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Arusha, Tanzania

6 Days Marangu Route

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Hiking Itinerary

The Marangu Route in Mt Kilimanjaro 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.

There are 60 beds at both Mandara and Kibo Huts and 120 beds at Horombo Hut. Bathrooms and running water are available at the two lower huts. All climbing groups, often from several countries around the world, share meals in dining huts providing a cheerful and energetic atmosphere. Soft drinks, bottled water, and beer may be for sale at the huts. Bring small Tanzanian bills to purchase these items (prices increase with elevation).

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.

  • Altitude: 1860m/6100ft to 2700m/8875ft
  • Walking/Hiking Distance: 8km
  • Walking/Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
  • Habitat: Montane Forest
  • Meals included: Lunch, Dinner
  • Budget Accommodations: Mandara Hut

This is the first day of your adventure to the roof of Africa where after breakfast and briefing you’ll drive to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (3 hrs), register, and commence the climb where you will walk through the rainforest to the Mandara escarpment.

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, birdlife, and Colobus monkeys.

  • Altitude: 2700m/8875ft to 3700m/12,200ft
  • Walking/Hiking Distance: 12km
  • Walking/Hiking Time: 8-9 hours
  • Habitat: Heathland.
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Budget Accommodations: Horombo Hut

In this day after breakfast you leave the glades of the rainforest and follow an ascending path on the open moorlands to the Horombo encampment. From the hut, you will have fantastic views overlooking Mawenzi, Kibo and the wide plain of the Maasai steppe.

In this day you will at Horombo Hut.  

  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
  • Budget Accommodations: Horombo Hut.
  • Altitude: 3700m/12,200ft to 4700m/15,500ft
  • Walking/Hiking Distance: 9km
  • Walking/Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Budget Accommodations: Kibo Hut

In this day is all about ascending, where now we will 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 the summit climb.

  • Altitude: 4700m/15,500ft to 5895m/19,340ft then Down to 3700m/12,200ft
  • Walking/Hiking Distance: 6km up / 15km down
  • Walking/Hiking Time: 6-8 hours up / 15 hours down
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Budget Accommodations: Horombo Hut

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.

There are unbelievable views at every turn. Have your picture taken at the summit to show your friends and family. 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.

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 having an optimistic attitude will get you there!

  • Altitude: 3700m/12,200ft to 1700m/5500ft
  • Walking/Hiking Distance: 20km/12.5mi
  • Walking/Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Meals included: Breakfast

In this day 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 meet you at Marangu village to drive you back to your hotel in Arusha (about 3 hour).

  • All accommodations per itinerary
  • All meals per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All tours and entrance fees per itinerary (unless listed as excluded)
  • All transportation and transfers per itinerary
  • National Park gate fees
  • Transport from Arusha to trailhead and return to Arusha
  • Camping fees
  • Certified, experienced, guides for all routes, cooks and porters
  • Salaries for all crew members
  • Rescue fees (as required by the national park)
  • Tents, foam sleeping pads, cooking equipment, and eating utensils
  • Emergency Oxygen (2L canister)
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals not listed
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff
  • Single room supplement
  • Personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, Internet, etc.)
  • Tips for guides, porters, and cooks
  • Sleeping bags and personal gear

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