The Marangu Route is also known as the “Coca Cola” or “tourist” route. It is the easiest and shortest route to the summit. This is also the only route with the comforts of sleeping huts at every camp site with solar-powered lights and comfortable beds. The huts are communal, and the bunks have a sponge mattress and pillow. All climbing groups, often from several countries around the world, share meals in dining huts providing a jovial and energetic atmosphere. This route is usually done in 5 days, but you can do it in 6 days for better acclimatization. You can spend the extra day resting at Horombo or climbing to a base camp below Kibo’s sub peak Mawenzi.
DAY 1: Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the Babylon Lodge in Marangu for accommodation and dinner. If you arrive early, you will spend day for relaxation in the beautiful lodge as you enjoy the Kilimanjaro weather
If you have an extra day to spare this will be spent with your guides who will brief you on the Kilimanjaro climb and also check on your equipment. This will also help you relax and acclimatize to the Kilimanjaro. During the briefing the guides will tell you what to expect in terms of vegetation, the path, the expected weather, safety and how to increase your chances of reaching the top. You will also have the opportunity to ask the guides any questions that you might be having regarding your climb. In the afternoon the guides will take you to visit the magnificent Kinukamori waterfalls where you will spend the cool afternoon relaxing by the falls as you meditate on the Kilimanjaro climb the next day. This walk will also be beneficial as it will relax your muscles after a long flight making your climb easier the next day. As you do this walk, you will also get to know your guides better so that by the time you start the climb they are not only your guides but your friends too!
(NB. If you don’t have the extra day to spare there is no need to worry the briefing will be done on the morning before departure and you will only miss the trip to the waterfalls!)
DAY 2: Marangu Gate (6,000 feet) – Mandara Hut (9,000 feet)
Hiking time: 4 hours
Habitat: Montane forest
Your hike through rainforest from the park gate at 6,000 feet to the Mandara Huts at 9,000 feet will take about 4 hours. Stop halfway for lunch, and reach the Mandara Huts at about 2 or 3 PM. Unpack, rest, and have some tea or coffee. Dinner is served during the early evening. A 15 minute side trip to Maundi Crater is a good way to see the surroundings as well as views of Kenya and Northern Tanzania.
DAY 3: Mandara Hut (9,000 feet) – Horombo Huts (12,000 feet)
Hiking time: 6 hours
Habitat: Heath land
After breakfast hike to the Horombo Huts at 12,000 feet. You travel through heath land where small shrubs are the main vegetation. Stop halfway for lunch, where you can enjoy amazing views of Mawenzi. Arrive at the Horombo Huts in the evening where you can see Kibo’s summit. Rest, unpack, and prepare for dinner.
DAY 4: Horombo Huts (12,000 feet) – Kibo Huts (15,500 feet)
Hiking time: 7 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Wake to breakfast as usual, but if you wake early you can get some great photos of the sunrise. Pack and begin the hike to the Kibo Huts at 15,500 feet. 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. The day’s hike should take 6 to 7 hours, stopping halfway for lunch.
DAY 5: SUMMIT DAY (19,340 feet)
Hiking time: 7 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Wake at midnight to a light breakfast then prepare for your summit ascent. The goal is to climb before dawn so that you can reach Uhuru Peak near sunrise. Leave at 1 AM and reach Gilman’s Point on the crater rim by 7 AM, where views of the fabled crater greet you. Another 2 hours of hiking takes you to 19,340-foot Uhuru Peak at about 9 AM. This is Africa’s highest point! From there you will descend back to Kibo Hut.
DAY 6: Descend from Horombo to the Marangu Gate
After breakfast you will descend to the Mandara Huts ( At times your guide will advice you to spend the previous night at Mandara hut instead of Horombo hut for your last night) .Take lunch there and continue on to the park gate where your transport back to Babylon Lodge will meet you after hiking to the roof of Africa! At Babylon Lodge you will have hot water showers and there after it will be time to celebrate with your guides and porters. Kilimanjaro beer and barbecue will be a good way to celebrate your success of being to the highest point in Africa. The guides will also sing for you and the jovial mood of the evening will make your trip worth remembering!
DAY 7: After breakfast you will depart for the airport or other destinations in Tanzania. We will be glad to arrange for you a tour to see the wild life of Tanzania or to the beautiful spice island of Zanzibar through our partner company.
Extra Day for Acclimatization:
You can add an extra day at the Horombo Huts at 12,000 feet.. This extra day will help your acclimatization, and further your understanding of the mountain’s weather and altitude. On your fourth day, you will continue up to the Kibo Huts for your midnight start to the summit.