Marangu Route – 5 or 6 days mountain climb

This is the most popular and oldest route. It’s relatively quick and is the most direct way to the summit, with a steady rate of climb.

Often referred to as the ‘Coca Cola Route’ because soft drinks are usually available at every hut!

The Marangu attracts considerably more climbers than all the other routes put together, being the quickest and most direct route. It takes 5 days to climb, covering about 80 kilometres via the east side of the mountain. In order to help with acclimatisation we recommend that you add an extra day at Horombo Hut which is at 3,700 metres before continuing with the ascent. This would make it a 6 day climb.

This is the only route which uses the park huts for accommodation which have dormitory style rooms. It is also the only two-way route meaning that you ascend and descend by the same path.

You start and finish at Marangu Gate and summit via Gilman’s Point. This route doesn’t have the same success rates as some of the others, but is fine if you are on a budget, if you’d prefer to be in huts than camping, and are very determined to have a go! The park huts have dormitory rooms. There are flush toilets and running water at lower huts while at higher altitude there are long drop toilets and buckets of water for ablutions. You’ll be able to buy soft drinks, bottled water and sometimes beer.

Marangu 5 day Route Map and Itinerary

  • Day 1
    On arrival in Kilimanjaro airport you’ll be driven to the base hotel. This evening you’ll have a briefing where you’ll be given details about the forthcoming climb and have a chance to ask any questions.
  • Day 2
    After breakfast you’ll be driven to the Marangu Gate at the south-east of the mountain. You’ll have about 4-5 hours walking through lush rainforest before arriving at Mandara Hut, 2,700m.
  • Day 3
    You’ll walk about 15kms today through changing vegetation. It’ll take 5-6 hours to reach Horombo Hut, 3,720m 3,720m
  • Day 4
    From Horombo you’ll continue the climb, crossing The Saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo peaks. Your destination is Kibo Hut, 4,703m. This will be a long and tiring day as altitude will start to tell. Expect to spend between 6 and 8 hours walking.
  • Day 5
    Summit day! You’ll be woken at around midnight for the 5 hour walk up steep scree to Gillman’s Point at 5,690m. There will be plenty of rest stops on the way. It’s another 1-2 hours around the crater rim to Uhuru Peak at 5,895m. Give yourself a few moments to enjoy your achievement before beginning the descent back to Horombo Hut, a descent of some 4-5 hours.
  • Day 6
    After breakfast at Horombo you’ll continue down to the park gates a Marangu, 1,843m, 5-7 hours walking. Here you’ll be picked up and driven back to the base hotel. Check into your room and enjoy the luxury of a hot shower before a drink or two in the bar and a celebratory dinner.
  • Day 7
    Transfer to Kilimanjaro airport for your onward travels.

Marangu 6 day Route Map and Itinerary

  • Day 1
    On arrival in Kilimanjaro airport you’ll be driven to the base hotel. This evening you’ll have a briefing where you’ll be given details about the forthcoming climb and have a chance to ask any questions.
  • Day 2
    After breakfast you’ll be driven to the Marangu Gate at the south-east of the mountain. You’ll have about 4-5 hours walking through lush rainforest before arriving at Mandara Hut, 2,700m.
  • Day 3
    You’ll walk about 15kms today through changing vegetation. It’ll take 5-6 hours to reach Horombo Hut, 3,720m 3,720m
  • Day 4
    This is your acclimatisation day. You can to take an optional hike to Mawenzi Hut and then descend back to Horombo Hut, about 2-3hrs walking. This allows your body to get used to the effects of altitude and should increase your chance of success.
  • Day 5
    From Horombo you’ll continue the climb, crossing The Saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo peaks. Your destination is Kibo Hut, 4,703m. This will be a long and tiring day as altitude will start to tell. Expect to spend between 6 and 8 hours walking.
  • Day 6
    Summit day! You’ll be woken at around midnight for the 5 hour walk up steep scree to Gillman’s Point at 5,690m. There will be plenty of rest stops on the way. It’s another 1-2 hours around the crater rim to Uhuru Peak at 5,895m. Give yourself a few moments to enjoy your achievement before beginning the descent back to Horombo Hut, a descent of some 4-5 hours.
  • Day 7
    After breakfast at Horombo you’ll continue down to the park gates a Marangu, 1,843m, 5-7 hours walking. Here you’ll be picked up and driven back to the base hotel. Check into your room and enjoy the luxury of a hot shower before a drink or two in the bar and a celebratory dinner.
  • Day 8
    Transfer to Kilimanjaro airport for your onward travels.
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Amanda Marks

Managing Director
Self confessed Africa-lover, but keen on all new travel experiences, Amanda is passionate about getting to know different cultures.

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Tracy Edwards

Travel Consultant
Tracy was been born and spent her youth in South Africa, the draw of the animals, the people and wilds of Africa have always run through her veins.

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Sinead Bailey

Travel Consultant
Sinead caught the travel bug following a year out after university. She has worked in the travel industry ever since, and visited many countries including South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia.

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Christine MacDougall

Travel Consultant
The African dust is firmly planted in Chris’s heart. Born in Tanzania she spent much of her childhood in and around Ruaha. Travel and safari was part of life and through into adulthood fun and travel has never left her.