Kilimanjaro Success Rate By Route To The Summit

The Kilimanjaro Success Rates of climbing Kilimanjaro vary greatly depending on the route chosen. The average summit success rate across all climbers and routes is 65%, according to research published by the Climb Kilimanjaro Guide. However, the success rate heavily depends upon what route is climbed, as routes vary considerably in terms of acclimatization profile and duration of the climb. There are six official climbing routes on Kilimanjaro: Northern Circuit, Machame, Marangu, Rongai, Londorossi Lemosho, Umbwe, Shira, and Mweka (descent only). The Marangu Route is the easiest ascent of Kilimanjaro. The Northern circuit route has the highest success rate, with an estimated 95% summit success rate. The average success rate of reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro is somewhere between 70% and 80% across all tour operators. This means that roughly three-quarters of hikers who embark on this trek successfully make it to Uhuru Peak, the highest point on the mountain.

That said, Kilimanjaro’s success rates vary depending on several factors. The route you choose, the duration of your trek, the operators you go with, your physical fitness, and acclimatization all play a part in successfully submitting. If you want to take on this iconic adventure, here’s the information you need to increase your prospects of reaching the “Roof of Africa”.

Mount Kilimanjaro Success Rate

Kilimanjaro Success Rates By Route

The official success rate data is outdated. These statistics were kept by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (KINAPA), and the data was obtained in the early 2000s – nearly twenty years ago! Two decades have passed since then, but more current data on summit success rates have yet to be obtained officially from KINAPA. These official (though outdated) records state the following summit success rate for Kilimanjaro:

Machame Route Success Rate

Average success rate: 85%

The Machame route is immensely popular, with around half of all the 30,000 hikers who trek the mountain annually choosing it. On Mount Kilimanjaro Guide, you’ll find two itineraries on the Machame route – a  6-day Machame route and a 7-day Machame route 

The “climb high, sleep low” profile of both itineraries contributes to a high success rate, particularly for the 7-day option. For this reason, the 7-day Machame trek is one that we highly recommend.

Lemosho Route Success Rate

Average success rate: 90%

The Lemosho route is quickly becoming a favorite with our guests, as it typically experiences less traffic. It offers a good trekking acclimatization profile, stunning scenery, and a longer itinerary.  you’ll find an  8-day lemosho trek and a 7-day lemosho trek Again, we lean towards recommending the longer itinerary for a better experience on the trail.

Rongai Route Success Rate

Average success rate: 85 %

The Rongai route is unique as it starts from the northeastern side of Kilimanjaro, near the Kenyan border.  in a 7-day rongai route it doesn’t provide as good a “climb high, sleep low” profile as other routes. But, it follows a more gradual ascent, and the longer itinerary helps you trek and acclimatize comfortably.

Marangu Route Success Rate

Average success rate: 70%

The Marangu route, also called the Kilimanjaro Coca-Cola route, is the oldest and most well-trodden trail on the mountain. It is the only route that offers hut accommodation, and for that reason, often believed to be the ‘easiest.’ Because there’s no camping, it’s lighter work for the porter team as there’s no need to carry camping equipment up and down the mountain. Historically, this route had a lower success rate, often below 60%. But this is likely a reflection of the 5-day itinerary, which was popular with tour operators. Nowadays, it’s usually trekked over 6 days Marangu, which has improved the average summit rates.

Northern Circuit Success Rate

Average success rate: 95%

As the newest and longest route, the Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit sees a pretty high success rate, with an average of around 95%. Generally speaking, the longer 9-day itinerary provides ample time for acclimatization as you spend more time on the mountain.

Which Kilimanjaro Route Has The Highest Success Rate?

Picking the right route on Kilimanjaro is one of the most important things for your climb. The route you pick is going to determine whether you will reach the summit successfully. And it will also affect how much you will enjoy the entire journey.  So which Kilimanjaro route has the highest success rate? There are 7 routes on Kilimanjaro. These 4 routes have the highest success rates — Lemosho Route, Machame Route, Northern Circuit Route, and Rongai Route. It is estimated that the success rates on these routes are above 80%. However, the success rates are also affected by the number of days allocated for the climbs on these routes. Just cutting back a day will reduce the success rates significantly. Additionally, there are many differences between these 4 routes. You should keep them in mind when selecting your preferred Kilimanjaro route. Read on to find out more.

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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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