The oldest route on Mount Kilimanjaro, the Marangu route, is also known as the 'Tourist Route' or 'Coca Cola Route'.
And nearly every tour operator will tell you: 'Of all routes up Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Marangu route is the easiest, cheapest and by far the most popular.'
Only one of the statements is true: climbing Kilimanjaro on the Marangu route is the cheapest option.
The Marangu route is not the most popular route any more. It has been surpassed by the Machame route.
And we disagree with the statement that the Marangu Route is the easiest. Because that is misleading. It maybe the easiest trip to organise, have the widest, most comfortable path to walk on and offer hut accommodation, but that does NOT make it easier to reach the summit.
Of all climbing routes on Kilimanjaro, the Marangu route has the lowest success rate!
Keep that in mind. Don't fall for the promise of 'easy'! If you think your fitness leaves to be desired and are looking for easy, we recommend you tackle Kilimanjaro on the Rongai route. Having said that, as long as you are aware of the aspects that lead to the high failure rate, you can avoid them to some degree.
Note: altitudes and distances are approximations. Different sources will give you different numbers.
Starting Point: Marangu Gate (1860 m/6100 ft)
Duration: 5 days (acclimatization day can be added at Horombo)
- Day 1:
Start of your expedition: After breakfast, the climbing crew arrives. The team leaves the hotel and drives to the Eastern Entrance to the Kilimanjaro National Park - the Marangu Gate. At first the park permits are arranged and the crew is registered, then the trekking starts. The first leg of your journey is from the gate to Mandara Hut (2,700 m) and takes about 3 hours (it^s about 8 km). The night the crew stays in the huts.
Elevations: Marangu Gate (1680 m) - Mandara Hut (2700m)
Trekking distance: 8 km
Trekking time: 3 hours
- Day 2:
The team leaves the Mandara Hut Camp and walks to the Horombo Hut Camp (3,750 m). The moorland path is not a hard one. This day is marked by the spectacular views on Kibo and Mawenzi volcanos. The guide makes a briefing in the evening and our cook prepares a warm supper.
Elevations: Mandara Hut (2700 m) - Horombo Hut (3750 m)
Trekking distance: 14 km
Trekking time: 6-7 hours
- Day 3:
Trekking to the highest hut - the Kibo Hut (4,500) - awaits you this day. The surrounding landscape changes to semi-desert. The next day the team will be conquering the Uhuru Peak, so it is important that you relax and sleep well.
Elevations: Horombo Hut (3,750 m) - Kibo Hut (4,500 m)
Trekking distance: 15-16 km
Trekking time: 5-7 hours
- Day 4:
At night, we leave the Kibo Hut Camp and attempt conquering the Uhuru Peak (5895 m). Technically the final ascent is not difficult, but the most challenging obstacle is the high altitude. For each couple of the climbers, a personal guide monitoring the mental and physical conditions of the crew members will be assigned. After the Uhuru is successfully conquered, the group can descend to the glacier. Once our mission is complete, the group descends to the Kibo Hut Camp and further to Horombo Hut.
Elevations: Kibo Hut (4, 500 m) - Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) - Horombo Hut (3,750 m)
Trekking distance: 23 km
Trekking time: 9-12 hours
- Day 5:
After our cook serves a warm breakfast, the group slowly comes down to exit from the Kilimanjaro National Park - the Marangu Gate (1680 m). You can share your impressions and experience with climbers arriving an the gate. Then we transfer you to the hotel and award you with the climbing certificates!
Elevations: Horombo Hut (3750 m) - Marangu Gate (1680 m)
Trekking distance: 24 km
Trekking time: 6-7 hours
Route 2 details (December route)
Duration: 9 days
- Day 1 (19th Dec.):
Arrival at Nairobi Airport (JKA) or Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), transfer to the hotel for overnight.
- Day 2 (20th Dec.):
Leisure day. Visit village Marangu, waterfalls, local markets and climbing preparation .
- Day 3 (21st Dec.):
Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Gate - Start your climb walking through the rain forest to Mandara Hut (2700 m, 3 hours) for dinner and overnight.
- Day 4 (22nd Dec.):
Leave the glades of forest and follow an ascending path of the moorlands to Horombo Hut (3750 m, 5-6 hours) for dinner and overnight.
- Day 5 (23rd Dec.):
Rest day for acclimatization at Horombo Hut and walking around Mawenzi Saddle (4600 m) and back for lunch, dinner and overnight.
- Day 6 (24th Dec.):
Ascending we pass the "Last Water Point" walking on the Saddle between Kibo and Mawenzi arriving at Kibo Hut (4750 m, 5-6 hours), dinner an overnight.
- Day 7 (25th Dec.):
Early at 1.00 a.m. start for the summit on steep and heavy scree up to Gilman's Point (5681 m), rest for 10 minutes at crater rim before ascending tu Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa at 5895m. From here you descend straight to Horombo Hut (6 hours to the summit, 2 hours back to Kibo Hut for lunch and 3 hours to Horombo Hut) for dinner and overnight.
- Day 8 (26th Dec.):
The day will be spent in descending to the Park Gate (5 hours) and sign for the certicate. Then transfer to the hotel.
- Day 9 (27th Dec.):
After breakfast drive to Tarangire National Park for game viewing, overnight at Rhino Lodge inside the park. Then transfer to hotel and/or Kilimanjaro International Airport / Nairobi Airport.
- Optional: Day 10 (27th Dec.):
After breakfast drive to Ngorongoro Crater or Lake Manyara for game drive.