Mount Kilimanjaro climb via Marangu Route

Known as the “Coca-Cola” route, the Marangu route is a classic trek on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the oldest, most well established route. Many favour the Marangu route because it is considered to be the easiest path on the mountain, due to its more gradual slope. It is also the only route which offers sleeping huts with dormitory style accommodation. There are 60 bunk beds at both Mandara and Kibo Huts, and 120 bunk beds at Horombo Hut. Guests are supplied with mattresses and pillows, but sleeping bags are still required. The huts have communal dining halls and basic washrooms, ranging from flushing toilets and running water at the lower huts to long drop toilets and buckets of water at Kibo Hut.

The Kilimanjaro National Park Headquarters are housed at Marangu Gate. It is about 41km from Moshi and 86km from Kilimanjaro airport.

Day 1 – Welcome to Arusha, Tanzania, the gateway to the roof of Africa!

Your trip begins today in Arusha, Tanzania with a flight into Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO). We provide a group transfer to a very comfortable hotel near Arusha. Most travelers find they are tired after the long flight and prefer to go directly to their room to rest. No meals included.

Day 2 – Explore Arusha or just relax on our hotel grounds before our orientation.

Take your time today to adjust to life in Africa. You’re free to do as you wish until our 4 p.m. group orientation meeting. You can arrange local transportation at the hotel front desk if you’d like to explore Arusha town, which is known as the “little Geneva of Tanzania.” Set in the shadow of Mount Meru with impressive views of Kilimanjaro, Arusha was established in 1900 as a German garrison town. Or you might want to just relax at the pool and gardens or try the jogging path on the grounds. We can also arrange for a day trip into Arusha National Park for some wildlife viewing (added cost). Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 3 – Hike through bamboo rainforest to Mandara Hut, near the forest line.

We depart after breakfast and drive to the park headquarters. There is the normal hustle and bustle of hiring porters, signing in and beginning the climb. The actual hike begins at the park gate (6,000′) and we hike 5.5 miles up to Mandara hut (8,860′) near the upper edge of the forest line. The hike takes about 4 – 6 hours- a good time to start using your walking sticks. Our path starts off in a bamboo rainforest (keep your eyes open for blue monkeys) then opens up to hillsides of heather and temperate forests. If time and weather permit, a short walk from Mandara to Maundi Crater is certainly worth it. Lodging here, as well as at Horombo, is in wooden A-frame huts that sleep 4 to 8 people. All meals included starting with breakfast today through breakfast on Day 9.

Hiking: 5 miles, ~3-4 hours; Elevation gain: ~2,760’.

Day 4 – Enter moorland filled with alpine heather on the way to Horombo Hut.

Our destination today is Horombo Hut at 12,340′. It takes a good 5-6 hours to cover the 10-mile journey – altitude will slow the group down, and the trail is strenuous but not technical. Be sure you’re drinking lots of water (no less than 2 liters per day). We often get our first views of the Kibo summit today far in the distance as we pass from forest into high moorland. In addition, we pass beneath the impressive, rocky southern face of Mawenzi – one of the three volcanic peaks that make up the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Hiking: ~8 miles, ~5-7 hours; Elevation gain: ~3,280’.

Day 5 – Take an acclimatization hike toward the rocky Mawenzi.

Today is an extra day to acclimatize, and it is best spent taking the day hike up towards Mawenzi, gaining elevation so that this evening when you return to Horombo, you’re sleeping at a lower elevation. The day hike is through a beautiful landscape with unique flora such as the odd-shaped, seemingly inside-out giant groundsel. The trail offers inspirational views of both Kibo and Mawenzi. Birdlife is also abundant in the Horombo area. If you’re feeling really fatigued at this point, you can choose to spend the day at Horombo. Afternoon rains are common, so plan your day hike in order to be back inside the lodge with a cup of tea and good book by 4 p.m. And, after the rain passes, the sunsets are typically beautiful and the black night sky full of stars.

Hiking: 6 miles, ~ 4-5 hours; Elevation gain 1,820’.

Day 6 – Cross “the Saddle” to Kibo Hut with Kibo and Mawenzi looming above.

Today is another long hike, this time up to Kibo Hut at almost 15,520′. Although shorter in distance, this usually takes 7 hours because it is steeper, and the altitude slows everyone down. Keep drinking your water! The route passes directly up onto the Saddle, a wide, flat plateau with the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi looming overhead. The views here are fantastic! The last part of the trail passes across the plateau before a final ascent to Kibo Hut, a stone hut with rooms that sleep 10 – 15 people in bunk beds. We have a light dinner, a pre-climb talk with our guides and turn in early for what little sleep is possible.

Hiking: 5.7 miles, ~5-7 hours; Elevation gain: ~3,280’.

Day 7 – Summit day! On the trail before midnight, we make our way to the top.

Our guides wake us before midnight for tea and cookies and final dressing (in many layers) for our summit attempt. It can be bitterly cold. The guides like to have the team on the trail between 12:00-1:00 a.m. in hope of reaching the summit for the sunrise. Starting off, the trail swings back and forth up a steep scree slope while the line of climbers stretches out in the darkness, only visible by their headlamps. Placing one foot in front of the other and focusing on your breathing, the black sky infinitely above you, this climb is one you will never forget. Most climbers arrive at Gillman’s point, elevation 18,685 feet, in time to see the sunrise around 6:30 a.m. The views from the top looking down on the plains of Africa make it all worthwhile. Some climbers decide they have reached their goal and head down from here, a legitimate summit. Others hike an additional 2-3 hours to the true summit, Uhuru Peak at 19,340′. The descent from Gillman’s point is fairly rapid, taking about 2 hours. Most climbers take a short rest at Kibo Hut before descending to Horombo Hut for the night, arriving in the late afternoon.

Hiking: 3.5 miles ascent + 9.5 miles descent, ~10-16 hours; Elevation gain: ~3,165’-3,820’; Elevation loss: ~7,000’.

Day 8 – Descend from Horombo Huts back to the park gate for a celebration dinner.

Another long hike is in store for us today, but it is essentially all downhill, and our spirits are boosted by the satisfaction of yesterday’s climb. Back at Marangu gate, at the park headquarters, we pick up our certificates to attest to our success and bid farewell to many of our porters and guides. We transfer then to our hotel in Arusha (2 – 2 ½ hours), where it’s a welcome treat to take a hot shower, drink a tall cold one and commemorate the climb with a celebration dinner.

Hiking: 12.5 miles, ~ 5 hours; Elevation loss: ~6,040’.

Day 9 – Say good-bye to Africa or join our Kilimanjaro Safari Extension.

Today is personal time for shopping in Arusha or relaxing at the lodge. A day room is arranged for late check-out. We provide a group transfer to the Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO). Or, continue the adventure on our Kilimanjaro Safari Extension. No trip to Africa is complete without seeing its magnificent wildlife! Breakfast included; lunch and dinner on your own.

Notes on Itinerary

Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.


Package Includes:

– Day 1 – Welcome to Arusha, Tanzania, the gateway to the roof of Africa!

– Day 2 – Explore Arusha or just relax on our hotel grounds before our orientation.

– Day 3 – Hike through bamboo rainforest to Mandara Hut, near the forest line.

– Day 4 – Enter moorland filled with alpine heather on the way to Horombo Hut.

– Day 5 – Take an acclimatization hike toward the rocky Mawenzi.

– Day 6 – Cross “the Saddle” to Kibo Hut with Kibo and Mawenzi looming above.

– Day 7 – Summit day! On the trail before midnight, we make our way to the top.

– Day 8 – Descend from Horombo Huts back to the park gate for a celebration dinner.

– Day 9 – Say good-bye to Africa or join our Kilimanjaro Safari Extension.



Day 1 Moshi – Marangu gate – Mandara Hut

  • Elevation: 1900M to 2700 M
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Hiking time: 4-5 hrs
  • Habitat: Montane Forest

After breakfast you will be taken to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate at 1,840 m. Upon completion of the necessary paper work, your trek commences and soon you will be hiking through the dense rainforest of Marangu. Looking up, you might have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the thumb less black and white colobus monkeys. After you have reached the Mandara Hut (2,700 m) in approximately 4 hours and you have had some time to catch your breath, you will have the option to join a walk to the Maundi Crater where you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the Kenyan interior, as well as of the gleaming lakes which share the border between Kenya and Tanzania. You will stay the evening at Mandara Hut.

Day 2 Mandara Hut– Horombo Hut

  • Elevation: 2700M to 3,700M
  • Distance: 11 km
  • Hiking time: 6-8 hrs
  • Habitat: Heath and moorland

An early breakfast strengthens you for the trek ahead and shortly after leaving Mandara Hut you will reach the cross roads between Horombo Hut and Maundi Crater. Heading in the direction of Horombu Hut the vegetation will change to shrubs and you will cross the open moon land reaching your destination in approximately 4 – 6 hours. Looking back your path will already be shrouded in clouds and looking forward you will catch glimpses of Mawenzi, Kibo peak and the Maasai steppe. After your evening meal you will drift off to sleep at the Horombu Hut.

Day 3 Horombo Hut (3,700 m) – Zebra Rocks (3,980 m) – Horombo Hut (4,700 m)

  • Elevation: 3,700M to 4700M
  • Distance: 4 km
  • Hiking time: 1-2 hrs
  • Habitat: Heath and moorland

Zebra Rocks is on the agenda today, in order for your body to acclimatize to the altitude. Acclimatization plays an important role in improving your chances to reach the summit and this 2 to 4 hour trek offers you the opportunity to stretch your legs and breathe in the fresh air. Zebra Rocks (3,980 m) is named after the distinct black and white stripes covering the rock formation. A hot lunch will await you on your return and the rest of the afternoon is for you to enjoy the spectacular views around you and regain your strength for tomorrow’s hike. You will stay another night at Horombo Hut.

 Day 4 Horombo Hut (3,700 m) – Kibo Hut (4,700 m)

  • Elevation: 3700M to 4700M
  • Distance: 9 km
  • Hiking time: 6-8 hrs
  • Habitat: Alpine desert

After breakfast a long and tough journey to Kibo Hut awaits you. The vegetation slowly changes into alpine desert and you will pass the “last waterpoint” on your way to the so-called “saddle”, a plateau situated between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. You will arrive at the Kibo Hut in about 5 to 6 hours and go to bed straight after dinner as the summit calls for an early start, at approximately 23:00 h.

Day 5 Kibo Hut (4,700 m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) – Horombo Hut (3,700 m)

  • Elevation: 4700M to 5895 and down to 3700M
  • Distance: 6 km up/15 km down/9 km to Horombo
  • Hiking time: 6-8 hours up / 15km/9mi down
  • Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

The summit day has finally arrived and at around midnight, when the lava ash is still frozen, you will start your ascent. Your path will be strenuous with only your headlight to light the way. You will pass the Hans Meyer Cave at 5,200 m and slowly make your way up. Gilman’s Point at 5,715 m will be reached as the sun rises over the crater rim. You will continue another 1 to 2 hours to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m). The cold is soon forgotten as you stand on the “Roof of Africa”, basking in the rays of the morning light. After well-deserved photo opportunity you will descend along the same path. The lava ash will now have thawed, allowing for a faster descent. Upon your arrival at Kibo Hut, a warm meal and approximate 2 hours rest awaits you, before you continue down to the Horombo Hut,.

Day 6 Horombo Hut – Marangu Gate– Moshi

  • Elevation: 3700M to 1900M
  • Distance: 19 km
  • Hiking time: 5-8 Hrs
  • Habitat: Moorland to Montane forest

The surrounding vegetation becomes greener as you continue your descent and soon you will arrive at the Mandara Hut (2,700 m), where a hot lunch awaits you. The journey back to the park gate gives you another chance to observe the beautiful tropical rainforest and spot anything you have missed on the way up, like the Impatiens Kilimanjaro Flower, which is endemic to the rainforest on the slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro. Arriving at the gate you will say goodbye to your mountain crew and be taken back to your Hotel. At the hotel you can enjoy a shower and celebrate your success in reaching the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro


DAY 1 :- Pickup from hotel and drive to Marangu gate.

The climb starts at Marangu Gate (1829m), followed by a 3-4 hours walk through the fast climbing rainforest to reach Mandara Hut (2700m), close by Maundi Crater. Dinner and overnight stay in Mandara Hut.

DAY 2 :-

Morning after breakfast with picnic lunch boxes, continue the trek leaving the last glades of the forest behind while we follow the gently ascending path through the open Alpine Meadow. The altitude begins to make you tread slowly : “pole pole” is the order of the day while enjoying the flora and the magnificient view. Picnic lunch along the way to Horombo Hut. Horombo Hut (3720m) is reached within 5-7 hours walking. Dinner and overnight stay at Horombo Hut.

DAY 3 :-

After a good night’s rest, an early breakfast is served as which we continue the trek passing through the last giant Lobelias and Proteas, and move on to the lunar landscape of the saddle between Kibo and Mawenzi. Kibo Hut (4703m) is reached in 5-6 hours. Picnic lunch on the way. Dinner and overnight stay at Kibo Hut.

DAY 4:-

The climb for the summit starts in the early morning hours after a hot cup of Coffee/Tea/Porridge. For about 5 hours we will be climbing the steepest and most demanding part; the route to Gilman’s Point, 5685m on the crater rim. Less than 2 hours are then taken to reach Uhuru Peak at 5895m, the highest point in Africa . Yes from here, we descend straight to Horombo Hut, passing through Kibo for brunch. Dinner and overnight at Horombo Hut.

DAY 5:-

After breakfast, We descend straight to Marangu Gate. After haven received your certificates, transfer back to Moshi town for hot lunch.


Our Mt Kilimanjaro Rates Includes the following:

  • All Tanzania VAT and Taxes.
  • All airport transfers.
  • Hotel accommodations for 2 nights in Tanzania with bed and breakfast.
  • Transfer from the hotel to the mountain and back.
  • All meals and water on the mountain.
  • All Kilimanjaro National Park fees, camping fees, hut fees and climbing permits.
  • Kilimanjaro National Park rescue fees
  • Emergency oxygen.
  • First aid kit.
  • Qualified mountain guide, assistant guides, trustee porters and cook
  • Salaries for mountain crew as per guidelines set by the Park
  • Camping equipment such as tents, camp chairs, tables and e.t.c.
  • Comfortable Sleeping mattress
  •  Water for washing up daily
  • Porter to carry your duffel bag.
  • Kilimanjaro National Park certificate for your successful summit attempt
  • Pulse oxymeter to check oxygen level and heart beat while on the mountain.
  • Portable Chemical Toilet


  • Flights and airport taxes (visa)
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Tips for the trekking team.
  • Health requirements (Yellow Fever compulsory if travelling to Tanzania recommended)
  • Highly recommended travel and medical insurance.
  • Personal hiking/trekking gear – we can rent some of the gear from our equipment store in Tanzania.
  • Meals & drinks not specified and snacks
  • Sleeping bag