The Marangu route is one of the most popular routes to the summit of Kilimanjaro. This could partly be as a result of the fact that the Marangu is the least expensive route, but more so, perhaps the fact that it is possible to do the Marangu route in 5 days, thereby getting to the summit one day earlier compared to the Machame route. This is not always the best way, due to a shorter acclimatisation period.
The Marangu route does however offer you the option of spending an extra acclimatisation day on the mountain. This extends the route into a 6-day trek, greatly increasing your chances of success. This offer includes the 6 days trekking, and the trip will in total take 8 days including arrival and departure from Tanzania.
Shared hut accommodation on the Marangu route forms one of the main differences, compared to the other kilimanjaro routes. It offers you the relative luxury of being able to sleep in huts along the entire route. Mineral water, soft drinks, chocolates and beers are also sold at all the camps on this route. All your equipment and supplies are portered and a cook prepares all your meals.
This will be a climbing adventure of a lifetime. No previous mountaineering experience is needed. We will take care of your safety and make the utmost out of your trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Day 1: Arrive to Moshi
Your trip begins with pick up at Kilimanjaro Airport on your arrival and transfer to our base hotel in Moshi. The evening consists of dinner, a pre-climb briefing, and an overnight stay in our family hotel.
Day 2: Kilimanjaro Climb via Marangu route - overnight MANDARA HUT
Your kit will be loaded and you will be driven to the Marangu Park gates for a few final formalities before beginning your climb. The gates are located approximately 45-minutes from the hotel, taking you to an altitude of 1800m. Gate formalities take one to two hours giving you time to make your final preparations, such as having enough drinking water and your packed lunch. You will then set out on what seems to be a relatively easy walking path, unless it is raining, which can make it slippery. This first walk goes at a slow pace despite its easiness in order to ensure you have time to acclimatise. Normally it takes 3-5 hours, including a lunch stop before reaching your camp for the night at Mandara Hut (2750m) and a hot dinner. Dense, rich ancient rain forest frames your path. Dripping moss and mist can give this section a dreamlike feel. Keep you eye out for spectacular waterfalls and local wildlife.
Day 3: Kilimanjaro Climb via Marangu route - overnight HOROMBO HUT
Today starts bright and early with a hearty breakfast for the long day of trekking ahead. The gradual path thins as the forest drops behind you and Kibo and Mawenzi may peak into vista if the skies are clear. Vast moorlands begin to unfold before you containing perhaps the most amazing plants on the mountain – the giant lobelia and giant groundsel. Some of the mountain's most breath taking views will unveil themselves to you as you make your way to Horombo Hut, arriving mid-afternoon. The trek takes 7-8 hours leaving you with an afternoon to rest and acclimatise. Dinner will be served at the hut before you retire to bed for the night.
Day 4: Kilimanjaro Climb via Marangu route - overnight HOROMBO HUT
Your fourth day of adventure is set aside for additional acclimatisation. However, you won't be sitting around, but instead exploring the amazing natural environment by taking a hike of 4 1/2 hours that will further help you acclimatise to the altitude. You will focus on enjoying the environment, walking slowly, and drinking enough water. Your hike will take you towards the Mawenzi Tarn hut passing the spectacular and fascinating Zebra Rocks. These rocks look as if someone painted zebra stripes on them, but are a natural formation due to mineral rich waters turning the black lava cliff rock into stripes. You will want your camera to capture these unique and beautiful rocks. All of your meals for the day will be provided at the Horombo Hut, which is always a hive of activity with many hikers going and coming. The atmosphere has a true sense of adventure with plenty of stories to share. The campsite itself sits on a plateau offering excellent vistas and giving you ample time to soak up where you are. After dinner, you will retire to bed early to enjoy your last good nights' rest
Day 5: Kilimanjaro Climb via Marangu route – overnight Kibo Hut
Day 5 is another day of dramatic landscape shifts. Your climb will follow the alternate path from Horombo into the high, barren and wild alpine desert. You will pass the 'last water point', so filling up is important. Here the path begins to get steeper and the terrain bleak and magical. You will reach the mountain's famous 'Saddle', a large flat region devoid of vegetation and full of ochre earth with a surreal and breathtaking feel. You will feel as if you can touch the blue skies above you, while the mountain peak becomes tantalisingly close. After several hours, you will reach the stark Kibo Hut, your final base before attempting to the night climb to the summit. You will spend the afternoon and evening resting, eating dinner, preparing your thermals, snacks, and water for the tough climb ahead. Take some time to sleep before your guide wakes you.
Day 6: Kilimanjaro – Summit Day
Finally, the day you've been working so hard to reach is here. At around midnight, you will be woken by your guides for your night hike summit attempt. The purpose of this hike in the darkness is to reach the summit in time for sunrise, the highest sunrise point in Africa, an experience that can't be put into words.
Your final ascent will be a challenge. The path is tricky and the altitude will affect your strength. You will cross into the cold, arctic zone, moving in single file in a zigzag pattern. Doing this climb is probably the most daunting of your entire trek. The combination of altitude, darkness, and hours of walking will certainly be felt as you approach Gilman's Point at a height of 5710m. Your guides are on hand to help you with any signs of altitude sickness and will use their training to advise you about continuing or heading back down. At Gilman's Point, you will have the chance to rest for a short time. Inspiration and determination will give you the strength to make the final charge to Uhuru Peak at a staggering 5895m.
At Uhuru Peak, you will have a few moments to capture this monumental achievement. Take photos with the famous sign and let the view entrance you. You will only stay at Uhuru for a maximum of 15-minutes to ensure your safety and health. You will then begin your descent towards Horombo. Descending here may prove challenging as the scree feels very lose beneath your feet. This is a good point to use two walking poles and put into action a trick taught by the guides that will have you nearly 'skiing' down. When you reach Kibo Hut, you will have a well-deserved rest and hot lunch. After lunch, you will continue your descent passing the Rongai and Marangu routes junction and into the heather painted moorlands before reaching Horombo Hut at an altitude of 3700m.
The walk to to Gilman's Point takes between 6-7 hours with a further 1-2 hours to reach Uhuru. The descent to Horombo Hut will take 6-7 hours. Exhilaration and exhaustion will encompass you as you reach camp for dinner and a good night's sleep.
Day 7: Kilimanjaro Climb via Marangu route – overnight Mountain Inn
This is your last day on Kilimanjaro. You will leave the chilly higher altitudes behind and enter the balmy rainforest where the wildlife is singing and the warmth will massage your aching muscles. You will stop for a relaxing picnic lunch before taking your final steps to Marangu gate. Your support team will be waiting to cheer you on as you complete this amazing feat. It is time to say goodbye and is the best time to hand tips out to the team. You may even be treated to a chorus of the 'Kilimanjaro song' by the guides and porters. After saying goodbye, you will be introduced to your driver who will transfer you back to Mountain Inn where the luxuries of a comfortable bed and hot shower await you. You will have the rest of the day to re-charge, freshen up, and enjoy a memorable dinner with your climbing partners.
Day 8- Return home
Today is the day for rest before leaving for your flight home. You will have breakfast in the morning and then have the rest of the day to spend as you please before your transfer to the airport for your flight.