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7 Days Marangu Route

Also known as the “Coca Cola route” – the Marangu route is one of the most popular routes leading to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Many hikers believe that the Marangu route is the easiest route to Uhuru peak since it is the only route which can be hiked in 5 days (making it the cheapest option). It is also the only route offering accommodation on the mountain, in A-frame huts.

Safari tour package: A custom, tailor-made, private safari
Prices: $1750 - $2890
Includes internal flights: No
Length of safari: 7 days
Best months: All year
Countries visited: Tanzania Tanzania
Parks visited: Kilimanjaro
Activity level: Extreme - Technical climbing (Kilimanjaro, Mt. Meru)
Safari type:
Also known as the “Coca Cola route” – the Marangu route is one of the most popular routes leading to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Many hikers believe that the Marangu route is the easiest route to Uhuru peak, since it is the only route which can be hiked in 5 days (making it the cheapest option). It is also the only route offering accommodation on the mountain, in A-frame huts. It is unfortunately a well-known fact, that the 5 day Marangu route has one of the lowest summit success rates of all the routes up mountain. If you choose the Marangu route, we strongly recommend hiking the route over 6 days, to increase your chance to reach the summit successfully. This is the only route, which provides comfortable communal sleeping huts, equipped with beds and mattresses at every overnight site. Mineral water, soft drinks, beer and chocolates are also sold at most sites. The Marangu route utilises the same route for the ascend and descend.

Day 01: Arrive- Arusha

Arrive at Kilimanjaro international airport(transfer to Arusha arrive and meet and greet by our representative transfer to the Hotel / Lodge booked on half board basis

Day 02: Marangu Gate (1860m) – Mandara hut (2715m)

  • Hiking time: 5hours
  • Distance: Approximately 8.1 km
  • Habitat: Montane forest

The drive from Moshi 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 and make their final preparations for the climb. An alternative and more scenic parallel forest trail branches off to the left a few minutes after the gate. This trail follows the edge of a stream through the undergrowth and offers you the option to rejoin the main trail either after 1.5 hours hiking, or 1 hour before Mandara hut. Your first night stop, Mandara hut, consisting of 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. Dinner is prepared by our cook and served in a communal dining mess.


Day 03: Mandara hut (2715m) – Horombo hut (3705m)

  • Hiking time: 6hours
  • Distance: Approximately 11.6 km
  • Habitat: Moorland

From Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, 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.
Once you are in the open moorland you will get the chance to see some of Kilimanjaro’s most spectacular plants – the endemic giant lobelia which grows up to 3 m in height and the giant groundsel (Senecia Kilimanjari), which can reach heights of 5m! After about 6 hours trek from here, you reach the Horombo hut, where you will have a hot bowl of washing water, rest; an evening meal and overnight.


Day 04:

Extra Acclimatisation Day
This day will be an extra day for acclimatization.

Day 05: 2019-Horombo hut (3705m) – Kibo hut (4730m)

  • Hiking time: 6hours
  • Distance: Approximately 9.6 km
  • 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 (right hand fork) and a lower route (left-hand fork) to choose from. The upper route (right-hand fork) should be very familiar, as you will have climbed most of it the previous day (on your acclimatization hike) towards Mawenzi hut. This section is very stony and eroded.

The recommended lower route (left hand fork) is much easier and nearly an hour shorter, and it also passes the last watering point at 4130m. You will have to fill your water bottles with all the water you will need until your return to Horombo hut in two night’s time (unless you are willing to buy Mineral water at Kibo hut). Once again remember to slow down and drink enough water!


Situated in the barren Alpine desert is Kibo hut, a stone build block house which has bunk beds for 60 climbers, but no streams with water nearby. It is, however, possible to buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. There are platform toilets behind the hut.

The summit is now a further 1195m up and you will make your final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski-stick and thermal clothing for your summit bid. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible.

Day 06: Kibo hut (4730m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo hut (3705m)

  • Hiking time: 7 to 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 6 to 8 hours to descend to Horombo
  • Distance: Approximately 5.4km ascent and 15 km descent
  • Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit


You will rise around 23h20, 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. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly.

From Gillmans Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend, taking photographs, before the 3-hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest, you gather all the gear you left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) for your overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening, you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office) on the mountain and a well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.

Day 07: Horombo hut (3705m) – Marangu Gate (1860m)

  • Hiking time: 6 hours
  • Distance: Approximately 19.7 km

After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. Click here for more info on tips. At Marangu gate, you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Gillman’s Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive gold certificates. You now drive back to Arusha for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!! Overnight at the Hotel/Lodge booked on half board basis

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