Tanzania Hike Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu route
The Marangu Route is also known as the "Tourist Route" and the "Coca-Cola Route." This is because Marangu is the most popular route on the mountain, and thus is considered "touristy", and because the route is the only one that offers sleeping huts, which serve beverages like Coca-Cola, on the way.
Marangu is the easiest route on Mount Kilimanjaro. Its ascension profile is very gradual and steady, allowing for painless trekking for most of the way. However, due to its reputation as an easy route, unprepared, unexperienced climbers often select Marangu.
The hike begins in the southeast area of the mountain at Marangu Gate. The route takes five days minimum to complete, although six days is more practical and recommended. The sleeping huts along the route are structures with a dining hall and bunk beds, equipped with mattresses and pillows. The descent is done on the same path, contributing to Marangu's overcrowded feeling. It is a cheaper climb as well, do to the close proximity of the gate to Moshi, the gateway town, and because it is a shorter route.
Scenically, Marangu is not a desirable route compared to all the other routes because it confines climbers to one area of the mountain, thus limiting the variety. However, Marangu has the best trail in the rainforest section of the trek. Of course, there are still great views of the Mawenzi and it is equally spectacular for everyone at Uruhu.
Marangu is ideal for those who are not confident in their ability to hike over steeper paths. It is also attractive for those who do not want to sleep in a tent. Marangu's huts offer shelter and warmth against the weather so it is a decent choice when climbing during the rainy season. Marangu is for those who want to spend less on their climb, and do not mind crowds.
Day 1: Arrival transfers from KIA-Hotel
We will pick you up from Kilimanjaro International Airport toThe Pinky Daisy for overnight
Day 2: Rest day
We recommend at least one rest day before starting your trek and try to sleep because of different time zone, our guide he will give the briefing and check your trekking gears to make sure you have everything needed.
Day 3: After breakfast and briefing, drive to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (about 1 hour), register and commence the climb. Walk through the rainforest to the Mandara encampment. A side trip to Maundi Crater is a good way to see the surroundings including Northern Tanzania and Kenya. In the rainforest, look for towering Eucalyptus trees, bird life, and Colobus monkeys.
Elevation: 1860m/6100ft to 2700m/8875ft
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
Budget Lodging: Mandara Hut
Day 4: Hike Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut
You leave the glades of the rainforest and follow an ascending path on the open moorlands to the Horombo encampment. Views of Mawenzi and the summit of Kibo are amazing. Look for giant lobelias and groundsels. You may begin to feel the effects of the altitude.
Elevation: 2700m/8875ft to 3700m/12,200ft
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
Habitat: Heath land
Budget Lodging: Horombo Hut
Day 5: Hike Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut
Ascending, we now pass the last watering point, walking onto the saddle of Kilimanjaro between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. Vegetation begins with upper heathland but then disappears into “moonscape”. Dinner, rest, and prepare for summit climb.
Elevation: 3700m/12,200ft to 4700m/15,500ft
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Budget Lodging: Kibo Hut
Day 6: Hike Kibo Hut to Summit, and down to Horombo Hut
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am), commence the climb to the summit on steep and heavy scree or snow up to Gilman’s point located on the crater rim.
Continuing passing Stella point
We now ascend to Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point in Africa. There are unbelievable views at every turn. Have your picture taken at the summit to show your friends and family.
From here we descend, stopping for lunch and a rest at Kibo before continuing on to the Horombo encampment.
The beginning of this climb is done in the dark and requires headlamps or flashlights. It will be very cold until you start descending, so you will need all of your warm layers. This is by far the most difficult part of the trek with many switchbacks. Going slowly “pole pole” and an optimistic attitude will get you there!
Elevation: 4700m/15,500ft to 5895m/19,340ft
Down to 3700m/12,200ft
Distance: 6km/4mi up / 15km/9mi down
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours up / 15km/9mi down
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Budget Lodging: Horombo Camp
Day 7: Hike Horombo Hut to trail head, drive to Moshi
After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to the Mandara Hut. Continue descending through lush forest path to the National Park gate at Marangu. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).
A vehicle will meet you at Marangu village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 1 hour). Don’t forget to tip your guides and porters.
Elevation: 3700m/12,200ft to 1700m/5500ft
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Day 8: Departure transfers
Pick up from the hotel and transfer to KIA to say bye and welcome again.