the west, circle Kibo on the southern side, and then descend on the Mweka route in the south east. The variety is hard to beat. Machame is considered the most scenic Kilimanjaro climbing route.

For that reason the Machame route has become the most popular climb route on Kilimanjaro.

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The advantage of that is that prices have dropped and you can find many budget operators on it. The disadvantage is that the Machame route is very crowded. If you are confident in you ability to hike in difficult terrain for days in a row, if you like camping and nature, but money is very tight, then Machame may be the Kilimanjaro climb route of choice for you. You will have to put up with the crowds. Read a detailed description of a Kilimanjaro climb on the Machame route.

The six day version of the Rongai route via Mawenzi Tarn is the route of choice for those looking for an easy climb with excellent success rates, but away from the crowds, with great scenery and a wilderness feel to it.


Mount Kilimanjaro Facts & Information - Beautiful World Travel Guide

It is slightly more expensive. The Rongai route is the only climb route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north. The descent is in the south-east via the Marangu route, so you get to see both sides of the mountain. The extra transport cost makes a Rongai route climb more expensive. It is also more expensive because there is less demand and fewer budget operators. The Rongai route has a reputation of being less scenic, but even if there is not quite as much variety as on Machame, it is still a spectacular route, especially on the later days.

The camp beneath Mawenzi Peak is one of the most scenic on the mountain. Rongai is also one of the routes where seeing wildlife on Kilimanjaro is still possible. The Rongai climb has the same easy, gradual climb profile as the Marangu route. It rises very steadily, there aren't any steep climbs involved, no major ups and downs. However, the camps are staggered a lot better than on Marangu. On your last day before the summit attempt you only ascend a few hundred metres, and you have all afternoon to rest and acclimatise. The Rongai route has another important advantage: the northern side of Kilimanjaro is a lot drier than the other side.

Your chances NOT to get soaked on the first days are excellent. Especially if you climb Kilimanjaro during one of the wetter periods of the year, using Rongai makes a lot of sense. Read a detailed description of a Kilimanjaro climb on the Rongai route. The Shira route approaches Kilimanjaro from the west and then joins the Machame route. Hence everything that has been said about the Machame climb route also applies to the Shira route. There are several variations to the Shira route.

It can be done in six days but most operators also offer a longer version of it. A really good operator will also time their departure and stagger their camps in a way that avoids the heaviest traffic on the Machame trail. That and the added transport cost can make Shira a more expensive option. The first day on the Shira route is different to other climb routes: It follows a four wheel drive route. So you either walk on the road for most of the day not very attractive or you opt to drive as far as possible.

The latter not only means you skip the first stage of the climb, the rainforest zone. If you live near sea level and you only flew into Tanzania the day before, this may hurt. Overall, Shira has excellent success rates if the schedule involves a night at Karanga Valley making for a short and easy day before the summit day. However, the good success rate is partly due to the operators on this route being higher level than on the more crowded routes. Like the Machame route, the Shira route is for people who are confident in their ability to hike in difficult terrain and camp out for extended periods.

It has less traffic but it is a more expensive option. You should also be confident about the way you will react to the altitude on the first day. They were fantastic! July and August is considered the crazy busy time. We did it in February and it was excellent and had very few people.

Thanks Jen very helpful info, I hope to climb Kili in to celebrate being cancer free and 70 so appreciate your advice. Just saw your comment on climbing Kili in at age Looking forward to hearing from you. Good luck. Hi Jen. Thank you very much for this. Can you please recommended any good one? I am a solo traveler FYI. Great article! I climbed Kili with my wife last June!