The Marangu or main route is by far the most popular way to the summit. The accommodation on the way up and down is provided in mountain huts with all the basic necessities. It usually takes 5 days/4nights for the round trip. The trek can also be taken in 6 days/5 nights to add acclimatization with an extra day at Horombo Hut. The supplementary cost for an extra day is indicated separately as an option.
Pick up from Arusha town or Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to Moshi town, which is commonly known as the gateway to Mount Kilimanjaro. Half Board accommodation at a Base Hotel in Moshi.
After breakfast and a short tour briefing from the guide, we will depart to Marangu gate of Kilimanjaro National Park (it is a 45-minute drive from Moshi to the Marangu Gate). Upon registering with park authorities, our climb will officially commence with a four-hour walk to the Mandara encampment. We will pass through a thick rainforest zone, where there is a high chance of rain in the afternoon. We will spend the night at Mandara Hut (2,750m), an attractive collection of buildings. Bathrooms are available with running water.
Today we will continue our ascent through the forest for a short time, before reaching the heather and moorland zone at roughly 3,000m (approximately a six-hour walk). Enjoy stunning views of the mountain peaks at this altitude. We will spend the night at Horombo Hut (3,720m), which lies in a valley surrounded by giant lobelia and groundsel, flora which are characteristic of this semi-alpine zone. Bathrooms are available with running water.
Our trek continues past the final watering point, and ascends onto the saddle of Kilimanjaro, between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. The vegetation thins out as we enter the desert-like alpine zone (approximately 4,000m) and, once we cross the saddle, Kibo peak comes into view. The saddle is an alpine desert that resembles a lunar landscape. Be careful to notice signs of altitude sickness. This seven-hour walk will be taken at a slow pace. We will spend the night at Kibo Hut (4,703m), a comfortable stone construction (no running water at Kibo Hut). This semi-desert zone receives an annual rainfall of under 250mm; the ground often freezes at night, but ground temperatures soar to above 30 degrees Celsius by day. Few plants other than lichens and grasses survive in these conditions.
Shortly after midnight, we will commence our climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro, since it is easier to climb the scree slope to Gillman’s Point (5,861m) on the crater rim when it is frozen and an early start for the six-hour hike improves our chances of reaching the summit in time for sunrise. From Gilman’s Point, it is a further two-hour round trip along the crater’s edge to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. From the summit, it is downhill all the way to Horombo Hut where we will spend our last night on the mountain.
Today’s descent continues past the Mandara encampment to the bottom of the mountain, where each hiker will receive a well-earned certificate. From here, you will be transferred to a Base Hotel in Moshi for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, transfer back to Arusha town.
End of our services
Marangu Route – Details of the Huts, Mandara, Horombo and Kibo
Mandara hut 2700m. This is a group of comfortable, wooden A-frame huts. The largest cabin has a downstairs dining area and an upstairs dormitory with bunk beds and mattresses; smaller huts sleep 8 each. The total capacity is 60. Water is piped into site from springs above and flush toilets are behind the main cabin.
Horombo Hut 3720m. The buildings are similar to Mandara, but total capacity is 120. Water is piped from the stream behind the huts. There are platform toilets south-east of the main hut, about 80 m down the slope and new flush toilets have been built within the complex of small huts.
Kibo Hut 4703m This stone built block house with a small dining-room and a number of dormitory rooms leading off a main corridor has bunk beds and mattresses for 60 people.