Kilimanjaro Marangu route view

Kilimanjaro Marangu Route 6 days

Kilimanjaro Marangu route 6 days, is also known as the “Coca Cola route.” It is the only route offering accommodation in A-frame huts. The route ascent and descent along the same route on Kilimanjaro’s less scenic eastern side. Being the cheapest of all routes, it maintains its popularity among hikers. Click on our detailed Marangu route map to see a bigger Marangu route map.

Kilimanjaro Hiking Tours small Marangu Route map

Kilimanjaro Marangu route 6 days A-frame hut accommodation

Furthermore, the route provides a combined total of 240 bunk beds distributed across its three huts. Specifically, the Mandara hut features 60 bunk beds and the Horombo hut accommodates 120 bunk beds. While the Kibo hut only offers 60 bunk beds. These modest accommodations are equipped with solar lighting, and the bunk beds come furnished with mattresses and pillows.

It is important to note that the provided accommodations in huts are communal. Most rooms are shared by approximately eight people. Consequently, light sleepers might encounter challenges in achieving a peaceful night’s sleep.

Meals are served in communal dining halls equipped with tables and chairs at each campsite. Basic washroom facilities are available at every camp. Running water, flushing toilets, and cold-water showers are provided at Mandara hut and Horombo hut. However, it’s worth noting that only long-drop style toilets are available at Kibo hut. For a more detailed view of the Marangu route, please click on the Marangu map to access an enlarged version.

Hikers may choose the 5-day Marangu route, the cheapest and shortest of all Kilimanjaro routes. Nevertheless, it is widely acknowledged that this route boasts the lowest summit success rate of all Kilimanjaro routes. It is the least successful path to Uhuru peak. Despite its cost-effectiveness, the 5-day Marangu route is not the optimal choice, given its historically lower success rate.

For hikers planning to conquer Kilimanjaro, we highly recommend choosing the 6-day Marangu route option. The additional day/night of hiking allows your body more time to acclimatize. Thereby reducing the risk of altitude sickness and increasing your chances of reaching the summit successfully. 

Investing in an additional day for the hike will prove worthwhile. It will significantly increase the chances of successfully reaching the summit while minimizing the risk of altitude sickness.

Kilimanjaro Marangu route 6 days Summary

Marangu route advantagesMarangu route disadvantages
Marangu route can be hiked all year round, Kilimanjaro A-frame huts and dining halls an advantage during rainy season. Strenious summit attempt – longest summit trail from Kibo hut to Uhuru peak of all routes.
Short hiking distances and easy trail from Marangu gate to Kibo hut. Challenging summit attempt, loose scree (rocks) on the trail and Jamaica rocks just before reaching Gillman’s point.
Accommodation on bunk beds in A-Frame huts with solar lighting. Difficult to get a good night’s rest, A-Frame huts are communal sleeping 8 persons per room.
Meals served in comfortable dining halls. Ascend and descend with the same route.

Kilimanjaro Marangu route 6 days itinerary

Day 1 – Marangu Gate (1 970m / 6 460ft) – Mandara hut (2 720m / 8 920ft)

Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours
Distance: Approximately 8.1 km / 5 miles
Habitat: Montane forest

Kilimanjaro group climb along the Marangu route forest section, Kilimanjaro Marangu route 6 days

The drive from Moshi town to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate, takes about 50 minutes. On day 1 the trail ascends on a cleared ridge trail, through the rain forest section. Mist suffuses the forest, and beards of moss drip, creating an environment where most of Kilimanjaro’s animals are found. Mandara hut, consists of a group of wooden A-framed huts in a forest clearing. Dinner is prepared by our cook and served in a communal dining hall.

Day 2 – Mandara hut (2 720m / 8 920ft) – Horombo hut (3 720m / 12 205ft)

Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours
Distance: Approximately 11 km / 6.8 miles
Habitat: Moorland

From Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest and skirts the base of the Maundi Crater. It then emerges into the transition from rain forest to moorland. On a clear day, Kibo will glimmer in the distance, showing off her majestic glaciers in the morning sun. After about a 6 hours trek, you reach the Horombo hut. There you will have a hot bowl of washing water, rest, enjoy dinner and overnight. Click on the Kilimanjaro Marangu route 6 days, Marangu route map to visualize.

Day 3 – Acclimatisation day

Horombo hut (3 720m / 12 205ft) – Mawenzi Ridge (4 360m / 14 300ft)

Hiking time: 3 to 4 hours 

Distance: Approximately 5.2 km / 3.2 miles

Habitat: Alpine desert

This extra day and night at Horombo is for additional acclimatisation. We highly recommend hiking towards the Mawenzi ridge, making a stop at Zebra Rocks on the way (approximately 2.5 hours up and 1 hour down). This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatisation. Remember to drink enough water and move slowly! All meals for the day are provided at the Horombo hut. Retire to bed early and get a last good night’s rest.

Day 4 – Horombo hut (3 720m / 12 205ft) – Kibo hut (4 720m / 15 485ft)

Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours
Distance: Approximately 9 km / 5.6 miles
Habitat: Alpine desert

Kilimanjaro hiking tours Zebra rocks on the Marangu route

After breakfast you now continue your ascent into the Alpine desert habitat. Situated in the barren Alpine desert, is Kibo hut. It is a stone build block house which has bunk beds for 60 climbers, but no streams with water nearby. There are platform toilets behind the hut. The summit is now a further 1 175m / 3 854ft up. You will make your final ascent the same night. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible. On this day the Kilimanjaro Marangu route 6 days connect with the Rongai route.

Day 5 – Summit day

Ascend: Kibo hut (4 720m / 15 485ft) – Uhuru Peak (5 895m / 19 341ft)

Hiking time: 6 to 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak                                                                                                                                                                                    Distance: Approximately 6 km / 3.7 miles
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

Descend: Uhuru Peak (5 895m / 19 341ft) – Horombo hut (3 720m / 12 205ft)

Hiking time: 5 to 7 hours to descend to Horombo hut
Distance: Approximately 15 km / 9.5 miles
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

You will rise at around 23h20 and start your summit attempt. The trail is a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5 240m / 17 191ft), also good resting spot. The path, with a lot of stone scree, then zigzags up to Gilman’s point (5 681m / 18 638ft). “Jamaica rocks” is the section just before reaching Gilman’s Point. It demands significant physical and mental effort due to its steep and rocky terrain. Click on the Kilimanjaro Marangu route 6 days, Marangu route map to visualize.

This is probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly. From Gilman’s Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5 895m 19 341ft). Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it. Enjoy the views as the sun rise over Mawenzi peak!

You will then descend 3 hours back to Kibo hut. After a short rest, gather all your gear and head down to Horombo hut (2 ½ hours) for your overnight.

Day 6 – Horombo hut (3 720m / 12 205ft) – Marangu Gate (1 970m / 6 460ft)

Hiking time: 5 to 7 hours
Distance: Approximately 19.7 km / 12.2 miles

After breakfast you continue your descent, passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. Successful climbers receive their summit certificates at the Marangu gate. Hikers who reach Gilman’s Point (5,681m / 18,638ft) receive green certificates. Hikers who reached Uhuru Peak (5,895m / 19,341ft) are awarded gold certificates.