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The Marangu Route | Kilimanjaro National Park

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The Marangu Route, also known as the “Coca Cola Route Kilimanjaro” because of the availability of Coca Cola in the tea huts back in the day, is the easiest of all the Kilimanjaro routes due to its gradual slope and the removal of obstacles to create a well-defined path. 

One of the easiest and most popular routes

The sleeping huts found here are quite comfortable, which eliminates any need for camping. Also known as the “Tourist Route” because of its popularity and relative ease of ascent, Marangu is ideal for people who prefer walking on well-defined paths rather than secluded steep slopes. Because of its ease, Marangu is much cheaper than other routes as well.

The oldest route on the mountain

The minimum number of days from the base to the summit is 5, but it is highly recommended that trekkers spend a day or more for acclimatization for safety reasons and a greater chance of a successful summit. All along the route, there are dormitory-style huts where trekkers can rest overnight.

Views from Marangu Route, Kilimanjaro National Park
Views from Marangu Route, Kilimanjaro National Park

The best route during rainy season

The ascent and descent are on the same path making it the most crowded and one of the least scenic of all the routes, as it only goes through a single part of the mountain. So, only take the Marangu route if you don’t mind crowds. Granted Marangu is not the greatest choice of routes, but it is the best route during the rainy season because hut accommodations are generally preferred to camping in wet grounds.

Marangu Route Ratings

Trek Difficulty:

Moderate – Difficult   Scenery: Good, but could have been better

Success Rate: 

High   Price: Relatively cheaper due to smaller duration

Max Altitude: 

5,895 meters   Popularity:

Second most popular route

attracting 35% of the climbers

Trek Duration:

6 Days   Difficulty: Comparatively easy

Best Season: 

Round the Year   Crowds: Expect large crowds
Accommodation:  Sleeping Huts      

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Perfect for newbie climbers
  • Shortest route up Kilimanjaro
  • Follows the climb high and sleep low rule
  • The only route with dorm-style accommodations throughout the climb

Cons

  • Poor acclimatization
  • Less scenic when compared to other routes
  • Lower success rate despite being the easiest route

Marangu Route Tours

Marangu Route Itinerary

Here is a sample Coca Cola route kilimanjario itinerary. The actual itinerary may vary from one travel agency to the other.

Day 1 – Trek to Mandara Hut (4 – 6 hours)

Your journey begins at the Marangu Gate (1870 meters), located at an hour’s drive from Moshi (2 hours from Arusha). The day is relatively easy as you walk through the Kilimanjaro rainforest all the way to Mandara Huts (2700 meters) which boast of solar lighting, bunk beds and flush toilets. Just about as luxurious as it gets up in the mountains!

 

Day 2 – Trek to Horombo Hut (4 – 6 hours)

An early start takes you to the Maundi Crater and you see the dense rainforest finally giving way to low alpine moorlands. If you’re lucky to enjoy clear weather, don’t miss out on the Maundi Crater climb for the first full view of Mount Kibo. Your journey to Horombo Hut (3720 meters) is also full of giant lobelias which can be seen scattered all over the alpine landscape.

Campsite in Kilimanjaro National Park
Campsite in Kilimanjaro National Park

Day 3 – Trek to Kibo Hut (7 – 9 hours)

There are two routes to Kibo Hut. The Upper Route forks to the right, and is mostly used by 5-day trekkers. The one that forks to the left chosen for 6-day trekkers. It is relatively easier, and shorter as well. The day ends early at Kibo Hut in preparation of an early summit climb, which usually begins around midnight.

The last water point can be found at 4130 meters, so don’t forget to stock up on your reserves.

 

Day 4 – Trek to Summit, back to Horombo Hut (11 – 14 hours)

Today’s the day you finally climb to the summit. You embark along a rocky path at midnight reaching the first checkpoint at 5150 meters (Hans Meyer Cave). The path continues for another two hours till you reach Gilman’s Point. This is where you take a break, rest those aching limbs and refuel your body. After adequate rest, you push onto Uhuru Peak, where you can click some of the most stunning pictures.

Begin your descent back to Kibo Hut and finally back to Horombo Hut. This is surely going to be the longest day of your life, but it’s also bound to be the most enriching one so far.

 

Day 5 – Back to Marangu Gate (1 – 3 hours)

End your journey at Marangu Gate. You’re likely to be exhausted at this time and a long hot shower is in order. Don’t forget to collect your certificate for reaching Uhuru Peak or Gilman’s Point (depending on how strong you were mentally during the trek).

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