Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu Route is the easiest and shortest route to Kilimanjaro’s summit and is known as the “Coca Cola” or “tourist” route. This is the only route on Kilimanjaro with the comforts of solar-powered sleeping huts and comfortable beds at every camp. The huts are communal, and each bunk has a sponge mattress and pillow.
There are 60 beds at Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu Route at Mandara and Kibo Huts and 120 beds at Horombo Hut. All climbing groups, often from several countries around the world, share meals in dining huts providing a jovial and energetic atmosphere. Soft drinks, bottled water, and beer may be for sale at the huts. This route is usually done in 5 days, but you can do it in 6 days for better acclimatization. You can spend your extra day resting at Horombo or climbing to a basecamp below Kibo’s sub peak Mawenzi.
Welcome to Tanzania! Upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) you will be met by your driver/guide and transferred to Arusha for overnight. The rest of the day is free, enjoy the accommodations tranquil natural setting as you settle in for your first night in Tanzania. Take a stroll, enjoy the sights and sounds. Get plenty of rest tomorrow will be huge!
Dinner and overnight at Maura Apartment.
After breakfast and a briefing from your guide, leave Moshi at 9 AM, drive for 45 minutes to the Marangu Gate on the eastern side of Kilimanjaro, register with the national park, and begin hiking at 10:30 AM. In the rainforest, look for towering Eucalyptus trees, bird life, and Colubus monkeys. At these lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy, so gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts should be sufficient, but keep your rain gear and warmer clothing handy. Stop halfway for lunch, and reach the Mandara Huts at 2 or 3 PM. Unpack, rest, and have some tea or coffee. A 15 minute side trip to Maundy Crater is a good way to see the surroundings including Northern Tanzania and Kenya. Dinner is served during the early evening at 7 PM. Bathrooms with running water are available.
Arusha to Marangu gate - 2 hr 46 min (119.3 km)
Marangu Gate (1,870 meters) to Mandara Hut (2,700 meters)
Distance: 8km / 5 miles
Trekking time: 4-6 hours
Dinner and overnight at Mandara Hut
Today your day begins with an early start. You will be served breakfast and should be on your way by latest 08:30.
The trek continues through the rainforest, around the base of the Maundi Crater and then transitions rather rapidly into the low alpine moorland zone.
If the weather is clear you should definitely take the opportunity to scramble up the Maundi Crater to get your first full view of Kibo.
During the trek you will also see giant lobelias which are scattered throughout the landscape at this altitude. Day two takes approximately 6-8 hours to complete and covers a significant distance (11.5km / 7miles).
At Horombo Hut (3,720 meters) you will be served dinner and shown to your sleeping quarters for the night.
Mandara Hut (2,700 meters) to Horombo Hut (3,720 meters)
Distance: 12km / 7 miles
Trekking time: 6-8 hours
Zone: Rainforest / Low-alpine zone
Dinner and overnight at Horombo Hut.
Wake to breakfast as usual, but if you wake early you can get some great photos of the sunrise. The first part of the day’s hike climbs through the dwindling heath land that blends into a moonscape as you enter the sweeping saddle connecting Mawenzi and Kibo. When you stop for lunch, and later when you cross this surprisingly large saddle, you can examine the summit climb up Kibo that you will be starting in just a few hours. Be careful to notice any signs of altitude sickness. There is no running water at the Kibo Huts.
Horombo Hut (3,720 meters) to Kibo Hut (4,700 meters)
Distance: 10 km / 6 miles
Trekking time: 5-7 hours
Zone: Low-alpine zone / High-alpine zone
Dinner and overnight at Kibo Hut.
Wake at midnight to a light breakfast, and then prepare for your summit ascent. The goal is to climb before dawn so that you can reach Uhuru Peak shortly after sunrise. Leave at 1 AM, switchback up steep scree or possibly snow, and reach Gilman’s Point on the crater rim at 5,861 m/18,640 ft between 5 and 7 AM. Here, views of the fabled crater and its icecaps greet you. Another 2 hours of hiking along the crater rim near the celebrated snows takes you to Kilimanjaro true summit, Uhuru Peak, by 9 AM.
This is Africa’s highest point, and you would have to travel more than 3,000 miles toward the Himalayas to find a higher peak! Be sure to have your picture taken at the summit to show your friends. After your summit stay, descend back to the Kibo Huts, have lunch, rest, collect your things, and re cross the saddle to the Horombo Huts. Eat dinner and get some well-deserved sleep!
You do the beginning of this climb in the dark with 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. Slowly slowly, or, “pole pole,” and an optimistic attitude will get you there!
Summit Day! Kibo Huts (4,695 m/15,400 ft)
Uhuru Peak (5,895 m/19,340 ft) to Horombo Huts (3,690 m/12,100 ft)
4 km up, 14 km down – 10-15 hours – Alpine Desert
Dinner and overnight at Horobo Hut.
Wake as usual, pack, and descend through the moorland to the Mandara Huts. Have lunch there then continue your triumphant recessional down through lush forest to the park gate, which you should reach around 2 or 3 PM. Remember to tip your guides, cooks, and porters, since you will be leaving them here. A vehicle will take you back to Arusha where it is definitely time for celebration!
Horombo Huts (3,690 m/12,100 ft)
Marangu Gate (1,830 m/6,000 ft) to Moshi (890 m/2,920 ft)
18 km, 5-7 hours
Dinner and Overnight at Maura Apartment
It’s the final day in mainland Tanzania, depending with the time of your flight departure, be sure to grab any last minute souvenirs you may want and say one last goodbye to the the new friends you made in Tanzania before. Our drive will come to the hotel to pick you up for trip to the Airport to catch a flight back home.
Or else a trip to the beaches at Zanzibar is a good way to recuperate. We can also arrange many reasonably priced safaris before Mount Kilimanjaro trek to help with acclimatization.
Kwa heri ya kuonana – (Good bye and see you again).