Introduction to 5 Days Marangu Route trekking
Marangu Route is the easiest route to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, sometimes called the Coca-Cola Route. The 5 days Marangu route trekking takes you at a gentle pace through forests, moorlands, and then across The Saddle, a high-altitude desert separating the main summit, Kibo, 5896m, from craggy Mawenzi, 5149m, to Kibo Hut. From here an early start is made for the ascent to Uhuru Point (the highest top of Kibo). The path zig-zags up steep scree which is easier to climb when frozen. The views from the crater rim at Gillmans Point at dawn can be spectacular. Uhuru Peak lies a further 1h. around the rim.
Accommodation on the mountain is in comfortable huts furnished with wooden-bunk beds and thick foam mattresses; they are also fitted with solar system lights. You will need a sleeping bag, warm clothes, and walking poles. This is a tough walking trip but within the limits of a fit individual used to walking in mountain areas. An extra day for acclimatization to the altitude is recommended at Horombo Huts from where there are various walks to enjoy.
All customers traveling with Zorilla Safaris And Treks are required to have fully comprehensive travel insurance prior of their trip. The policy needs to be legitimate from the date that the initial order is placed so as to provide cover for a cancellation prior to departure.
5 Days Marangu Route description
- Difficulty Level: Moderate
- Duration: 5 days
- Accommodation: In comfortable mountain huts on wood-bunk beds with thick foam mattresses covered with sheets. Note that a sleeping bag is missing here!
- The huts are fitted with solar system lights
- Meals are served in dining halls
- Bathrooms with cold showers
- Clean flush toilets
5 Days Marangu Route trekking – Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Marangu Gate (1,970m) to Mandara Huts (2,720m)
- Altitude: 1,970m to 2,720m; 750m ascent
- Distance covered: 7km
- Hiking time: 3 – 4 hours
- Habitat: Montane Forest
Soon after early breakfast, drive from Hotel to Marangu Gate, the headquarter offices in Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park. On arrival here, you will sign and make the final preparations for starting the climb. Make sure that you have with you the day pack and all the items you will need to use on today’s hiking. You are now leaving the Park gate and ascend on a cleared ridge trail through the rain forest. The forest is covered with mist and dripping with beards of moss. It is also in this zone where animals and birds are found. The animals are Blue monkeys, Black and White Colobuses, Vervet monkeys, Duikers, etc. The birds are Hartlaub’s Turaco, Hornbills, Bee-eaters, Flycatchers, etc. First overnight at Mandara Huts, is a group of wooden A-framed huts in a forest clearing. Water is piped into the camp and there are flush toilets behind the main hut.
Day 2: Mandara Huts (2,720m) to Horombo Huts (3,720m)
- Altitude: 2,720m to 3,720m; 1,000m ascent
- Distance: 11km
- Hiking time: 6 – 7 hours
- Habitat: Moorland
From Mandara Hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, skirting the base of the Maundi Crater emerging into the transition zone from rain forest to moorland. After about 6 hours from here we will reach Horombo Hut where will we stay overnight.
Day 3: Horombo Huts (3,720m) to Kibo Huts (4,720m)
- Altitude: 3,720m to 4,720m; 1,000m ascent
- Distance: 9.5km
- Hiking time: 5 – 6 hours
- Habitat: Alpine desert
We continue our ascent into the Alpine desert zone passing the last place where water is available at 4,130m. We will fill our water bottles with all the water we will need until our return to Horombo Hut in two night’s time. From Kibo Hut, the summit is now a further 1195m of ascent. We will make our summit ascent tonight, so we will go to sleep at 18:30pm and try to get as much rest as possible.
Day 4: Kibo Huts (4,720) to Uhuru Peak (5,895m) then to Horombo Huts (3,720m)
- Altitude: 4,720m to 5,895m
- Distance covered: 6km ascent to summit, 6km descent to Kibo Huts, and 9.5km descent to Horombo Huts
- Hiking time: 6 – 7 hours ascend, 3 hours descent to Kibo Huts, and another 3 hours descent to Horombo Huts
- Habitat: Stone screed and ice-capped summit
- Altitude (Kibo Huts to Summit): 1,195m ascent
- Altitude (Summit to Horombo Huts): 2,175m descent
This day is the “Big day”. It starts at midnight when you wake up with some light snack and tea or coffee before leaving for the summit attempt. The habitat here is just stone scree and the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave at 5,150m where you take a short rest. From here the way keeps on zigzagging towards the Gillman’s point at 5,685m. Reaching here is an achievement too and, there is a certificate for that waiting for you. As for Gilman’s Point onwards to the Summit you got to be cautious, slow up, but surely and with courage and consistency you are at Uhuru Peak at 5,895m. It is the highest peak in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Sometimes weather conditions can be so harsh and you will just spend a few minutes then embark on your descent.
Back at Kibo Hut, you will have a hot soup and some snacks, toasts, and a short rest. From here then continue down to Horombo Huts where you will spend the overnight. Later in the evening, you enjoy your dinner and a well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.
Day 5: Horombo Huts (3,720m) to Marangu Gate (1,970m)
- Altitude: 3,720m to 1,920m; 1,750m descent
- Habitat: Moorland and Montane Forest
- Distance: 18 km
- Hiking time: 6 – 7 hours
Soon after early morning after breakfast, you will proceed with a descent down across the Alpine moorland to passing Mandara Hut on the way to Marangu Gate; a descent of about 6 hours. Once at the Marangu Gate, you will sign for checking out and followed by summit certificates representation. Here, you will be handed a Green Certificate for having reached Gillman’s Point (5,685m) or Silver Certificate for Stella Point (5,756m), or a Gold Certificate for Uhuru Peak (5,895m). After a short session of jubilation and farewell to your crew (guides, cook, and porters); and tipping of course, and having lunch you will take a waiting car and be transferred back to Arusha town where you will check in at your hotel/lodge in for a welcome shower, dinner and overnight. (3 hours drive)
The Inclusions and Exclusions on 5 Days Marangu route hike
- Arrival and departure transfers
- Transfers to and from Marangu Gate
- All national park fees – Entrances, Hut fee, and Rescue fees (required by national park)
- All park fees for the crew (guides, cook, and porters)
- Certified, experienced, English-speaking guides
- Porters and Cook
- 3 meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner) while on the mountain
- Filtered water throughout the trek
- Cooking equipment and eating utensils
- All government taxes, including 18% VAT
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Visa fee
- Tips to mountain crew
- Laundry Services
- All items of a personal nature
- Portable flush toilet with a toilet tent is extra
The Trekking Gear for 5 Days Marangu route trekking
For the Head
Wool Hat, Balaclava, Sunglasses, glacier glasses better, Sunscreen (SPF 25+), Lip Balm (SPF 25+), Sun Hat, Bandana
Clothes (No Cotton)
Synthetic base layer (2) , Wool or synthetic layer (2), Wool or fleece sweater, Wind/Water-proof jacket, Convertible hiking pants, Underwear, Water-Proof Pants, Synthetic or wool pants for layering, Gloves or mittens, Glove Liner, Lycra tights.
For the Feet
Thin sock liners (2), Wool hiking socks (6), Good-broken-in hiking boots, Gaiters (knee lengthy is better), Tennis shoes or sandals (for camp)
Zero degree sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner (optional), Inflatable pillow (optional)
Day pack (no larger than 2,200cu), Water bladder 100oz/3ltr or bottles, Rain cover for pack, Headlamp, Extra batteries, Large duffel bag for gear (porters carry), Energy bars/gels, walking sticks (1 piece or a pair)
Toiletries, Small first aid kit, Small towel, Diamox for altitude sickness, Wet wipes, Camera, Bug spray, Malaria pills, Flashlight/torch, Batteries, Cash for tips, etc.