Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu Route
Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu Route is Immortalized by the words of the great Ernest Hemingway, Mount Kilimanjaro has long held a mystical place in the popular imagination. Climbing this fabled mountain is a tantalizing feat that can test a person’s limits of strength and endurance, but at the same time reward them sights and sounds that are indescribable to those who have never risen to the challenge.
Day 1: Arusha – Kilimanjaro Marangu Route Gate
The drive from Arusha to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate takes about 1.5 hours. The journey passes through the village of Marangu, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. Once you reach the park gate, all hikers are requested to sign in and make their final preparations for the climb. You will only be responsible for your day pack. Porters will be packing the food, water, cooking gas as well as most of your equipment. Make sure that you have all your day pack items with you ( at least drinking water, your lunch pack and extra clothing) because the porters ascend a lot quicker than the hikers. Our guides will be available to assist with any additional information or needs you might have. You now leave the park gate and ascend on a cleared ridge trail through the rain-forest. The forest, shrouded in mist and dripping with beards of moss, is also where most of Kilimanjaro’s animals are found.
Hiking time: 5h Distance: Approximately 12kms
Day 2: Mandara Huts – Horombo Huts – Mandara hut (2700m) to Horombo hut (3720m)
From Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, then skirts the base of the Maundi Crater and then emerges into moorland. It is well worth a short detour to scramble up the rim of the Maundi Crater for your first really impressive view of the Kibo Crater. On a clear day, Kibo will glimmer in the distance, showing off her majestic glaciers in the morning sun. Once you are in the open moorland you will get the chance to see some of Kilimanjaro’s most spectacular plants – the endemic giant lobelia which grows up to 3 m in height and the giant groundsel (Senecia Kilimanjaro), which can reach heights of 5m! After about 6 hours from here you reach the Horombo hut, where you will have hot water, an evening meal and a comfortable place to sleep.
Hiking time: 6h Distance: Approximately 15kms
Day 3: Horombo Huts – Zebra Rocks – Horombo Huts – Acclimatization day at Horombo hut
Horombo is a group of huts perched on a small plateau, with buildings similar to Mandara, but with a total capacity of 120 climbers! Horombo is normally bustling with hikers, guides and porters, with an atmosphere of adventure and excitement. You will meet both ascending and descending hikers here. This extra day and night at Horombo is for additional acclimatisation. A hike towards the Mawenzi hut, passing the Zebra Rocks on the way (about 3 hours up and 1,5 hours down), is strongly recommended. This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatisation. Remember to drink enough water and move slowly! All meals for the day are provided at the hut. Retire to bed early and get a last good night’s rest.
Day 4: Horombo Huts – Kibo Huts – Horombo hut (3720m) to the Kibo hut (4700m)
After breakfast you’ll continue your ascent into the alpine desert. From Horombo there are two trails to the “Saddle” (the area between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo). There is an upper route (right hand fork) and lower route (left hand fork) to choose from. The upper route will be very familiar, as you will have climbed most of it the previous day towards Mawenzi hut. It is very stony and eroded. The recommended lower route (left hand fork) is much easier and nearly an hour shorter, and it also passes the last watering point at 4130m. Situated in the barren alpine desert is Kibo hut, a stone built block house which has bunk beds for 60 climbers, but no streams with water nearby. It is however possible to buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. There are platform toilets behind the hut. The summit is now a further 1195m up and you will make your final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, walking poles and thermal clothing for your summit bid. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible. Rest well for next day you will be making a summit attempt.
Hiking time: 6h Distance: Approximately 15kms
Day 5: Kibo Huts – Uhuru Peak – Horombo Hut – Summit Attempt Day
You’ll be getting up around 11:30pm and after some tea and biscuits shuffling off into the night. This is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up toGillman’s point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort. This is probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly. From Gillmans Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up toUhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend, taking photographs, before the 3 hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest you gather all your gear you left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) for your overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office) on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Hiking time: 8h to Uhuru, 6h to get to Horombo Distance: Approximately 6kms ascent,
Day 6: Horombo Hut – 21kms descent
You’ve defeated the mighty Mt. Kilimanjaro! After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. At Marangu gate you sign your name and details in the register. This is where successful climbers receive their summit certificates.
Those climbers who reachedGillman’s Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive gold certificates. You now drive back to Arusha or Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and festivities!
Hiking time: 6h Distance: Approximately 27kms
Day 7: Arusha – Departure Day
Today is your final day to snap up some quick souvenirs before being taken to the airport in time for your international flight back home or on to your next destination.
- Local tourist taxes
- All mountain trekking fees
- Certified and Experienced Mountain guides and Porter
- All meals as mentioned in the itinerary – ( Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner )
- Pick up from airport of arrival and drop off to the airport of departure while on safari
- Full board Accommodation and If accommodation is fully booked we’ll suggest a comparable alternative
- International flights
- Tips and gratuities, which are optional
- Airport customs entry visas (currently US$ 50 per person)
- Optional safari tours to Northern National Park
**PLEASE NOTE: The tour can be upgraded to a higher standard accommodation at an extra cost. It can also be cheaper if less expensive (but still good quality) accommodation is used. The final cost of the tour depends on your budget and preference.