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Mount Kilimanjaro-Marangu Route

  • Nicknamed the "Coca-Cola" route due to the older days when Coke used to be bought along the way in tea huts
  • Often selected by unprepared, inexperienced climbers because of its reputation for being the "easiest" route, attributing to the lower success rate
  • The shortest and cheapest route, but less time to acclimatize, therefore lower success rate
  • Dormitory style accommodation in huts
  • Less scenic due to ascent and descent on same route

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. There are 60 bunk beds each at Mandara and Kibo Huts, and 120 bunk beds at Horombo Hut.

Recommended Trip Length         Accomodation
5 Days /  4 Nights                                 Hut

Marangu Itinerary.
Day 1 Marangu Gate (1980m) - Mandara hut (2700m)

Hiking time: 5h
Distance: Approximately 12kms
Habitat: Montane forest

After breakfast, your guide will brief you and check your equipments. The drive from Moshi/Arusha to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate, takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Marangu, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. Once you reach the park gate, all hikers are requested to sign in at the Park office. You now leave the Park gate and ascend on a cleared ridge trail through the rain forest. The forest, suffused with mist and dripping with beards of moss, is also where most of Kilimanjaro's animals are found. An alternative and more scenic parallel forest trail branches off to the left a few minutes after the gate.

Day 2 Mandara hut (2700m) - Horombo hut (3720m)

Hiking time: 6h
Distance: Approximately 15kms
Habitat: Moorland

From Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, then skirts the base of the Maundi Crater and then emerges into the transition from rain forest to moorland. It is well worth a short detour to scramble up the rim of the Maundi Crater for your first really impressive view of the Kibo Crater. On a clear day, Kibo will glimmer in the distance, showing off her majestic glaciers in the morning sun.

Day 3 Horombo hut (3720m) - Acclimatisation day
Horombo hut is a village of huts perched on a small plateau, with buildings similar to Mandara, but with a total capacity of 120 climbers! Horombo is normally bustling with hikers, guides and porters, with an atmosphere of adventure and excitement. This extra day and night at Horombo is for additional acclimatisation.

Day 4 Horombo hut (3720m) - Kibo hut (4700m)

Hiking time: 6h
Distance: Approximately 15kms
Habitat: Alpine desert

After breakfast you now continue your ascent into the Alpine desert habitat. From Horombo there are two trails to the "Saddle" (which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo). There is an upper route and lower route to choose from. The upper route will be very familiar, as you will have climbed most of it the previous day towards Mawenzi hut. It is very stony and eroded. The recommended lower route is much easier and nearly an hour shorter, and it also passes the last watering point at 4130m.


Day 5 (Summit Attempt) Kibo hut (4700m) - Uhuru Peak (5895m) - Horombo hut (3720m)
Hiking time: 8h to Uhuru, 6h to get to Horombo
Distance: Approximately 6kms ascent, 21kms descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night, and this is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gillman's point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort. This is probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Move slowly.


Day 6 Horombo hut (3720m) - Marangu Gate (1980m)
Hiking time: 6h
Distance: Approximately 27kms
: After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. Remember to sign at the gate. Again, the journey passes through the village of Marangu, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. You now drive back to Moshi/Arusha for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!

 

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