Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa – hence its nickname, “The Roof of Africa”. As such, it is part of The Seven Summits - composed of the highest mountain peaks in each of the seven continents. It is also one of the largest extinct volcanoes and the highest freestanding mountain in the world. On a clear day, this majestic mountain can be seen from more than 100 miles away. Its peak is permanently covered in snow, even though the mountain is located only 3 degrees below the equator. There are actually two peaks: Mawenzi (5,149 meters/16,893 feet) and Kibo (5,895 meters/19,341 feet).
Climbing Kilimanjaro is a recognized achievement - on several people's bucket lists and a huge feather in the caps of those who summit it. The Kili climb can be done by any physically fit person – no prior mountain-climbing experience is necessary. The total climb time (ascent and descent) varies depending on the route taken.
Fair Trade Safaris leads expeditions to the summit of Kilimanjaro throughout the year, although April and May (during the long rains) are not the most ideal months for a climb. The best months are January to February, and July to October…these are the months when one usually experiences cloudless days. But as with anywhere in the world, weather is never predictable.
Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with THE BEST mountain guides and THE MOST WELL-EQUIPPED team in Tanzania - starting at around $2,000 per person. Our summit success rate is the highest in the industry because of our thorough planning, well-trained staff, and state-of-the-art gear and equipment.
Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes
Machame (Recommended by FTS): Also known as the “Whiskey Route” due to its higher degree of difficulty compared to the Marangu Route, Machame is the most popular route and is slightly more expensive than Marangu. Machame approaches the climb from the south. Distance covered: ~39 miles (62 km). Days required: 6 or 7 days. Difficulty: Medium; Cost: Medium; Scenic Beauty: High; Summit Success Rate: High.
Marangu: The second-most popular, least difficult and least pricey of the routes, the Marangu Route is also known as the “Tourist Route” and the “Coca Cola Route”. It approaches the mountain from the southeast and covers about ~45 miles (72 km) and it takes a total of either 5 or 6 days to complete. In spite of its lower level of difficulty as compared to other routes, Marangu's summit success rate is amongst the lowest...for a variety of reasons. Difficulty: Low; Cost: Low; Scenic Beauty: Low; Summit Success Rate: Low.
Rongai: A good alternative to the Marangu route, Rongai is the only route that approaches from the northeast (near the Tanzanian/Kenyan border). It is similar to Marangu in terms of difficulty, but is slightly more expensive and significantly less crowded. Climbers have the possibility of seeing some wildlife, especially in the first couple of days of the climb. Distance covered: ~45 miles (72 km). Days required: 6 or 7 days. Difficulty: Medium; Cost: Medium; Scenic Beauty: High; Summit Success Rate: High.
Lemosho (Highly Recommended by FTS): Approaching from the west and descending down the southeast of the mountain (using the Mweka route), Lemosho is one of the newer, more difficult, and less crowded routes. Distance covered: ~44 miles (70 km). Days required: 7 or 8 days. Difficulty: High; Cost: High; Scenic Beauty: Very High; Summit Success Rate: High.
Shira: Almost identical to Lemosho, except that the first section with Shira is in a vehicle, whereas with Lemosho, the first section is hiked/on foot. Shira is a route that is high in difficulty and costs. Distance covered: ~35 miles (56 km). Days required: 7 or 8 days. Difficulty: High; Cost: High; Scenic Beauty: Very High; Summit Success Rate: Medium.
Northern Circuit: This is the newest, longest, and most expensive way to climb Kilimanjaro. Northern Circuit approaches the mountain from the west and has a high degree of difficulty. For the first few days, the route is identical to Lemosho, except that instead of summiting the mountain in a straight line from the west like Lemosho and Shira do, Northern Circuit follows an almost complete circle towards the top of the mountain, traversing around nearly the entire mountain top. Distance covered: ~61 miles (98 km). Days required: 9 days. Difficulty: High; Cost: Very high; Scenic Beauty: High; Summit Success Rate: High.
Umbwe: Approaching from the South, Umbwe is the shortest, steepest, and the most difficult route. Distance covered: ~33 miles (53 km). Days required: 5 or 6 days. Difficulty: Very High; Cost: High; Scenic Beauty: High; Summit Success Rate: Low.