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The Marangu Route is one of the most popular and well-established routes for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. It is also known as the “Coca-Cola” route due to the availability of the beverage at the huts along the way. The Marangu Route is the only route that offers sleeping huts, making it a popular choice for those who prefer not to camp.
The Marangu Route is a six-day trek that covers a distance of approximately 64 kilometers. The route starts at the Marangu Gate, located on the southeastern side of Mount Kilimanjaro, and ascends through various vegetation zones, including rainforest, moorland, and alpine desert, before reaching the summit at Uhuru Peak.
The Marangu Route is considered to be the easiest and most straightforward route to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. However, it still requires a good level of fitness and acclimatization to the altitude. The route has a gradual ascent profile, which allows for better acclimatization and reduces the risk of altitude sickness.
The Marangu Route is a popular choice for those who want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro but do not have a lot of experience with high-altitude trekking. It is also a good choice for those who prefer not to camp and want to sleep in huts along the way. However, because of its popularity, the Marangu Route can be crowded, especially during peak season.
Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)
2 Hours Before Flight Time
Sote Tours staff will be waiting at arrival will meet you and will escort you to the waiting vehicle for loading your luggage then drive you to the Hotel in Moshi town. After checking in the hotel you will get briefing about your next day’s trek then your mountain guide will check your gears. The rest of the day can be spent relaxing at the pool or exploring the town of Moshi.
Accommodation at Panama Garden Resort
After an early breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked up and driven to the Marangu Gate (1,970m). At the gate, the porters will organize and pack the belongings for the hike while you and your guide register with the Tanzania National Park (TANAPA).
You will then begin your ascent into the rainforest. During this section of the hike, you should expect rain, mud, and fog. Also, be on the lookout for wildlife, including Colobus monkeys! After 3-4 hours of ascending, you will reach the Mandara Hut (2700m). Each hut has 6-8 sleeping bunks (sleeps 60 hikers total) with solar-generated lighting. Next to the central hut, there are flush toilets. The porters, who arrive at the campsite before the clients, will boil water for drinking and washing. The chef will prepare a snack then dinner for the clients. At nighttime, mountain temperatures may drop to freezing so be prepared!
Elevation: 1,970m to 2,700 m
Distance: 9 km
Trekking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
Following breakfast, hikers will begin their ascent out of the rain forest and into the heather moorland. Hikers will pass the Maundi Crater and are able to climb up to its rim for a spectacular view of the Kibo Crater. In the moorland, you will spot exotic plants, including giant lobelia and groundsel. After 6 hours of hiking, you will reach Horombo Hut (3,720m). Horombo Hut sleeps 120 hikers and is located on a small plateau. Similar to the first night, the porters will prepare drinking and washing water for you. You will enjoy evening snacks then dinner prepared by our chef. Be prepared for a cold night as temperatures drop below freezing at this site.
Elevation: 2,700m to 3,720m
Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: Approximately 14 km
Spend an extra day here at Horombo during the 6-days itinerary for acclimatization purposes. This day you will hike to Mawenzi Ridge or Zebra Rock to have your body adjust to higher altitudes. After this session you will return back to Horombo hut for lunch, resting until dinner and overnight.
Following an early morning breakfast, you will continue your ascent into the alpine desert habitat. Hikers have the option of 2 trails that lead to Kibo Hut (4,703m). The upper route (located to the right of the fork) is the same trail used the previous day for the day hike to Mawenzi Hut. The lower route (located to the left of the fork) is the more popular route because it is a shorter hiking distance (1 hour shorter).
Kibo Hut is located in the “Saddle,” which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo in an alpine desert. There is no water at this camp, but hikers can buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. An early dinner will be served so hikers can rest before attempting the summit the same night. Your guide will brief you in detail on how to prepare for summit night. Get to sleep by 19:00
Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: Approximately 15 kilometers
Habitat: Alpine desert
Wake at midnight to a light breakfast then prepare for your summit ascent. Because you will climb to the summit in the dark you will need to have your headlamps/flashlights. It will also be very cold until you start descending, so you will need to have all of your warm layers.
This is an important time to keep on slowly slowly (pole pole in Swahili). The goal is to climb before dawn so that you can reach Uhuru Peak shortly before or after sunrise. Switchback up steep scree or possibly snow, and reach Gilman’s Point on the crater rim at 5,861 m/18,640 ft between 4 and 6 AM. At this point, you will have a view of the fabled crater and its icecaps facing you.
Then after 2 hours of hiking along the Kibo crater rim near the celebrated snows takes you to Kilimanjaro’s true summit, Uhuru Peak here you will spend some time taking photos. After your summit photos and taking in the view, descend back to the Kibo Huts, have lunch, rest, collect your equipment and continue down through re-cross the saddle to the Horombo Huts. Have dinner and overnight at Horombo Camp.
Elevation: 4,703m Uhuru Peak 5,895m to Horombo Hut camp (3,720m)
Distance: 4 km up, 14 km down
Hiking Time: 10-15 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert.
After a long sleep, you will be awaked for breakfast and pack, continue your descent through the moorland to Mandara Huts. Here you will have lunch then proceed your triumphant recessional down through the lush forest to Marangu park gate. After the gate sign out, a vehicle will take you back to the hotel where it is definitely time for your certificate presentation and celebration.
Accommodation at Panama Garden Resort
Elevation: Elevation): 3,720m to 1,970m
Distance: 18 km
Descending time: 6-7 hours
Habitat: Montane forest
Breakfast and Lunch
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