The Marangu route is often regarded as easy and simple route on Support Kilimanjaro, but you shouldn’t be fooled, as no route on Climbing Kilimanjaro is “easy”. It is given this score as you trek increased distances every day, meaning that the ascent each day is more progressive. Unlike the other routes on the hill, Marangu can be completed in five days and is one of the shortest routes. Accommodation is distributed dormitory style pile huts weighed against all the routes, which employ tents.
The downside to Marangu is the fact that it provides little potential for acclimatising by the principle of ‘climb high, sleep low.’ It is also, because of its “easier route” status, often selected by individuals who are less fit and contemplate it to be the simple option to summit. Unfortunately, the result is the fact the number of men and women who reach the summit is lower than on almost all of the other routes. Another factor to consider is that ascent and descent are via the same path, limiting deviation in scenery.
To make a success of Marangu way, it is advisable to include a day’s acclimatisation trek from Horombo Huts up to Zebra Stones, and back to Horombo Huts for the night time.
The Rongai route is also called the ‘Loitokok’ route or what used to be called, the old ‘Outward Bound Route.’ The path starts close to the Kenyan border and ascends in a northerly route. The ascent profile of Rongai is similar to the Marangu route and is known as to be the second easiest way. It meets up with Marangu route at Kibo Huts, where the paths join and lead to the summit.
It also will not offer much by way of the ‘climb high, sleep low,’ rule, so adding on an extra day to the trek is beneficial if you want to increase your likelihood of success.
Among the advantages of the course, is that it’s a very private, less populated road. Accommodation is tents and the descent from summit minds down the Marangu Road.
The Machame route begins from Machame forest on the opposite side of the pile from the Rongai route. The road minds up through the thick forest in a south-westerly route, going for a total of 6 times to attain the summit. The wonder of the Machame course is that following the forest area, the road heads east, providing you amazing views over the Shira Volcano. It really is regarded as one of the steeper routes to the summit, but is very scenic. A nighttime is put in at Baranco camp on the 3rd night, which is at less altitude than the next night’s camp, ensuring better acclimatisation. Accommodation on the Machame path is tents.
The starting place for both the Shira and Lemosho routes, is at the far western side of the mountain. Like Machame, both routes are ranked as very scenic. However, the ascent account for Shira road on the first day is steep, as you climb up to 3500m from 2200m. The road then meander over the Shira plateau where it finally joins up with the Lemosho and Machame routes near Lava Tower. The rest of the path follows the same pathways as the Machame Course and accommodation is in tents.
Unlike Shira and Machame, the Lemosho route covers a greater distance on the first two days, with more time being spent in the rain forest. It is therefore best to do this route over seven to eight days. Like Rongai, it is a quieter course for the first couple of days until it joins within Shira and Machame routes. Accommodation is at tents.
The Umbwe route is the toughest and steepest path to the summit and really should not be undertaken by anyone who’s unfit or unaccustomed to steep trekking. The way heads directly upwards in a northerly route to Baranco Wall membrane where it joins within Shira, Lemosho and Machame routes. It has a steep ascent account and will be offering less possibility to acclimatise correctly.
The Northern Circuit route is the newest way to open on Kilimanjaro which is categorised as the ‘360 Option’ or the ‘Grand Traverse.’ Like Shira and Lemosho, it starts on the american aspect of the hill at almost 3000m.
The trek can be carried out in a week but best completed in eight times. Of all the routes, it provides good acclimatisation as the altitude gain everyday is suprisingly low. It is also very quiet as the road is seldom used and frequently your only companions at camp are field mice. It is merely when you join up with the Rongai Path at ‘Third Caves Camp,’ and later at ‘Kibo Huts,’ that the simple truth is other people. The ultimate path to summit joins the Marangu course and then descends down the Mweka way.
Choosing the route that best suits you will be based upon what you want to escape the trek, factoring in specific things like fitness, scenery, timeframe, cost and whether you are happy sleeping in a tent or not. As the word goes, “all roads business lead to Rome,” and in cases like this, all routes business lead to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Which option you choose, is your decision.