Overview - Kilimanjaro Climb via Marangu
It is named to be “The oldest route for Kilimanjaro Treks”. However, people call it “the Tourist Route” or “Coca Cola Route “. Of all routes up Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Marangu is said to be the easiest, cheapest and by far the most popular. Well, this may be justified by frequent trekkers. but as professionals, we wouldn’t advise you to slightly take it as an easy route. Every hiking needs hard work to get to the summit.
Only one statement many trekkers would consider true: climbing Kilimanjaro on the Marangu route is the cheapest option. The Marangu route is not the most popular route any more. It has been out shined by the Machame Route and I disagree that the Marangu Route is the easiest. It can be the easiest trip to organise, have the widest, most relaxed path to walk-on and offers hut accommodation, but with all that said, it does NOT make it easier to reach the summit.
Trip Itinerary - 5 Days Marangu Route
Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), where you will meet our company representative (Manager), and transfer to the hotel under the rate. The hotel will provide all the essentials for a comfortable stay: restful rooms, hot water, and Internet access. In the evening, there will be a briefing with our managers, who will also make sure you are ready to begin the climb.
After breakfast and briefing, you will travel by vehicle to Kilimanjaro National Park’s eastern entrance: Marangu Gate (1,860 m). Formalities of acquiring climbing permits and registering with the search and rescue service will be done, then the group will start trekking up to Mandara Hut (2,700 m). The trekking route includes passage through the rainforest (where tropical showers are highly probable), so we recommend you take not only spare clothes, but also your raincoats. A side trip to Maundi Crater can be done which will give you a nice view of the surrounding including Northern Tanzania and Kenya. When you reach the camp, our mountain support crew will take care of the necessities, pitch the tents, and prepare lunch.
Throughout the entire Marangu route, you will be spending your nights in special huts. They offer a great alternative to those who do not want to sleep in tents.
This will be your first day at this altitude, so it is strongly recommended you heed the following instructions from this point on:
- Abstain from consuming alcohol and caffeine
- Drink over 4 litres of bottled water daily (little by little, frequently)
- Take a Diamox pill to help alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness. Most mountain climbers take Diamox in the morning, before they start their ascent, in order to reduce discomfort associated with altitude sickness. We recommend you consult your doctor prior to the trip in case of potential allergies.
At night, you may experience discomfort associated with acclimatization to the high altitude: because of a reduction in your waking breathing pattern, your body gets less oxygen than during the day. Taking altitude into account, you may therefore start feeling sick and have a headache. Pay attention to your own body and tell your guide if you start feeling any symptoms of altitude sickness.
- Elevation Change: Marangu Gate (1860m) – Mandara Hut (2700m)
- Distance: 8km
- Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
- Habitat: Montane Forest
Early in the morning after breakfast, the group will depart Mandara Hut to start a moderate trek towards the second-high altitude camp: Horombo Hut (3,720 m). When you reach the camp on this day, you will be treated to views of two volcanos at once: Kibo and Mawenzi.
Several hours after lunch you will have to complete an acclimatization hike in the direction of Kibo Hut with a 200-meter gain in altitude, and then hike back down to Horombo Hut where dinner will be prepared for you.
Note: The acclimatization hike is an easy trek with a slight gain in altitude done in order to speed up the acclimatization process. You should take the acclimatization hikes very seriously. They help increase your chances of successfully summiting Kilimanjaro and save you from the consequences of altitude sickness.
- Elevation Change: Mandara Hut (2700 m) – Horombo Hut (3,720 m)
- Distance: 11 Km
- Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
- Habitat: Heathland
Elevation change: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) – Destination point en route to Kibo Hut (3,920 m)
Distance 2.5 Km
Hiking Time: 1-2 hours
On this day, right after breakfast the group will be trekking to Kibo Hut (4,700 m). The actual trekking is not very difficult, just remember to stick with an appropriate pace to keep up your strength for the trekking to Kilimanjaro’s summit. We shall now pass the last water point onto the Saddle of Kilimanjaro taking the trek between the two peaks “Kibo and Mawenzi”. You will notice change in vegetation cover from Heathland to Moonscape which gets to an Alpine Desert. When you reach the camp, you will be served lunch, after which we recommend you sleep as much as you can, avoid any strenuous activity, and drink lots of water.
- Elevation Change: Horombo Hut (3700 m) – Kibo Hut (4700 m)
- Distance: 9km
- Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
- Habitat: Alpine Desert
Night departure from Kibo Hut (4,700 m) and the start of your trekking to Kilimanjaro’s summit: Uhuru peak (5,895 m). The trekking will be moderate from a physical standpoint, but the altitude presents a much more serious problem. For the entire length of the trekking each pair of climbers will be accompanied by their own guide, who will be monitoring your stamina and mental resolve. As this trek starts at night, it will require the headlamps/ Flashlight. Take as many photos as you can at any chance you have to, as not many people could have made it to your step.
You need to show everyone back home that you were here. We say “One’s success is just in his/her mind”. Take your pace and make your own step. This is all that counts to your big day up the summit. After your successful ascent to Uhuru Peak, you can descend to the nearest glacier if desired. Then you will return to Kibo Hut and after a two-hour rest continue your descent to Horombo Hut (3,720 m).
Note: Don’t forget that 90% of all accidents occur during the descent, including all broken arms and legs. Please pay attention to your feet, as there is a high risk of damaging your toenails.
- Elevation Change: 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
You will be offered a warm breakfast in the morning, after which we will head for the Kilimanjaro National Park’s exit: Marangu Gate (1,860 m). After your descent, the whole group will gather to congratulate you, and then you will have the chance to share your opinions on the trip in the guestbook. Lastly, we will present you with your commemorative certificates (in our office) and provide you a transfer back to the hotel.
- Elevation: 3700m/12,200ft to 1700m/5500ft
- Distance: 18 km/12.5mi
- Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
- Habitat: Forest
Rest in the hotel and transfer to the airport.
Note: Hotel check-out is at 11:00 AM. In case you need a late check-out because of an evening flight, there is the option to extend your hotel stay for an extra fee.