The Marangu route, also known as the "Coca-Cola" route, is the oldest, most well established route on Kilimanjaro. This is the only route which offers sleeping huts in dormitory style accommodations in lieu of camping. There are 60 bunk beds each at Mandara and Kibo Huts, and 120 bunk beds at Horombo Hut. Guests are supplied with mattresses and pillows, but sleeping bags are still required. The huts have communal dining halls and basic washrooms, ranging from flushing toilets and running water at the lower huts to long drop toilets and buckets of water at Kibo Hut. Many favor Marangu because it is considered to be the easiest path on the mountain, given its gradual slope and direct path.
Trekking time: 4-5 hours of walking.
Elevation gain 870 m / 2900 ft
After registration, begin trekking through lush undisturbed forest where you may be lucky enough to see Colobus monkeys. The path gradually climbs to your camp at Mandara Huts, a trek taking approximately 4 to 5 hours. Mandara Huts is 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. The volcanic remains of Maundi Crater are nearby and make a good afternoon excursion. Alternatively simply rest and enjoy the beautiful forest around you.
Trekking time: 5-6 hours, approx.
Elevation gain 1020m/ 3300ft
From Mandara Hut the trail climbs steeply through a short stretch of forest, soon emerging into grassy moorland. On a clear day, you will catch your first glimpse of Kibo, the summit cone of Kilimanjaro, and the jagged second peak Mawenzi. We climb steadily through the moorland zone, containing giant heather and occasional groundsel which can reach heights of up to 5 metres. After around 4 to 6 hours walking today you will reach the hut complex at Horombo where you will have hot washing water, dinner and overnight. Overnight in Horombo Camp.
Horombo is a village of huts perched on a small plateau with buildings similar to Mandara, but with a total capacity of 120 climbers!
Trekking time: 4-5 hours
Today you can have a lie in, as you will be staying at Horombo Huts for a second night and therefore do not need to pack! This extra day and night will aid your acclimatisation and is therefore very important in preparation for your summit attempt. The day will be spent hiking towards the seldom visited base of Mawenzi Peak, passing Zebra Rocks en route. The landscape feels more alpine here and there is a greater sense of peacefulness than in other locations on this route.
Elevation Gain: 980m/ 3200 feet
After breakfast you will continue your ascent into the alpine desert, heading towards the saddle between Kibo and Mawenzi. The terrain is much more open here and there is a palpable sense of high altitude wilderness. You will arrive in camp for lunch giving you the afternoon to rest before your summit attempt.
Elevation Gain: 1195 m / 3940 ft
Elevation Loss: 2175m / 7140 ft
Around midnight, begin the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. For the next six hours, hike by the light of your flashlight. The ascent to the crater rim is the most challenging part of the entire trek. The trail is very steep until you reach the crater rim at Gilman's Point. The hike from Gilman's to Uhuru Peak is a gradual climb and, as far as hikes go, not very difficult. The altitude, however, makes the hike long and tiring. After summit celebrations you will descend to Kibo Huts. You will eat here before continuing your descent to Horombo Huts. This will seem surprisingly fast. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening enjoy your last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Trekking time: 5-6 hours
Elevation Loss: 1,890 metres / 6200 feet
Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one, passing through Kilimanjaro's cloud forest. Watch your step during the descent, as the trail can be slippery. This trek will take approximately 5-6 hours. At the gate, you will be met and transferred back to Moshi.