The Hiking Routes Up Mt. Kilimanjaro


Located in northern Tanzania, right on the border of Kenya, Mt. Kilimanjaro looms on the skyline as a beautiful yet ominous sight. If you are a hiker or mountain climber, this sight is also viewed as a challenge.

The legendary mountain is known as the Rooftop of Africa. Most of the 19, 341 feet to the top of Uhuru Peak is a fairly easy climb with a gradual ascent. The biggest challenge is altitude sickness, so climbing slowly is advised. It typically takes people anywhere from 5-8 days to complete the hike, depending on physical fitness and the difficulty of the chosen route. When planning your hike up the highest mountain in Africa, it’s important to distinguish which route is best for you.

Below, you’ll find a quick overview of all the options to help you out:

mt. k 2


  • Known as the whiskey route because it’s more difficult, though it has a high success rate
  • One of the most popular and recommended for scenic value, but can be crowded
  • Includes fully catered camping
  • Takes 6-7 days


  • A less used route, more remote, but great for acclimatization
  • Great scenery
  • Includes fully catered camping
  • Takes 7-8 days


  • Known as the Coca-cola route because it’s the easiest
  • Best for unprepared, inexperienced climbers
  • Sleep in dorm like huts
  • Takes 6 days, but less time to acclimatize, resulting in lower success rate


  • Only northern approach, less scenic, and tough final summit
  • You see both sides of the mountain
  • Higher cost and less time for acclimatization
  • Takes 5-6 days


  • Very challenging route
  • Most direct way to reach Uhuru Peak
  • Goes through a rainforest and alongside rivers
  • Takes 5-6 days

All routes require you to have hired porters that carry your gear, sleeping supplies, food, and cooking equipment. Luckily, all you have to carry is a small backpack with plenty of water. No matter which route you take, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Have you taken the climb?


About Author

My name is Mandi and I have a gypsy soul. I quickly realized the normal, sedentary life just wasn't for me, so I've made it my life's ambition to never stop exploring. This decision has led me to study, volunteer, intern, work, backpack and travel all over the world, including Rome, London, Costa Rica, India, Southeast Asia, Montana, and San Diego. Now I'm living and always writing in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Keep track of where I go next via and @1LimitlessWorld.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.