Kilimanjaro Climb, Marangu Route 5 Days 4 Nights

Overview

Known as the "Coca-Cola" route, the Marangu route approaches Kilimanjaro from the southeast. It is the oldest, most well established route.

Many favor the Marangu route because it is considered to be the easiest path on the mountain, given its gradual slope and direct path.

Marangu is the only route which offers sleeping huts in dormitory style accommodations. There are 60 bunk beds each at Mandara and Kibo Huts, and 120 bunk beds at Horombo Hut.

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.

Extra day is however highly recommended for improved acclimatization during the 3rd day hence can spend day hiking on Mawenzi Ridge. Be clear whether or not this is included in your trip. Otherwise under normal circumstances, the route is scheduled 5 days 4 nights so the third day should be eliminated .

Day - 1

  • Marangu Gate and to Mandara Hut
  • Elevation (ft): 6,046 ft to 8,858 ft
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

After breakfast we head to the National Park gate for the necessary formalities before beginning our trek. The trail climbs through a tropical rain forest, near the upper edge of the forest line (keep an eye out for blue monkeys). The trail then widens to expose beautiful hillsides until we reach Mandara Hut.

Day - 2

  • Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut
  • Elevation (ft): 8,858 ft to 12,205 ft
  • Distance: 12 km
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Habitat: Heath

Our second day on the trail begins with a steep, but not technical ascent through forest and opens into high moorland. If weather allows, we may get our first views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks, two of the three volcanic peaks that make up the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Day - 3

  • Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut
  • Elevation (ft): 12,205 ft to 14,160 ft
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Hiking Time: 3-5 hours
  • Habitat: Heath

This is an extra day to acclimatize and can be spent day hiking on Mawenzi Ridge. The unique landscape offers motivating views of Kibo and Mawenzi.

Day- 4

  • Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut
  • Elevation (ft): 12,205 ft to 15,430 ft
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Today we climb gradually, then cross the lunar desert of the “Saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach our campsite which sits at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Once at camp we rest, enjoy dinner and prepare for the next day.

Day - 5

  • Kibo Hut to Uhuru Park, down to Horombo Hut
  • Elevation (ft): 15,430 ft to 19,340 ft
  • Distance: 22 km
  • Hiking Time: 10-13 hours
  • Habitat: Arctic

Leaving very early in the morning (around midnight), we continue our way to the summit in hopes of catching the sunrise. The trail is a series of switchbacks up a steep scree slope, with climbers stretched into the darkness, visible only by headlamps

It is important to focus on breathing and foot placement. The views from the summit are dramatic and immense.

After spending a few moments taking in the plains of Africa and your accomplishment, we descend to Horombo Hut.