The trek begins in the south-east area of the mountain at Marangu Gate. The route takes five days minimum to complete, although six days is more practical and recommended. The sleeping huts along the route are structures with a dining hall and bunk beds, equipped with mattresses and pillows. The descent is done on the same path, contributing to Marangu’s overcrowded feeling.
It is a cheaper climb as well, do to the close proximity of the gate to Moshi, the gateway town, and because it is a shorter route. The route isn’t exactly ideal for acclimatization either, unless deviations are built in. As such, the success rate on Marangu is often less than other routes. But, if it sounds like we are trying to talk to out of this route, we are, except that it does have it’s own appeal.
Marangu is still a legitimate way to to the summit of Africa. It is the legacy route and does hold history. And of course, it can be comfortable in huts, especially in the wet seasons. There is no escalator, and as such, Marangu offers very viable and respectable options for disabled or otherwise physically disadvantaged trekkers on it’s well established trail.
Marangu variations can be done in 6 days. We will only accommodate 5 day itineraries if you have been pre-acclimatized (within the last 2 days) on Mt. Meru or another high altitude peak.
Arrival – Day 0: Kilimanjaro International Airport – Arusha
After arriving at Kilimanjaro Airport, you will be welcomed by our driver-guide who will transfer you to a hotel in Arusha city. At the hotel you will be introduced to your mountain guide and his assistants who will brief you of your trek/ climb that will be taking off in the next morning. The briefing includes checking your parking list and climbing gears, measuring the weights of your luggage and day-park also a review on few important climbing tips. You are advised to make reference to our recommended climbing gears.
Day 1: Marangu Gate – Mandara Hut
After an early breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked up and driven to the Marangu Gate (1980m ASL). 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 (Montane forest). During this section of the hike, you should expect rain, mud, and fog. There are chances for wildlife spots, including Colobus monkeys! After 3-4 hours of ascending, you will reach the Mandara Hut (2700m ASL). Mandara huts sleeps 60 hikers per night.
Unlike all other routes accommodation in Marangu route are wooden huts. Early booking is advised to secure accommodation for this route.
Day 2: Mandara Hut – Horombo Hut
Following breakfast, you will begin your ascent out of the rainforest and into the heathen moorland. You will pass the Maundi Crater with a possibility of climbing 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 (3720m ASL). Horombo Hut sleeps 120 hikers and is located on a small plateau with a breathtaking view of the town and villages of Moshi.
Day 3: Horombo Hut – Acclimatization day
At Horombo Hut, you will spend the day allowing your body to acclimate (adapt) to high altitude. You will have the option of doing a day hike to Zebra Rocks point (4200m ASL) or Mawenzi Hut (4600m ASL) for further acclimatization with your guide. Breakfast and dinner will be at the hut and lunch will either be packed or at the hut depending on your preference for the day.
Day 4: Horombo Hut – Kibo Hut
Following an early morning breakfast, you will continue your ascent into the alpine desert habitat. You will have the option of 2 trails that lead to Kibo Hut (4700m ASL). 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 (less 1hr).
Kibo Hut is located in the “Saddle,” which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo in an alpine desert. An early dinner will be served so you may rest before concur the summit the same night.
Day 5: The SUMMIT – Gilman’s Point – Stella Point – UhuruPeak
Your guide will wake you around 23:30 for tea or coffee and you will then begin your summit attempt. The trail is rocky up to Hans Meyer Cave (5150m). You continue your ascent to Gillman’s point (5681m). Reaching this section is an impressive achievement as the trail is steep, rocky, and at high altitude. Gillman’s is located on the crater rim. From this point, you will usually experience a snow covered trail until you reach the summit, Uhuru Peak (5895m) passing Stella Point where Machame route make its first peak. Reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro is a lifetime accomplishment! You will be able to spend a short time on the summit taking photographs and drinking tea before the descent begins. The hike down to Kibo Hut takes about 3 hours.
At Kibo Hut, you will rest and enjoy a hot lunch in the sun. After eating, you will continue descending down to Horombo Hut. You will have a dinner, wash, and rest soundly at the hut after a strenuous day.
Day 6: Horombo Hut – Marangu Gate
Following a well-served breakfast, your crew will have a big celebration full of dancing and singing. It is here on the mountain that you will present your tips and appreciation to the guide, assistant guides, chef(s), and porters. After celebrating, you will descend for 6 hours back to Marangu Gate. The National Park Authority requires all hikers to sign their names to receive certificates of completion. Hikers who reached Gillman’s Point (5681m ASL) receive green certificates and hikers who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m ASL) receive gold certificates. After receiving certificates, you will drive back to your lodge for long overdue showers and more relaxations.
- Two nights’ accommodation at the Hotel in Arusha (before and after the climb)
- First night includes dinner and breakfast
- Last night includes dinner & breakfast
- Transportation from Arusha to/from Marangu Gate
- Airport transfers
- Qualified guides with mountain crew
- National park fees
- Accommodation in the huts and sleeping mattresses
- Cutlery / Crockery / Eating utensils
- Mess tent (for dining) / Mini camping chairs / Tables / Candles
- Rescue fees
- Pulse oxi-meters
- First aid kit
- Guides, porters, cook, waiter salaries
- Hot water on the mountain
- Drinking Water
- All meals on the mountain (breakfast, lunch & dinner)
- Guides, porters, waiter, cook accommodation and entry fees on the mountain
- Single room supplement at the Hotel (except on the 1 person rate)
- Guides, Porters, Cook & Waiters tips
- Meals and drinks not specified
- Gear for your climb
- Items of personal nature
- Additional nights beyond the two standard hotel nights included