Kilimanjaro Climbing Through Marangu Route – Duration: 6 Days Trekking and 2 Days at the base hotel
Affectionately known as the “Coca-Cola route”, Marangu is by far the most popular route to the summit of Kilimanjaro. This could partly be 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 acclimatization period. The Marangu route does however offer you the option of spending an extra acclimatization 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: ARRIVE AT KILIMANJARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
On arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport ,You will be met by our representative and transferred to the hotel in Arusha or in Moshi for your overnight at Sal Salinero , SG Resort or L’oasis Lodge on Bed BB. (If your international flight is arriving at either Jomo Kenyata International Airport in Nairobi or Julius Kambarage Nyerere in Dae es Salaam, you need to indicate on your original request so that we can arrange transfers and accommodation (at an extra cost).
DAY 2: MARANGU GATE (1980M) – MANDARA HUT (2700M)
Hiking time: 5 hours | Distance: About 12 km | Habitat: Montane forest
The drive from Moshi 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. Porters will be seen arranging and loading their packs, packing 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. Our guides will be available to assist with any additional information or needs you might have. You now leave the Park gate and ascend on a cleared ridge trail through the rainforest. The forest, suffused with mist and dripping with beards of moss, is also where most of Kilimanjaro’s animals are found. (An alternative and more scenic parallel forest trail, branches off to the left a few minutes after the gate. This trail follows the edge of a stream through the undergrowth and offers you the option to rejoin the main trail either, after 1½ hours hiking, or 1 hour before Mandara hut.)
Your first night stop, Mandara hut, is a group of wooden A-framed huts in a forest clearing. Each hut features 6-8 sleeping bunks with solar-generated lighting. The total capacity of the camp is 60 climbers. Water is piped into the camp from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut.
DAY 3: MANDARA HUT (2700M) – HOROMBO HUT (3720M)
Hiking time: 6 hours | Distance: About 15 km | 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 rainforest 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 Kibo Crater. On a clear day, Kibo will glimmer in the distance, showing off her majestic glaciers in the morning sun. Once you are in the open moorland 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 Kilimanjaro), which can reach heights of 5m! After about 6 hours from here, you reach the Horombo hut, where you will have hot washing water, rest; an evening meal and overnight.
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, and 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 are for additional acclimatization. A hike towards the Mawenzi hut, passing the Zebra Rocks on the way (about 3 hours up and 1.5 hours down), is strongly recommended. This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatization. Remember to drink enough water and move slowly! All meals for the day are provided at the hut. Retire to bed early and get a last good night’s rest.
DAY 5: HOROMBO HUT (3720M) – KIBO HUT (4700M)
Hiking time: 6 hours | Distance: About 15 km | 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 a lower route (left-hand fork) to choose from. The upper route (right-hand fork) will be very familiar, as you will have climbed most of it the previous day towards Mawenzi hut. It is very stony and eroded.
The recommended lower route (left-hand fork) is much easier and nearly an hour and it also passes the last watering point at 4130m. You will have to fill your water bottles with all the water you will need until your return to Horombo hut in two nights’ time (unless you are willing to buy Mineral water at Kibo hut). Once again remember to slow down and drink enough water!! Situated in the barren Alpine desert is Horombo hut, a stone build block house that has bunk beds for 60 climbers, but no streams with water nearby. It is however possible to buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. There are platform toilets behind the hut. The summit is now a further 1195m up and you will make your final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski stick, and thermal clothing for your summit bid. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at around 1900 hrs and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible.
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 ascent – 21 km 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. The path then zigzags up to Gillman’s point (5681m), which is located at the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring great physical and mental effort. Probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly. From Gillman’s Point, you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend, taking photographs, before the 3-hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest, you gather all the gear you left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) for your overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening, you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office) on the mountain and a well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions
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. Those climbers who reached Gillman’s Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive gold certificates. You now drive back to Moshi or Arusha for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!! Overnight at your SG Resort, or L’Oasis, Sal Salinero Hotel, B, L.
- Meet and Greet services
- Transfer from the Airport
- Guarantee price/guarantee trek
- 2 Nights’ accommodation at the base hotel in Arusha or Moshi
- Transfer to and from the base of the mountain
- Full board accommodation whilst on the trek. Meal plan as detailed: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, and D=Dinner
- Accommodations in camps/huts as per the itinerary
- Tents, Cooks, Porters, Water,
- All park entrance fees to include government taxes
- Service of English-speaking professional guide(s) and skilled cooks, porters
- Start and finish point at Kilimanjaro International Airport.
- Treated water on the trek.
- Laundry, tips, sleeping bags, beverages/drinks, accommodation before the trek, and climbing gear
- International flights
- Items of personal nature
- Any other extras not detailed in the above itinerary
We may have to reroute the itinerary or accommodate similar hotels/lodges in the case of non-availability.
Park fees and airline prices may be changed without prior notice. This is beyond our control and any increase levied will be passed on to you.
Prices quoted are based on US Dollars. Once confirmed on specific dates the Changes in dates may lead to a change in the trip or safari price.
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Identification may be required when boarding all flights including domestic and charter flights. Passengers should keep their passports in their carry-on bags to avoid delays.