Kimanjaro Trekking

Marangu Route Highlights

  • The Marangu route is a classic trek on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the oldest, most well established route. Many favor the Marangu route because it is considered to be the easiest path on the mountain, given its gradual slope. It is also the only route which offers sleeping huts in dormitory style accommodations. The minimum days required for this route is five, although the probability of successfully reaching the top in that time period is quite low. Spending an extra acclimatization day on the mountain is highly recommended when climbing Klimanjaro using the Marangu route.
  • However, despite its immense popularity, we avoid leading climbs on the Marangu route. The route has the least scenic variety of all the routes because the ascent and descent are done on the same path and it is the most crowded route for that reason. Marangu is favored only during the rainy season, where the hut accommodations are preferred over wet ground, or for those who only have five days to climb Kilimanjaro (which we do not recommend anyhow). Otherwise, the Marangu route is a poor choice.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Marangu Gate to Mandara Hut - Elevation (ft): 6,046 ft to 8,858 ft

Distance: 8 km
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest
After breakfast we head to the National Park gate for the necessary formalities before beginning our trek. The trail climbs through a tropical rain forest, near the upper edge of the forest line (keep an eye out for blue monkeys). The trail then widens to expose beautiful hillsides until we reach Mandara Hut.

Day 2: Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut

Elevation (ft): 8,858 ft to 12,205 ft
Distance: 12 km
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Habitat: Health
Our second day on the trail begins with a steep, but not technical ascent through forest and opens into high moorland. If weather allows, we may get our first views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks, two of the three volcanic peaks that make up the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Day 3: Horombo Hut

Elevation (ft): 12,205 ft to 14,160 ft
Distance: 10 km
Hiking Time: 3-5 hours
Habitat: Health
This is an extra day to acclimatize and can be spent day hiking on Mawenzi Ridge. The unique landscape offers motivating views of Kibo and Mawenzi.

Day 4: Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut

Elevation (ft): 12,205 ft to 15,430 ft
Distance: 10 km
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Today we climb gradually, then cross the lunar desert of the “Saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach our campsite which sits at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Once at camp we rest, enjoy dinner and prepare for the next day.

Day 5: Kibo Hut to Summit to Horombo Hut

Elevation (ft): 15,430 ft to 19,341 ft
Distance: 22 km
Hiking Time: 10-13 hours
Habitat: Arctic
Leaving very early in the morning (around midnight), we continue our way to the summit in hopes of catching the sunrise. The trail is a series of switchbacks up a steep scree slope, with climbers stretched into the darkness, visible only by headlamps. It is important to focus on breathing and foot placement. The views from the summit are dramatic and immense. After spending a few moments taking in the plains of Africa and your accomplishment, we descend to Horombo Hut.

Day 6: Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate

Elevation (ft): 12,205 ft to 6,046 ft Distance: 20 km Hiking Time: 5-7 hours Habitat: Rain Forest A long trek is in store for today, however it is mostly downhill. Once at the park headquarters at Marangu gate we pick up our certificates that prove our achievement. Vehicle transfer to hotel for a celebration.

Customize your Trip

  • Kilimanjaro trekking according to the itinerary
  • Professional, English-speaking guide
  • Mountain crew (cook & porters)
  • Overnight stays in hotels and mountain tents
  • Camping equipment (tents, sleeping mats, chairs, tables etc.)
  • Meals according to the itinerary
  • Drinking water
  • All national park fees
  • All mentioned transfer
  • Sleeping bag
  • Flights
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Visa fees
  • Tips
  • Personal spending money for souvenirs etc.
  • Travel insurance
CUSTOMIZE YOUR TRIP