Kilimanjaro Northern circuit route
This is the newest, most exciting route on Kilimanjaro. The trek follows the Lemosho trail in the beginning, approaching Kilimanjaro from the west. However, instead of following the southern traverse like all the other west approaching routes, the Northern Circuit traverses the mountain around the quiet, rarely visited northern slopes. This is a nine day climb, which is the longest route in terms of time and distance travelled. Although it is the most expensive climb option, the small amount of climbers offers a secluded and unique experience, with a very high success rate.
The path begins west of the peak, on the same trail as the Lemosho route. Once climbers reach Lava Tower, the route heads north west to Moir Hut, circling the mountain clockwise at an altitude of approximately 13,000 feet. This path then intersects with the Rongai route variant at Third Cave, beforing summiting from School Hut. The descent is down Mweka.
The Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit route is easily one of the best routes. It is best suited for those who enjoy backpacking for many days, and want to do something that is different. The Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit is also preferred by those who want to get away from other travellers while on their trek.
ALSO CHECK : Kilimanjaro: Rongai route
Climb Kilimanjaro via the Rongai route which is popular for more experienced climbers and offers a greater challenge, especially on summit night. It is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan Border. It is slightly more expensive due to the additional transport costs in getting to/from the park entry gate and therefore it is less crowded. This route provides more shelter from the weather and high winds and descends via the Marangu route.
The Rongai route takes six days minimum to complete, although seven days is recommended. The descent is down Mweka, on the south-east side of the mountain. Because the starting point is far from Moshi, it is more expensive to climb this route due to the added transportation cost of getting climbers to the gate.
Scenically, Rongai Route is beautiful because it travels through an unspoiled rain forest and remote wilderness area. However, it is not as scenically varied as Machame, Lemosho and Shira.
Rongai route is ideal for those who are not confident in their ability to hike over steeper paths, those who want to avoid traffic, and those who want to enjoy a quieter hike. It is also preferred when climbing during the rainy season because the north side of the mountain receives less precipitation.
ALSO CHECK : Kilimanjaro: Marangu route
Climb Kilimanjaro using the Marangu Route, also known as the “Tourist Route” and the “Coca-Cola Route.” This is because Marangu is the most popular route on the mountain, and thus is considered “touristy”, and because the route is the only one that offers sleeping huts, which serve beverages like Coca-Cola, on the way.
Marangu route is the easiest route on Mount Kilimanjaro. It’s ascension profile is very gradual and steady, allowing for painless trekking for most of the way. However, due to its reputation as an easy route, Marangu is often selected by unprepared, unexperienced climbers. Correspondingly, only about 35% of the people actually make it to the top.
The trek begins in the south-east area of the mountain at Marangu Gate. The route takes five days minimum to complete, although six days is more practical and recommended. The sleeping huts along the route are structures with a dining hall and bunk beds, equipped with mattresses and pillows. The descent is done on the same path, contributing to Marangu’s overcrowded feeling. It is a cheaper climb as well, do to the close proximity of the gate to Moshi, the gateway town, and because it is a shorter route.
Scenically, Marangu route is not a desirable route compared to all the other routes because it confines climbers to one area of the mountain, thus limiting the variety. However, Marangu has the best trail in the rainforest section of the trek. Of course, there are still great views of the Mawenzi and it’s equally spectacular for everyone at Uhuru.
Marangu route is ideal for those who are not confident in their ability to hike over steeper paths. It’s also attractive for those who do not want to sleep in a tent. Marangu’s huts offer shelter and warmth against the weather so it is a decent choice when climbing during the rainy season. Marangu is for those who want to spend less on their climb, and do not mind crowds.
ALSO CHECK : Kilimanjaro: Lemosho route
Climb Kilimanjaro on the Lemosho route which is extremely beautiful and has a high success rate, like Machame route. You would choose this route if you wanted a more private experience with less climbers. However you will pay a little more, due to the starting point being around the other side of the mountain and higher transport costs in getting yourself and the crew there. It is one of our favourite routes because it offers a great balance of high summit success rate, scenic views and low traffic.
A vehicle is used to bring climbers to the gate, where the trail begins in the rainforest. Lemosho trekkers have a longer distance to cover in the rainforest ecosystem than other routes, and as a result climbers do not exit the rainforest until the end of day two. This schedule means that the Lemosho Route is a longer route, usually taking seven to eight days to complete.
Though considered a difficult route, the added days on the lower slopes of the mountain make this the best route for altitude acclimatization. The descent is down Mweka, in the south-east. Because the starting point is far from Moshi, it is more expensive to climb this route due to the added transportation cost of getting climbers to the gate. Scenically, Lemosho is considered the most varied and most beautiful because it begins in the rainforest, crosses the spectacular Shira Plateau, and then combines with the Machame route to share its viewpoints around the southern circuit. Lemosho has low crowds until it combines with Machame.
Lemosho Route is ideal for those who place a premium on proper altitude acclimatization, who are confident in their ability to walk over steeper paths for extended periods, and want a lesser used route. However, Lemosho is also more expensive than the other routes.
ALSO CHECK : Kilimanjaro: Machame route
Climb Kilimanjaro via the Machame Route also known as the “Whiskey route”, by far the most popular route and has a very high success rate of making it to the top. It starts with a nice day of walking through the rainforest and has a nice steady altitude increase each day. Curling around the mountain gives you a variety of different views and beautiful landscapes. For Safarihub, this is our most popular route and enjoyed by a high percentage of our clients.
The trek begins in the south-west area of the mountain at Machame Gate. The route takes six days minimum to complete, although seven days is recommended. The descent is down Mweka, on the south-east side of the mountain. Because of the ascent in the west and descent down the north, Machame route offers great vistas of Kilimanjaro. Additionally, Machame visits stunning places such as Shira Plateau, Barranco, and Lava Tower.
Machame route is ideal for those who want a more difficult climb, and are confident in their ability to hike over extended periods of time on sometimes steep terrain. Climbers using Machame place a premium of varied scenery, but also accept heavy traffic.