Marangu Route is also known as the “Coca Cola” or “tourist” route. It is the easiest and shortest route to the summit. This is also the only route with the comforts of sleeping huts at every campsite with solar lights and comfortable beds. The huts are communal, and the bunks have a sponge mattress and pillow. This route is usually done in 5 days but can be done in 6 days for better acclimatization. The extra day can be spent resting at Horombo or climbing the small peak of Mawenzi.
Walking distance: 8 km, Time: 3-5 hrs, Altitude gain= 840 m
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.
• Blue monkeys • Colobus monkeys • Maundi Crater • Waterfalls • Colorful birdlife • Lichens and mosses • Variety of flowers
Where will we sleep?
Easily meets your needs in the best possible way. You can find frame mountain huts comprising of bunk bed at this hut. At this place, all trekkers gather for the same purpose. You can interact with a lot of similar minded climbers
Elevation: 1860m/6100ft to 2700m/8875ft
Walking distance: 12 km Time: 5-7 hrs Altitude gain: 1000 m
In the morning you will start walk through the forest. Soon their will be no more trees. You leave the glades of the rainforest and follow an ascending path on the open moorlands to the Horombo encampment. In moorland the dominating plant is heather. 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. You will get good view of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. The vegetation offers more open views. Through the hills across a few dry creeks. Lunch stop will be 2hrs to the Horombo Huts. (No pressure during walking. It takes as long as it takes!)
• Hills • Kibo Peak • Mawenzi Peak • Colobus monkeys • Giant senecios and loblelias • Creeks
Where will we sleep?
A group of wooden huts in a forest clearing. It is another group of huts very similar to the huts at Mandara. You will find a basic shelter and you will have dinner and overnight stay at Horombo Huts.
Elevation: 2700m/8875ft to 3700m/12,200ft
Walking distance: 9.5 km Time: 5-7 hrs Altitude gain: 1000 m
In the morning, you continue climbing uphill the vegetation ends and passing several water streams. Soon you reach the last watering point at 4200 where you can collect water. You will cross many ridge uphill to the saddle of Kilimanjaro between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. Lunch then 2hrs climb to Kibo Hut. You will be surprised the path doesn’t LOOK steep but hike turns into a major effort. The landscape can change dramatic, windswept with big clouds rolling or open. It’s really fun this part. Looking at Kibo the whole time, you will see the challenge ahead for you tonight. Dinner, rest and prepare for the summit climb.
• Open and windswept • Saddle • Alpine desert • Ridge • Last water point • Mawenzi and Kibo peak•
Where will we sleep?
You sleep in dormitories with quite restricted facilities. At night all final climb preparation of the Summit are done. Porters help you repack any items only the necessary.
Elevation: 3700m/12,200ft to 4700m/15,500ft
Initially you will head towards the east as you make your way up a steep ridge before turning towards the south as you hike up to the Lava Tower, a 300ft volcanic rock formation. You will then descend down to Barranco Camp through a beautiful Senecio Forest. End the day at a similar altitude that you started at after making your way higher up the mountain, aiding in your acclimatization.
Elevation: 13,800ft – 15,190ft – 13,044ft | Distance: 10 km’s | Hiking Time: 6-8 hours | Habitat: Alpine Desert
After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to the Mandara Hut. Continue descending through a 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 be waiting for you at Marangu gate to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 1 hour).
Elevation: 3700m/12,200ft to 1700m/5500ft