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Machame via Stella

The Shira Plateau
Kilimanjaro - The Crater

Kilimanjaro Route Selection

There are 6 starting routes and 2 main 'final' ascent routes to the top of Kilimanjaro. Summits Africa operates climbs on all of these routes on request but we tend to only recommend 2 main routes.

  • The Machame Route
  • The Lemosho Route

Why do we recommend these two routes over others?

  1. See more of Kilimanjaro: the minimum number of days we offer is 6 days - we actually recommend 7 days as a minimum and an ideal ascent rate is 9 days. Hence, in that length of time by starting at Machame or Lemosho you can see more of Kilimanjaro on your ascent and decent.
  2. The final ascent routes are via Stella Point. Routes that ascend via Rongai and Marangu ascend via Gilman's Point and that is around 1 hour further from Uhuru point that Stella Point. That makes quite a difference at 6am in the morning with less than half the oxygen!
  3. Basic ethics. The Marangu Route has a history of overbooking which means that we cannot guarantee that our porters will have proper sleeping facilities. On camping routes we know that we will provide our own tents for our crews.

Which route is right for me?

Use this simple guide to help you choose:

FACTOR Machame 6 day (budget) hike

Machame 7 day

  1. full spec
  2. budget spec
Lemosho 9 day (Plains to Peak)
BUDGET (2008 figures) $1500 (climb only) $2840 (inc. transfers and accommodation pre and post climb) OR $1750 for budget spec climb only $4600 (inc. transfers and accommodation pre and post climb and 2 nights in a luxury wilderness camp)
SUCCESS RATE (2007 figures approx 200 guests) 80% 88% 96%
SCENERY 7/10 8/10 (same route as Machame 6 day but more time to enjoy it!) 10/10 - the complete Kilimanjaro experience


Long day pre summit bid

Nighttime summit attempt, arriving around dawn.


Nighttime summit attempt, arriving around dawn.


Daylight ascent, the easiest summit attempt option.

NOTE: Marangu and Rongai routes would have around 6/10 for scenery, success rates of 60 - 80% and difficulty ratings of 9/10 due to the final summit bid via Gilman's point.

Success rates are subject to change and these figures are a guideline only.

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