The Marangu route is also known as the “Coca cola Route” due to its easiness of climbing in comparison to other routes. It is the easiest and the shortest route to the summit. Is also the only route with comfort sleeping Huts with solar lights and comfortable beds. The Huts are communal and bunks have a sponge mattress and pillows. 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 Mount Kilimanjaro climbing groups integrated from several countries around the World share meals in dinning Hut providing a jovial and socially energetic atmosphere. Soft drinks, bottled water and beers are available for sale at the Huts.
This route is usually done on 5 days but an extra day can be added for better acclimatization. The sixth day can be spent resting at Horombo or climbing the small peak of Mawenzi.
DAY 1. Marangu Gate to Mandara Hut.
Distance;- 7km, walking Time 4-5 hours.
Vegetation;- Montane Forest.
After briefing and breakfast drive to Marangu Gate Registry and commence climb. Hike through the rainforest to the Mandara Hut located at 2740m/9000ft.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, birds life and Colabus Monkeys.
DAY 2. Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut.
Distance;-11km, walking Time 6-8hours.
Vegetation;- Heather land.
After about one hour you leave the glades of the rainforest and follow an ascending path on the open Moorland of the Horombo encampment . Views of Mawenzi and Kibo are amaizing. Look for Giant Lobelias and Groundsels. You will start to feel the effects of the altitude. If you wish to extend your trek here you can spend an extra day resting at Horombo Hut or climbing the Mawenzi Peak.
DAY 3. Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut.
Distance;-10km, walking Time;-6-8hours.
Vegetation;- Alpine Desert.
Ascending , you now pass the last water point walking onto the saddle of Mount Kilimanjaro between the peaks ofKibo and Mawenzi. Vegetation begins with upper Heather land but then disappears into “moonscape”. Dinner and overnight, rest and prepare for the summit day.
DAY 4. Kibo Hut-Summit to Horombo Hut.
4700m-5895m(and down to 3700m)
15,400ft-19,300ft(and down to12,100ft)
Distance;- 4km ascend, 14km descend, walking Time 10-15hours.
Very early in the morning(mid night to 2am)commence the climb to the summit on the steep and heavy scree or snow up to the Gillman’s point located on the crater rim at 18,640ft/5861m(4-7hours). From here ascend to Uhuru Peak which is the highest point in Africa 19,340ft/5895m(1-2hours). Unbelievable views at every turn. Get your picture taken at the summit. From here you now descend, stopping for lunch and rest at Kibo before continuing to Horombo Hut for dinner, tired but happy overnight (1-2hours). This beginning of the climb is done in dark and requires headlamps or flash lights. It will be very cold until you start descending, you will need all of your warm layers. By far this is the most difficult part of the trek with many switchbacks. Slowly(pole pole) and an optimistic altitude will get you there.
DAY 5. Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate.
Distance;-18km, walking Time 5-6hours
After breakfast, a steady descend takes you down through Moorland to Mandara Hut 2700m/8858ft. Continue descending through lovely lush forest on a good path to the Park Gate(Marangu)1830m/6004ft.
At lower elevations, it can be muddy and wet. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and T-shirts will probably be plenty to wear(keep rain gears and warmer clothing handy). A vehicle meets you at Marangu Gate to drive you back to your hotel.