There are several routes that you can take to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro each offering different views, experiences, and challenges to overcome. These are two of the less frequently used Lemosho route vs Rongai route. They each offer some stunning views of the mountain and surrounding countryside. This article will help you to decide which one is correct for you when signing up for your Kilimanjaro summit climb.

Rongai Route

Our trek up this route gives us 7 days and 6 nights on the mountain. You will take 5 ½ days to go up and only 1 ½ to come down! The route comes in from the East and follows the Rongai route via the Mawenzi Tarn, which is located in the foothills of the majestic Mawenzi – a secondary peak on Kilimanjaro. Here you spend a day acclimatising before continuing to the summit. The extra day at Mawenzi includes trekking around an area of awe-inspiring scenery, and this day helps to increase success rates on the route. On summit night you join the famous Kilimanjaro crater rim at a point known as Gilman’s Point (5685m) before setting off for the 2 ½ to 3-hour return trip to the summit, Uhuru Peak. On the descent from the mountain, you will pick up the busy Marangu route back down the mountain and experience the different terrain that this trek offers. Rongai is a trekking route and there will be no areas where you will be required to use your hands to ascend.

lemosho route vs rongai route

Lemosho Route

This trek comes in from the West and you spend 8 days and 7 nights on the mountain. This will involve 6 ½ days of ascent and 1 ½ of descent. This route is more undulating than Rongai and more time is spent acclimatising as you cross the impressive Shira Plateau. The extra day means that Lemosho8 has a slightly higher summit success rate than Rongai7. It passes through a real mix of terrain from rainforest to desert to glacier. There is one section of the route that may require you to use your hands to ascend – the Barranco Wall. This is not a technical climb but is the only slightly steeper ground on the trek. Those with a real fear of heights may prefer Rongai. However it is only short, not severe, and the guide will be there to assist you all the way. We have never had a trekker fail on the Barranco Wall. After Barranco, the trail heads up Barafu Ridge and then reaches the crater rim at Stella Point (5750m) before you trek around to the summit. Coming down you pick up the Mweka route which allows you to see an alternative side of the mountain, with a very rich rain forest belt.

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Josephat Mashehe is a seasoned Kilimanjaro guide who offers his expertise to those looking to conquer Africa's highest peak. With years of experience under his belt, Josephat provides comprehensive guidance, ensuring a safe and memorable journey for adventurers. His services include detailed planning, safety measures, and on-site assistance, making him an invaluable asset for anyone aiming to tackle the challenging climb of Mount Kilimanjaro.
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