This trek utilizes a popular route for many climbers. This 6-day climb has a built in extra day for acclimatization. Summit day begins at midnight providing the best chance to reach the top. The Marangu route, famously known as the "Coca-Cola" route, is the original route established to climb Kilimanjaro. The Marangu route is often billed as one of the easier walking routes, however, it suffers from the lowest success rate because of poor acclimatization. Approaching Mount Kilimanjaro from the southeast, the Marangu route uses the same ascent and descent route. 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 Marangu route was Nicknamed the ‘Coca-Cola’ route as Coke used to be bought along the way in tea huts
- It has the reputation for being the “easiest” route, however it also has a relatively low success rate possibly due to less time for acclimatization
- This is the only route that offers dormitory style accommodation in huts for the entire climb. Huts have basic amenities including a mattress.
- The Marangu route ascent and descent on same trai
- The total trekking distance for the Marangu Route is 70km or 43 miles.
You will be picked up from accommodation in Arusha and transferred to the start of your Kilimanjaro hike. On the way, we’ll pass through the village of Marangu located on the lower slopes of the mountain before arriving at the park gate where we prepare for the climb ahead. Your first afternoon hiking is through forest and we’ll keep our eyes peeled for Colobus Monkeys before arriving at Mandara Hut, a charming group of A-frame huts in a forest clearing.
Approximate distance and altitude: 8km (estimated 5 hours hiking) 1980m to 2700m
The trek today quickly clears the forest canopy as we skirt the base of the Maundi Crater. The terrain changes from rainforest to moorland and if you have the energy you can take a short detour up to the rim of Maundi Crater for your first glimpse of the impressive Kibo Crater – the highest of the three volcanic cones that make Kilimanjaro. If you’re lucky enough to get a clear day, you can see the glaciers on the crater glisten in the distance. On the moorland you can appreciate Kilimanjaro’s unique flora, including the endemic giant lobelia, which grows up to 3m high.
Approximate distance and altitude: 12km (estimated 6 hours hiking) 2700m to 3720m
This morning as we continue our ascent, the scenery morphs into alpine desert. We trek to the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo peaks, filling our water bottles at the last watering point on the way. Kibo Hut is nestled in barren alpine desert, making this a stark and dramatic landscape. At the hut we will prepare for the last push to the summit, which we will begin in the evening.
Approximate distance and altitude: 10km (estimated 6 hours hiking) 3720m to 4700m
Today is an extra acclimatization day. This is beneficial to allow your body time to adjust to the change in altitude. Your chance of success is much higher if you take the time to acclimatize. You will take short walks to higher altitudes before returning to the camp for an extra night.
This is the last big push to the summit and the toughest day of the climb. You’ll arise just before midnight, have a quick snack and begin hiking through the early hours of the morning. The route zigzags up to Gillman’s point, which is located on the crater rim. This section is the most demanding section of the entire route and requires great physical and mental stamina but the view at the top is worth the effort. From here you may encounter snow as you make your way up to Uhuru peak, the highest point in Africa. After this exhilarating summit, you’ll start your descent back towards Kibo Hut and onwards to Horombo Hut. Tonight you’ll enjoy your last dinner with your fellow walkers with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office and celebrate a fantastic achievement.
Approximate distance and altitude: 22km (estimated 8 hours to summit, 6 hours to Horombo) 4700m – 5895m – 3720m
In the morning you’ll begin your hike back to Marangu Gate passing Mandara Hut on the way. At the gate you can sign the register and successful climbers will receive a summit certificate. We’ll then transfer back to Arusha where the celebrations can begin!
Approximate distance and altitude: 20km (estimated 6 hours hiking) 3720m to 1980m
Private portable toilet
Emergency evacuation down the mountain
All National Park entrance fees, porter and guide fees
Transfer to and from Arusha to Kilimanjaro gate