Known as the “Coca-Cola” route, Marangu approaches Kilimanjaro from the southeast. It is the oldest, most well established route. Many favor Marangu because it is considered to be the easiest route on the mountain, given its gradual slope and direct path. The minimum days required for this route is five, although the probability of successfully reaching the top in that time period is quite low. Spending an extra acclimatization day on the mountain is highly recommended.
Marangu is the only route which offers sleeping huts in dormitory style accomodations. There are 60 bunk beds each at Mandara and Kibo Huts, and 120 bunk beds at Horombo Hut (because only Horombo Hut is used on descent). 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. Also available for consumption are soft drinks, bottled water, and beer.
The Marangu route is a classic trek to the top of Kilimanjaro. However, it has the least scenic variety of all routes (ascent and descent are done on the same path) and is the most crowded for that reason.
US$ 1,400 Per Person
NOTE: Prices are per person in U.S. Dollars based on double/triple occupancy. All quotations are based on the current rates of park fees, VAT, other government taxes, and current exchange rates. Should any of these be increased or a new tax introduced, these increases will be added on even if your trip has already been paid for.
Day 1: Marangu Gate to Mandara Hut
After breakfast and briefing, drive to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate for about an hour, register and commence the climb. Walk for 3-4 hours through the rain forest to the Mandara Hut 2,700m. A side trip to Maundi Crater, is a good way to see the surroundings including Northern Tanzania and Kenya. In the rainy forest, look for towering eucalyptus trees, bird life and Colobus monkeys.
Day 2: Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut
You leave the glades of the rain forest and follow an ascending path on the open moorlands to the Horombo Hut 3,700m. Views of Mawenzi and the summit of Kibo are amazing. Look for giant lobelias and grounsels. That is the 5-6 hours walk, and you may begin to feel the effects of the altitude.
Day 3: Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut
Ascending, we now pass the last watering point, walking onto the saddle of Kilimanjaro between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. Vegetation begins with upper heathland but then into ‘moonscape’. It is another 5-6 hours walk, dinner, rest and prepare for summit climb.
Day 4: Kibo Hut to Summit, then down to Horombo Hut
Very early in the morning (midnight), commence the climb to the summit on steep and heavy scree or snow up to Gilman’s point located on the crater rim. Continue ascending to Uhuru Peak (5.895m), which is the highest point in Africa. There are unbelievable views at every turn. Have your picture taken at the summit. From here we descend with stop over for lunch and short rest at Kibo before continuing on for Horombo Hut.
The beginning of this climb is done in the dark and requires headlamps or flashlights. It will be 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 with many switchbacks. Going “pole pole” and an optimistic attitude will get you there.
Day 5: Horombo Hut to Trail Head, drive to Moshi.
After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to the Mandara Hut. Continue descending through lush forest path to the National Park gate at Marangu. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear so keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy.
A vehicle will meet you at Marangu village to drive you back to the hotel in Moshi for about an hour. Remember to tip your guides and porters. It is time to ‘sing and dance’…!