7 Days Kilimanjaro Marangu Route
The Marangu Route has been referred to as the 'Coca Cola' route and this has led potential climbers to think that it is an easy route to the summit. This is far from the truth to be honest! The fact that it requires a minimum of 5 days to complete it does not mean that it is easier than any other route.
The only reason that people say it is easier is because it is the only route up where you sleep in huts as opposed to tents. An optional acclimatization day at Horombo Huts is highly recommended for those with no prior trekking in altitude experience under their belt. Advance booking of hut accommodation is required to avoid any inconveniences.
The route starts from the park headquarters in the village of Marangu and heads straight westwards towards Kibo. The trail goes through lush rainforest, heath and moorland to alpine desert and ultimately the arctic zone at the peak and same route down.
Day 1: Arrive in Tanzania
You will be picked up at the Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to your hotel in Moshi town, you will meet your guide who will brief you on your upcoming trek and do an equipment check to make sure you have all the necessary mountain gear. Gear which is missing can be rented on this day. Overnight at Weru Weru River Lodge (or alternative).
Day 2: Marangu Gate (1860m) to Mandara Hut (2700m)
After breakfast, you will be collected from your lodge in Moshi and taken to the Marangu gate. Once the necessary paper work has been completed, your trek can begin and you will soon be hiking through the dense rainforest. Alongside the impressive vegetation, you will have the chance to catch a glimpse of some primates as you head to the Mandara Hut. After a well-earned rest, your guide can take you to the Maundi Crater where you can enjoy the wonderful view of the Kenyan interior.
Distance covered: 8.3km / 5.2mi
Approx. time taken: 5 hours
Day 3: Mandara Hut (2700m) to Horombo Hut (3700m)
The day begins with an early breakfast. Shortly after you have left Mandara Hut, you will reach the timberline and then enter the heath and moor zone. Approximately 4 – 6 hours later, the Horombo Hut will come into sight, standing at an altitude of 3700m. From the hut, you will have fantastic views overlooking Mawenzi, Kibo and the wide plain of the Masai steppe.
Distance covered: 12.5km / 7.8mi
Approx. time taken: 9 hours
Day 4: Horombo Hut (3700m) to Kibo Hut (4700m)
Today’s stage is long and tough. The well-built trail passes the “Last Water point” which is followed by the so-called “saddle”. This nearly vegetation less plateau joins the main summit Kibo with Mawenzi. Today’s destination is the Kibo Hut that is usually reached in about 5 - 6 hours. Here, you will enjoy an early evening meal followed by an early night, as the night will be short.
Distance covered: 9.5km / 5.9mi
Approx. time taken: 7 hours
Day 5: Kibo Hut (4700m) to UHURU PEAK (5895m) & down to Horombo Hut (3700m)
Today is “The Big Day” - the summit stage. You will begin your final ascent around midnight which will be long and strenuous. Passing the Hans Meyer Cave at 5220m, the climb slowly but surely goes upwards. At sunrise, you will reach Gillman’s Point (5681m) – the crater rim of Kilimanjaro – where the sun will slowly start to warm up the land. You will have soon forgotten the cold of the night and after a further hike of 1 - 2 hours, you will reach Uhuru Peak at 5895m. On your return to Kibo Hut, a warm meal awaits you followed by a 1 - 2 hour break before proceeding back down to Horombo Hut.
Distance covered: 22km / 13.7mi
Approx. time taken: 12 – 15 hours
Day 6: Horombo Hut (3700m) to Marangu Gate (1860m)
The last stage passes through the heath and moor zone to the Mandara Hut (2700m) where a warm lunch is waiting for you. Soon, you will once again pass the tropical rainforest and after a total time of 6 hours trekking, you will be back at the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (1860m). After saying goodbye to your mountain guides, a short transfer follows to take you back to your hotel in Moshi. Once there, you can take a warm and relaxing shower and celebrate your success in reaching the summit of the Kilimanjaro.
Distance covered: 20.8km / 12.9mi
Approx. time taken: 8 hours
Day 7: Depart Tanzania
The day is left free to wind down after the trek before your flight home. Depending on flight times you could go and explore Moshi town and grab some souvenirs before heading to the airport.
*We also welcome you spare an hour of your day to plant a tree, as part of our environmental conservation efforts in the Kilimanjaro region.
*Safari and Zanzibar add-ons are available if you wish to continue exploring Tanzania