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Marangu Route (6 Days/5 nights)

Day 1   Marangu Gate/Mandara Hut
Day 2   Mandara Hut/Horombo
Day 3   Horombo 
Day 4   Horombo/Kibo Hut
Day 5   Kibo Hut/Gilmans/Uhuru/Horombo
Day 6   Horombo/Marangu Gate

Marangu, popularly referred to as the Coca Cola Route because of its practicality is the easiest and most accessible route to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. Its facilities are also the most comfortable. It is the most popular route which almost 70% of all climbers choosing it.

Some upmarket operators snub this route as overcrowded and environmentally damaging. However because the route does not require camping equipment which translates into lower porterage costs, it is very popular with budget travellers, budget operators and those who simply want to climb the highest mountain in Africa.

Marangu route’s gentle ascent with a long approach to the mountain and the slight inclines make it attractive to those with little walking experience.

Day 1
The hike starts at the Marangu park gate at 1800 M. A 4 to 6 hrs, 5.5 miles hike up to Mandara Hut at 2700M near the upper edge of the forest line.

Accommodations are in wooden A-frame huts that sleep 4 to 8 pax.

The path takes climbers first through rain forest then opens up to giant heather. Time/weather permiting, a short walk to Maundi Crater is worth your while.

Overnight Mandara Hut

Day 2
Today’s nice 5 to 6 hrs, 10 miles hike takes us to Horombo Hut at 3700M.

The strenuous and often slippery trail, rainfall in this region is frequent, takes us out of the forests onto the moorland, passing by the rocky southern face of Mawenzi, one of the 3 volcanoes that make up Kilimanjaro and often giving us our first views of the Kibo summit.

Accommodations are in wooden A-frame huts that sleep 4 to 8 pax.

Overnight Horombo Hut

Day 3
Our Day 3 is an extra day set aside for acclimatization. The day can be best spent hiking further up to Maundi Hut to the viewpoint at 4270M (4 hrs round-trip). Very fatigued climbers can spend the day resting or walking in the neighbourhood.

Any which way, please plan to be back in lodge by 1600 hrs as this region rains almost every afternoon.

After the rains though, there are beautiful sunsets, abundant birdlife and starry, starry nights. Most climbers begin to feel the altitude at this level.

Overnight Horombo Hut

Day 4
Today is a long day with a 7 hrs hike to Kibo Hut at about 4700M.

Although a shorter distance is covered, it is a steeper terrain at higher altitude which tends to slow everyone down. Climbers pass by the Mt. kilimanjaro ‘Saddle’, a wide, flat area from there Kibo and Mawenzi peaks loom ahead with fabulous views.

The final section of the trail passes through an arid plateau before rising to Kibo Hut. We recommend a light dinner, after which the guides will give a little pre-summit talk. We go to bed early to try catch some sleep because we have a very early day ‘tomorrow’.

Accommodation is in stone huts/rooms that can accommodate 10 to 15 pax in bunk beds.

Overnight Kibo Hut

Day 5
Today we have an about midnight wake up call with tea/coffee and biscuits/cookies. Our guides will try to get everyone ready to leave between 0100 and 0130 hrs.

Immediately after take off, the trail seems to swing back and forth up a steep slope in harshly cold weather. The summit climb is an unforgettable event though. With the night sky full of stars and only your breathing to help focus your mind, most climbers will reach Gillman’s Point, 5650m at about 0630 hrs, perfect time to enjoy a fantastic sunrise. Views from even this level down to the African plains are breathtaking. Often, some climbers decide that they have reached their goal and head down from here.

For the strong however, the true summit, Uhuru Peak at 5860M is a further 3 hrs walk away round-trip. Descent from Gillman’s Point is a fairly quick 2 hrs affair.

Most climbers take a short rest at Kibo before proceeding to Horombo arriving late in the afternoon for overnight.

Overnight Horombo Hut

 Day 6
On this our final day, we have a 14-mile descent to Marangu gate where we reclaim our climbing gear and drive on to Arusha. So pleasing to once again take a hot shower, celebrate the climb and sleep in a bed after a worthwhile labour. 

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Marangu Route (6 Days/5 nights)
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