TUSKER'S TOP ROUTES
TUSKER TRAIL has crafted four unique climbing experiences that transform an ordinary Kilimanjaro climb into an extraordinary adventure. Tusker climbs two shorter climbing routes and two longer routes, each with a group size of no more than 12 climbers, plus your climbing team.
Each route has its own unique appeal and focuses on a different area of the mountain. It’s best to compare all the attributes of each route before you decide which one fits the experience you’re looking for.
From the Rainforest to the Summit. Narrated by Will Lyman from National Geographic.
SHORTER ROUTES - 9 & 10 DAYS
We run our two shorter climbs – Machame and Marangu – on well-established routes with our renowned hands-on guiding style. You will appreciate the safety-focused elite guiding team as well as our tough modern camp gear. Unforgettable are the incredible meals you’ll enjoy, prepared by Tusker’s famous mountain chefs. When climbing, you will notice that we have designed your climb to avoid other groups whenever possible, making your climb a totally fired up success.
As these routes take less time, they are less expensive to climb. However, due to the shorter length, climbers usually have a slightly tougher time adjusting to the high altitude. On the Machame route, you stay in Tusker’s signature mountain camp with stand-up, walk-in tents, and hot showers every few days. On the Marangu route, you stay in permanent mountain huts strategically located along the climb.
MARANGU ROUTE - 9 DAYS
The Marangu Route was the initial route climbed for the first time in the 1880’s, and it was the only route that Eddie Frank and his team climbed during the 1970s. Sometimes called the “Coca-Cola” route, it’s a mainstay due to its gradual slope, and you stay in cozy alpine mountain huts during your climb.
MACHAME ROUTE - 10 DAYS
SIGNATURE MOUNTAIN CAMP
The Machame Route is a shorter camping route where you enjoy every night in Tusker’s Signature Mountain Camp that includes walk-in tents and showers. Trekking around the southern slopes, you climb to the summit during daylight hours, which allows you to enjoy warmer temperatures and fantastic views.
LONGER ROUTES - 12 & 13 DAYS
Tusker’s two longer routes — Lemosho and Tusker Spiral — are our top climbs run in Tusker’s well-known hands-on guiding style. Longer in duration, we spend more time on the mountain, making these routes best for your summit success, as your body has more time to acclimatize to the high altitude. The groups are limited to 12 climbers, plus the climbing crew. You will stay in Tusker’s signature mountain camp, sleeping in our spacious stand-up, walk-in tents led by Tusker’s elite safety-focused guiding team, and enjoy incredible meals for which Tusker’s mountain chefs are famous. And guess what? You will also have a hot shower every few days.
LEMOSHO ROUTE - 12 DAYS
SIGNATURE MOUNTAIN CAMP
On the Lemosho Route, you approach from the west, with ample time to acclimatize to the high altitude – the key to your summit success. Lemosho has incredible views and is one of the more spectacular routes up Kilimanjaro. You enjoy every night in Tusker’s Signature Mountain Camp that includes walk-in tents and showers.
TUSKER SPIRAL ROUTE - 13 DAYS
SIGNATURE MOUNTAIN CAMP
Tusker has pioneered a new route on Kilimanjaro. On the new Tusker Spiral Route, you start from the north and circumnavigate the entire peak. It’s a spell-binding trek on the isolated landscape of Kilimanjaro’s rarely seen northern and western slopes. You enjoy Tusker’s Signature Mountain Camp that includes walk-in tents and showers.
WHAT'S THE BEST KILIMANJARO ROUTE?
This is the most common question every climber asks before planning their trek to Uhuru Peak – the summit. The simple answer is: It depends on what you are looking for. It’s a very personal decision. Each of our routes has its own advantages and unique points. Things to consider in picking your route include season, weather, views, duration and most of all, the overall experience that suits you.
NEXT - AFTER CHOOSING A ROUTE
After you have decided on your route, it’s best to contact our office to get some tips and advice from one of our Kilimanjaro experts. They will help plan out your pre-climb prep, like fine-tuning your physical conditioning and making sure you select the right outdoor clothes and gear.
WHAT'S THE TUSKER CLIMB LIKE?
You’ve got the gear. You’re in the best shape of your life. Now what? Start climbing! As we operate our own climbing company on Kilimanjaro, we stay connected with you from the day you sign up on your climb until long after you return home. And while in Tanzania, you feel like you are part of a family, with a familiar sense of belonging, sharing a common goal with your guides and your climbing team.
Once you arrive at the airport, your Tusker driver takes you to your hotel in Moshi, which is our base for the first couple of days. This is our oasis in Moshi town, and where you replenish your energy and make last minute plans with your guides. The primary goal of your guides and your porters is your safety and your success on the climb. As you put one foot in front of the other, your crew provides you with valuable advice and tons of information about the habitat, local culture, and the best climbing strategies.
You spend each day on the mountain in a slightly different vegetation zone, so your experience on Kilimanjaro varies by the hour, with every turn on the trail revealing another wonder and another spectacular view. It’s important to take your time climbing, as this is not a race. It’s also the best strategy to allow your body to adjust to the thinning atmosphere. Time is your best friend – use it wisely. Every morning you start your day waking up to a hot cup of coffee or tea and a delicious yet nutritious breakfast to fuel you for the day’s journey. Your camp is transported by the porters each day and set up before you arrive at the end of each day.
EACH DAY'S CLIMBING STRATEGY
Every day has a goal and a purpose. This is to allow you to fully capture the beauty and exhilaration of exploring the spectacular habitat and putting your body through its paces to acclimatize to the altitude. At the end of your day, you arrive at Tusker’s Signature Mountain Camp, which has already been set up by the Tusker crew. You unzip your tent and change into dry, warm clothes and then join your team in the dining tent for tea and fresh popcorn, roasted peanuts, and a hot cup of tea. You then meet with one of your guides who gives you a brief medical check to ensure that all is well. Then the group enjoys a sumptuous dinner and the shared camaraderie while comparing notes of your day’s adventure. It’s exhilarating.
Check out our routes to learn what makes each one amazing in its own way. If you want more details, give us a call and talk to one of our Kilimanjaro experts at our Lake Tahoe USA office. We are happy to help you decide on a route.
WHAT DO YOU BRING?
Your most important gear will be clothing to protect you against the ever-changing weather and the temperature. You probably have some of it in your closet. If this is a one-time experience for you, you can save the expense of buying this gear and rent most of your outer gear from Tusker quite inexpensively. We keep a large supply of top-end gear at our base in Moshi, Tanzania.
There are two things that you can’t rent or buy: your sense of adventure and your sense of humor. And don’t forget a good pair of hiking boots too. If you don’t own a pair, don’t worry. We have worn our fair share boots over our decades of leading treks, and we can point you in the right direction.
WHAT'S A MOUNTAIN CAMP LIKE?
- 4-Season walk-in / stand-up tents
- Costs with comfy air-foam mattresses
- Spacious 4-season dining tents with gas lighting
- Dining tables and camp chairs
- Purified drinking water
- Private toilet tent
- Waterproof drybag (to protect your personal gear)
- Showers and shower tents (on our tented routes)