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Trekking in Tanzania | Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Trekking in Tanzania | Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Although it is overlooked when great walking countries are discussed, Tanzania provides various forms of walking bliss, with some of the world’s best walks, hikes and treks, ranging from famous Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, to geological absurdities like the pallid cone of Ol Doinyo  Lengais volcano, to fascinating walking safaris in very varied landscapes.

Walking, hiking and trekking tours and holidays in Tanzania are so varied that everyone’s taste and energy levels can be met. Walking in Tanzania isn’t just for hard-nuts, although there is plenty to get their juices flowing (stand up Lord Kili). And there are a multitude of tour operators offering services ranging from booking lodging to providing guides to transporting your luggage from place to place to fully-supported treks.

You’ll always be able to find some hiking opportunities in Tanzania, but not all trails are possible in the rainy seasons from November to mid-December, and the end of March to May.During the rainy season, some of the trails are impassable and climbing Kilimanjaro and Meru becomes dangerous.

The dry season from June to October is generally cooler and more suited to trekking, although night temperatures can get quite cold, especially in the mountains, so make sure to pack warm clothes no matter when you’re visiting. 

Where to go trekking in Tanzania

Arusha Local Private tour guides
Mwanza transfers to Ngorongoro
Mountain Oldoinyo Lengai

Where to go trekking in Tanzania - Maps


Kilimanjaro FAQ

Climbing Kilimanjaro most days are not very hard because the trails are not steep it’s mostly dealing with the altitude, however the summit night is extremely difficulty as this is the coldest, windiest section of your adventure. 

It takes about five to nine days on the longer routes to reach Mount Kilimanjaro Summit Uhuru peak and descend to the Finish point.
Yes and to have the best Mt. Kilimanjaro climbing experience as a beginner, you should be fully aware of the conditions, seasonal climates, costs, and requirements to prepare yourself for this challenge.

The average cost to climb Kilimanjaro is $2000 to $6000, the price varies from cheap, budget operators to large Western travel agents selling outsourced climbs at an inflated price. There are various, unavoidable fixed costs to any tour operator and if a climb seems too cheap, you’ve got to ask yourself why.

Kilimanjaro’s altitude is a significant challenge, but climbers do not need supplemental oxygen to climb Kilimanjaro or reach the summit. To reach to the summit you use the acclimatization method of walking slowly “pole pole” climb high, sleep low.

Machame FAQ

The Machame route is considered one of the less difficult routes on Kilimanjaro as it’s longer itinerary allows for better acclimatization. However, hikers will still need to ascend the Barranco Wall and climb steeply on summit night. No technical climbing is required but a good level of fitness is highly recommended.

The entire climb up and down is approximately 62 km/ 37 miles from gate to gate. The height gain from the gate to the summit is 4157 metres, which is ascended over six days of around 5-7 days walking each day.

The Marangu Route (also known as the ‘Coca Cola Route’) is the oldest and most established route on Kilimanjaro and used to be the most popular. It’s considered to be the easiest way up in terms of gradient and terrain. It is also the only route on the mountain that has huts to sleep in.

One of the best route to Kilimanjaro, why? The longer distance and the opportunity to ‘walk high, sleep low’ offer much better acclimatisation and as a result a very high success rate. The Machame route is a good seven day hike for those who have not trekked much at high altitudes, with an effective extra day’s acclimatisation, giving a better success rate.

Lemosho route; why? Lemosho is considered the most beautiful route on Kilimanjaro and grants panoramic vistas on various sides of the mountain. It is our favorite route because it offers a great balance of low traffic, scenic views and a high summit success rate. Thus, Lemosho comes highly recommended. Most of our clients use Lemosho.

Lemosho FAQ

Compared to other routes, Lemosho is one of the least busy, even during the hot season. The remote location of the trailhead, more expensive price tag and the popularity of Marangu and Machame routes are the reasons why only 2-3% of all Kilimanjaro climbers choose it. Also, it is one of the newest routes on Kilimanjaro, which few people know about. Its popularity, however, is increasing every year.

here are several notable differences between the two routes.

Firstly, Machame route is the second most popular route on Kilimanjaro. It can be somewhat crowded in August-September and January-February. In contrast, Lemosho is still less visited, and will suit those who prefer more reclusive hiking.

Secondly, on Machame you will be going through the rainforest on the first day of your hike. On Lemosho this experience is available only on an 8-day climb, while 7 and 6-day variations start straight in the moorland zone.

Thirdly, Machame route climb is available in six and seven-day options. The first one is very physically taxing and features one of the worst acclimatization transitions of all. On the contrary, the shortest trek on Lemosho – six-day – provides good acclimatization possibility even for beginners.

Finally, because Machame trailhead is located on the southern face of Kilimanjaro, close to Moshi, the prices for Machame trek are usually less expensive than the Lemosho route.

Machame and Lemosho converge on Barranco camp, from where all hikers head for Karanga and Barafu summit camp via the same trail.

The Lemosho route is 71 km/43 miles long. It is one of the longest routes on Kilimanjaro, surpassed by Northern Circuit (97 km/60 miles) only.

For the majority of trekkers the ideal time to hike Kilimanjaro in general and Lemosho in particular, is in July-September and January-early March, when the chances of rain are minimal.

You should not, however, unconditionally cross out the rainy season – the periods in between the dry and the rainy season feature (March, June and end of December) have relatively good weather (most of the days are sunny) and much less climbers than usual.

Rainy season climbs have some advantages of their own:

  • Few other hikers on the trek
  • Lush green vegetation around – the landscapes are truly unique!
  • The peak of Kilimanjaro is snow-capped, giving you a chance to make one-of-a-kind pictures.

Together with Lemosho and Rongai, Northern circuit is among the least visited.

Both Lemosho and Northern Circuit start on the western part of Kilimanjaro and follow almost the same itinerary on the first days.

At Lava Tower area the two routes split – while Lemosho trekkers will keep trekking to Barranco Camp on the southern side of Kilimanjaro, Northern Circuit trekkers will go to the seldom-visited northern parts of the Mountain.

Both routes provide excellent scenic value, yet Barranco and other high-elevation camps of Lemosho may be busy in August-September and January-February. The whole Northern Circuit, however, is always desolate, making it ideal for those who like reclusive experiences.

Northern Circuit is almost 20 km longer than Lemosho and is available in eight and nine-day (with crater camping) variations. It is also the most expensive of all routes.