The Marangu route also known as the “Coca-Cola route“ is the most “comfortable” in terms of facilities. Climbers are shielded in large wooden-huts dorms (offering beverages like Coca-Cola along the way , sharing the communal toilet facilities that can become overstretched. Marangu is very busy and “touristy” with trekkers both ascending and descending this same route, which can be done in 5-6 days with a night-time summit.
6 days marangu route
The drive from Moshi to the 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.
Day 1: Marangu Gate (1980m) – Mandara hut (2700m)
Hiking time: 5 hours | Distance: About 12 km’s | Habitat: Montane forest
The drive from Moshi to 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, containing 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 rain forest
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 the 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 1,5 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. clear
Day 2: Mandara hut (2700m) – Horombo hut (3720m)
Hiking time: 6 hours | Distance: About 15 km’s 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 rain forest 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 the 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 Kilimanjari), 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. clear
Day 3: Horombo hut (3720m)
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, 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 is for additional acclimatisation. 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 acclimatisation. 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 4: Horombo hut (3720m) – Kibo hut (4700m)
Hiking time: 6 hours | Distance: About 15 km’s | 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 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 night’s 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 which 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 round about 19h00 and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible.clear
Day 5: 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’s ascent – 21 km’s 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 (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort. Probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly.
From Gillmans 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 your 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 6: Horombo hut (3720m)
Marangu Gate (1980m) Hiking time: 6 hours Distance: About 27 km’s
We continue up to the Barafu Camp. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. An overnight at Barafu Camp.
Prices are subject to change depending on the current (at the time of booking) National park fees.
Price below is for a group of 2 to 6 people, we will give a discount to a group of more than 6 people.
Single supplement charges are $250
The trekking package includes the following:
Professional Kilimanjaro Guides & Internationally recognized Wilderness First Responder and CPR certification
Emergency evacuation Cover with AMREF
Adequate and appropriate number of guides, porters, and cooks for your group
Transfers to and from Kilimanjaro International Airport (2 transfers)
All park fees, camping fees, rescue fees, and team fees 18% VAT
Transfers to and from the route gate(s) (2 transfers)
Sleeping mattress pad(s), dining tent(s), sleeping tent(s), and crew’s equipment
2 nights in Moshi on a Bed & Breakfast basis (1 before trekking & 1 after trekking)
Hotels can be: Bristol Cottage, Sal Salinero Hotel, Millie Lodge near Machame gate & Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel in Moshi
All guides, porters, and cooks wages
Food and drinking water
Portable toilet for the trek
Complimentary oxygen cylinder
Credit card charges
The trekking package does not include the following:
Tips for guides, porters, and cooks (recommended 20%)
Energy food & beverages, alcoholic and soft drinks.
Personal gear including personal rain gear, trekking poles, sleeping bags, etc.
Additional nights if decent early from the mountain.