Marangu Route to the Roof of Africa

Marangu Route Kilimanjaro

The Marangu route

is the most often used trail on the mountain, as accommodation is in huts, rather than tents, and thus more affordable. As such, it is a busier route with many people on its well-worn paths, and if you are traveling alone, it is the only route on which you can easily join in with another group for company. It is also a more moderate ascent making it less difficult to climb than the others. Like with all other routes, porters carry all of your equipment and a cook prepares all your meals.

The Marangu route is also referred to as the "Coca Cola" route. Many people also take an extra day for acclimatization at Horombo huts.

The Marangu route is normally completed in a minimum of 5 days with the option to add on a day for acclimatization at Horombo Huts. If doing so, climbers trek up to Mawenzi camp and return for the night to Horombo.


Day-1: Arrive

Day-2: Marangu Gate - Mandara Hut

Day-3: Mandara Hut to Horombo Huts

Day-4: Horombo Huts to Kibo Huts

Day-5: Kibo Huts to Summit to Horombo Huts

Day-6: Horombo Huts to Marangu Gate to Hotel

Day-7: Depart



Day-1: Kilimanjaro International Airport arrival and transfer to hotel.

Day 2: Marangu Gate (1860m) - Mandara hut (2715m)

Elevation: 1,860m to 2,700m
Distance: 8 km/5 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest
We leave Moshi town at about 0900hrs for Marangu Gate and start hiking between about 10h30 and 12h00. The route takes one through a thick rainforest from the park gate to Mandara Hut. Dinner is served during the early evening in the communal dining areas.

Day-3: Mandara Hut - Horombo Huts (3700m)

Elevation: 2,700m to 3,700m
Distance: 12 km/7 miles
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Habitat: Heath Zone
After breakfast we start out towards Horombo Huts on a route that will take about 5-6 hours. The climb will take us through the heath zone with small shrubs being the main vegetation. At our lunch stop about half way up, we will get stunning views across to Mawenzi. We will arrive at Horombo Hut around 15h00 with Kibo summit already in view.

Day-4: Horombo Hut (3700m) to Kibo Hut (4700m)

Elevation: 3,700m to 4,700m
Distance: 10 km/6 miles
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Habitat: Heath Zone 
Wake to breakfast as usual. Pack and begin the hike to Kibo Huts. The first half of the day's hike traverses the upper heath land while the second half crosses the vast saddle that connects Mawenzi and Kibo. The saddle is an alpine desert that resembles a lunar landscape. It is here that you may begin to feel the first effects of altitude with Shortness of breath and irritability, assuming it had not taken effect earlier on the climb. The day's hike should take 6 to 7 hours, stopping half way for lunch.

Day 5: Summit via Gilman's Point to Uhuru Peak (5895 m/19340 ft) and descend to Horombo Huts (3700 m/12200 ft)

Elevation: 4,700m to 5,895m to 3,700m
Distance: 24 km/14 miles
Hiking Time: 10-15 hours
Habitat: Alpine Arctic to Heath Zone
Wake around midnight and prepare for the summit ascent. This part of the hike is carried out during the early morning before dawn so that the climbers reach Kilimanjaro Uhuru Peak at around sunrise. Leave at about 1:00am and reach Gilman's Point at about 7:00am. The climbers are met with views of the crater from Gilman's Point. Another 2 hours of hiking will bring you to the long awaited summit, Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft) at about 8:30 am. From there you will descend back to Kibo Hut, collect your possessions and cross the saddle again at Horombo Huts where you will spend the night. After eating dinner, you will get some well-deserved sleep.

Day-7: Horombo to Mandara Huts to Park Gate

Elevation: 3,700m to 1,860m
Distance: 20 km/12 miles
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
You will wake as usual, pack and then descend along the same route to Mandara Huts, where you will have lunch, before heading down to the park gate where you will be met by your transport back to Moshi. You should reach the park gate around 14h00

Day-8: Depart

After breakfast you are transferred to Kilimanjaro airport for your flight home.

End of services


Marangu Route Variations

Alternate 8 days (slower ascent) Alternate 9 days (slower descent)

Day-1: Arrive

Day-2: Marangu Gate - Mandara Hut

Day-3: Mandara Hut to Horombo Huts

Day-4: Horombo Huts to Zebra Rocks to Horombo

Day 5: Horombo to Kibo Huts

Day-6: Kibo Huts to Summit to Horombo Huts

Day-7: Horombo Huts to Marangu Gate to Hotel

Day-8: Depart



Day-1: Arrive

Day-2: Marangu Gate - Mandara Hut

Day-3: Mandara Hut to Horombo Huts

Day-4: Horombo to Zebra Rocks to Horombo

Day 5: Horombo to Kibo Huts

Day-6: Kibo to Summit to Horombo Huts

Day-7: Horombo to Mandara Hut

Day 8: Mandara to Marangu Gate to Hotel

Day-9: Depart


Your Questions Answered

Very definitely yes. Porters and guides are the life blood of any successful mountain climb. Through our partners in Tanzania we support various charity initiatives including the most important Kilimanjaro Porters Society. This society was registered under the name Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society on 30th September 2005 as a non governmental organization with a certificate no 13296 under the organization art of the United Republic of Tanzania. The society exists as a shield for porters who are registered under it with the goal of improving the living and working condition of these porters.
The Marangu route is the only Kilimanjaro climbing route that offers hutted accommodation and is often referred to as the 'Coca Cola' route or the 'Tourist route'. This is because it is 1) the lowest in cost, b) the shortest and c) because it offers huts. Therefore it is the busiest route. It also used the same path up and down. It has a slow and steady altitude gain until the final night where it gets very steep and to it is called the ' easier route'. The final ascent is also steeper than on the other routes from Kibo to Gilmans. However, its success rate is lower overall due to its quicker ascent profile.
Kilimanjaro Marangu route is approximately 70 km /42 miles from gate to gate. Most trekkers complete the Marangu route in 5 days but it is best done over 6 to increase your chances of acclimatization and therefore success.
Yes, much busier than the others, because it is 1) the lowest in cost, b) the shortest and c) because it offers huts.
There are two distinct trekking seasons during which is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro. They are January-March and June-October. January-March is generally colder than June-October and there is a higher probability of encountering snow on the summit. 
Kilimanjaro is just three degrees south of the equator, so the lower slopes are generally hot and dry reaching 25°C during the day. This quickly dips with each ecological zone however, open heath lands, alpine desert and then, at the summit, categorically Arctic. Temperatures at Uhuru Peak are between -7 to -29°C.
There are 60 bunk beds each at Mandara and Kibo Huts and 120 bunk beds at Horombo Hut. The huts provides comfortable communal sleeping, equipped with solar lighting. There are also cold showers and flushing toilets at Mandara hut and Horombo hut. Kibo has long drop toilets.
This is a popular question. The toilets that are available on the mountain are pretty rudimentary unless you are on Marangu, and are really just a wooden or block building with a hole in the ground (or a 'long drop'). One option though it adds to the cost is to hire a portable toilet. Finally, although there may not be toilet facilities when you really need them during the days trek, we ask that you seek out a 'loo with a view' away from the path, and keep your used paper in a small bag to dispose of later at camp so as to preserve the environment.
Altitude sickness, also called mountain sickness, is a group of general symptoms that are brought on by climbing or walking to a higher and higher altitude (elevation) too quickly. High altitude is defined as 8,000 - 12,000 feet (2400 - 2600m) above sea level. Altitude sickness can affect anyone who goes to high altitudes without giving the body time to adjust to the changes in air pressure and oxygen level. Symptoms usually come on within 12 to 24 hours of reaching a higher elevation and then get better within 24 to 48 hours as your body adjusts to the change in altitude. Because Kilimanjaro has a rapid ascent profile, altitude sickness tends to be more common than on some other treks. It is for this reason that taking your time is vitally important and why shorter routes have a lower success rate.

Marangu Route at a Glance