6-Day Marangu Route
The 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.
Bathrooms and running water are available at the two lower huts. Men’s and ladies' latrines are available at the last camp but are very basic. All climbing groups, often from several countries around the world, share meals in dining huts providing a jovial and energetic atmosphere. Soft drinks, bottled water, and beer may be for sale at the huts. Bring small Tanzanian bills to purchase these items.
DAY 1 Marangu Gate to Mandara Hut Elevation (ft): 1860m/6,046 ft to 2700m/ 8,858 ft Distance: 8 km/5 miles Hiking Time: 4-5 hours Habitat: Rain Forest
We depart Moshi for Marangu Gate for the necessary formalities before beginning our trek. The hiking trail begins by ascending a beautiful, tropical rain forest. At the upper edge of the forest line, we might see blue monkeys. The trail then widens to expose beautiful hillsides until we reach Mandara Hut.
DAY 2 Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut Elevation (ft): 2700m/8,858 ft to 3700/12,205 ft Distance: 12 km/7 miles Hiking Time: 6-8 hours Habitat: Heathland
We start the day by continuing through the forest until the trail opens into high moorland. We may get our first views of the Kibo and Mawenzi peaks – two of the three volcanic peaks that make up the summit of Kilimanjaro. Look for giant lobelias and the
DAY 3 Rest day at Horombo Hut with optional hike near Mawanzi Peak. This is an extra day meant for acclimatization and can be spent hiking on Mawenzi Ridge. The unique landscape offers motivating views of Kibo and Mawenzi. After spending a few moments exploring the area we head back to Horombo Hut.
DAY 4 Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut Elevation (ft): 3700m/12,205 ft to 4700m/15,430 ft Distance: 10 km/6 miles Hiking Time: 6-8 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert We climb gradually, then cross the lunar desert of the “Saddle” between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. Vegetation begins at upper heathland but then disappears into “moon landscape”. Our camp, Kibo Hut, sits at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Once here we rest and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day.
DAY 5 Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak Elevation (ft): 4700m/15,430 ft to 5895m/19,341 ft Distance: 6 km/4 miles Hiking Time: 6-8 hours Habitat: Alpine desert Uhuru Peak to Horombo Hut Elevation (ft): 5895m/19,341 ft to 3700m/12,250 ft Distance: 16 km/10 miles Hiking Time: 4-5 hours Habitat: Heath
Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The
wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short breaks. Going slowly “pole pole” and an optimistic attitude will get you there! At Gilman’s point (18,600 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are probably ever going to witness coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point of Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. After spending a few moments taking in the plains of Africa and your accomplishment, we descend to Horombo Hut. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned rest.
DAY 6 Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate Elevation (ft): 3700m/12,205 ft to 1700m/ 6,046 ft Distance: 20 km/12 miles Hiking Time: 5-7 hours Habitat: Rain Forest On our last day, we have a long trek mostly downhill through the tropical rainforest. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Once at the park headquarters at Marangu gate, we collect our summit certificates. Time for a celebration! A vehicle will meet us here and drive us back to the hotel in Arusha or Moshi.