Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, the highest freestanding mountain in the world and the highest natural structure that can be climbed without any technical equipment - with Uhuru Peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro, at 5 895m in altitude. The diversity of forest, moorland, alpine desert and glaciers that you’ll travel through on your way up the mountain makes this an once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Our favourite route to Kilimanjaro's summit is the Machame route (the less crowded route).
Umbwe route: In our experience this is the ultimate way to climb Kilimanjaro. The route is characterized by steep slopes, dense rain forest, narrow ridges, valleys and glaciers. Although it is shorter than other routes it is steeper, but the rewards are so much bigger. It is the most scenic route by far, giving you a chance to see all the different treasures Kilimanjaro has to offer.
Lemosho route:The Lemosho route offers you proper acclimatization time as your first two days of climbing take a bit longer than the other routes. This is the only route that offers you beautiful scenery of the Northern ice field of Kilimanjaro.
Rongai route: The only route starting at the Kenyan border (however you do not cross into Kenya). This route offers you beautiful scenery, as the “front side” of Kilimanjaro facing Kenya. The Marangu route is most commonly used to descend Kilimanjaro. The huts on this route may not be used by climbers and you will therefore have to use a tent.
The more well-known routes - which are of course more crowded:
Machame route (Whisky route): The Machame route is on the scenic Western side of the mountain. It is the most popular route on the mountain as it gives you more time to acclimatize. You stay in tents and descent on the Mweka route.
Marangu route (Coco Cola route):The Marangu route is on the Eastern side of the mountain, which is the dryer side. This is the only route with HUTS, but due to this you ascend and descend on the same route.
Best time to visit Kilimanjaro: January, February, July, August and September.
Kilimanjaro experiences ideal weather for most of the year, with the exception of the rainy months, April and May. Rains can also occur in November but are usually short showers that do not last long. The best months to climb Kilimanjaro are from July to October and from January to March.