Total hiking distance: About 96 km’s
(Excluding any acclimatisation hikes on day 3)
Affectionately known as the “Coca-Cola route”, Marangu is by far the most popular route to the summit of Kilimanjaro. This could partly be as a result of the fact that the Marangu is the least expensive route, but more so, perhaps the fact that it is possible to do the Marangu route in 5 days, thereby getting to the summit one day earlier than on the Machame route. This is not always the best way due to a shorter acclimatisation period. The Marangu route does however offer you the option of spending an extra acclimatisation day on the mountain.
This extends the route to a 6-day march, greatly increasing your chances of success. Hut accommodation on the Marangu route forms one of the main differences, compared to the other routes. It offers you the relative luxury of being able to sleep in huts along the entire route. Mineral water, soft drinks, chocolates and beers are also sold at all the camps on this route. All your equipment and supplies are portered and a cook prepares all your meals. For the 5-day route, simply exclude the additional acclimatization day at Horombo hut – day 3 on the itinerary below.
Day 1: Arrival – Moshi
On arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport, met and assisted. Transfer to Keys Annex Hotel for an overnight rest on bed and breakfast in readiness for the next day’s hit to Kilimanjaro.
Day 2: Marangu Gate (1980m) – Mandara hut (2700m)
Hiking time: 5 hours | Distance: About 12 km’s | Habitat: Montane forest
The drive from Moshi to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate, takes about 50 minutes. 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 at the Park office and make their final preparations for the climb.
Make sure that you have all your daypack items (containing at least drinking water, your lunch pack and extra clothing) with you as 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.
Day 3: Mandara hut (2700m) – Horombo hut (3720m)
Hiking time: 6 hours | Distance: About 15 km’s | Habitat: Moorland
From Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, then skirts the base of the Maundi Crater and then emerges into the transition from rain forest to 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.
Day 4: Horombo hut (3720m) – Acclimatisation day
Horombo hut is a village of huts perched on a small plateau, with buildings similar to Mandara, but with a total capacity of 120 climbers! Normally bustling with hikers, guides, porters and 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.
Day 5: Horombo hut (3720m) – Kibo hut (4700m)
Hiking time: 6 hours | Distance: About 15 km’s | Habitat: Alpine desert
After breakfast you now continue your ascent into the Alpine desert habitat. From Horombo there are two trails to the “Saddle” (which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo). There is an upper route (right hand fork) and lower route (left hand fork) to choose from.
Day 6: SUMMIT ATTEMPT, Kibo hut (4700m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo hut (3720m)
Hiking time: 8 hours to Uhuru – 6 hours to descend to Horombo | Distance: 6 km’s ascent – 21 km’s descent | Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night, and 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.
Day 7: Horombo hut (3720m) – Marangu Gate (1980m)
Hiking time: 6 hours | Distance: About 27 km’s
After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. At Marangu gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates.
Day 8: Departure
Transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for your flight back home or continue with your safari schedule. End of services.