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6-Day Marangu Route

The oldest and most well-known route on Kilimanjaro is the Marangu route, also referred to as the “Coca-Cola” route. The only route that provides sleeping huts in dormitory-style lodging in place of camping is this one. At Mandara and Kibo Huts, there are 60 bunk beds each, while Horombo Hut has 120 bunk beds. Although mattresses and pillows are provided, sleeping bags are still necessary. The huts have communal dining rooms and simple restrooms, ranging from long drop toilets and buckets of water at Kibo Hut to flushing toilets and running water at the lower huts.

Marangu is preferred by many because, due to its gradual slope and straightforward path, it is thought to be the easiest path on the mountain. However, the route’s short duration makes altitude acclimatization challenging. Mount Kilimanjaro is approached by the route from the southeast. Due to the ascent and descent being on the same route, Marangu is regrettably less picturesque than the other routes. Due to this, it is also the busiest route.

Day by Day Overview

Elevation: 6,046 ft to 8,858 ft

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Distance: 8 km | 5 miles

Habitat: Rain Forest

Before starting our trek, we travel from Moshi to Marangu Gate to complete the necessary formalities. The hiking trail starts out by climbing through a stunning tropical rain forest. We have the chance to see blue monkeys at the upper edge of the forest line. Until we reach Mandara Hut, the trail widens and reveals stunning hillside views.

Elevation: 8,858 ft to 12,205 ft

Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

Distance: 12 km | 7 miles

Habitat: Health

As the day progresses, we continue through the forest until the trail enters high moorland. Kibo and Mawenzi Peaks, two of the three volcanic peaks that make up Kilimanjaro’s summit, may be our first sightings.

Horombo Hut to Mawenzi Ridge

Elevation: 12,205 ft to 14,400 ft

Hiking Time: 2-3 hours

Mawenzi Ridge to Horombo Hut

Elevation: 14,400 ft to 12,205 ft

Hiking Time: 1-2 hours

Distance: 5 km | 3 miles

Habitat: Heath

Distance: 5 km | 3 miles

Habitat: Health

You can go day hiking on Mawenzi Ridge on this additional day for acclimatization. The unusual topography provides inspiring views of Kibo and Mawenzi. We briefly stroll around the area before returning to Horombo Hut.

Elevation: 12,205 ft to 15,430 ft

Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

Distance: 10 km | 6 miles

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Between Mawenzi and Kibo, we gradually ascent before crossing the “Saddle,” a lunar desert. At the base of the Kibo crater wall is where our camp, Kibo Hut, is located. After arriving, we take a nap and eat a light dinner to get ready for the summit day.

Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak

Elevation: 15,430 ft to 19,341 ft

Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

Uhuru Peak to Horombo Hut

Elevation: 19,341 ft to 12,250 ft

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours


Distance: 6 km | 4 miles

Habitat: Arctic


Distance: 16 km | 10 miles

Habitat: Health

We start the ascent very early in the morning (around midnight). The hardest part of the trek both physically and mentally is this section. At this altitude and time of day, the wind and cold can be very strong. We climb in the dark for several hours, stopping frequently but only briefly. You will be rewarded with the most breathtaking sunrise you are ever likely to see approaching Mawenzi Peak at Gilman’s Point (18,600 feet). Finally, we reach Uhuru Peak, which is both Mount Kilimanjaro’s and Africa’s highest point.

We descend to Horombo Hut after pausing for a short while to admire your accomplishment and the African plains. We have our final meal on the mountain later in the evening before a well-earned rest.

Elevation: 12,205 ft to 6,046 ft

Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

Distance: 20 km | 12 miles

Habitat: Rain Forest

We continue the descent to Mweka Gate on our final day, where we pick up the summit certificates. It might be muddy and wet at lower altitudes. We travel another hour to Mweka Village from the gate. We’ll be picked up by a car at Mweka Village and taken back to our Moshi hotel.

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