3 Mount Kilimanjaro Routes for Newbie Mountain Trekkers


Located in Tanzania, Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s Highest Peak and the world’s highest free standing mountain (a mountain at sea level that is not part of a mountain range). To climb this mountain, not a lot of great skill is necessary. However, for any beginning mountain trekker, good physical and mental preparation helps no matter what route you choose to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.  Each route offers a different unique experience from the others as far as the view, difficulty, and overall experience.  If this will be your first time trekking in Africa, here are some routes you should consider.

The Marangu Route

The Marangu Route, otherwise known as the Coca Cola Route, is the most common route for visitors to walk. Visitors choose this route because it is the easiest to walk due to its steady incline and decline which takes fewer days to complete compared to other routes. If you are not a very experienced climber or if you are not quite prepared for this route as you would like to be, then this route is perfect for you. Even if you decide at a moment’s notice that you wish to trek up Mount Kilimanjaro, you will be able to complete it with this route. The Marangu route also provides huts to sleep or rest in and is fully equipped with comfortable beds and a dining hall. Especially in poor weather conditions, the Marangu Route is comforting for those who do not plan to camp outside.

However, because this route is so popular and the route is the same to and from Mount Kilimanjaro, it can be crowded.  It still provides a great view of Mawenzi, a volcanic cone, and of course is worth the view at the top of Uhuru Peak.


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The Rongai Route

The Rongai Route is another great route for backpackers with less experience who wish to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. It begins to the north by the Kenyan border and is less crowded than the Marangu Route.  At one point, the Rongai and Marangu Routes combine and trekkers on the Rongai Route are able to see a great deal of wildlife and different landscapes as it passes through several different climate areas. This route includes experiencing the Rongai Cave, Kikelewa Cave, and Mawenzi Tam. This hike is fairly consistent with a couple of short inclines and declines to the top of Uhuru Peak and a steady decline after to Marangu Gate.

Kilimanjaro Climb, Rongai route

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The Lemosho Route

The Lemosho Route is a bit longer than the other two and takes about six to eight days to complete and for this route you will need to become accustomed to the altitude. Therefore, this route is more for those who have experience with hiking than the other two suggested routes. However, the time it takes to hike it is well worth it because it’s such a beautiful route and has a lower traffic rate. Several camps offer shelter along this route as you experience Africa’s nature from rain forests, the Lava Tower, and the Moir Hut where you can see debris and moraine that was left behind from glaciers.  This route starts off at a steady incline which dips before a steep hike up to Uhuru Peak. After that, it is a steep hike down to Mweka Gate.

Whichever route you choose for your trek up Mount Kilimanjaro in the Tanzanian Safaris, think carefully about which route is best for you. These routes are great for first time trekkers in comparison to the other routes:  Machame, Shira, and Umbwe.


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ashley-williamsonThis is a post by Ashley Williamson. Ashley is a freelance writer and an occasional guest-blogger interested in travel related topics. When she is not working she likes to travel, hike and do yoga.

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