About the tour
The Marangu route, famously known as the “Coca-Cola” route as you can get a bottle of Coca-Cola at each hut, is the original route established to climb Kilimanjaro. It is often billed as one of the easier walking routes – however, according to KINAPA it suffers from the lowest success rate (42%) as too many climbers try to do it in only 5 days and fail because of poor acclimatization. Approaching Mount Kilimanjaro from the southeast, the Marangu route uses the same ascent and descent route which means it is less scenic than the other routes.
For climbers who do not wish to camp, then Marangu is the only route that offers dormitory-style hut accommodation. The huts have a communal dining room, simple washrooms and toilets which lower down will be flushable, but as you move higher up the mountain will be “long drop” loos. Although some climbers like the idea of staying in the huts rather than camping you need to remember that on the Marangu route you will be sharing the hut with lots of other climbers in open dormitory accommodation. The hut accommodation also means the Marangu route is one of the best routes to make the attempt on Kilimanjaro during the rainy season.
The Marangu route is a good six day hike for those who have not trekked much at high altitudes, with an effective extra day’s acclimatization, giving a better success rate. Experienced and already acclimatized mountaineers may opt for the more difficult 5 day ascent along the Marangu route.
- Offers hut accommodation instead of camping
- Gentler and easier path than some of the other routes
- Enjoy panoramic views from the Saddle (a high-altitude desert)
All trekkers need to organize their own flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). From JRO we will arrange a private transfer to your hotel. That night or early the next morning you will meet your local ZAFS representative and have a full pre-climb briefing.
After breakfast, you will be collected from your lodge in Moshi and taken to the Marangu gate. Once the necessary paperwork has been completed, your trek can begin and you will soon be hiking through the dense rainforest. Alongside the impressive vegetation, you will have the chance to catch a glimpse of some primates as you head to the Mandara Hut. After a well-earned rest, your guide can take you to the Maundi Crater where you can enjoy the wonderful view of the Kenyan interior.
The day begins with an early breakfast. Shortly after you have left Mandara Hut, you will reach the timberline and then enter the heath and moor zone. Approximately 4 – 6 hours later, the Horombo Hut will come into sight, standing at an altitude of 3700m. From the hut, you will have fantastic views overlooking Mawenzi, Kibo, and the wide plain of the Masai steppe.
Today’s stage is long and tough. The well-built trail passes the “Last Water point” which is followed by the so-called “saddle”. This nearly vegetation-less plateau joins the main summit of Kibo with Mawenzi. Today’s destination is the Kibo Hut which is usually reached in about 5 – 6 hours. Here, you will enjoy an early evening meal followed by an early night, as the night will be short.
Today is “The Big Day” – the summit stage. You will begin your final ascent around midnight which will be long and strenuous. Passing the Hans Meyer Cave at 5220m, the climb slowly but surely goes upwards. At sunrise, you will reach Gillman’s Point (5681m) – the crater rim of Kilimanjaro – where the sun will slowly start to warm up the land. You will have soon forgotten the cold of the night and after a further hike of 1 – 2 hours, you will reach Uhuru Peak at 5895m. On your return to Kibo Hut, a warm meal awaits you followed by a 1 – 2 hour break before proceeding back down to Horombo Hut.
On our last day, we have a long trek mostly downhill through the tropical rainforest. Once at the park headquarters at Marangu gate, we collect our summit certificates. A vehicle will meet us here and drive us back to the hotel in Moshi.
Includes & Excludes
This Trip Cost Includes:
- 2 nights hotel accommodation before and after you’re a climb on bed & breakfast basis
- Airport pick-up & drop-off
- Transfers to and from the mountain
- National Park entry, huts and climbing fees
- Rescue fees
- A fully supported climb (average ratio of support staff to climbers is 4:1)
- All meals and drinking water on the mountain
- Access to first aid kit and emergency oxygen
- A certificate documenting your summit ascent
The Trip Cost Excludes
- International flights and visas
- Tips for your guide and crew
- Travel insurance (you must be insured for trekking up to 6000m)
- Your personal trekking gears
- Snacks on the mountain
- Meals and drinks not on the mountain
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Frequently asked questions
Any fit person can do this trek, even if you do not have any previous experience. If you can walk a 10-14 km/6-7 miles per day, this climb should be do-able for you. From our experience, those with a good fitness level who get proper acclimatisation always reach the summit. If you have concerns regarding your fitness level then you can choose to opt for the longer day routes with less daily trekking distance. Essentially, you should be aware of what to expect and mentally prepare for it. Then, as long as you will to, you can.
The Marangu Route is recommended for those who would prefer a hut accommodation on the mountain rather than camping and require a shorter trek.
Since being a popular choice because it’s seen as an ‘easier’ climb, The Marangu route can get crowded and busy.