Marangu Route

Marangu Gate

Famously known as 'Coca-Cola Route', Marangu Route is the easiest, least expensive and by far the busiest route to the summit of Kilimanjaro  just like sipping a coca-cola drink.

Day 1: Marangu Gate (1970m) to Mandara Hut (2700m).
After having your breakfast you will be briefed about what should be expected and the secrets of conquering the highest point of Africa. Once you reach the park gate, all hikers are requested to sign in at the park office and make their final preparations start to hike. Porters will be seen arranging and loading their packs, containing food, water, cooking gas as well as most of your equipment. Make sure that you have in hand all your pack items (containing at least drinking water, your lunch box, and extra clothes) with you as the porters ascend a lot faster than hikers. Our guides will at your reach if you need any assistance or information. You will then leave the park gate and start ascending using a well maintained walking trail which will make you absorbed in the spectacular montane forest and hiking time is 4 to 5 hours to Mandara Hut. The montane forest, is packed with mist and wetness, with beards of moss, and you can get chance to see varieties of birds, primates i.e. Black and White Colobus Monkey and varieties of beautiful flowers. Mandara Hut will be your first stop over (first night), is a group of A shaped wooden huts in montane forest. Each hut featured 6 to 8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting. The total capacity of the camp is accommodate 80 hikers with all facilities including water and toilets.

Marangu Forest

Marangu Mandara Hut

Day 2: Mandara Hut (2700m) to Horombo Hut (3720m).
Hiking time is 6 hours, from Mandara hut to Horombo hut (second stop over) and the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, then skirts the base of the Maundi crater and then emerges into the transition from montane forest to Moorland vegetation zone. It is worth taking a short deviation to the rim of Maundi Crater for your first really impressive view of the Kibo Crater. On a clear day, Kibo will shine at a distance, showing off her majestic glaciers in the morning sun. Once you are in the open moorland you will get a chance to see some flora which are endemic in Mountain Kilimanjaro i.e. Giant lobelia, Protea kilimandsharica, Senecio kilimanjari, Lobelia deckenii etc. After six (6) hours from Mandara you will reach the Horombo hut, where you will have hot washing water, rest an evening meal and overnight at the Hut.

Marangu Horombo Hut

Day 3: Horombo Hut (3720m) Acclimatization day.
Horombo hut is a village of huts balanced on a small plateau, with buildings similar to Mandara, but with a capacity of 160 hikers. Normally bustling with hikers, guides, porters and with an atmosphere of adventure and pleasure, you will meet both ascending and descending hikers here. This extra day and night at Horombo is for additional acclimatization. Hike towards the Mawenzi Saddle, passing the Zebra Rocks on the way, is strongly recommended. This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatization. Remember to drink enough water and move slowly ('pole pole') . Retreat to bed early and get a good night's rest.

Marangu Kili

Day 4: Horombo Hut (3720m) to Kibo Hut (4700m).
Hiking time; 6 hours
After full breakfast you now continue your ascend into the alpine desert habitat. From Horombo there two trails to the saddle (which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo). There is upper route (right hand fork) and lower route (left hand fork) to choose from. The upper route (right fork) will be very familiar, as you will have climbed most of it the previous day towards Mawenzi Hut. The suggested lower route (left hand fork) is much easier and nearly an hour shorter and it also passes the last water point at 4130m. You will have to fill your water bottles with all the water you will need until you return to Horombo hut in two night's time (unless you're willing to buy mineral water at Kibo Hut).

Marangu Route

Marangu Kibo Huts Camp

Once again remember to walk slowly ('pole pole') and drink enough water. Situated in the desolate alpine desert is Kibo Hut, a stone build block house which has bunk beds for 60 hikers, no stream with water nearby. The summit now stands at a distance/height of 1195m up and you will make your final ascent the same night. Get your equipment ready like ski-stick, headlamp and batteries for camera and make sure you have extra set available as well and thermal clothing for your summit bid. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go for rest until 23hrs ready for the last blow to defeat the summit.

Marangu Kibo Huts Camp from Gilman Point


Marangu Kilimanjaro Summit path

Day 5: Summit Attempt, Kibo Hut (4700m) to Uhuru (Freedom) Peak (5895m) down to Horombo Hut (3720m)
Hiking time 7 to 8 hours ascending; 6 hours descending; 14 hours total:
To Uhuru Peak it will require about seven (7) to eight (8) hours to arrive. You will have to wake up around 22:30hrs get all the important things (equipment) in place like putting on climbing warm clothes, and after some tea and biscuits you scuffle off into the night, and this is where the going really gets hard. The first section of the trail consists of rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting point. The path zigzags up to Gilman's Point (5168m), 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.

Marangu Climbers

Most likely the most challenging section of the entire route, and move slowly ('pole pole') and always listen to your guide. From Gilman's Point you will normally come across snow all the way up to Uhuru Peak (5895m), the roof of Africa. Total happiness and satisfation - you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend for appreciation of the scenic beauty and taking photos, before the 3 hours journey back to Kibo Hut. After a short rest you gather your belongings you left behind when you were ascending and head down to Horombo Hut (3 hours) for your overnight. The return to Horombo Hut will seem amazingly fast compared to ascending. The total time used up walking on this day is 14 hours, so be ready for a very tough day. Later in the evening you will enjoy you dinner and well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.

Marangu Group

Day 6: Horombo Hut (3720m) to Marangu Gate (1970m)
Hiking time 5 to 6 hours
After full breakfast you keep on your descend by passing Mandara Hut, down to the Marangu Gate. At Marangu Gate you sign your name and details in register. This is also where successful hikers are awarded certificates, for those who reached Gilman's Point (5150m) and Uhuru Peak (5895m). You will drive back to the hotel/lodge and enjoy shower, dinner and celebrations with some drinks like Kilimanjaro beer.