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Climbing Kilimanjaro – routes and features

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the most scenic and unforgettable journeys. Unlike many other mountain destinations, you don’t need professional skills or experience to climb. However, this idea cannot be called simple either, because Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain on the planet and the highest point in Africa.

Some facts about climbing Kilimanjaro
According to various versions, this place is one of the three most beautiful volcanoes and the ten most beautiful mountains in the world. Its height above sea level is 5895 m, and here you can see as many as 5 climatic zones, including the unique glaciers of Africa.

When to plan a trek to Kilimanjaro
Conventionally, the whole year can be divided into two seasons: high and low.

The best time to conquer this peak is June – October and January – March. At this time, the probability of rain is minimal, and the weather is warm and clear.

During the period October – December and April – May, it rains more often, which complicates the route. But at this time, the landscapes of Mount Kilimanjaro are especially picturesque, and the top is covered with a huge snow cap. A stunning sight, which must be in time to see, because according to scientists, due to global warming, the glaciers of Africa may soon disappear.

Tour to Kilimanjaro – choose the route
Kilimanjaro National Park is located in northeastern Tanzania. And there are 5 of the most popular climbing routes, which start from different sides of the mountain and differ in the level of difficulty and landscapes that you will admire.

Experienced travelers from Aves Travel will be happy to provide maximum details for each route and help you choose the option that is right for you. Now let’s take a rough look at each of the 5 possible paths and the main features of each of them.

Machame
This route is one of the most popular on Kilimanjaro, but the ascent is far from the easiest. Machame is more suitable for tourists with good mountain experience and physical fitness.

The journey begins in the rainforest at an altitude of 1850 m above sea level, and then, bypassing all the climatic zones of Kilimanjaro, you can observe the daily changing landscapes.

The total distance is 60 km.

Ascent and descent take 6-7 days.

Mountain side: south.

Difficulty level: high.

During the rainy season, the hike becomes even more difficult as the road can be washed out. In August and February, the route can be overloaded with people.

Rongai
This is the only route that runs along the north side of Kilimanjaro. On the way, you will encounter the foot of the Mawenzi volcano, Tanzania’s second highest peak, as well as incredible tropical landscapes. It is the least rainy and windy route in the off-season. At the same time, it is not crowded and offers beautiful views of Kenya.

The total distance is 75 km.

Ascent and descent take 5-7 days.

Difficulty: medium.

Umbwe
Umbwe is a maximum of solitude and contemplation of all climatic zones: from tropical forests to the famous ice caps. The route starts in the rainforest and goes from the southern side of the mountain, parallel to Machama, crossing with it at an altitude of 3800 m.

The ascent lasts 6–8 days (ascent and descent).

The total distance is 49 km.

Difficulty level: maximum.

This climb to Kilimanjaro is only possible for experienced pros, as on the way you will find steep ridges, gorges and sharp changes in altitude. But this is one of the shortest routes to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Lemosho
The Lemosho route is considered to be one of the most interesting, because it combines the correct program of high-altitude acclimatization with beautiful landscapes. The hike begins from the moorland, and then, bypassing the beautiful valleys and lunar landscapes, ends with an ascent to the highest point in Africa.

Ascent and descent last from 6 to 9 days.

The side of the mountain is west.

Distance 67 km.

Difficulty level: high.

This is one of the most beautiful routes on which you will meet a minimum of people and see all climatic zones at once.

Marangu
This route, also known as “Coca-Cola Route”, is popular and quite crowded, because only here you will find houses equipped for living with all the benefits of civilization. The ascent is gentle, along the southern side of Mount Kilimanjaro. But to ascend in 5 days, preliminary high-altitude acclimatization is still needed – for beginner climbers, a longer program with smooth adaptation to altitude is better suited.

Ascent and descent take 5-7 days.

The total distance is 73 km.

Difficulty: medium.

After climbing Kilimanjaro rich in impressions, the tour can continue with your vacation in Tanzania: arrange a luxurious beach relaxation on the island of Zanzibar, or go on the world’s best safari in local national parks, or continue enjoying your vacation anywhere. And if you want, we at Aves Travel will offer different options and develop a unique vacation program especially for you, taking into account all your wishes.

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