The Marangu route (also known as the “Coca-Cola” route) is one of the most popular and easiest routes up Kilimanjaro, of course that doesn’t mean that it’s easy!
Its well-developed paths and gentle ascent (with the exception of the summit day itself) make this route popular with less experienced mountain hikers. The accommodation is located in simple, but wind sheltered mountain huts. This offers a certain advantage, since it can be quite cold in the higher altitudes on the mountain. The ascent and descent takes place in the same way.
We recommend the Marangu route as a 6 day tour with an additional acclimatization day at the Horombo Hut. This acclimatization day significantly increases the chance of a summit success. The 5 day tour should only be undertaken by experienced mountain hikers with appropriate altitude experience. The 5 day tour does not include the acclimatization day (day 3).
After breakfast and a briefing (including a check of your equipment) we drive to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate. Once the necessary formalities are completed, your hike through the dense rainforest can begin. Besides the impressive vegetation, you have the opportunity to observe black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys and various bird species. After about 3-4 hours, you will reach the day‘s destination – the Mandara Hut. After a well-earned rest, you can take a short trip to Maundi crater (15 minutes away) with your guide. The great view of Kilimanjaro, of north Tanzania and into Kenya is worth the extra effort in good weather. Dinner and overnight on the Mandara Hut.
The day begins with an early breakfast. Shortly after you have left Mandara Hut, you will reach the timberline and then enter the heath and moor zone. After a 5-6 hour hike, you will reach the Horombo Hut, which is located at 3700 meters. From the hut, you will have fantastic views overlooking Mawenzi, Kibo and the wide plain of the Maasai steppe. Dinner and overnight at the Horombo Hut.
Today serves as an acclimatization day. This should not be underestimated and will greatly improve your chances of success in reaching the summit. After a relaxed breakfast, your route will lead you today to Zebra Rocks (3980m). The striking black-and-white stripes give the rock formation its name. On your return to Horombo Hut, a warm lunch will be waiting for you. In the afternoon, you can rest and gather your strength for the next day hike. Dinner and overnight at the Horombo Hut.
Today’s stage is long and tough. The well-built trail passes the “Last Waterpoint” which is followed by the so-called “saddle”. This nearly vegetationless plateau joins the main summit Kibo with Mawenzi. Today’s destination is the Kibo Hut, which is usually reached in about 5 – 6 hours.
Here you will enjoy an early evening meal followed by an early night as the night will be short.
Today is the great day – Summit day! This begins at night because the lava ash is still frozen and so the ascent is easier. Your guide wakes you around 11pm, and an hour later the long and strenuous way to the summit begins. Passing the Hans Meyer Cave at 5220m, the climb slowly but surely ascends. At sunrise, you will reach Gillman’s Point (5681m) – the crater rim of Kilimanjaro – where the sun will slowly start to warm up the land. You quickly forget the coldness of the night and will reach the Uhuru Peak at 5895 meters after another 1-2 hours. Congratulations! You‘ve made it to the “Roof of Africa”. Enjoy this moment… The route back down follows the same path; the lava ash will now have thawed, which allows for a fast descent. On your return to Kibo Hut, a warm meal awaits you and you can regain your strength. After a 1-2 hour rest, you will continue to Horombo Hut (3700m) where you will arrive in the afternoon. After an evening meal, most mountain conquerors understandably retire early to bed.
The final stage leads through heath and moorland to Mandara Hut (2700m), where a warm lunch will be waiting for you. Then you will once again pass through the tropical rainforest, and after a total time of 6 hours trekking, you will be back at the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (1860m). After leaving your mountain team, you will be transferred to your hotel. Here you can finally enjoy a hot and relaxing shower and celebrate your summit success.