Known as the "Coca-Cola" route, the Marangu route is a classic trek on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the oldest, most well established route. Many favor the Marangu route because it is considered to be the easiest path on the mountain, given its gradual slope. It is also the only route which offers sleeping huts in dormitory style accommodations.
The minimum days required for this route is five, although the probability of successfully reaching the top in that time period is quite low. Spending an extra acclimatization day on the mountain is highly recommended when climbing Klimanjaro using the Marangu route.
However, despite its immense popularity, we avoid leading climbs on the Marangu route. The route has the least scenic variety of all the routes because the ascent and descent are done on the same path and it is the most crowded route for that reason. Marangu is favored only during the rainy season, where the hut accommodations are preferred over wet ground, or for those who only have five days to climb Kilimanjaro (which we do not recommend anyhow). Otherwise, the Marangu route is a poor choice.
Have breakfast at your hotel, picked up from the hotel in Arusha and transferred to Marangu Gate. At the gate, the porters will organize and pack the belongings for the hike while you and your guide perform registration formalities. You will then begin your ascent into the rainforest. During this section of the hike, you should expect rain, mud, and fog. Also, be able to encounter wildlife, including Colobus monkeys! After 3-4 hours of ascending, you will reach the Mandara Hut (2700m). At this point temperatures may drop to freezing point. Have dinner and overnight stay at Mandara Hut.
After breakfast, we will begin their ascent out of the rainforest and into the heathen moorland. The trail passes through the Maundi Crater and you are able to climb up to its rim for a spectacular view of the Kibo Crater. In the moorland, you will spot exotic plants, including giant lobelia and groundsel. After 6 hours of hiking, you will reach Horombo Hut (3720m) which is located on a small plateau. Be prepared for a cold night as temperatures drop below freezing at this site. Have dinner and overnight stay at Horombo Hut.
At Horombo Hut (3720m), you will spend the whole day allowing your body to acclimate to high altitude. You will have an option of doing a day hike to Mawenzi Hut (4600m) for further acclimatization with your guide. Breakfast and dinner will be at the hut and lunch will either be packed or at the hut depending on your preference for the day.
After an early morning breakfast, you will continue your ascent into the alpine desert habitat. We will have the option of two trails that lead to Kibo Hut (4700m). The upper route (located to the right of the fork) is the same trail used the previous day for the day hike to Mawenzi Hut. The lower route (located to the left of the fork) is the more popular route because it is a shorter hiking distance (1 hour shorter). Kibo Hut is located in the “Saddle,” which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo in an alpine desert. An early dinner will be served so that climbers can rest before attempting the summit the same night. Your guide will brief you in detail on how to prepare for summit night. Have an early sleep in the night for preparation for midnight climb to the Summit.
Guides will wake you around 23:30 for tea and biscuits. You will then begin your summit attempt. The trail is rocky up to Hans Meyer Cave (5150m). You continue your ascent to Gillman’s point (5681m). Reaching this section is an impressive achievement as the trail is steep, rocky, and at high altitude. Gillman’s is located on the crater rim. From this point, you will usually experience a snow covered trail until you reach the summit, Uhuru Peak (5895m). Reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro is a lifetime accomplishment! You will be able to spend a short time on the summit taking photographs and drinking tea before the descent to Barafu begins. The hike down to Kibo Hut takes about 3 hours. At Kibo Hut, you will rest and enjoy a hot lunch in the sun. After eating, you will continue descending down to Horombo Hut (3720m).
After having breakfast you will descend for 6 hours back to Marangu Gate (1980m). You will drive back to Arusha for long overdue showers and more celebrations.
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