Marangu Route

The Marangu Route is also known as the "Tourist Route" and the "Coca-Cola Route." It is the oldest route, the most popular route, and the one that comes closest to the trail that Hans Meyer took in making the first successful assault on the summit. It is the only route that climbers are sleeping on the dormitory huts and not camping outside. This is one of the shorter route, taking just five days. However, many climbers decide to take an extra day(s) to relax at Horombo Huts, using that day to visit the Mawenzi Huts Campsite. From a safety point of view this is entirely sensible and aesthetically such a plan cannot be argued with either, for the views from Mawenzi across the Saddle to Kibo truly take the breath away; assuming, that is, that you have some left to be taken away after all that climbing.

Coke is a soft drink, this means this route is easy and simple like Coca Cola, as the opposite to the Machame Route which is called Whisky Route. Do not mislead with the name, thinking climbing to the summit within five, six or seven days is simply a walk in the national park. You will be wrong, there is a greater proportion of climbers fail on this route than on any other. This is because this route’s reputation for being ‘easy’ attracts the more inexperienced, out of condition climbers who do not realize that they are embarking on a 35 km uphill walk, followed immediately by a 35 km knee jarring descent. Machame Route, for example, you start at 1800 m and aim for the summit at 5895m. While on Marangu, you start just a little higher at 1860 m and have the same goal. So simple logic should tell you that it cannot be that much easier. The fact that there’s no tent to carry, however, means you can probably get away with just two to three porters per person, or fewer if you carry your own bag something of a false economy we have found, as we believe it increases your chances of suffering from AMS.

For the accommodation, there are over 70 spaces at Mandara Huts, 148 spaces at Horombo (the extra beds are necessary because this hut is also used by those descending from Kibo) and just 58 spaces at Kibo. Sleeping in the huts makes a bit difference especial on pack list, even though the huts have mattresses and pillows you will still need sleeping bags because not all huts have. Regarding the sleeping situation, it does help if you can get to the huts early each day to grab the better beds. This doesn’t mean you should deliberately hurry to the huts, which will reduce your enjoyment of the climb and increase the possibility of AMS. But do try to start early each morning: that way you can avoid the crowds, beat them to the better beds, and possibly improve your chances of seeing some of the wildlife too.

  • OVERVIEW
  • 5 DAYS 4 NIGHTS
  • 6 DAYS 5 NIGHTS
  • 7 DAYS 6 NIGHTS

The biggest drawback on the Marangu Route is that the ascent is exactly the same as the descent while it is the shorter route and therefore there is not as much variety in settings compared to other routes. It also means that the route can get very crowded.We will counter this by taking a ‘rest day’ at Horombo Huts on day 3 where, rather than plough on to Kibo Huts, climbers spend two nights at Horombo and that third day marching up the slopes of Mawenzi, thereby aiding their acclimatization. Thus, while Marangu can be completed in five days, we can take at least six days..

OPTIONS

DAY 1

DAY 2

DAY 3

DAY 4

DAY 5

DAY 6

DAY 7

5 DAYS

(Option 1)

Marangu gate to Mandara Hut

Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut

Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut

Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak then to Horombo Hut

Horombo Hut to Marangu gate

-

-

6 DAYS

(Option 2)

Marangu gate to Mandara Hut

Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut

Horombo Hut to Zebra Rocks then to Horombo Hut

Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut

Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak then to Horombo Hut

Horombo Hut to Marangu gate

-

7 DAYS

(Option 3)

Marangu gate to Mandara Hut

Stay at Mandara Hut

Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut

Horombo Hut to Zebra Rocks then to Horombo Hut

Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut

Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak then to Horombo Hut

Horombo Hut to Marangu gate

Day 1: Marangu Gate (1,860 m) – Mandara hut (2,700 m)
Distance Approximation: 8 km
Habitat: Rain Forest
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be taken to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate. Once the necessary paperwork has been completed, your climb can begin and you will soon be climbing through the dense rainforest. You might be lucky to catch a glimpse of the thumbless black and white colobus monkeys scrambling through the lush vegetation. Approximately 5 hours later, you will reach your destination for the day, the Mandara. Your first night is spent in the Mandara A-frame Huts which come equipped with solar generated lighting, flush toilets and water piped in from a nearby mountain stream. Each hut has 6-8 bunk beds. If you are a light sleeper we suggest bringing earplugs.

Day 2: Mandara Hut (2,700 m) – Horombo Hut (3,720 m)
Distance Approximation: 12 km
Habitat: Moorland
The day begins with an early breakfast and shortly after you have left Mandara Hut, you will reach the treeline where vegetation changes to shrubs and then transitions rather rapidly into the low alpine moorland zone. Your guide will take you to the Maundi Crater where you can enjoy wonderful views of the Kenyan interior. During the climb, you will also see giant lobelias which are scattered throughout the landscape at this altitude. Day 2 takes approximately 6-8 hours to complete and covers a significant distance. At Horombo Hut you will be served dinner and shown to your sleeping quarters for the night.

Day 3: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) – Kibo Hut (4,703 m)
Distance Approximation: 10 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
You will depart from Horombo Hut early and begin a 1,000 meters ascent to Kibo Hut which covers a distance of approximately 10 km. There are two routes to Kibo. The first, or upper route, forks to the right. You will most likely take the lower left hand route as it is easier and nearly an hour shorter. On the left hand route, you will pass the last water point at 4,130 meters. Make sure to fill up your water reserves here as you will not find another watering point until you get back to Horombo Hut from the summit (you are able to buy bottled mineral water at Kibo Hut if you will like to do so). Tonight is an early night to get enough rest, for you will be woken at approximately 23:00 hours to start your 1,150 meters ascent to Uhuru Peak.

Day 4: Kibo Hut (4,703 m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) – Horombo Hut (3,720 m)
Distance Approximation: 21 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Today is the “big day” to the summit stage. After being awoken you will be served some hot tea and biscuits and will then begin your summit ascent. You will begin the long and strenuous climb to the summit in the dark. Climb slowly but surely goes upwards. At sunrise, you will reach Gilman’s Point (5,681 meters) on the Kibo’s crater rim. You will most likely be very tired at this point. Take some time to rest and refuel with a snack. The final push is tough and requires mental stamina. Focus on moving slowly and deliberately for the final 200 meters ascent. Soon you will have forgotten the cold of the night because you will reach Uhuru Peak. Now you are standing on the “Roof of Africa” and you can take many pictures or videos as may like. The descent follows the same path and the lava ash will now have thawed and allows for a fast descent. On your return to Kibo Hut, a warm meal awaits you and you can rest a while to regain your strength. In total, you will be climbing upwards of 12-16 hours. It will be one of the longest days of your life but well worth it! Here’s the good news, beers can be bought at Horombo.

Day 5: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) – Marangu Gate (1,860 m)
Distance Approximation: 20 km
Habitat: Rain Forest
The last stage passes through the heather and moor zone to the Mandara Hut where a cooked lunch awaits you. Soon you will again be in the lush tropical rainforest and after about 6 hours of climbing, you will be back at the Kilimanjaro National Park gate (1,860 m). After saying goodbye to your mountain crew you will be greeted by our transfer driver, who will take you back to the hotel and remember to give your guides and porters tips at this point before being driven back to your Hotel/Lodge. At the hotel/lodge, you can have a warm shower and celebrate your success in reaching the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro.

Day 1: Marangu Gate (1,860 m) – Mandara hut (2,700 m)
Distance Approximation: 8 km
Habitat: Rain Forest
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be taken to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate. Once the necessary paperwork has been completed, your climb can begin and you will soon be hiking through the dense rainforest. You might be lucky to catch a glimpse of the thumbless black and white colobus monkeys scrambling through the lush vegetation. Approximately 4 hours later, you will reach your destination for the day, the Mandara Hut. After a well-earned rest, your guide will take you to the Maundi Crater where you can enjoy wonderful views of the Kenyan interior. Evening meal and overnight stay at Mandara Hut.

Day 2: Mandara Hut (2,700 m) – Horombo Hut (3,720 m)
Distance Approximation: 12 km
Habitat: Moorland
The day begins with an early breakfast and shortly after you have left Mandara Hut, you will reach the treeline where vegetation changes to shrubs. Approximately 5 to 6 hours later, the Horombo Hut will come into sight at an altitude of about 3,720 m. From the hut, you will have fantastic views overlooking Mawenzi, Kibo peak and the Masai Steppe. You will have your evening meal and overnight at the Horombo Hut.

Day 3: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) – Zebra Rocks (3,980 m) – Horombo Hut (3,720 m)
Distance Approximation: 5 km
Habitat: Moorland
Today’s purpose is getting your body to acclimatise to the altitude. Acclimatisation should not be underestimated as it greatly improves your chances of reaching the summit. After a relaxing breakfast, you will set off on a 2 to 4 hours climb to Zebra Rocks (3,980 m). The distinctive black and white stripes give the rock formation its name. On your return to Horombo Hut, a cooked lunch will be waiting for you. You can relax in the afternoon and regain your strength for the climb the following day. Overnight and evening meal at Horombo Hut.

Day 4: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) – Kibo Hut (4,703 m)
Distance Approximation: 10 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Today’s stage is long and tough. The trail passes the “last waterpoint” which is followed by the so-called “saddle”. This nearly plantless plateau links the summit of Kibo with Mawenzi. Today’s destination is Kibo Hut and it should be reached in about 5 to 6 hours. Tonight is an early night to get enough rest, for you will be woken at approximately 23:00 hours.

Day 5: Kibo Hut (4,703 m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) – Horombo Hut (3,720 m)
Distance Approximation: 21 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Today is the “big day” – the summit stage. You will start in the middle of the night when the lava ash is still frozen and walking on it is easier. You will begin the long and strenuous climb to the summit in the dark. Passing the Hans Meyer cave at 5,200 m, the climb slowly but surely goes upwards. At sunrise, you will reach Gilman’s Point (5,715 m) on the crater rim. Soon you will have forgotten the cold of the night and after another 1 to 2 hours, you will reach Uhuru Peak at 5,895 m. Now you are standing on the “Roof of Africa”. The descent follows the same path and the lava ash will now have thawed and allows for a fast descent. On your return to Kibo Hut, a warm meal awaits you and you can rest a while to regain your strength. After the 1 to 2 hours break, you will be on your way down to the Horombo Hut where you will arrive in the afternoon. After an evening meal, it is early to bed.

Day 6: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) – Marangu Gate (1,860 m)
Distance Approximation: 20 km
Habitat: Rain Forest
The last stage passes through the heather and moor zone to the Mandara Hut where a cooked lunch awaits you. Soon you will again be in the lush tropical rainforest and after about 6 hours of climbing, you will be back at the Kilimanjaro National Park gate. After saying goodbye to your mountain crew you will be greeted by our transfer driver, who will take you back to the hotel and remember to give your guides and porters tips at this point before being driven back to your Hotel/Lodge. At the hotel/lodge, you can have a warm shower and celebrate your success in reaching the summit.

Day 1: Marangu Gate (1,860 m) – Mandara hut (2,700 m)
Distance Approximation: 8 km
Habitat: Rain Forest
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be taken to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate. Once the necessary paperwork has been completed, your climb can begin and you will soon be climbing through the dense rainforest. You might be lucky to catch a glimpse of the thumbless black and white colobus monkeys scrambling through the lush vegetation. Approximately 4 hours later, you will reach your destination for the day, the Mandara Hut. After a well-earned rest, your guide will take you to the Maundi Crater where you can enjoy wonderful views of the Kenyan interior. Evening meal and overnight stay at Mandara Hut.

Day 2: Mandara Hut (2,700 m) – Horombo Hut (3,720 m)
Distance Approximation: 12 km
Habitat: Moorland
The day begins with an early breakfast and shortly after you have left Mandara Hut, you will reach the treeline where vegetation changes to shrubs. Approximately 5 to 6 hours later, the Horombo Hut will come into sight at an altitude of about 3,720 m. From the hut, you will have fantastic views overlooking Mawenzi, Kibo peak and the Masai Steppe. At Horombo Hut you will be served dinner and shown to your sleeping quarters for the night.

Day 3: Horombo Hut (3,720 m)
Distance Approximation: None
Habitat: Moorland
Your guide will take you to the Maundi Crater where you can enjoy wonderful views of the Kenyan interior. During the climb, you will also see giant lobelias which are scattered throughout the landscape at this altitude. You can decide to climb to a basecamp below Kibo’s sub peak Mawenzi or to stay at Horombo Hut instead of staying at Horombo Hut.

Day 4: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) – Zebra Rocks (3,980 m) – Horombo Hut (3,720 m)
Distance Approximation: 5 km
Habitat: Moorland
Today’s purpose is getting your body to acclimatise to the altitude. Acclimatisation should not be underestimated as it greatly improves your chances of reaching the summit. After a relaxing breakfast, you will set off on a 2 to 4 hours climb to Zebra Rocks. The distinctive black and white stripes give the rock formation its name. On your return to Horombo Hut, a cooked lunch will be waiting for you. You can relax in the afternoon and regain your strength for the climb the following day.

Day 5: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) – Kibo Hut (4,703 m)
Distance Approximation: 10 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Today’s stage is long and tough. The trail passes the “last waterpoint” which is followed by the so-called “saddle”. This nearly plantless plateau links the summit of Kibo with Mawenzi. Today’s destination is Kibo Hut and it should be reached in about 5 to 7 hours. On the left hand route, you will pass the last water point at 4,130 meters. Make sure to fill up your water reserves here as you will not find another watering point until you get back to Horombo Hut from the summit (you are able to buy bottled mineral water at Kibo Hut if you will like to do so). Tonight is an early night to get enough rest, for you will be woken at approximately 23:00 hour.

Day 6: Kibo Hut (4,703 m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) – Horombo Hut (3,720 m)
Distance Approximation: 21 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Today is the “big day” the summit stage. You will start in the middle of the night when the lava ash is still frozen and walking on it is easier. You will begin the long and strenuous climb to the summit in the dark. Passing the Hans Meyer cave at 5,200 m, the climb slowly but surely goes upwards. At sunrise, you will reach Gilman’s Point (5,715 m) on the crater rim. Soon you will have forgotten the cold of the night and after another 1 to 2 hours, you will reach Uhuru Peak at 5,895 m. Now you are standing on the “Roof of Africa”. The descent follows the same path and the lava ash will now have thawed and allows for a fast descent. On your return to Kibo Hut, a warm meal awaits you and you can rest a while to regain your strength. After the 1 to 2 hours break, you will be on your way down to the Horombo Hut where you will arrive in the afternoon. After an evening meal, it is early to bed for most.

Day 7: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) – Marangu Gate (1,860 m)
Distance Approximation: 20 km
Habitat: Rain Forest
The last stage passes through the heather and moor zone to the Mandara Hut where a cooked lunch awaits you. Soon you will again be in the lush tropical rainforest and after about 6 hours of climbing, you will be back at the Kilimanjaro National Park gate (1,860 m). After saying goodbye to your mountain crew you will be greeted by our transfer driver, who will take you back to the hotel and remember to give your guides and porters tips at this point before being driven back to your Hotel/Lodge. At the hotel/lodge, you can have a warm shower and celebrate your success in reaching the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro.

Tour Package Includes:

🗸 Airport and Mt. transfer fees.
🗸 2 Night Hotel accommodation in Arusha or Moshi.
🗸 Quality, Waterproof, four-season private sleeping bag.
🗸 Free Arusha/Moshi City walking tour.
🗸 Certified, experienced, English speaking mountain guides
🗸 All Tanzanian National Park Fees including Rescue Fees, Taxes and Permits.
🗸 Baggage Storage for excess unused staffs
🗸 All hot Meals prepared by our cook.
🗸 Clean, purified Drinking water during climbing..
🗸 Salaries for the mountain crew above KIATO payment requirement.
🗸 Personal Summit Certificate signed by the National Park and your Guide.

Tour Package Excludes:

🗙 International and local airfares.
🗙 Tips for guides, porters and cook and gratuities (high recommended).
🗙 Laundry services.
🗙 Tanzania Entry visa and other permits.
🗙 Travel insurance.
🗙 Meals and drinks not specified
🗙 Private mountain gears.
🗙 Other Items of a personal nature and unspecified services.

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