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Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu Route

Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu route is the only route which offers sleeping huts in dormitory style accommodations in lieu of camping.

The Marangu Route also known as Coca-Cola route is the oldest on Kilimanjaro and is also one of the most popular routes to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro.
Many favours the Marangu route because it is considered to be the easiest path on the mountain, given its gradual slope. The Marangu route can be completed in 5 days, though the probability of successfully reaching the top in that time period is quite low. Spending an extra day to acclimatize on the mountain is highly recommended when climbing Kilimanjaro using the Marangu route.
The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the southeast. Despite its immense popularity the main setback on the Marangu Route is that the route has the least scenic variety of all the routes, the ascent and descent along the same path, hence it is the most crowded route for that reason.

OUR PROGRAM

Day 1:  Marangu Gate to Mandara Hut

After breakfast, we drive to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (about 1 hour), where we register and commence the climb. The walk starts through the rainforest to the Mandara encampment. A side trip to Maundi Crater is a good way to see the surroundings including Northern Tanzania, and Kenya. In the rainforest, look for towering Eucalyptus trees, bird life, and Colobus monkeys.

Marangu Gate to Mandara Hut
Elevation: 1,843m/6,046ft to 2,700m/8,858ft
Distance: 8km/5miles
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Zone: Rainforest

Day 2: Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut

After breakfast and your first daily medical checkup, we leave the glades of the rainforest and follow an ascending path into the open moorlands of the Horombo encampment. The views of Mawenzi and the summit of Kibo here are amazing! Look for giant lobelias and groundsels. You may begin to feel the altitude.

Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut
Elevation: 2,700m/8,875ft to 3,700 m/12,200ft
Distance: 12km/7.5miles
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Zone: Heathland

Day 3: Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut

After breakfast and your first daily medical checkup, we will start to ascend. This is where we pass the last watering point while we are walking onto the saddle of Kilimanjaro between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. Vegetation begins with upper heathland but then disappears into “moonscape”. Dinner, rest, and prepare for
summit climb.

Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut
Elevation: 3,700m/12,200ft to 4,700m/15,500ft
Distance: 10km/6miles
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Zone: Alpine Desert

Day 4: Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak, and down to Horombo Hut

Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we will commence the climb to the summit on steep and heavy scree or snow up to Gilman’s point located on the crater rim. Continuing, we now ascend to Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point in Africa. There are unbelievable views at every turn. Have your picture taken at the summit to show your friends and family! From here we descend, stopping for lunch and a rest at Kibo before continuing on to the Horombo encampment. The beginning of this climb is done in the dark and requires headlamps or flashlights. It will be very cold until you start descending, so you will need all of your warm layers. This is by far the most difficult part of the trek with many switchbacks. Going slowly “pole pole” and an optimistic attitude will get you there!

Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak
Elevation: 4,703m/15,430ft to 5,895m/19,341ft
Distance: 6km/6miles
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Zone: Arctic

Uhuru Peak to Horombo Hut
Elevation: 5,895m/19,341ft to 3,734m/12,250ft
Distance: 16km/10miles
Hiking Time: 5-8 hours
Zone: Heath

Day 5: Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate

After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to the Mandara Hut. Continue descending through the lush forest path until we reach the National Park gate at Marangu. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help.

Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate
Elevation: 3,700m/12,200ft to 1,700 m/5,500ft
Distance: 20km/12.5miles
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Zone: Rainforest

At Marangu Gate you will receive your summit certificates. A vehicle will be waiting for us at the gate to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 1 hour).

Congratulations!

OUR PROGRAM

Day 1: Marangu Gate to Mandara Hut

Departing from Moshi a 45-minute drive we will go through the Village of Machame to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. We will patiently wait for our permits to be issued while watching the hustle and bustle of operations as many crews prepare for the journey ahead Enjoy the beautiful rainforest scenery and windy trails while your guide tells you about the local flora and fauna and natural wildlife. At these lower elevations, the trail can be muddy and quite slippery. We highly recommend gaiters and trekking poles here.

Marangu Gate to Mandara Hut
Elevation: 1,843m/6,046ft to 2,700m/8,858ft
Distance: 8km/5miles
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Zone: Rainforest

Day 2: Mandara Huts to Horombo Huts

After a good night sleep and a hearty breakfast, we emerge from the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, through heathland, looking for giant lobelias and groundsels. Continue up into open moorlands where small shrubs are the main vegetation. Stop halfway for lunch, to enjoy amazing views of Mawenzi. Arrive at the Horombo Huts late afternoon beneath the spectacular Kibo Summit viewpoint. Temperatures begin to drop.

Mandara Huts to Horombo Huts
Elevation: 2,700m/8,875ft to 3,700 m/12,200ft
Distance: 12km/7.5miles
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Zone: Heathland

Day 3: Horombo Huts  

We will spend a full day and a second night at Horombo. On this day, you can either rest at the huts or take a stroll up to the Mawenzi base camp then return to the Horombo Huts. This extra day will help your acclimatization, and further your understanding of the mountains weather and altitude. After our pause, we will continue up to the Kibo Huts on our fourth day for our midnight start to the summit.

Day 4: Horombo Huts to Kibo Huts

After breakfast, we continue on through the dwindling heathland that blends into a moonscape as you enter the sweeping saddle connecting Mawenzi and Kibo. Here while we stop for lunch, and later when we cross this surprisingly large saddle, we can examine the summit climb up Kibo that we will be starting in just a few hours.

Horombo Huts to Kibo Huts
Elevation: 3,721m/12,208ft to 4,714m/15,466ft
Distance: 10km/6miles
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Habitat: Alpine-desert

Day 5: Kibo Huts to Uhuru Summit to Horombo Huts

Excitement is building as morning comes with an early start between midnight and 2 a.m. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek.

We continue our way to the summit in a switchback formation through trying to stay warm and focused on the amazing sense of accomplishment that lies ahead. With a switchback motion, we ascend through heavy scree and possibly snow towards Gillman’s Point on the crater rim. We will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise during our short rest here. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit. From here on our remaining 1-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak, we are likely to encounter snow all the way.

Congratulations, one step at a time you have now reached Uhuru Peak the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the entire continent of Africa!

Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak
Elevation: 4,703m/15,430ft to 5,895m/19,341ft
Distance: 6km/6miles
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Zone: Arctic

After photos, celebrations and maybe a few tears of joy we take a few moments to enjoy this incredible accomplishment. We begin our steep descent down to Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch and a very brief rest. We strongly recommend gaiters and trekking poles for uncooperative loose gravel and volcano ash terrain. Well-deserved rest awaits us to enjoy our last evening on the mountain. Overnight Mweka Camp.

Descent to to Horombo Huts
Elevation: 5,895m/19,341ft to 3,734m/12,250ft
Distance: 16km/10miles
Hiking Time: 5-8 hours
Zone: Heath

Day 6: Horombo Huts to Marangu Gate

After breakfast and a heartfelt ceremony of appreciation and team bonding with your crew, it’s time to say goodbye. We continue the descent down stopping at the Mandara Huts for lunch. Remember to tip your guides, cooks, and porters, since you will be leaving them here. We return to the Marangu Park Gate and receive your summit certificates. As the weather is drastically warmer, the terrain is wet, muddy, and steep we highly recommend gaiters and trekking poles. From the gate, a vehicle will meet us to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 45 minutes). Enjoy a long overdue hot shower, dinner, and celebrations!

Horombo Huts to Marangu Gate
Elevation: 3,700m/12,200ft to 1,700 m/5,500ft
Distance: 20km/12.5miles
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Zone: Rainforest

At Marangu Gate you will receive your summit certificates. A vehicle will be waiting for us at the gate to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 1 hour).

Congratulations!

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