Marangu route is arguably the most common Kilimanjaro ascent. This is a relatively easy 5 – 6 days trip Kilimanjaro climb.Marangu Route is also the oldest Route and most popular, at one time the route was drawing over 80% of trekkers on Kilimanjaro, and it also came to be known as Coca-Cola route.m where the final summit bid is undertaken via the Normal/Marangu Route.
On Marangu route, you descend this route by retracting your steps. This is the only route on Mt. Kilimanjaro that all overnight stops are in purpose built huts. Since this is the shortest and cheapest route on the mountain, it is frequently very busy leading to the facilities along the trail sometimes becoming stretched. It is always recommended that you pay and book in advance to secure yourself a room if you plan to use this route.
Marangu route approaches the Mountain from the south, passing to the south of Mawenzi before it crosses to the desolate Saddle of heading to Kibo Hut. The Summit ascent on this route is then conducted via the Normal Marangu Route on an arduous scree slope that culminates in the arrival at Gilman Point on the crater rim. This route can be done in 5 days and as a result, it has a surprisingly low success rate for getting trekkers to the top compared to the other routes. To improve your chances of reaching Uhuru Peak, it is advisable to try to factor in an extra day for acclimatization purposes. This extra day for acclimatization is spent at Horombo Hut from where you can enjoy a number of fascinating side trips to explore various features of the Mountain.
5 Days / 4 Nights – Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu Route
Day 1: Transfer from Moshi town to Marangu Gate (1980m) – Mandara hut (2700m).
Hiking time: 5 hours.
Distance: About 12 km’s.
Habitat: Montane forest.
Elevation change: + 720 m
Early in the morning after breakfast you will be getting a briefing of your hiking from Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro guides before been transfer to Marangu gate around 9:00 am in the morning which takes about 45 minutes to reach there. On your arrival to Marangu gate which is located at the Marangu village normal formality of registration for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro will take place. A backpack is important for you to carry few things which will be useful for the particularly day trekking such as camera, extra cloth, skin oil, rain jacket and other things which you will be directed. Porters will carry other things for your climbing Mount Kilimanjaro such as food, drinking water, clothes and cooking gas and normally they walk faster than you so they can be in a position of preparing of dinner for you on time.
After all the formality our guide will show you a clear trail and assist you with any additional information or needs you might have. You now leave the park office and ascend on a cleared ridge route through the rain forest. The forest covered with mist and saturated with beards of moss. This trail follows the edge of a stream through the undergrowth and offers you the option to rejoin the main trail either, after one and half hours hiking, you will reach Mandara hut.
The weather at Mandara hut isn’t much cold and normal dressing and a jacket is enough. With an exception of Kibo hut the other huts have a group of wooden A-framed huts in a forest clearing. Each hut features 6-8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting. The total capacity of the camp is 60 climbers. Water is piped into the camp from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut.
Day 2: Mandara hut (2700m) – Horombo hut (3720m)
Hiking time: 6 hours.
Distance: About 15 km’s.
Elevation change: + 1020 m
Early in the morning after your breakfast you will starts climbing towards Horombo hut with your picnic lunch. From Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, and then heads around the base of the Maundi Crater where you will leave the forest and enter the moorland.
We recommend you take a short detour up to the rim of the Maundi Crater – from here you see the impressive Kibo Crater, and on a clear day you will also be able to see the glaciers of Kibo. This is a great photographic opportunity. In the moorlands you will also encounter some of Kilimanjaro most spectacular and strange plants in the open moorland – with giant lobelia and groundsel growing to heights of 3 and 5 metres respectively! Later in the afternoon you reach Horombo Hut to stay for hot dinner and an overnight. Your hut will be comfortable enough to ensure a good nights rest. Temperatures during the night will be around freezing point.
Day 3: Horombo hut (3720m) – Kibo hut (4700m)
Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: About 15 km’s
Habitat: Alpine desert
Elevation change: + 980 m
The climb is becoming more difficult as the oxygen at these altitudes begins to thin out considerably. To begin today you can take one of the two trails to the “Saddle”, located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. Stick to the lower route, which is much easier and has the added benefit of taking you past the last watering point. You should stock up with all the water you will need – the next watering point will be at Horombo hut when you return there on your descent the night after next. Once again remember to take it slowly and drink enough water. It will take from 5 to 7 hours to reach Kibo Hut where you will rest and have dinner. This is a barren area of extreme conditions, with temperatures at night sometimes dropping to below freezing point and daytime temperatures being relatively high. Kibo is a large stone house that can comfortably sleep 60 hikers in bunk beds – remember there is no water supply at this hut. There are toilet facilities behind the hut.
Spend time this afternoon preparing your equipment as you will be making your final ascent tonight–you will need your ski-stick and extra thermal clothing for your summit bid – also ensure that your headlamp and camera batteries are in order and make sure you have spare sets of batteries available as well. Carry your water in a thermal flask otherwise it will freeze later. Make sure you are in bed by 7:00 pm – you will need all the sleep you can get before your very early wake up call in only four and half hours time.
Day 4: Kibo hut (4700 m) – Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Horombo hut (3720 m)
Hiking time: 10 hours
Distance: About 27 km’s
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
Elevation change: + 1195 m, – 2175 m
Today will by far be your toughest day, you will be woken just before midnight and soon head off into the cold night up a rocky path towards to the Hans Meyer Cave at 5150 metres – you may take a short rest here before continuing your ascent up to Gillman’s point at 5680 metres. Probably the most demanding section of the entire route as it is very steep and stony – go slowly and carefully here. From Gillman’s Point, you will more than likely be walking through snow for the next 2 hours, when you will finally reach the summit of Uhuru Peak at 5895 metres.
Cold and fatigue will set in quickly here and you may find it very difficult to get started again. So spend a little time to enjoy the fact that you have conquered Kilimanjaro, get the camera out and take some pictures, then it will be best that you get moving again – it’s a long way down! The first part of your descent to Kibo hut will take almost another 3 hours. After a short rest you which will be accompanied with heavy breakfast, you will begin the next part of your descent – it will take another 3 hours of hiking to get to Horombo hut. Arriving Horombo hut at afternoon for hot hut lunch and rest as well as dinner and spend overnight there. You will no doubt have a good sleep, feeling exhilarated and proud of your achievement.
Day 5: Horombo hut (3720 m) – Mandara hut (1980m)
Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: About 27 km’s
Habitat: Moorland + Rain Forest
Elevation change: – 1740 m
After an early and well-deserved breakfast, you continue your descent passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate – this will take the best part of six hours. At Marangu gate you sign your name and details in a register. To make your achievement official, you will receive a summit certificate. If you reached Gillman’s Point you will be presented with a green certificate, and if you made it all the way to Uhuru Peak you will have earned yourself a gold certificate. You then take a road transfer back to your hotel where you have certainly earned a long hot shower and a drink or three to celebrate before getting a decent night’s rest in a comfortable bed.