Every adrenaline Junkie, adventure freak, mountain trekker would one day want to conquer the thirst to peak the only free standing mountain in the world and summit it successfully. This though requires detailed planning, healthy diets, fitness work outs starting much earlier so as to make the trip a successful one; however one important area to always consider is what route to take towards the summit. There are namely six famous possible routes to select from when deciding to climb Mount Kilimanjaro whilst there are some other more steep and difficult route options also available. Below are some of the details pertaining to each of the routes and details on the same.
This route begins from the South West side of the mountain, and then uses the southern circuit via Barafu and Stella Point to approach the Uhuru Peak. For the Scenic Value this route is highly recommended whilst it is also the most famous route to peak the summit. It has options from 5 Days Trekking to 8 Days options which is also recommended for the first time trekkers. On this route the climber goes through four diverse climate zones whilst it is also the one that offers fully catered camping. This is a famous route and used by many tourists and thus may at times be crowded and end to lose some of its splendor.
This is known as the “Tourist Route” or the “Coca Cola” Route. One simple reason for this is due to the fact that is a very popular route and tourists love this route due to the availability of huts and ease of climbing. It is also the route where you have people selling bottled waters and Sodas thus you may avoid to climb with it from the start. You can summit the peak using this route in 4 to 5 Days and you may also avoid porters and save costs due to the availability of Huts. Many unprepared, inexperienced climbers tend to select this route which is the cause of not many registering successful reach to the peak on this route. It is also recorded to be one of the route with less Scenic views compared to the others.
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 when the join the traffic from the Machame Route. Thereon it shares the same route to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The minimum number of days recommended on this route is 6 Days however the ideal would be 8 days. This route is also considered to be the most beautiful route and it offers scenic panoramic views of the mountain and nature at its best. It is highly recommended to use this route for a mixed complete experience of the adventure.
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. This route approaches the climb from the North side of the mountain whilst the decent is from the South East side giving the climber an opportunity to experience both sides of the mountain. The climb on this route is a bit more expensive due to the transport costs involved. It is also the only route where wildlife has still been seen on the mountain and thus the climbers may have an opportunity to experience the same. The likelihood on this route to make it to the summit are extremely high whilst the route also offers good amount of rest during the climb. The recommended time is 6 to 8 days on this route. It is also close to the Kenyan Border and is normally quiet and with low traffic for the tourists to enjoy.
This is another route that approaches from the West side of the mountain. It is also quite identical to the Lemosho route which has recently been developed and improved. This route also offers Transport option to the climbers till Shira Gate and climbers have a chance to begin their climb at 3,600 m above sea level. It thus may result into climbers having altitude sickness due to the start of the climb. It thus is many a times not recommended to new beginners for climbing as they may not be used to with the altitude changes. It mostly is than similar to the Lemosho Route and also joins it to summit the Peak.
This is the Longest route to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro and it also has the highest success rates to making it to the summit of the mountain. The route departs from same start point as Lemosho but then joins the Northern Circuit near Lava Tower, before traversing the north slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. The summit assault is via the Gilman Point. Due to being a long route the recommended time is 8 to 9 days which also increases the costs of the climb and makes it expensive. If you like to have a quiet climb and some wild experience this would be the ideal route to select. Due to the time spent on the route it offers a very varied incredible scenery to the climbers and is also regarded as one of the best routes to the summit.
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. 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, 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. It is also a very remote and quiet route whilst it offers scenic views with its steep routes that is ideal for the adrenaline junkies.