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6 Days Marangu Route

Created with Sketch. Marangu, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
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Duration

6 Days

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

Unlimited

Languages

English

Overview

The Marangu route is one of the most popular routes to the summit of Kilimanjaro. This could partly be as a result of the fact that the Marangu is the least expensive route, but more so, perhaps the fact that it is possible to do the Marangu route in 5 days, thereby getting to the summit one day earlier compared to the Machame route. This is not always the best way, due to a shorter acclimatization period.

The Marangu route does, however, offer you the option of spending an extra acclimatization day on the mountain. This extends the route into a 6-day trek, greatly increasing your chances of success. Shared hut accommodation on the Marangu route forms one of the main differences, compared to the other routes. It offers you the relative luxury of being able to sleep in huts along the entire route. Mineral water, soft drinks, chocolates and beers are also sold at all the camps on this route. All your equipment and supplies are carried by porters and a cook prepares all your meals.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Marangu Gate (1860m) – Mandara hut (2715m)
Hiking time: 5h
Distance: Approximately 8.1 km
Habitat: Montane forest

The drive from Moshi to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate, takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Marangu, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. Once you reach the park gate, all hikers are requested to sign in at the Park office and make their final preparations for the climb. Porters will be seen arranging and loading their packs, containing the food, water, cooking gas as well as most of your equipment. Make sure that you have all your daypack items (containing at least drinking water, your lunch pack and extra clothing) with you, as the porters ascend a lot quicker than the hikers.
Our guides will be available to assist with any additional information or needs you might have. You now leave the Park gate and ascend on a cleared ridge trail through the rain forest. The forest, suffused with mist and dripping with beards of moss, is also where most of Kilimanjaro’s animals are found.
An alternative and more scenic parallel forest trail branches off to the left a few minutes after the gate. This trail follows the edge of a stream through the undergrowth and offers you the option to rejoin the main trail either after 1.5 hours hiking, or 1 hour before Mandara hut.
Your first night stop, Mandara hut, consisting of a group of wooden A-framed huts in a forest clearing. Each hut features 6-8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting. The total capacity of the camp is 60 climbers. Water is piped into the camp from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut. Dinner is prepared by our cook and served in a communal dining mess.
Day 2: Mandara hut (2715m) – Horombo hut (3705m)
Hiking time: 6h
Distance: Approximately 11.6 km
Habitat: Moorland

From Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, skirts the base of the Maundi Crater and then emerges into the transition from rain forest to moorland. It is well worth a short detour to scramble up the rim of the Maundi Crater for your first really impressive view of the Kibo Crater. On a clear day, Kibo will glimmer in the distance, showing off her majestic glaciers in the morning sun.
Once you are in the open moorland you will get the chance to see some of Kilimanjaro’s most spectacular plants – the endemic giant lobelia which grows up to 3 m in height and the giant groundsel (Senecia Kilimanjari), which can reach heights of 5m! After about 6 hours trek from here, you reach the Horombo hut, where you will have a hot bowl of washing water, rest; an evening meal and overnight.
Day 3: Horombo hut (3705m) – Acclimatisation day
Horombo hut is a village of huts perched on a small plateau, with buildings similar to Mandara, but with a total capacity of 120 climbers! Horombo is normally bustling with hikers, guides and porters, with an atmosphere of adventure and excitement. You will meet both ascending and descending hikers here.
This extra day and night at Horombo is for additional acclimatisation. A hike towards the Mawenzi hut, passing the Zebra Rocks on the way (about 3 hours up and 1,5 hours down), is strongly recommended. This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatisation. Remember to drink enough water and move slowly! All meals for the day are provided at the hut. Retire to bed early and get a last good night’s rest.
Day 4: Horombo hut (3705m) – Kibo hut (4730m)
Hiking time: 6h
Distance: Approximately 9.6 km
Habitat: Alpine desert

After breakfast you now continue your ascent into the Alpine desert habitat. From Horombo there are two trails to the “Saddle” (which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo). There is an upper route (right hand fork) and lower route (left hand fork) to choose from. The upper route (right hand fork) should be very familiar, as you will have climbed most of it the previous day (on your acclimatisation hike) towards Mawenzi hut. This section is very stony and eroded.
The recommended lower route (left hand fork) is much easier and nearly an hour shorter, and it also passes the last watering point at 4130m. You will have to fill your water bottles with all the water you will need until your return to Horombo hut in two night’s time (unless you are willing to buy Mineral water at Kibo hut). Once again remember to slow down and drink enough water!

Situated in the barren Alpine desert is Kibo hut, a stone build block house which has bunk beds for 60 climbers, but no streams with water nearby. It is however possible to buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. There are platform toilets behind the hut.
The summit is now a further 1195m up and you will make your final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski-stick and thermal clothing for your summit bid. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible.
Day 5: Kibo hut (4730m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo hut (3705m)
Hiking time: 7 to 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 6 to 8 hours to descend to Horombo
Distance: Approximately 5.4km ascent and 15 km descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

You will rise around 23h20, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night, and this is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gillman’s point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort. This is probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly.
From Gillmans Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend, taking photographs, before the 3 hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest you gather all your gear you left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) for your overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office) on the mountain and a well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.
Day 6: Horombo hut (3705m) – Marangu Gate (1860m)
Hiking time: 6h
Distance: Approximately 19.7 km

After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. Click here for more info on tips. At Marangu gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Gillman’s Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive gold certificates. You now drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!! Overnight at the Springlands hotel.

Included/Excluded

  • Quality, waterproof, four-season private mountain
  • 2 Nights accommodation
  • Professional, experienced, mountain guides:
  • All Park fees
  • Rescue fees
  • All meals while on the Mountain
  • Arrival and Departure transfers
  • Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
  • Quality Mess tents with table and chairs:
  • Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food:
  • Clean, purified drinking water:
  • Crisis management and safety procedures:
  • Fair and ethical treatment of porters:
  • Sleeping Mattress:
  • Emergency Evacuation
  • Tanzania Visa: $50 per person on arrival
  • Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)
  • Meals not listed above
  • Optional Tours (short or long safari after your climb etc)
  • Tips for guides and porters and any items of personal nature.
  • International and domestic flights
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Sleeping bags and personal items
  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodation and meals in Moshi

Tour Categories

Mount Kilimanjaro

Durations

Multi day

Languages

English

Tour's Location

Created with Sketch. Marangu, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

FAQs

What can I expect on a typical safari day?
This is your safari trip, your adventure! You decide how you want to spend your time on this vacation. If you would like to spend a full day on safari, you are definitely welcomed to do so. Visa Expeditions does not restrict your mileage, fuel or how much time you want to be on safari. While some days you may decide set out by sunrise, other days you can have a slower-paced breakfast before starting your daily exploration. Simply sit down with your guide to plan your day and meals the night before. Your guide will have plenty of suggestions, but of course, the decision is yours.
What to Bring on Safari
Safaris are casual vacations! Dress comfortably and pack lightly. As you will be spending most of your safari viewing in the vehicle, loose-fitting and light coloured clothing is recommended. Avoid dark colours (i.e. black, dark blue) as they tend to attract unwanted attention from insects such as the tsetse fly.
What are the park fee regulations?
All park fees and conservation fees have a 24 hours limit. We plan your itinerary according to the park permits paid. Your safari driver guide will brief you the night before and provide suggestions regarding your schedule. Please note that any penalty fee resulting from the client’s wish to extend their stay will be at the guest’s expense.
Am I allowed to walk around the national parks?
It is recommended to stay inside your vehicles at all times when you are in the national parks unless your driver-guide find a safe area to stop for lunch or to stretch your legs. If you are keen on hiking, there are guided walks that are available in Tarangire, Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro. Within the Serengeti National Parks, long walks are not permitted during to conservation reasons, however, some lodgings will offer short walks near the lodge or camp.
Will there be wildlife roaming at the camps and lodges?
It is important to never assume that any of the animals encountered on your game drive are tame. Though attacks by wild animals are unusual, nothing in the African wilderness is predictable. While you are staying in your safari lodges and camps, it is important to be especially cautious and aware of your surroundings as many of these areas are not fenced and contain wildlife roaming freely. If you have children with you, keep them in sight and do not let them wander alone. At smaller tented lodges, you will always be escorted to and from your tent for dinner or during the night. Should you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to raise them to the staff or your guide.
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