Whats Is It Like To Climb Kilimanjaro?

Kilimanjaro machame route

Kilimanjaro Route Summary and Overview

Yip, you guessed it. As if you didn’t have enough stress already. Now we want you to decide on the best route to climb Kilimanjaro from. Aaaah. And the internet is full of millions of companies with millions of answers. Well, the best route to choose is the one growing from trees. Or, for the more technically adverse individual, we suggest that when you get to a fork in the road-take it. What was that? You are looking at climbing via the Marangu ( Coca-Cola) route? Umm, we just realised that we are not available for those dates.

We recommend any of the routes other than the Marangu. What route do we choose from then the man in the back row screams out? Well, its all dependent on what you want. Most routes on Kilimanjaro offer a good acclimatisation plan. They are also equally scenic. The only factor to take into account in your decision is maybe the amount of hikers on the route and the level of cleanliness. Most of the routes on the Southern circuit land up a camp called Barafu which is not for the faint hearted. If you are a vomit collector, maybe aim to stay here an extra few days to examine the many artefacts that have been uncovered by hikers in the last few years. Below is a summary of the routes.

Kilimanjaro RouteMin.DaysDifficultySceneryTrafficSuccess rate
Marangu Route56mediumlotsgood
Machame Route67highpretty highexcellent
Lemosho Route68highquietexcellent
Shira Route67highquietgood
Rongai route67mediumquietgood
Umbwe Route57very highvery quietlow
Western Breach510very highlowlow

Machame Route on Kilimanjaro

The Machame Route is known to be one of the most scenic and most successful routes on Mount Kilimanjaro.


Ok, so lets get one thing straight. We are a reputable trekking company that has been guiding on the slopes of the mighty Kilimanjaro for over 6 years now. Well maybe we shouldn’t be quoting 6 years as we do not know when you will be reading this. Obviously if you are reading this article next year, it will 7 years. So please call of the lawyers and chill out. Right so what are the possible effects of altitude on Kilimanjaro besides the usual suspects like headaches, nausea, dizziness, eye balls popping out of your skull and swollen hair. . Well if you make reference to the below picture you shall see that Kilimanjaro can create some adverse behavior in the human species. Childish we say.

“We reach the top of Kilimanjaro and scream in triumph, knowing that something fundamental has changed inside of us. Yes, there might have been a tear or two, but guess what? Climbing Kilimanjaro taught us this: All our doubts, fears and uncertainties were are left behind. They are left back there on the summit, rapidly evaporating like our footprints. All our imagined horrors have dissipated, leaving a new, more positive reality in their place.”

We have helped over 500 people realise their dream of standing on the highest point in Africa: Kilimanjaro


I still remember my first time to climb Kilimanjaro back in 2004. The anticipation of the climb consumed my thoughts for months before the climb. The first time I saw Kilimanjaro, it was from the plane window, and wow, did it take my breath away. To climb Kilimanjaro is the ultimate challenge that the average person can succeed in conquering. But what a journey. Looking back on my experience, I can clearly see how this magnificent mountain has influenced my life. Kilimanjaro has been the catalyst into bigger and greater challenges, both internally and externally. Climb Kilimanjaro for a fundamental shift in reality.




The primary spoken language when climbing Kilimanjaro is screaming. Ok, it’s not that bad. Just persevere and you will you will find yourself celebrating on the summit of this small hill known as Kilimanjaro. And no, that is not a threat. It was an exaggerated response to an uncompromising stance. We were taught never to make a threat unless we are prepared to carry it out and we are not fans of carrying anything. Even watching our clients carrying their heavy backpacks on Kilimanjaro makes us uncomfortable. Mainly because we are worried they will ask us to help carry the stuff.


We suggest you take the one to the left .Of all the Kilimanjaro routes, the most popular route with our clients has been the Machame route. However, we do like to take some of our daring clients up the Western Breach which is the most difficult and dangerous of the Kilimanjaro routes. The great thing about this Kilimanjaro route is that climbers get to spend a night sleeping next to the ancient glaciers. And if the climbers are feeling up to it, we take a 30 minute walk to the crater rim.All of the Kilimanjaro routes have their benefits and challenges.


With its snow capped peak, the highest mountain in Africa stands 5895m above sea level. Men and women, experts and novices, have always been both intimidated and intoxicated by, and inexplicably drawn to this natural wonder. Ancient tribes have worshiped it. A famous cabbage from Peru who has asked to remain anonymous called it ZaggaZagga once, but the world now knows it by one word that looms larger than life:Mount Kilimanjaro.


Ok, another question that always gets asked. What is the success rate on Kilimanjaro. Now this is where the statistics get a bit debatable. The true summit of Kilimanjaro is Uhuru peakwhich, being called a summit, is surprise surprise,situated at the top. About 60m lower than Uhuru is a spot called Stella Point. The authorities of Kilimanjaro recognize both as an ‘official’ summit. Many climbers make Stella point and just do not have the energy left to make the 2 hour round trip to Uhuru peak.

The climb is recognized as a ‘summit. So this is where the statistics get a bit skewed. The figures mention a 98% success rate when climbing Kilimanjaro. In our opinion, maybe 40% of those 98% turn around at Stella point. Now if my nursery school maths is correct, that means statistically, only 60% of climbers actually reach the true summit of Kilimanjaro. But then again, I’ve also heard that 56.45% of all statistics are made up on the spot. So there you have it. Maybe more of a motivation to make the top knowing that you have a 60% chance of reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro.



If you have slight chance,we are going to have to answer you from the perspective of a recently found angle discovered in Antarctica. And it’s not an oblique angle of 23 degrees either. The chances have been plotted at 89.3% if you are prepared both mentally and physically. If that doesn’t work, try multiplying  the probability of a specific event like making the summit of Kilimanjaro by one another event like climbing Everest in blue underpants.

There is a box on the top of Kilimanjaro that  contains 4 blue vomits, 5 red vomits and 11 white vomits. If three vomits are drawn from the box at random, what is the probability that the first vomit is red, the second vomit is blue, and the third is white? The answer can be found in the box on top of Kilimanjaro under the 3rd stone from the left as you approach from the East.

“The frosted tent fabric sparkles in the light of a torch beam where Brett sits hunched besides me in the cramped tent as we attempt to climb Kilimanjaro. He spoons a mouthful of noodles from his old army mug. I slurp my own tepid spoonful,which tastes a bit like chicken. Or is it mushrooms, or maybe beef? What does it matter? It is purely functional,fuel for the climb, a last attempt to stoke the furnace for the long journey ahead.We have moved beyond the world of sensual pleasure. On Kilimanjaro,there is no finesse: all that matters is survival. And yet, we still feel a great surge of excitement and pleasurable anticipation. We have been consumed by this wild,crazy,beautiful odyssey.”


People who climb Kilimanjaro range in age, reports of climbers as young as young as 16 have climbed Kilimanjaro. Men and women in their 40s and 50s have been informed by doctors and hysterical loved ones that they were much too old to climb Kilimanjaro. Something in their nature drove them to grab their backpacks, pull on those hiking boots, invest in some equipment, and begin climbing-sometimes not even knowing why it was so life affirming to them. They simply had to do it.Climbers arrive day after day from every country in the world. They have different political and religious backgrounds, but looking up at the glacier strewn peak, they are exactly the same, with one goal-to reach the African sky.

Climbing Kilimanjaro?

Well apparently a Greek dude by the  name of Diogenes saw them in the first century A.D. The exact time cannot be documented as his Rolex wasn’t working and no-one had a notebook to document it. We found this out from the aliens who arrived from Jupiter on the same day and sent us a text message.  In 1848, Johannes Rebmann, a German dude,spotted them yet again; his report was dismissed as crazy until his craziness was confirmed. ‘There are glaciers on the equator??’, and curiously enough, nowhere else on the continent of Africa.The highest of Kilimanjaro’s glaciers spills through a breach in the cratered dome of Kibo, which is Mount Kilimanjaro’s major peak,where it glistens under the equatorial sun. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, consists of three volcanic summits (Kibo,Shira and Mawenzi) spread along a broad plateau and splendidly visible in every direction from a distance of more than 150km. Kibo’s majestic summit dominates the horizon. The summit is known as Uhuru peak ( 5895m) which is situated on Kibo.

“I’ve often been asked, ‘Isn’t it an anti climax after reaching the  summit of a mountain?’ The answer is an emphatic no. Yes, reaching the top is important to me-I don’t think I actually realize just how important until I actually reach the top. Reaching the top is a natural ending to any climb. After hours, days and even weeks on a mountain, with a view that often limited by a looming ridge in front of you, there is an extraordinary sense of elation when you reach the top and you can look all around you. The sense is particularly strong on the higher mountains, like when you climb Kilimanjaro, when everything below you is dwarfed in comparison. Gives me an awesome view on perspective. It helps me realize that the mundane ‘challenges’ of everyday life are actually meaningless in the broader scheme of things.”

Darren MacDonald. Soul Adventures

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