Marangu Route 5 Days Itinerary
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 camp site 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.
Day 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Marangu Gate, Hike to Mandara Hut
Elevation: 1860m/6100ft to 2700m/8875ft
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
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.
Day 2 : Hike Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut
Elevation: 2700m/8875ft to 3700m/12,200ft
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
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 affects of the altitude.
Day 3 : Hike Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut
Elevation: 3700m/12,200ft to 4700m/15,500ft
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
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.
Day 4: We leave Kibo Hut to Summit, and down to Horombo Hut
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
We will start our ascent by torchlight at about 1 a.m. so that we can be up at Gillman’s Point by sunrise. The initial climb is steep over loose volcanic screen, but there are some well-graded zig-zag and a slow but steady pace will have us up to Gillman’s (5,685 m.) in about five or six hours. We will rest there and spend some time taking in the sunrise. Those who are still feeling strong can make the three hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m.), passing close to the spectacular glaciers that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent is surprisingly fast and we return to Horombo Hut for the night.
Day 5: Safari to Kilimanjaro Retrace through Forest
Elevation: 3700m/12,200ft to 1700m/5500ft
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
We retrace our steps with a pleasant moorland walk to Mandara and then a lovely forest walk to the National Park gates to Moshi or Arusha town. The greenness and lushness of the forest is quite a stunning contrast to the summit day, and it really makes you realize how varied the scenery on Kilimanjaro really is.
We recommend you can extend your stay a little breeze on Zanzibar beaches or Ngorongoro Crater safari from at least 2 days.