6 Days Marangu Route

marangu Africa Safari

Route Overview

Also known as the “Coca Cola route” – the Marangu route is one of the most popular routes leading to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Many hikers believe that the Marangu route is the easiest route to Uhuru peak, since it is the only route which can be hiked in 5 days (making it the cheapest option). However, we strongly recommend hiking the route over 6 days to increase your chances of reaching the summit successfully. Note that this is the only route that provides communal sleeping huts, equipped with beds and mattresses at every overnight site. Some basic goods such as mineral water, beer and chocolates are also sold at most sites. The Marangu route takes the same route for both ascend and descend.

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Route Itinerary

Day 1: Airport Pick-up


Upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport, our transfer guide will warmly welcome you. You will be driven to your hotel in Moshi, where you can settle in and relax. In the evening, you will have a brief meeting with your mountain guide to discuss the climb scheduled for the next day. Your guide will also check your climbing gear and equipment to ensure everything is in order.

Meals: Dinner

Day 2: Marangu Gate (1860m) – Mandara Hut (2715m)


Hiking time: 5 hours, Distance: Approximately 8.1 km, Habitat: Montane Forest

After breakfast, we will embark on a 50-minute drive from Moshi to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate. As we pass through the village of Marangu, situated on the lower slopes of the mountain, you will catch glimpses of the local life and scenery. Upon reaching the park gate, all hikers are required to sign in at the Park office and finalize their preparations for the climb. Our porters will organize and load their packs with food, water, cooking gas, and most of the equipment.

From the park gate, we will start ascending on a well-defined trail through the enchanting rainforest, where you may spot various wildlife species. An alternate, more scenic trail branches off to the left, offering you the opportunity to explore the forest’s edge and rejoin the main trail either after 1.5 hours of hiking or 1 hour before reaching Mandara Hut. Mandara Hut, located in a picturesque forest clearing, consists of comfortable wooden A-framed huts. Each hut features sleeping bunks with solar-generated lighting. The camp can accommodate up to 60 climbers. Water is piped into the camp from nearby springs, and there are flush toilets behind the main hut.

Meals: Full board

Day 3: Mandara Hut (2715m) – Horombo Hut (3705m)


Hiking time: 6 hours, Distance: Approximately 11.6 km, Habitat: Moorland

Today’s trek begins with a short stretch through the forest before transitioning from the rainforest to the moorland. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to explore the Maundi Crater’s rim, which provides a magnificent view of the Kibo Crater and, on clear days, the majestic glaciers glistening in the morning sun.

As we continue through the open moorland, you will encounter some of Kilimanjaro’s unique plant life, such as the towering giant lobelias and the giant groundsel. After approximately 6 hours of trekking, we will reach Horombo Hut, where we will spend the night.

Meals: Full board

Day 4: Horombo Hut (3705m) – Kibo Hut (4730m)


Hiking time: 6 hours, Distance: Approximately 9.6 km, Habitat: Alpine Desert

Following breakfast, we resume our ascent through the alpine desert habitat. From Horombo Hut, there are two trail options to reach the “Saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo peaks. The upper route (right-hand fork) will be familiar to you, as you have already traversed most of it on the previous day toward Mawenzi Hut. This section is characterized by rocky and eroded terrain.

Alternatively, the recommended lower route (left-hand fork) is easier, shorter, and features the last watering point at 4130m. Make sure to fill your water bottles with enough water to last until your return to Horombo Hut in two nights, unless you prefer to purchase mineral water at Kibo Hut.

Situated in the barren alpine desert, Kibo Hut offers stone-built accommodation with bunk beds for up to 60 climbers. However, there are no water sources nearby. Mineral water and soft drinks can be purchased at the camp office. Platform toilets are available behind the hut. This evening, you will prepare your equipment, including ski sticks and thermal clothing, in readiness for the final ascent. It is recommended to carry water in a thermal flask to prevent freezing.

Meals: Full board

Day 5: Kibo Hut (4730m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo Hut (3705m)


Hiking time: 7 to 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak | 6 to 8 hours to descend to Horombo Distance: Approximately 5.4 km ascent and 15 km descent Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

Today is the day you’ve been waiting for – summit day. You will wake up around 23:20 and, after some tea and biscuits, begin your ascent in the dark. The initial section of the trail is rocky and leads to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), a suitable resting spot. From there, the path zigzags up to Gillman’s Point (5681m) on the crater rim. This stretch is steep, covered in scree, and demands significant physical and mental effort. It is considered the most challenging part of the entire route. Take your time, maintain a steady pace, and conserve your energy.

From Gillman’s Point, the trail is mostly snow-covered as you continue towards Uhuru Peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. The amount of time you can spend on the summit will depend on weather conditions. Take in the breathtaking views and capture memorable photographs before commencing the 3-hour descent back to Kibo Hut. After a short rest, you will collect your gear and head down to Horombo Hut (6 hours), where you will spend the night. The descent to Horombo Hut often feels quicker than the ascent. Today will be a physically demanding day, with a total walking time of approximately 14 hours.

Meals: Full board

Day 6: Horombo Hut (3705m) – Marangu Gate (1860m)


Hiking time: 6 hours, Distance: Approximately 19.7 km

After breakfast, we will commence the final descent (6 hours) from Horombo Hut. Passing by Mandara Hut, we will continue down to the Marangu Gate. At the gate, you will receive your summit certificates. Climbers who reached Gillman’s Point (5685m) are awarded green certificates, while those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. From there, we will drive back to Moshi/Arusha, where you can enjoy a well-deserved hot shower, a delicious meal, and celebrate your remarkable achievement.

Meals: Full board

Book This Tour

Book This Tour

Price Will Include


 

  • Park fees
  • All activities (unless labeled as optional)
  • All accommodations as stated in the itinerary
  • A professional driver/guide
  • All transportation (unless labeled as optional)
  • All Taxes/VAT
  • Roundtrip airport transfer
  • All Meals (as specified in the day-by-day section)
  • Camping Equipment
  • Porterage

 

Price Will not Include


 

  • International flights (from/to home)
  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
  • Tips (tipping guideline US$20.00 pp per day)
  • Personal items (souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
  • Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees
  • Alcohol drinks
  • Rescue Fee
  • Climbing Gear
  • Sleeping Bag

Design your own trip.

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