Is the Marangu Route sponsored by that famous soft drink brand? No. It is the nickname for the Kilimanjaro route that is also known as the Tourist Route. This is not because there are no tourists on the other routes, but because the route is seen as an easier alternative. It is easier, but it is certainly not easy. There are large differences in altitude per day, which can lead to acclimatization problems for some climbers.
Interms of comfort, the Marangu Route does make a difference. If you don't like camping, choose the Coca-Cola Route to Uhuru Peak. The Mandara, Horombo and Kibo Huts are relatively luxuriously equipped. Well, you still bring your own sleeping bag and there is no running water at Kibo, but given you are at Kilimanjaro, there is no reason for complaints.
- Day 1 - Marangu Gate - Mandara Huts (8 kilometres - 5 miles, 4-5 hours, 850m - 2800ft elevation)
We depart from Moshi to Marangu Gate where the necessary formalities will be waiting for us. The route starts with hiking through a beautiful tropical rainforest. At the top edge of the forest line we have the possibility to see black and white colobus monkeys. The route widens and the first slopes become noticeable. After about five hours we reach the Mandara Huts. Here we spend the night.
- Day 2 - Mandara Huts - Horombo Huts (12 kilometres - 7 miles, 6-8 hours, 1021m - 3350ft elevation)
After the Mandara Huts the landscape changes into a kind of moonscape. Think of sand, rocks and an innumerable amount of stones. Here and there cacti-like plants are to be spotted. From here you can see Mawenzi Peak and Uhuru Peak for the first time. The difference in altitude is considerable today and you are happy to arrive at the Horombo Huts. If you have booked an extra day, you will stay here for another night.**
- **Day 3 - Horombo Huts - Mawenzi Ridge out and back (5 kilometres - 3 miles, 2-3 hours, 670m - 2200ft ascent - 670m - 2200ft descent)
This day only applies if there is an extra acclimatization day booked.
This is an extra day intended for acclimatization and can be spent walking on Mawenzi Ridge. The unique landscape offers a motivating view of Kibo and Mawenzi. After some time exploring the area we go back to the Horombo Huts.
- Day 3 (4) - Horombo Huts - Kibo Huts (10 kilometres - 6 miles, 4-5 hours, 975m - 3200ft elevation)
We gradually climb over the "Saddle" between Mawenzi and Kibo. Our camp, the Kibo Huts, is located at the bottom of the crater wall of Kibo. Here we rest and enjoy an early dinner. Uhuru Peak is calling!
- Day 4 (5) -
Kibo Huts - Uhuru Peak (6 kilometres - 4 miles, 6-8 hours, 1220m - 4000ft elevation)
Very early in the morning (around midnight) we commence our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging part of the trip. The wind and cold at this altitude and at this time can be extreme. We ascend into the darkness for a few hours. There will be many small breaks. This is to prevent altitude sickness symptoms. At Gilman's Point (5669m - 18600ft), you'll be rewarded with the most beautiful sunrise you have ever seen. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak - the roof of Africa. You have made it. Congratulations!
Uhuru Peak - Horombo Huts (16 kilometres - 10 miles, 4-5 hours, 2000m - 7000ft descent)
After ascending Uhuru Peak, the day has only just begun. We now prepare for our descent. We skip the Kibo Huts and immediately descend to the Horombo Huts. It has been a long day and the sleeping bag is calling.
- Day 5 (6) - Horombo Huts - Marangu Gate (20 kilometres - 12 miles, 5-6 hours, 2000m - 7000ft descent)
On our last day, we make a long descent through the tropical rainforest. Once we get to the gate we collect our certificates: Green for Gilman's Point and gold for Uhuru Peak. You have reached the highest point in Africa.
*This itinerary is subject to change and may vary from one tour operator to another.