It is known as “Coca-Cola” route, Marangu approaches Kilimanjaro from the southeast of the Mountain. It is the oldest established route. Many favor the Marangu route because it is considered to be the easiest route on the mountain. The minimum days required for this route is five, although the probability of successfully reaching the top in that time is a bit low. Spending an extra acclimatization day on the mountain is highly recommended, maximizing the chance of reaching to the summit. Marangu is the only route which offers sleeping huts in dormitory style accommodations.
Day 1:Moshi to Marangu gate to Mandara hut
Elevation: 1200 m to 1,750 m to 2,750 m
Distance: 9 km
Trekking Time: 3 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
You will be transferred to Marangu gate from the hotel and do a registration at the gate. Afterwards, you will begins trekking through the rainforest to Mandara hut. Here you will have an acclimatization opportunity of visiting Maundi Crater. Dinner and overnight at Mandara Hut.
Day 2: Mandara hut to Horombo hut.
Elevation:2750 m to 3,807 m
Trekking time: 5-6 hours
After breakfast you will outclimb the rainforest and continue trekking to Horombo hut where you will trek through rolling moorlands and get your first clear view of towering Kilimanjaro.
Day 3: Horombo hut
(this day is omitted if choosing a 5 day itinerary).
Spend an extra day here at Horombo during the 6 day itinerary for acclimization purposes. This day you will hike to Mawenzi Ridge or Zebra Rock to have your body adjust to higher altitudes. After this session you will return back to Horombo hut for lunch, resting until dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Horombo hut to Kibo hut
Elevation(m):3807m to 4725m
Distance: 13 km
Trekking time: 5-6 hours
After a good night rest and breakfast you will trek past the last water point to reach Kibo saddle a great desert between the two peaks Mawenzi and Kibo. An early dinner and overnight at Kibo hut.
Day 5: Summit Day Kibo Hut camp to Uhuru peak to Horombo Hut camp
Elevation: 4,695 m to 5,895 m to 3,690 m
Distance: 4 km up, 14 km down
Hiking Time: 10-15 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert.
Wake at midnight to a light breakfast then prepare for your summit ascent. Because you will climb to the summit in the dark you will need to have your headlamps / flashlights. It will also be very cold until you start descending, so you will need to have all of your warm layers. This is an important time to keep on slowly slowly (pole pole in Swahili). The goal is to climb before dawn so that you can reach Uhuru Peak shortly before or after sunrise. Switchback up steep scree or possibly snow, and reach Gilman’s Point on the crater rim at 5,861 m/18,640 ft between 4 and 6 AM. At this point, you will have a views of the fabled crater and its icecaps facing you. Then after 2 hours of hiking along the Kibo crater rim near the celebrated snows takes you to Kilimanjaro’s true summit, Uhuru Peak here you will spend some times for taking photo’s. After your summit photos and taking in the view, descend back to the Kibo Huts, have lunch, rest, collect your equipment and continue down through re-cross the saddle to the Horombo Huts. Have dinner and overnight at Horombo Camp.
Day 6: Horombo Huts camp to Marangu Gate to Moshi
Elevation): 3,690 m to 1,830 m to 1,387 m
Distance: 18 km
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
After a long sleep you will be awaked for breakfast and pack, continue your descent through the moorland to Mandara Huts. Here you will have lunch then proceed your triumphant recessional down through lush forest to Marangu park gate. After the gate sign out, a vehicle will take you to back to the hotel where it is definitely time for your certificate presentation and celebration!
Am an experienced Kilimanjaro mountain guide and a safari organiser, I have been doing this work for over 15 year now.