The Marangu route is a classic trek on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the oldest, most well established route. Many favor the Marangu route because it is considered to be the easiest path on the mountain, given its gradual slope. It is also the only route which offers sleeping huts in dormitory style accommodations. The minimum days required for this route is five, although the probability of successfully reaching the top in that time period is quite low. Spending an extra acclimatization day on the mountain is highly recommended when climbing Klimanjaro using the Marangu route.
However, despite its immense popularity, we avoid leading climbs on the Marangu route. The route has the least scenic variety of all the routes because the ascent and descent are done on the same path and it is the most crowded route for that reason. Marangu is favored only during the rainy season, where the hut accommodations are preferred over wet ground, or for those who only have five days to climb Kilimanjaro (which we do not recommend anyhow). Otherwise, the Marangu route is a poor choice.
- Day 1
Mandara Hut (2,740m) – Horombo Hut (3700m) – (9,000ft to 12,100ft)
After breakfast and briefing, drive to the Marangu village and proceed to Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (45 minutes), register at Kilimanjaro National Park Authority offices and commence the climb. Walk through the rainforest to the Mandara hut located at 9,000 ft / 2,740 m. A side trip to Maundi Crater is a good way to see the surroundings including Northern Tanzania.
- Day 2
Marangu gate (1700m) – Mandara Hut 2740m – (5,500ft to 9,000ft)
In the morning around 8:30 a.m after breakfast starting trekking to Horombo hut. After about 1 hour, you will leave the glades of the rainforest and follow an ascending path on the open moorlands to the Horombo hut. The view of Kibo summit and Mawenzi are both stunning and shinning in clear days. In most cases giant lobelias and grounsels are found on your way. Horombo hut is a point were most of the climbers uses it for acclimatization whereby they spend an extra day. Spending an extra day give a wide change for successful summit the roof of Africa.
- Day 3
Horombo Hut (3700m) – Kibo Hut (4700m) – (12,100ft to 15,400ft)
In the morning after breakfast the trek will take us to the last watering point, walking onto the saddle of Kilimanjaro between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. Vegetation begins with upper heartland but then disappears into desert like structure. At Kibo you will have your dinner, take a nap and at the middle of the night around 23:30 hour prepare for summit climb.
- Day 4
Kibo Hut (4,750m/15,580ft) to Summit (5,895m/19,340ft) to Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft) Elevation Gain: 1,145 meters, 3,760 feet Elevation Loss: 2,175 meters, 7,140 feet
Around midnight, awake for the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa. The hike begins with a demanding five hour hike to Gillman’s Point on the crater rim. Although this is considered to be the easiest of the three crater ascent paths, it is still extremely difficult. The first major rest stop, William’s Point, lies at 5000 meters and is approximately a two hour hike Kibo Hut. Continue on for thirty minutes before beginning the rocky switchbacks that will continue to Gillman’s Point (5,681 meters). 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. The crater rim hike takes approximately two hours. Upon reaching Uhuru, take photos of your guide and group at the peak before beginning the descent to Horombo Hut. On the way down from the summit, you will see all of the magnificent views you could not see on the way up. Stop for a short break and snacks at Kibo Hut before continuing on to Horombo Hut. Reach Horombo Hut in the afternoon and enjoy your last night on the mountain.
- Day 5
Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft) to Marangu Gate (1,800m/5,905ft) Elevation Loss: 1,920 meters, 6,295 feet
After breakfast, finish the trek with a descent to Marangu Gate. 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. Our vehicles will be waiting at Marangu Gate to take you back to Moshi.
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