The Marangu Route Is One Of The Most Popular Routes To The Summit Of Mount Kilimanjaro. This May Be Partly Due To The Fact That It Is The Least Expensive Route, Or Perhaps Because It Is Possible To Get The Summit 5 Days As Opposed To Six Days Using The Machame Route.
The Marangu Route Gives The Visitor The Option Of Spending An Extra Acclimatization Day On The Mountain Extending The Route Into A 6-day Trek, Greatly Increasing The Chances Of Success. Shared Hut Accommodation On The Marangu Route Offers Visitors The Relative Luxury Of Being Able To Sleep In Huts Along The Entire Route. Mineral Water, Soft Drinks, Chocolates And Beers Are Also Available At All The Camps On This Route.
Marangu Gate (1860m) - Mandara hut (2715m)
Hiking time: 5h
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.
At the park gate, all hikers are required to sign in at the Park office and make their final preparations for the climb. Porters will be seen arranging and loading their packs, containing the food, water, cooking gas as well as most of your equipment. Make sure that you have all your daypack items (containing at least drinking water, your lunch pack and extra clothing) with you, as the porters ascend a lot quicker than the hikers.
Hikers will leave the park gate and ascend on a cleared ridge trail through the rain forest.
The first night stop will be 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. Dinner is prepared by our cook and served in a communal dining mess.
Mandara hut (2715m) - Horombo hut (3705m)
Hiking time: 6h
Distance: Approximately 11.6 km
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. Once the hikers are in the open moorland they will get the chance to see some of Kilimanjaro's most spectacular plants. After about 6 hours trek from here, they will reach the Horombo hut, where you will have their evening meal and stay overnight.
Horombo hut (3705m) - Acclimatisation day
At the Horombo hut, there will be both ascending and descending hikers.
They will spend an extra day and night at Horombo for additional acclimatization. A hike towards the Mawenzi hut, passing the Zebra Rocks on the way (about 3 hours up and 1,5 hours down), is strongly recommended. This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatization. Hikers are advised to drink enough water and move slowly! All meals for the day are provided at the hut. Retire to bed early and get a last good night's rest.
Horombo hut (3705m) - Kibo hut (4730m)
Hiking time: 6h
Distance: Approximately 9.6 km
Habitat: Alpine desert
After breakfast hikers resume their 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 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. Once again hikers are reminded to slow down and drink enough water!
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
Hikers will wake up around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits before shuffling 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 they will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long they will be able to spend, taking photographs, before the 3-hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest, they gather their gear left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) for an overnight stay. 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, and hikers should be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening, they will enjoy the last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.
Horombo hut (3705m) - Marangu Gate (1860m)
Hiking time: 6h
Distance: Approximately 19.7 km
After breakfast they will continue descending (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. At Marangu gate sign their names and details in a register and successful climbers will 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. They then drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations.