Which Kilimanjaro Route Is Best For You: Lemosho Or Machame? As one of the Seven Summits of the Globe, Kilimanjaro is high on the list of objectives for every ardent hiker. Every year, thousands of people travel to Tanzania to try one of the numerous ascent routes to Mount Kilimanjaro‘s 5,985-meter (19,635-foot) summit. Extreme treks like this one are not always successful because of the numerous difficulties that can arise. For example, some climbers may have to turn around due to altitude sickness or an inability to keep up with the demanding nature of the journey.
However, there are two ways up Mount Kilimanjaro that are significantly simpler for hikers, especially when used in conjunction with the right amount of training and physical preparation. Lemosho and Machame are the names of these routes, and both of them take you through a journey through snow-capped mountain scenery and rough volcanic terrain and result in a euphoric experience unlike any other. Additionally, both of them also have a high success rate due to their longer length and consideration for altitude acclimatization.
Finding the best Kilimanjaro hiking route for you will ensure that your experience is as memorable as the natural beauty of Kilimanjaro. Both routes have advantages and disadvantages, so it is worth weighing them in order to determine which is best for you. Let’s take a close look on each route (Lemosho and Machame) so as you can choose which one to take that suite your physical fitness and interest:
- THE LEMOSHO ROUTE
Pros of Lemosho route
Remote experience: The routes can become somewhat crowded due to the vast number of tourists who attempt the magnificent wonders of a Kilimanjaro climb each year. A more quiet experience to get off the usual path and take in a tranquil climb is provided by the Lemosho route.
Mountain animals: Get up close and personal with Africa’s captivating wildlife as part of your Kilimanjaro hiking safari tour and experience a hitherto unexplored side of the continent. Because there are fewer hikers on this trail, there is a larger chance of seeing wild antelope, buffalo, and perhaps elephants, creating an unforgettable experience in Kilimanjaro’s rainforests.
Scenic: There are many deep gorges (Barranco) carved into the soft rocks and ashes of Kilimanjaro, the Great Barranco being the most magnificent at 4,602 meters (15,100 feet) above sea level. The natural treasures along this walk are extremely spectacular, especially after passing the enormous Lava Tower, a freestanding rock formation with a vertical height of 99 meters (325 feet).
Cons of Lemosho route
Expensive: Lemosho is unquestionably the most expensive of all the Kilimanjaro trekking trails. Less-budget tour companies compete with one another, and there is an additional transportation expense, but if you want a more isolated and quieter route, spending more money is worthwhile (literally).
Long route: Lemosho requires a longer walk, lasting eight days. For those who want to finish the hike as quickly as possible, this can appear to be a drawback, but it actually has benefits. Your chances of reaching the peak are increased since the extended length allows your body to acclimate to the altitude and prevents any severe sickness.
- MACHAME ROUTE
Pros of Machame route
Shorter: The Machame trail is one day shorter than the Lemosho trail and yet has a good success rate. The seven-day option includes a day for climbing high and sleeping low, which supports a nice flow of acclimatization for hikers and improves the likelihood of reaching the summit (although more experienced altitude trekkers can complete it in six days).
Cheaper: Since Machame is a more popular choice, there is a lot of rivalry among tour companies on the Machame path, which results in significantly lower pricing. Therefore, if you want to cut costs while hiking a mountain, this can be the route for you.
Cons of Machame route
Traffic: Over the past few years, this route has gained popularity, and as a result, the track has seen a lot of traffic. However, this may work in your favor if you find comfort in having a large group of people around you, especially if something goes wrong.
Less wildlife: Since there is less wildlife as a result of increased traffic, there is far less chance of spotting mountain critters. The magnificence of Kilimanjaro still permeates this route, so seeing animals is merely a bonus.
Overall, these two routes (Machame and Lemosho) provide breathtaking scenery through four distinct climatic zones and also take altitude acclimatization into account to increase success rates. You just need to decide which route is best for you, and now that you know whether factors like cost, distance, or traffic are important, you can choose accordingly.
GENERAL TIPS FOR TREKKING KILIMANJARO
When to hike: There are two separate trekking seasons on Kilimanjaro, with the first being slightly colder and more likely to have snow on the mountain tops. They are January through March and June through October.
Slow down: It’s understandable that people become confused about how to manage and prevent altitude sickness. The best approach to preventing it, though, is to take your time and savor every moment of this once-in-a-lifetime Kilimanjaro adventure.
Drink a lot: To prevent any potential altitude sickness and keep you feeling your best on the mountain, you should drink the required three liters of water each day in addition to hydration salts.
When trekking, it’s not always required to get in shape, but for Mount Kilimanjaro, it’s imperative. Be sure to have performed some difficult uphill walks before traveling to Africa because the ascent is difficult and takes a long time.
Bring the proper hiking gear: In the chilly climate of Kilimanjaro, thermals, layers, a down jacket, climbing boots, a four-season sleeping bag, and hand warmers are essential. Make sure you have effectively prepared because the wrong equipment (such as trainers or a lack of thermals) can greatly affect your experience.
Conclusion: “No matter what path you choose, it’s crucial to get regular exercise and maintain mental alertness to get yourself ready for the experience. Keep an eye on your health throughout your walk; anything from altitude sickness to muscle pain and anything in between can get deadly on the route”