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Known as the “Coca-Cola” route, the Marangu route is a classic trek on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the oldest, most well-established route. Many favour the Marangu route because it is considered to be the easiest path on the mountain, given its gradual slope. It is also the only route which offers sleeping huts in dormitory-style accommodations.
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 when climbing Kilimanjaro using the Marangu route.
However, despite its immense popularity, we avoid leading climbs on the Marangu route. The route has the least scenic variety of all the routes because the ascent and descent are done on the same path and it is the most crowded route for that reason. Marangu is favoured only during the rainy season, where the hut accommodations are preferred
After breakfast, you will be collected from your lodge in Moshi and taken to the Marangu gate. Once the necessary paper work has been completed, your trek can begin and you will soon be hiking through the dense rainforest. Alongside the impressive vegetation, you will have the chance to catch a glimpse of some primates as you head to the Mandara Hut. After a well-earned rest, your guide can take you to the Maundi Crater where you can enjoy the wonderful view of the Kenyan interior.
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. Approximately 4 – 6 hours later, the Horombo Hut will come into sight, standing at an altitude of 3700m. From the hut, you will have fantastic views overlooking Mawenzi, Kibo and the wide plain of the Masai steppe.
Today’s stage is long and tough. The well-built trail passes the “Last Water point” which is followed by the so-called “saddle”. This nearly vegetation less plateau joins the main summit Kibo with Mawenzi. Today’s destination is the Kibo Hut that 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 Big Day” – the summit stage. You will begin your final ascent around midnight which will be long and strenuous. Passing the Hans Meyer Cave at 5220m, the climb slowly but surely goes upwards. 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 will have soon forgotten the cold of the night and after a further hike of 1 – 2 hours, you will reach Uhuru Peak at 5895m. On your return to Kibo Hut, a warm meal awaits you followed by a 1 – 2 hour break before proceeding back down to Horombo Hut.
The last stage passes through the heath and moor zone to the Mandara Hut (2700m) where a warm lunch is waiting for you. Soon, you will once again pass the tropical rainforest and after a total time of 6 hours trekking, you will be back at the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (1860m). After saying goodbye to your mountain guides, a short transfer follows to take you back to your hotel in Moshi. Once there, you can take a warm and relaxing shower and celebrate your success in reaching the summit of the Kilimanjaro.