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  • Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro via Marangu Route

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro via Marangu Route

Introduction

The Marangu Route is the easiest and shortest route to Kilimanjaro’s summit and is often referred to as the “Coca Cola” or “tourist” route.

This is also the only route with the comforts of sleeping huts at every camp site with solar lights and comfortable beds. The huts are communal, and the bunks have a sponge mattress and pillow. There are 60 beds at both Mandara and Kibo Huts and 120 beds at Horombo Hut. As accommodation is limited, it is best off booking to climb the Marangu Route early on to ensure a place. Bathrooms and running water are available at the two lower huts. Mens' 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 are for sale at the huts. Bring small Tanzanian bills to purchase these items (prices increase as you go higher). This route is usually done on 5 days but can be done in 6 days for better acclimatization. The extra day can be spent resting at Horombo or climbing the small peak of Mawenzi.

Advantages:
Low cost
Accommodation is in huts, no camping equipment needed
Supposedly the easiest route

Day 1

Depart from Arusha early in the morning and drive for one and half hours to the Marangu Gate on the eastern side of Kilimanjaro. You will be required to register at the gate and then you start hiking ascending on a cleared ridge trail through the rain forest before reaching your first night stopover at Mandara Huts. Time permitting you can take a 15 minute side trip to Maundi Crater is a good place to see the surroundings including Northern Tanzania and Kenya.
Elevation: 1830m to 2740m - Distance: 7 km - Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Day 2

Begin your hike through rainforest glades, then follow an ascending path through heathland. Continue up into open moorlands where small shrubs are the main vegetation. Horombo Huts, where you can see Kibo’s summit, is the night stopover. You may begin to feel the effects of altitude here, and to aid your acclimatization, you can choose to spend an extra day resting at Horombo or climbto a basecamp below Kibo’s sub peak Mawenzi.
Elevation: 2740m to 3690m - Distance: 11 km - Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

Day 3

Horombo Huts to Kibo Huts. The first part of the day’s hike climbs through the dwindling heathland that blends into a moonscape as you enter the sweeping saddle connecting Mawenzi and Kibo. Crossing this surprisingly large saddle, you can see the summit climb up Kibo that you will be starting in just a few hours. There is no running water at the Kibo Huts.
Elevation: 3690m to 4695 m - Distance: 10 km - Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

Day 4

Summit Day! "Kibo Huts to Uhuru Peak to Horombo Huts. You will start your final ascent shortly after midnight with the aim to reach Uhuru Peak shortly after sunrise. You first reach Gilman’s Point on the crater rim at 5861m and a further 2 hrs hiking round the rim takes you to Kilimanjaro’s true summit, Uhuru Peak. After spending a short while here, you descend back to the Kibo Huts, for a short rest, and re cross the saddle to the Horombo Huts.
Elevation: 4695m to 5895m, decend to 3,690m - Distance: 4km up, 14km down - Hiking Time: 10-15 hours

Day 5

Horombo Huts to Marangu Gate to Moshi/Arusha. descend through the moorland to the Mandara Huts then through lush forest to the park gate.
Elevation: 3690m to 1830m - Distance: 18km - Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

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