Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro




Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Africa Natural Tours
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Marangu ("Coca Cola") Route  
Known as the "Coca-Cola" route, the Marangu route is a classic trek on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the oldest, most well established route. Many favor the Marangu route because it is considered to be the easiest path on the mountain, given its gradual slope. It is also the only route which offers sleeping huts in dormitory style accommodations. The minimum days required for this route is five. Marangu is mostly favored during the rainy season, where the hut accommodations are preferred over wet ground.
Known as the "Coca-Cola" route, the Marangu route approaches Kilimanjaro from the southeast. It is the oldest, most well established route. Many favor the Marangu route because it is considered to be the easiest path on the mountain, given its gradual slope and direct path.
Marangu is the only route which offers sleeping huts in dormitory style accommodations. There are 60 bunk beds each at Mandara and Kibo Huts, and 120 bunk beds at Horombo Hut. Guests are supplied with mattresses and pillows, but sleeping bags are still required. The huts have communal dining halls and basic washrooms, ranging from flushing toilets and running water at the lower huts to long drop toilets and buckets of water at Kibo Hut. Also available for consumption are soft drinks, bottled water, and beer.
The minimum days required for this route is five, although the probability of successfully reaching the top in that time period is quite low. Spending an extra acclimatization day on the mountain is highly recommended.
The Marangu route is a classic trek to the top of Kilimanjaro. However, it has the least scenic variety of all routes (ascent and descent are done on the same path) and is the most crowded for that reason. Marangu is offered as a five to six day private climb.



Machame ("Whiskey") Route
Known as the "Whiskey" route, the Machame route is now the most popular route on the mountain. Compared with Marangu, the days on Machame are longer and the walks are steeper. The Machame route is considered a difficult route, and is better suited for more adventurous folks and those with some hiking or backpacking experience.
Machame approaches from the southwest and descends using Mweka, rewarding climbers with views of the expansive Shira Plateau, an optional scramble up Lava Tower, a climb up the Great Barranco Wall, and a traverse underneath Kilimanjaro's Southern Icefield. The descent occurs on the Mweka route.
Climbers sleep in supplied tents at designated campsites, and eat meals either outdoors or inside a large dining tent. Staff prepares all meals and sets up the tents. The minimum number of days required for this route is six days, although seven days is recommended.
The Machame route is scenically beautiful and varied. Compared to Marangu, the days on Machame are longer and the walks are steeper. It is considered a difficult route, better suited for more adventurous folks, and those with some hiking or backpacking experience.
Machame is offered as a seven day group climb, or a six to seven day private climb. The six day variation combines days 4 and 5, going from Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp without staying at Karanga.
The route begins from the south, then heads east, traversing underneath Kilimanjaro's southern ice field before summiting. The minimum number of days required for this route is six days, although seven days is recommended. The Machame route is scenically beautiful and varied. However, due to the heavy crowds, it loses some of its spendor.


Lemosho Route
The Lemosho route is one of the newer routes on Mount Kilimanjaro. The route begins in the west and rather than simply intersecting Shira Plateau (like Machame), Lemosho crosses it from Shira Ridge to Shira Camp. Climbers encounter low traffic until the route joins the Machame route. Afterwards, Lemosho follows the same route through Lava Tower, Barranco and Barafu, known as the southern circuit. The um number of days required for this route is six days, although eight days is ideal. Lemosho is considered minim the most beautiful route on Kilimanjaro and grants panoramic vistas on various sides of the mountain. It is our favorite route because it offers a great balance of low traffic, scenic views and a high summit success rate. Thus, Lemosho comes highly recommended. Most of our clients use Lemosho.
The Lemosho route is one of the newer routes on the mountain, and a superb choice for your climb. It is our preferred route due to its ideal balance of low traffic, beautiful scenery and a high summit success rate. Most of our clients use this route and love it.
The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west, beginning with a long drive from Moshi to Londorossi Gate. From there, the first two days are spent trekking through the rainforest to Shira Ridge.
Unlike the popular Machame route, which simply intersects the Shira Plateau, the Lemosho route crosses the entirety of the plain from west to east in a pleasant, relatively flat hike. An added bonus is that climbers will encounter low traffic until the route joins the Machame route. Afterwards, Lemosho follows the same route through Lava Tower, Barranco and Barafu, known as the southern circuit. Descent is made via the Mweka route.
The minimum number of days required for this route is six days, although eight days is best. Lemosho is considered the most scenic route on Kilimanjaro, and grants panoramic vistas on various sides of the mountain. Thus, Lemosho is highly recommended. Lemosho is offered as an eight day group climb, or a seven to eight day private climb.


 Shira Route
The Shira route is another path that approaches Kilimanjaro from the west, and it is nearly identical to the Lemosho route. In fact, Shira was the original route and Lemosho is the improved variation. While Lemosho starts at Londorossi Gate and treks through the rain forest to Shira 1 Camp, the Shira route bypasses this walk by using a vehicle to transport climbers to Shira Gate, located near the Shira Ridge.
On the first day on the mountain, climbers begin their hike from 11,800 feet (3,600 m) and spend their first night at the same elevation at Simba Camp. Then, the route merges with Lemosho and follows the southern circuit route. Although Shira is a varied and beautiful route, Lemosho is recommended over Shira due to the high altitude of Shira's starting point. It is possible that climbers will experience altitude related symptoms on the first day due to failed acclimatization. Climbers using Shira should be confident of their ability to acclimatize.


Umbwe Route
The Umbwe route is a short, steep and direct route. It is considered to be very difficult and is the most challenging way up Mount Kilimanjaro. Due to the quick ascent, Umbwe does not provide the necessary stages for altitude acclimatization. The route is offered at a minimum of six days, though seven days is recommended when attempting this route.
The Umbwe route should only be attempted by those who are very strong hikers and are confident in their ability to acclimatize.
The Umbwe route has a well-deserved reputation of being the most challenging route on Mount Kilimanjaro. Approaching from the south, the Umbwe route is a short, steep and direct climb. After reaching Barranco Camp, the trail follows the southern circuit to the summit. The descent is done via the Mweka route.
Umbwe is considered to be very difficult, taxing route - one that should only be attempted by strong hikers who are also confident of their ability to acclimatize to altitude.
Due to the fast ascent to high altitude, this route does not provide the necessary stages for acclimatization. Although the traffic on this route is very low, the chances of success are also low.
The route is offered at a minimum of six days, and seven days is preferred when attempting to climb using Umbwe. The seven day itinerary includes a rest day at Barranco Camp. However, overall, the Umbwe route is not recommended. Umbwe is offered as a six to seven day private climb.

Rongai Route
The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, the Rongai route still experiences low traffic. Rongai is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the crowded Marangu route, for those who would like a more remote hike, and for those who are climbing during the rainy season (the north side receives less precipitation). The minimum number of days required for this route is six days, and seven days are recommended.
Although the scenery is not as varied as the western routes, Rongai makes up for this by passing through true wilderness areas for days before joining the Marangu route at Kibo camp. This route descends down the Marangu route. Rongai is a moderately difficult route, and is highly recommended, especially for those with less backpacking experience. Rongai is offered as a seven day group climb, or a six to seven day private climb.
Rongai is a moderately difficult route, and is highly recommended, especially for those with less backpacking experience.
The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, Rongai has low traffic. It is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the crowded Marangu route, for those who would like a more remote hike, and for those who are climbing during the rainy season (the north side receives less precipitation).
The minimum number of days required for this route is six days, and seven days are recommended.




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