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Kilimanjaro Marangu

Recommended duration of climb

Also known as the Coca Cola route, the 5 day Marangu route is the cheapest Kilimanjaro route. Unfortunately the 5 day Marangu route is also the most unsuccessful Kilimanjaro route. The biggest cause of altitude sickness is going too high, too fast and nobody can predict who will get altitude sickness and who not. Altitude sickness affect every person differently, irrespective of their age, fitness levels etc. 

The 5 days Marangu route doesn’t allow enough time for your body to acclimatize and you are likely to suffer from altitude sickness. We strongly recommend you choose the 6 day Marangu route which will allow your body more time to acclimatize and reduce the possibility of altitude sickness.

6 Day Marangu route itinerary – click here

5 Day Marangu 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

Marangu Huts

The drive from Moshi town to the Kilimanjaro National Park Marangu gate, takes about 50 minutes. On day 1 the trail ascend on a cleared ridge trail, through the rain forest section. Your first night stop, Mandara hut, consisting of a group of wooden Kilimanjaro A-frame 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, skirts the base of the Maundi Crater and 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 Kilimanjaro A-frame huts of the Horombo hut, where you will have a hot bowl of washing water, rest, enjoy dinner and overnight.

Day 3 – 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

Marangu Uhuru peak

After breakfast you now continue your ascent into the Alpine desert habitat. Situated in the barren Alpine desert is Kibo hut, 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 and 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.

Day 4 – 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 first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5 240m / 17 191ft), also a good resting spot. The path, with a lot of stone scree, then zigzags up to Gilman’s point (5 681m / 18 638ft), which is located on the crater rim. The area just before reaching Gilman’s point, is called “Jamaica rocks” and is very steep, rocky area requiring a great physical and mental effort. 

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), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it.  

Day 5 – 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. At the Marangu gate, you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their Kilimanjaro summit certificates. 

Those climbers who reached Gilman’s Point (5 681m / 18 638ft) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5 895m / 19 341ft), receive gold certificates. You now drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!!