Marangu Route

The Marangu Path is Mount Kilimanjaro’s oldest and most well-established trekking route, and it remains highly popular despite the availability of a wide range of other options. This route offers trekkers the classic Kilimanjaro climbing experience, as well as panoramic views and a spectacular walk to Uhuru Peak’s summit. However, it also has some unique features that differentiate it from the other routes, giving the Marangu route a distinct personality and atmosphere.

One of the unique elements of the Marangu Path is that it is the only route up Mount Kilimanjaro that does not allow camping; thus, hikers must sleep in fixed huts rather than tents. These dormitory-style shelters provide additional wind and rain protection, making this a popular route for climbers during the rainy season, in April and May. Horombo Hut contains 120 bunk beds, while Mandara and Kibo Huts each feature 60 bunk beds.

Trekkers will sleep in bunk beds with a simple mattress and pillow while staying at those huts.  The Marangu Route is also known as the “Coca-Cola Route” because trekkers can purchase candy bars, bottled water, and soft beverages.

The Marangu Route has a reputation for being an easy trip because of the long, steady climb to each daily camp. However, don’t underestimate this track; the approach to the last camp, with around 1000 meters of vertical gain on that day alone, can be physically difficult.

Summit day on Kilimanjaro is always a challenge, regardless of which direction you approach from. The Marangu Route is popular with trekkers who have a limited amount of time for their ascent because it is one of the shortest routes to the summit, taking only five to six days to reach Uhuru Peak. The disadvantage is that it restricts the amount of time you have to acclimate to the altitude. As a result, the Marangu route has the highest failure rate of any of the Kilimanjaro routes. When choosing this option for your Kilimanjaro hike, keep that in mind.

The Marangu Route is also unique in that it follows the same course, both up and down. That means that, while the trail is beautiful, trekkers will see the same sights coming up as they will going down. Marangu can also become overcrowded at times because traffic flows in both ways. Even so, it’s difficult to beat this tried-and-true Kilimanjaro route for a traditional Kilimanjaro experience.

Marangu Route Summit Success Rate

The Marangu Route has the lowest summit success rates because it is one of the shortest routes on the mountain. This is mainly due to inexperienced local tour guides who lead tourists up the mountain on the shorter 5-day hike. As a result, the five-day average success rate is 50%. At the same time, the 6-day option has a success rate of up to 90%.

Marangu Route Detailed Itinerary

The Marangu Route offers a comprehensive 5-night/6-day climb up Kilimanjaro. Skip the Acclimatization Day’s night and hike directly from the Horombo Huts to the Kibo Huts in one day to cut your trip down to five days.

Day 1: Marangu Gate to Mandara Huts

  • Distance: ~8km / 5 miles
  • Trekking time: 4-6 hours
  • Zone: Rainforest

Once you have finished your breakfast, depart Arusha and travel to the southeast gate of Kilimanjaro National Park, also known as Marangu Gate. You will be given time to check in and register when you arrive at Marangu Gate. This is where your Kilimanjaro climb begins. The first leg of your journey takes you into the forests and rainforest, where you may see eucalyptus trees and a variety of bird species. If you are lucky, you could catch a glimpse of a Colobus monkey.  Because the low altitudes might result in damp, muddy soil, ensure you have the proper equipment and footwear.

Day 2: Mandara Huts to Horombo Huts

  • Distance: ~12km / 7 miles
  • Trekking time: 6-8 hours
  • Zone: Rainforest / Low Alpine Zone

Day 2 will begin with exploring the final stretch of woodland before the massive length of moorland opens up right in front of your eyes. On your trek, you may see the craggy peaks of Mawenzi that rise into the African heavens. At high altitudes, it is usual for people to suffer altitude sickness. It’s important to pay attention to how you feel and communicate with your guide when you see any signs of illness. Before dinner, you’ll have time to unpack and take in the view of Kibo from the Horombo Huts.

Day 3: Acclimatization Day at Horombo Huts

  • Distance: 0
  • Trekking time: 0
  • Zone: High alpine zone

 You will stay at the Horombo Huts for an extra day to help your body to adjust to the higher altitude. If you have any signs of illness or are especially tired, you must remain at camp and relax. If you are feeling well-acclimatized to the altitude, though, you can stroll up to Mawenzi Hut and take in the breathtaking views of Kibo and Mawenzi. Maintain a steady pace while you walk the path and take in the breathtaking scenery. Instead, you might travel to the amazing Zebra Rocks. This requires a 310-meter climb.

Day 4: Horombo Huts to Kibo Huts

  • Distance: ~10km / 6 miles
  • Trekking time: 5-7 hours
  • Zone: High alpine zone

On day 4, you will walk through various landscapes, all of which are incredibly beautiful. Between Mawenzi and Kibo, you will first continue on the heath, gradually developing into the arid, bleak mountains. The landscape is filled with large and small volcanic boulders, serving as a reminder of former volcanic activity. The last stretch to the Kibo Huts is quite steep and physically challenging.

Once you have arrived at the Kibo Huts, it’s time to get your warm clothes and equipment ready for tomorrow’s climb to the summit. Keep any water you plan to bring in a thermos to prevent freezing. Get a decent night’s rest because the next day’s trek will require a full night’s rest. You are about to take on Kilimanjaro’s most difficult challenge.

Day 5: Kibo Huts to Gilman’s Point to Uhuru Peak to Horombo Huts

  • Distance: ~5.5km / 3 miles hike and then 15km / 8 mile descent
  • Trekking time: 6-8 hours to the peak and then 5-8 hours to Horombo Hut
  • Zone: High alpine zone, Glacial zone, and low alpine zone

You have just enough time to eat a small meal before starting your nightly hike when you wake up around midnight. The rough terrain, which is scattered with loose rocks, is considered by many hikers to be the most challenging section of the climb. The goal is to arrive at Gilman’s Point before sunrise. This will ensure that you arrive at Uhuru, Kibo’s highest point, shortly after sunrise. There will be a short pause at Gilman’s Point to take in the breathtaking scenery. After then, you will continue along the crater’s edge to Uhuru, which is the final stretch of the journey and has a steady incline.

Depending on when you travel, the final section of the trail to the Uhuru Peak, Africa’s highest point and the summit of Kilimanjaro, may be covered in snow. You can celebrate yourself as you reach the peak, 5,895 meters above sea level, and take a picture in front of the Uhuru Peak Sign.

Now it’s time to head back to the Kibo Huts, and you will notice that this section goes incredibly quickly. You will take a break at the Kibo Huts to relax and have a well-deserved lunch before continuing to the Horombo Huts for a well-deserved full night’s rest.

Day 6: From Horombo Huts to Marangu Gate to Arusha

  • Distance: ~20km / 12.5 miles
  • Trekking time: 6-8 hours
  •  Zone: Low alpine zone and rainforest

 You will have lunch and say goodbyes to the mountain crew as you make your final descent through the rainforest to the Marangu Gate. Following that, you will depart Mount Kilimanjaro National Park and return to Arusha for a much-needed shower and a farewell dinner.

What Scenery Will You See on the Marangu Route?

Before reaching the glacier zone, the Marangu path ascends through the rainforest, moorlands, and alpine highlands. This hike is breathtaking, and it’s the only one that permits you to return the same way you ascend.

Best Time to Travel along the Marangu Route

The best time to climb Kilimanjaro is between July and September. During this time, the weather is the most stable, and rain is less likely. Because it is so close to the equator, the mountain can be climbed at any time of year. April and May are the wettest months of the year, so stay away from them.

How difficult is the Marangu Route?

Many novice hikers attempt this route each year since it provides comfortable hut accommodations compared to other routes that involve sleeping in mountain tents. Many people claim that this path is easier than other paths to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Trekkers frequently believe that a 5-day hike is easier than a 6-day hike. The 5-day options can be challenging because there isn’t much time to adjust to the altitude. The 6-day option is easier, but it still requires a strong level of fitness.

About The mountain

At 5,895 meters Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest freestanding mountain on the earth; it is one of the Seven Summits. The snow-capped peak of Africa is a dormant volcano. This majestic mountain can be found inside the Kilimanjaro National Park of Tanzania, at 005.00 degrees south, 036 degrees east, 5895m above mean sea level.

Exceptional climb success

Since 1994, ClimbingKilimanjaro has been fore runner in operating Kilimanjaro tours. We have a proud and unbeatable track record of more than 15,000 safe and successful summit attempts.

The specialised experience of ClimbingKilimanjaro puts us, as a tour operator, in a unique position to offer the most professional support, guidance, information and motivation to realise this proverbial “bucket-list” dream.

ClimbingKilimanjaro can provide references from previous successful and satisfied clients – on request. Visitors are also welcome to visit our Testimonials & Summit Gallery pages

Real-Time Tracking Service

ClimbingKilimanjaro is the only operator that offers real-time tracking to hikers on Mount Kilimanjaro. This unique service will allow family and friends to track the live progress of their loved ones, as they hike to the summit of Kilimanjaro, subject to availability, pre-booking and at a small supplementary fee.

Guides and porters

ClimbingKilimanjaro only utilises highly trained and registered guides, with several years of experience, to lead a mountain support team that are properly equipped to look after climbers on the mountain.

All of the Climbing Kilimanjaro package options includes the services of one porter per hiker, who will carry the client’s duffel bag (max. 15kg) from one camp to the next.

The above average staff ratio of the Climbing Kilimanjaro Mountain Support Team to climber is: 2 Porters per climber and 2 guides for a maximum of 4 hikers – a very favourable ratio to directly enhance safety and enjoyment on the mountain.