The Marangu Route is the oldest on Kilimanjaro and one of the most popular, owing to the fact that it is the only route on the mountain with huts for hikers. Mandara and Kibo Huts each have 60 bunk beds, and Horombo Hut has 120 bunk beds. This route will take you 6 days to complete. The Marangu route can be completed in 5 days, but climbers should allow an extra day to acclimate at Horombo Hut.
DAY 1 – ARUSHA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TO KILIMANJARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Your first night will be spent in a hotel in Arusha or Moshi. If you have chosen to be picked up from Kilimanjaro International Airport, you’re The Africa Safaris driver will be waiting to greet you and take you to your Arusha or Moshi lodge to relax after your flight.
DAY 2: ARUSHA – MARANGU GATE – MANDARA HUT
After an early breakfast (07.00) at your lodge, we depart one hour later and arrive at the Marangu Gate around 11.00, ready for registration and the start of the trek.
As the porters load up your equipment and you meet the trekking team who will accompany you up the mountain, your excitement grows. Starting on the south-east side of Kilimanjaro at 1900 meters and ending the day at 2720 meters, our total walking time today to Mandara Hut – where we will spend the night – is approximately 3.5 to 4 hours (excluding breaks), covering just over 8km. We begin the walk-in late in the morning, eat our picnic lunch around 14.00, and then continue walking until we arrive at the hut at 17.00. Dinner will be served at 19.30 p.m. Despite the fact that it is almost entirely uphill, today’s walk is a on the way up, there’s a chance to see some blue monkeys or admire the rainforest vegetation.
DAY 3 – HOROMBO HUT TO MANDARA HUT
Our early 07.00 breakfast gets us ready for an 08.30 departure, and today’s 11km walk will take between 5.5 and 6 hours of actual walking time (excluding breaks), with a total elevation gain of 1000 meters to the finish line in Horombo (altitude: 3720 metres).
On the way, we’ll stop for a picnic lunch at 13:00 before continuing our climb and arriving at Horombo hut around 16:30. At 18.00, dinner will be served. On today’s walk, you’ll notice that the forest landscape gives way to moorland and heather as we pass by the famous Maundi Crater. Overall, the scenery is becoming more barren, but some of Kilimanjaro’s iconic plant species can still be seen today. Keep an eye out for the intriguing giant groundsels, lobelias, and protease. If you’re fortunate enough to have a clear day, you should have the first opportunity to see Kibo’s snow-capped peak as well as the distinctive Mawenzi peak. You will be staying in a dormitory once more.
DAY 4 – KIBO HUT – HOROMBO HUT
Today, we’ll climb another 1000 meters, cover about 9 kilometers, and aim to arrive at the Kibo hut for our overnight stop around 15.00. We start early once more, with a 07.00 breakfast and an 08.30 departure.
We choose the southern (left-hand) route where the path divides today. On this route, we stop to replenish our water reserves at the Maua River, the last usable water supply at a height of around 4,000 meters. Today’s stage is rather steep at first, and there is less vegetation, but we are rewarded with our first glimpse of some of Kilimanjaro’s famous ‘cones’ today. The picnic lunch has been rescheduled for 13.00. Overnight stays at Kibo Huts are simple and made of stone.
DAY 5: KIBO HUT –SUMMIT – HOROMBO HUT
Our ‘Summit Day’ agenda is quite different. We get up at 23.00 and have tea and biscuits (23.30) before our midnight departure. Today, we have approximately 1175 meters to climb on what will be our most difficult day, with approximately 13 hours of actual walking time and a distance of 21 kilometers.
We expect to reach the summit around 07.00 a.m. We start on a rocky path and then ascend through a series of zig-zags that get smaller and smaller.
On our way up today, we’ll stop at William’s Point (5131 meters), Hans Meyer Cave (5258 meters), and Gillman’s Point (5719 metres). Today’s emphasis is on walking slowly. When we reach the summit, we take a moment to celebrate our successful climb, take photos, and congratulate ourselves before beginning the descent to return to Kibo hut by 11 a.m. take a well-deserved two-hour break and a delicious hot lunch. We set off again at 14.00 and continue our descent until we arrive in Horombo around 17.00. At 19.00, dinner will be served.
DAY 6: HOROMBO HUT – MARANGU GATE – ARUSHA
At the ‘Tipping Celebration,’ we take the opportunity to thank our hardworking guides and porters after breakfast at our now-familiar time of 07.00. We leave Horombo and begin our descent towards Marangu Gate, stopping for a hot lunch at Mandara around midday.
Marangu Gate is reached around 16.00, and today’s section is approximately 19km long, taking 6.5 to 7 hours to walk. When you arrive at Marangu Gate, you will be given your certificate, which will recognize your tremendous effort. We then return to Arusha by vehicle to the comfort of your lodge for an overnight stay and some well-deserved relaxation. Or, if you still have some energy, you could celebrate your fantastic achievement. After all, you’ve just scaled Africa’s highest peak!
DAY 7: DEPARTURE – KILIMANJARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
After a good night’s sleep at your lodge, you’ll eat breakfast and be ready to check out by 10 a.m. (If you wish to stay in the hotel during the day, please notify us when booking your trip, and we will inform you of the cost for a day room that ends at 18:00hrs, and then make the booking on your behalf.)
If you have booked an airport transfer, you will be picked up from your hotel and dropped off at the airport. Our The Africa Safaris guide will meet you in the evening to provide you with a briefing for those travelers who have booked to go on safari.