Selecting The Best Kilimanjaro Trek For You! (Part 1 of 2)

Photo Credit: Calum Robinson

Photo Credit: Calum Robinson

Written by: Jonathan Lee

One of the most important decisions to make after committing to climb Mount Kilimanjaro is deciding which route to take to Uhuru Peak! The magic question that all aspiring climbers inevitably ask me is “What is the best Mount Kilimanjaro route?”.

While there is no BEST Kilimanjaro route for everyone, selecting a Kilimanjaro route that’s right for you is less daunting when you have the information you need to make an informed decision. The goal of this post is to provide useful information and insights to allow you to compare and contrast the unique attributes of each route and make an informed decision on the best Kilimanjaro route for you!

There are seven routes (Marangu, Machame, Rongai, Northern Circuit, Shira, Umbwe) to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro and two routes (Mweka, Marangu) to descend from the mountain.


The best Kilimanjaro route for you will depend on how much time you have, your fitness level, how well you acclimate to altitude, your desire for scenery variation and several other factors.

To help clear the fog on the various Kilimanjaro routes the following is a quick guide to one way of looking at Kilimanjaro routes to help you pick one that’s right for you.


Quick Guide on Kilimanjaro Routes

Best routes for those looking for a well balanced climb with a good amount of time for acclimatization and scenery variation.

  • Machame

  • Lemosho

Least crowded and driest route

  • Rongai

Longest route and unique northern approach

  • Northern Circuit

Quickest route and only route with huts

  • Marangu

Most Challenging

  • Umbwe

  • Shira

Part 2 of this blog post goes into more detail on each of the Kilimanjaro routes listed above.