5 Days Marangu Route Kilimanjaro Climbing
The Marangu Route has been referred to as the ‘Coca Cola’ route and this has led potential climbers to think that it is an easy route to the summit. This is far from the truth to be honest! The fact that it requires a minimum of 5 days to complete it does not mean that it is easier than any other route. The only reason that people say it is easier is because it is the only route up Kilimanjaro where you sleep in huts as opposed to tents. An optional acclimatization day at Horombo Huts is highly recommended for those with no prior trekking in altitude experience under their belt. Advance booking of hut accommodation is required to avoid any inconveniences. The route starts from the park headquarters in the village of Marangu and heads straight westwards towards Kibo. The trail goes through lush rainforest, heath and moorland to alpine desert and ultimately the arctic zone at the peak and same route down.
Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Marangu Gate, Hike to Mandara Hut
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; • Distance: 8km/5mi; • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours; • Habitat: Montane Forest; • Meals: LD.
Hike Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut
You leave the glades of the rain-forest 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 grounsels. You may begin to feel the effects of the altitude.
•Elevation: 2700m/8875ft to 3700m/12,200ft; • Distance: 12km/7.5mi; • Hiking Time: 5-6 hours; • Habitat: Heathland; • Meals: BLD.
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; • Distance: 9km/5.5mi; • Hiking Time: 5-6 hours; • Habitat: Alpine Desert; • Meals: BLD.
Hike Kibo Hut to Summit, and down to Horombo Hut
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), commence the climb to the summit on steep and heavy scree or snow up to Gilman’s point located on the crater rim. Continuing, 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; • Meals: BLD.
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).
•Elevation: 3700m/12,200ft to 1700m/5500ft; • Distance: 20km/12.5mi; • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours; • Habitat: Forest; • Meals: B.
Group Size 1 person - $1,575
Group Size 2-4 persons - $1,495
Group Size 5-7 persons - $1,435
Group Size 8-10 persons - $1,400
Group Size 11+ persons-$1,350
.Pick up and drop off at Kilimanjaro International Airport.
.Pre & Post Trek accommodation at Hotel
.Park fees, camping fees, rescue fees and 18% .VAT on tour fees & services which cost nearly 55% of the total cost charged.
.4 Season mountain tents
.Transportation to & from the mountain gate
.Professional mountain guides, cooks and porters
.3 meals daily while on the mountain
.Filtered water throughout the trek
.Fair wages for the mountain crew as approved by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (KINAPA), Kilimanjaro Association of Tour Operators (KIATO)
.Boiled Drink water on trek
.Additional day for acclimatisation
.Items of a personal nature
.A doctor for the group
.Tips to mountain crew