CLIMBING MT KILIMANJARO
Marangu Route |Machame Route |Umbwe Route
There are five main routes to the top -- Marangu, Shira, Mweka, Umbwe and Machame. The most popular route is the Marangu Route which starts at the Marangu Gate at 6000 ft. and has huts and facilities along the way. The other routes are more scenic with stunning views of the glaciers. They are also more challenging for the advanced trekker, requiring special permission and the use of tents. Regardless of the route taken, the vistas are magnificent and the flora and fauna of the different life zones are fascinating. Rain forests give way to moorlands and alpine meadows until these, too, give way to an alpine desert where lichens cling tenuously to rocks. The landscape, though desolate, is hauntingly beautiful as you walk among the clouds.
The mountain consists of three volcanoes: Shira, Mawenzi and Kibo. Shira became extinct and collapsed leaving a series of rocky ridges on the Shira plateau. Mawenzi is dormant and its jagged peaks require a technical climb. Uhuru Peak, (19,340 ft.) is Kibo's highest peak but one is considered to have "conquered" the mountain by reaching Gillman's Point at 18,635 ft.