Rising at 5895 meters above sea level (more than 3 miles) above the surrounding plains, Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s tallest mountain, and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world. Kilimanjaro captures the imagination of climbers worldwide, but its mystique cannot be explained by the facts about it. Many would say that Kilimanjaro’s allure cannot be explained at all, but must be experienced.
There are four main routes available to climbers. The most popular for ascent and descent is the Marangu Route, which is the steepest and quickest way up and down, and which is dotted with rustic cabins. Also available is the Machame Route, which is slower and more sedate than the Marangu Route and takes a few days more. It also is not provided with huts and camping is necessary, but it has more varied scenery. The Shira Route is drivable up to 3600 meters, but takes more time than the others if you choose to walk the whole way along the Lemosho Route, which joins the Shira Route at the top of the drivable portion. They are considerably more scenic than the other routes, passing through the forest canopy along an elephant migration route. Whatever route you choose, experienced guides are able to lead you safely to the top.