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What Are the Easiest Routes for Climbing Kilimanjaro?

Did you know that almost 30,000 people climb Mt. Kilimanjaro each year?Kilimanjaro is the biggest mountain in Africa, with a lot of routes hikers can trek.Here is guide to easiest routes to Climbing Kilimanjaro.

Even though it’s the highest mountain in Africa, it’s considered a relatively safe mountain to climb, and the number of routes to ascend and descend from makes it a lot easier for climbers of any skill level to find their sweet spot on the mountain top.

Climbing Kilimanjaro

But what are the easiest routes for climbing Kilimanjaro? Do you have to camp out if you’re going all the way up, or are there accommodations on the mountain?

Read on to learn everything you need to know.

Marangu Route

The Marangu route is the oldest and most established route on Kilimanjaro, and it used to be the most popular. It’s considered the easiest route to take in terms of terrain, and it’s also the only one with huts to sleep in along the terrain. It’s also used for both ascent and descent.

This makes for easy climbing, but it can also mean it gets busy, and the huts can get quite full. It’s great for families and groups looking for comfort on their trips, though, and it’s great if you’re looking to avoid camping on the mountain.

A lot of people try to climb this route quickly, but it’s recommended that you take no less than seven days to do it so you can acclimatize to the mountain fully and easily.

The slope itself is gradual, and it’s filled with open ground up until the final hut at Summit Massif.

Machame Route

The Machame route is the most popular on the mountain next to Marangu, and that’s because of its scenery. It also comes with a higher success level than Marangu does, but it’s going to be more crowded.

This route is easy in the fact that it doesn’t require any technical climbing skills, but climbers do have to ascend the Barranco Wall along the way. There’s also the steep incline up Kibo near the summit.

Shira Route

The Shira route approaches Kilimanjaro from the west and actually joins the Machame trail. This route offers several variations, including ones where you can drive part of the way up the trail to skip the rainforest level.

Choosing to drive part of the way can hurt if you’re not acclimatized to the height, and it can have a negative impact on the rest of your climb. If you live somewhere near sea level, this isn’t smart for you to do.

Similar to the Machame route, the terrain can get a bit difficult, but facing less foot traffic can make it easier for some climbers. You also have the option to camp out for extended periods of time, meaning longer breaks and more time to get used to the height.

Mweka and Umbwe Routes

These two routes are both used for descent nowadays, and they’re both located on the south side of the mountain. Both routes are steep, making them difficult to ascend.

Both these trails are great for getting down the mountain quickly, but getting up as a beginner when you’re not used to the height can be a big mistake. This is especially true if you’re not carrying oxygen with you.

The Mweka route is only used for descent on the mountain and has been designated as such, but Umbwe can be ascended by experienced climbers who aren’t afraid of taking risks for spectacular views. 

The Umbwe route actually meets up with the Machame route at the Barranco camp a lot earlier than other routes do, which can give you an idea of just how steep this trail is.

That being said, while you do have to climb steeper terrain, there isn’t a lot of technical climbing experience needed for this route.

Rongai Route

This route is only the one approaching the mountain from the north, meaning your trip begins closer to the Kenyan border. The route will take you through the wilderness until it eventually meets up with the Marangu Route at Kibo Camp. You’ll then descend using the Marangu route going south down the mountain.

The recommended amount of time to spend on this route is about seven days from start to finish, but eight days is enough to help your lungs acclimatize to the air change, leaving summit day to be a lot more enjoyable.

This is by far the easiest Kilimanjaro route, and it has a reputation for being a remote wilderness trail. That means lots of great fews and not as many people.

Guided Routes

If you’re not sure about which route you’d like to take, though, you can always take a guided tour up Kilimanjaro. These tours mean you won’t be alone on your way up the mountain, and that you’ll always have someone around should you need assistance.

A lot of these guided tours are going to include camping gear like tents, sleeping bags, and even emergency oxygen if it’s needed on your way up. That, alongside the guidance of your tour guide and the moral support your group can provide, a lot of beginners opt for a tour on their first trek up.

Interested in Climbing Kilimanjaro?

Now that we’ve gone over a few of the easiest routes on the mountain, are you ready to get started? Whether you’re about to make your ascent or you’re just dreaming for the future, climbing Kilimanjaro is great for beginners and advanced hikers alike. With a bit of preparation and planning, you’ll be trekking up the mountain in no time.

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