Marangu Route

Guests are supplied with mattresses and pillows, but sleeping bags are still required. The huts have communal dining halls and basic washrooms, ranging from flushing toilets and running water at the lower huts to long drop toilets and buckets of water at Kibo Hut. Also available for consumption are soft drinks, bottled water, and beer.

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.

The Marangu route is a classic trek to the top of Kilimanjaro. However, it has the least scenic variety of all routes (ascent and descent are done on the same path) and is the most crowded for that reason.

Marangu is offered as a five to six day private climb.

Day 1

  • Marangu Gate to Mandara Hut
  • Elevation (ft): 6,046 ft to 8,858 ft
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

After breakfast we head to the National Park gate for the necessary formalities before beginning our trek. The trail climbs through a tropical rain forest, near the upper edge of the forest line (keep an eye out for blue monkeys). The trail then widens to expose beautiful hillsides until we reach Mandara Hut.

Day 2

  • Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut
  • Elevation (ft): 8,858 ft to 12,205 ft
  • Distance: 12 km
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Habitat: Health

Our second day on the trail begins with a steep, but not technical ascent through forest and opens into high moorland. If weather allows, we may get our first views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks, two of the three volcanic peaks that make up the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Day 3

  • Horombo Hut
  • Elevation (ft): 12,205 ft to 14,160 ft
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Hiking Time: 3-5 hours
  • Habitat: Health

This is an extra day to acclimatize and can be spent day hiking on Mawenzi Ridge. The unique landscape offers motivating views of Kibo and Mawenzi.

Day 4

  • Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut
  • Elevation (ft): 12,205 ft to 15,430 ft
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Today we climb gradually, then cross the lunar desert of the “Saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach our campsite which sits at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Once at camp we rest, enjoy dinner and prepare for the next day.

Day 5

  • Kibo Hut to Summit to Horombo Hut
  • Elevation (ft): 15,430 ft to 19,341 ft
  • Distance: 22 km
  • Hiking Time: 10-13 hours
  • Habitat: Arctic

Leaving very early in the morning (around midnight), we continue our way to the summit in hopes of catching the sunrise. The trail is a series of switchbacks up a steep scree slope, with climbers stretched into the darkness, visible only by headlamps. It is important to focus on breathing and foot placement. The views from the summit are dramatic and immense. After spending a few moments taking in the plains of Africa and your accomplishment, we descend to Horombo Hut.

Day 6

  • Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate
  • Elevation (ft): 12,205 ft to 6,046 ft
  • Distance: 20 km
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

A long trek is in store for today, however it is mostly downhill. Once at the park headquarters at Marangu gate we pick up our certificates that prove our achievement. Vehicle transfer to hotel for a celebration.

Uhuru Peak