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Kilimanjaro Marangu Route: 5 or 6 days – All Facts, pro’s & con’s!

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Kilimanjaro Marangu route: In short

The Marangu Route or ‘Coca Cola route’ is the oldest and most established of all the Kilimanjaro Routes. While climbing the Marangu Route, you’ll sleep in several established Huts instead of the usual tents. This is the only route of all routes that provides hut-accommodation (dormitory style). The Marangu Route is also the shortest and because of that, most challenging route in terms of acclimating your body to the high altitudes. It might be one of the most popular routes due to its (easier) gradual slope and direct route, but its a very hard one not to underestimate. Some prior training is keen to succesfully reaching the top on the Marangu route.

The Marangu can be done is 5 or 6 days and is the cheapest way reach the top, but also has the least time to truly enjoy several sights n the mountain. So if ’taking on the challenge and reaching the top’ is your main goal, this is the right route for you. If you want to ascent slowly (acclimate your body better) & take your time enjoy several sights on the mountain, then it might be better to choose any of the other routes. This of course depends on your time and budget. 

During these 5/6 days we’ll be camping at the established Huts and reach the top of Kilimanjaro at day 4/5 (at sunrise). You’ll climb together with a solid team. Professional guides, porters and a cook. Our professional guides will guide you to the top and provide you with all the nessecary information, tips & tricks to ensure you will reach the top. All of our guides are specially trained and have years of experience. Our porters will carry all your belonings, tents & food, so you can climb at ease with only your daypack. The cook is your best friend, he’ll make sure you’ll never feel hungry.  

 

 

Combine Kilimanjaro with Safari or Zanzibar
Highlights of this trip
  • Roof of Africa af SUNRISE
  • Shortest and cheapest route!
  • Maundi Crater, Zebra Rock & 'The Saddle'
  • Classic Adventure! Hiking & Camping
  • Great team who will make sure you'll reach the top
Marangu Route: Impressions

Trip itinerary

DAY 1 of the Marangu Route - Reach 2700m - 5hours - 8km - Rainforest

Marangu Gate - Mandara Hut

On the first day of the Kilimanjaro Marangu route, we´ll drive from Moshi to the Marangu gate of Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. The journey passes through the village of Marangu, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. In about 50 minutes we will reach the gate. After reaching the gate, we´ll begin our final preparations so you´ll be fully ready. Porters will be seen arranging and loading their packs, containing the food, water, cooking gas as well as most of your equipment. 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.

Starting from the gate, we’ll ascent on a cleared ridge trail to Mandara Hut passing through rain forest where you can see vervet monkeys, birds like the turraco, trees like Macaranga Kilimandscharica, flowers like yellow impatiens kilimajari, our hike brings us trough the forest at the feet of Kilimanjaro, all the way to the first camp. Here we rest, have dinner together and overnight.

You ascend a cleared ridge trail to Mandara Hut passing through rainforest. The forest is suffused with mist and dripping with beards of moss. Here are most of Kilimanjaro’s animals & plants found are you’re quite likely to encounter some velvet monkeys, birds like the turraco, unique trees and eyecatching flowers. We shall overnight at Mandara Hut in A- shape wooden huts.

DAY 2 - Reach 3720m - 6hours - 11,6 km - Moorland

Mandara Hut - Horombo Hut

From the Mandara Huts, the trail passes through a short stretch of forest and skirts the base of Maundi Crater, crosses a meadow and a wooded stream, then emerges into grassland. After we can take a short detour to scramble up to the rim of Maundi Crater. Here you will have an amazing view of Kibo and its crater. The trail descends further down through moorland. Before reaching Horombo Hut 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 Kilimanjari), which can reach heights of 5m! Once we reach a rocky valley we will find ourselves at Horombo Hut where we eat, rest and enjoy share stories of the climb.

 

DAY 3 - Reach 4200m and down to 3720m - 4,5 hours - Alpine Desert

Acclimatisation day (optional)

Even though this day is listed as ‘optional’, it is strongly recommended to take advantage of this day of rest and acclimatisation. “This day will let your body get used to the high altitude. We walk up high, and sleep low again. We recommend doing so if you have little (high altitude) climbing experience and don’t know how your body will react. This will increase your chances of succes greatly.” 

After breakfast the guide shall take you to climb high to the Zebra rock 4100m or Saddle point 4200m (walk high), to enjoy some great sceneries. After our visit, we will head back to Horombo Hut at 3720m to sleep low again. Back at Horombo we will have lunch, dinner and overnight. Make sure to get a good nights rest as the next day is a tough day where people usually start having trouble with the high altitude. Make sure to go very Pole Pole (Kiswahili for Slowly, Slowly), one breath and one step at a time and drink lots of water.

 

 

DAY 4 - Reach 4700m - 7hours - 10km - Alpine Desert

Horombo Hut - Kibo Hut

Today will be a very tiring trek, so remember to walk slowly and drink plenty. After breakfast we will ascend the alpine desert. From Horombo Hut there are two trails to the Saddle (the area between Kibo and Mawenzi which is almost 7kms). The right fork is very stony and eroded and is the most direct route to the Saddle and Mawenzi. From the Saddle (about 2hours from Horombo), there are trails to Mawenzi Hut (1hour) or Mawenzi Tarn Hut (2hours) and across the length of the saddle to Kibo Hut (3hours). The left fork from Horombo Hut is an easier trail and emerges on the saddle much closer and passing the last water point 4130m to Kibo and about 1km from Kibo Hut. Make sure to to fill your waterbottles with plenty of water at the last water point to last you untill you return to Horombo. You can however, buy miniral water at Kibo Hut.

Situated in the barren Alpine desert is Kibo hut, a stone build block house which has bunk beds for 60 climbers. The summit is now a further 1195m up and you will make your final ascent the same night. Prepare for the next night, as it will be a short one… SUMMIT NIGHT.

DAY 5 - Reach the Peak! (5895m) 7-8hours - 5,4km up > then down to 3720m - 6-7hours - 15km

ROOF OF AFRICA! Kibo Hut - UHURU peak - Horombo Hut

In the early, early morning. Still shivering from our short and cold night, we will enjoy warm coffee or tea together to lift our spirits. Now we will hike in the dark, with flashlights towards the summit of Uhuru peak at 5895meters high. 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 to Gillman’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. From Gillmans Point you will normally encounter snow all the way to stella’s point and then to the peak. If we made it in time, we will enjoy one of the most beautiful sunrises in the world and all the pain and suffer from the climb will be forgotten. These experiences is why we do all these crazy things, because in the end they’re all worth it. Uhuru Peak is the highest points of Kilimanjaro and whole Africa as a matter of fact. A place to never forget. 

Make sure to bring two sets of clothing, as the night will be bitterly cold, but after the sun rises and the first rays of sun touch the peak of Kilimanjaro, our bodies will warm quickly.  After the summit, we will make our descent straight down to the Kibo Hut, where we will have a quick rest. The descent will go a lot faster than the ascent and you’ll be there sooner than you think. After lunch and a bit of rest, we shall head to Horombo Hut where we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and well-earned sleep.

 

 

DAY 6 - Descent to 1850m - 6hours - 20km - Rainforest

Horombo Hut - Marangu Gate

Hopefully well rested and not to soar and tired of the long hike of the other day, we will have breakfast. We continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. Today will be a long hike, but an easy one. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka Gate to drive you back to hotel in Moshi for hot shower. YOU MADE IT!

Marangu Route Accommodation

Before and after the climb, we provide a stay in our climbers accommodation in Moshi, where we have a good last night and mentally prepare for the climb to come. 

On the Marangu Route we camp at the established Huts mentioned in our day-to-day. On this route we won’t camp in tents, but in Huts. The advantages of these huts are that its often a bit more comfortable and warmer than the tents. On the other hand it can be a bit more crouded as the Marangu Route is a popular route and you certainly won’t be the only one in the Huts. This can also be a great time to socialize and share stories.

There are 60 bunk beds each at Mandara and Kibo Huts, and 120 bunk beds at Horombo Hut. Guests are supplied with mattresses and pillows, but sleeping bags are still required. The huts have communal dining halls and basic washrooms, ranging from flushing toilets and running water at the lower huts to long drop toilets and buckets of water at Kibo Hut.

The cook will prepare 3 good meals a day, so you can take on everyday like a champion. A good meal provides the energy you need to take on the mountain. Drinking water will be provided during the climb, after finishing the fist batch, botles will be refilled with a water-filter at several points on the mountain, to provide you with fresh, drinkable water during the whole climb. 

 

Campsites on Kilimanjaro

Marangu Route Cost

Lowest price

For 9+ Persons (6 days)
$1570/ p.p.

                                   2persons         3persons        4-5persons      6-8persons        9+persons

5 day route                        $1690                $1660                 $1630                  $1590                 $1570

6 day route                        $1740                 $1695                $1670                  $1640                 $1610

*Prices are per person. 

*It’s possible to join a group

 

Price Includes

  • Two overnights at our accommodation in Moshi (before & after the climb)
  • All transfers from and to the climbing gates
  • Experienced English Speaking Guide
  • Cook & Porters who carry your belongings
  • FULL BOARD (3 Meals a day)
  • Accommodation at the established huts
  • Camping equipment
  • Parkfees & Government Taxes
  • Drinking Water (filtered)
  • Emergency contact point over satalite phone

Not included

  • Accommodation & Transfers not mentioned
  • (Inter)national Flights
  • Tips for the driver guides, cook & porters
  • Flying Doctors Insurance

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