6 Days Climb Kilimanjaro – Marangu Route

Often referred to as the “Coca-Cola” route, the Marangu Route is famed for its relative ease and the comfort of sleeping huts at each campsite along the way – a stark contrast to the camping required on other routes. Its nickname derives from the notion that, like the ubiquitous soft drink, the Marangu Route is easily accessible to a wide audience. This path is also the oldest and most well-established route on Kilimanjaro, steeped in a rich history that adds to its allure.

Why Choose Marangu Route?



The Marangu Route is the only trail on Kilimanjaro that offers hut accommodations, complete with beds and mattresses. This feature alone can be a deal-breaker for trekkers who prefer not to camp in tents. Additionally, the route is the most straightforward, with a gradual ascent and well-defined paths, making it an excellent choice for novice climbers or those who are unsure of their ability to handle more challenging terrain.

Along the Marangu Route, climbers are treated to an array of ecosystems, starting with the lush rainforests at the base, ascending through alpine meadows, and finally crossing the barren lunar landscape near the summit. The views are consistently spectacular, with the Kibo and Mawenzi volcanic cones dominating the horizon, and the possibility of wildlife sightings en route.

Walking the Marangu Route is a journey through history. It’s the path used by the first recorded individuals to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro. When you choose Marangu, you’re following in the footsteps of legendary explorers and mountaineers, adding a profound sense of accomplishment to the physical challenge.

Climbing Kilimanjaro is no small feat, and even on the Marangu Route, preparation is key. Here are some tips to get ready for the adventure:

  • Physical Fitness: While Marangu is considered the easiest route, it’s essential to be in good physical shape. Start a training regimen several months in advance, focusing on cardiovascular fitness, leg strength, and hiking endurance.

  • Gear Up: Invest in quality trekking gear, including a warm sleeping bag (for those chilly nights), comfortable and broken-in hiking boots, moisture-wicking clothing, a waterproof jacket, and thermal layers for the summit push.

  • Acclimatization: Altitude sickness can affect anyone, regardless of fitness level. Consider spending a few extra days on the mountain to acclimatize or opt for pre-climb altitude training if available.

  • Local Knowledge: Hiring a reputable guide company is crucial. Experienced guides not only ensure safety but also enhance the trek with their knowledge of the mountain’s history, flora, and fauna.

  • Travel Insurance: Always travel with insurance that covers high-altitude trekking. The peace of mind is worth the investment.

Climb Kilimanjaro – Marangu Route Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Tanzania

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport meet and greet then transfer to the small town of Moshi for overnight at Keys Hotel or other hotels of the same standard.

Day 2: Moshi – Marangu Gate – Mandara Hut

Your adventure begins at the Marangu Gate (1,860 m), where you’ll complete the necessary registration formalities before stepping onto the path. The first day’s trek is a gentle hike through the lush montane forest, home to colobus monkeys and a variety of bird species. The air is fresh, filled with the earthy scent of the rainforest, and the trail is well-trodden and easy to follow. After 8 kilometers and approximately 4 to 5 hours of walking, you’ll arrive at Mandara Hut (2,700 m). Rest in the comfort of the wooden huts and recharge for the next day’s hike.

Day 3: Mandara to Horombo

Wake up to the cool mountain air and prepare for a day of ascent through moorland. This ecosystem is characterized by heather, grasses, and the peculiar giant lobelias and groundsels that have adapted to the high-altitude environment. The trek to Horombo Hut (3,720 m) covers about 12 kilometers and takes roughly 6 to 8 hours. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by the striking silhouette of Mawenzi Peak, Kilimanjaro’s rugged eastern summit, and the expansive views of the surrounding landscape. This is where you’ll spend two nights if you’ve opted for an acclimatization day.

Day 4: Horombo Huts (Acclimitization)

Acclimatization is key to a successful summit attempt, and the extra day at Horombo provides an opportunity to adapt to the altitude. You can take a leisurely walk to the nearby Zebra Rocks, named for their distinctive black and white stripes, caused by mineral water flowing over the rocks. This short excursion increases your chances of reaching the summit by helping your body adjust to the reduced oxygen levels.

Day 5: Horombo to Kibo Hut

Wake up early to enjoy the magnificent sunrise, breakfast and continue with the climbing Kilimanjaro program to Kibo Hut.  The first part of the day’s trek is to climb through the dwindling heathland that annex into a moonscape as you enter the broad saddle connecting Mawenzi and Kibo. Halfway stop for lunch, and as you proceed crossing the saddle you can observe the summit that you will be climbing in the coming few hours. Not that there is no running water at Kibo Hut.

Day 6: Kibo Hut – Summit – Horombo Hut

Summit night begins in the pre-dawn hours, with climbers setting off around midnight to reach the summit at sunrise. This is the most challenging part of the climb, both mentally and physically. The steep, zigzagging path up to Gillman’s Point (5,685 m) on the crater rim can be grueling, but perseverance is rewarded with a spectacular sunrise and the satisfaction of having reached the edge of the crater.
From Gillman’s Point, the trail skirts the crater rim leading to Stella Point (5,756 m) and finally to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m). Standing at the top of Africa, with the continent spread out below and the curvature of the Earth visible on the horizon, is an awe-inspiring and emotional moment. After capturing this triumph with photos and embracing the accomplishment, the descent begins.
The return to Horombo Hut is a long trek down the same path, with weary legs and a heart full of memories. The descent to Kibo Hut for a short rest, followed by the hike down to Horombo, covers approximately 27 kilometers and takes about 14 to 16 hours from start to finish.

Day 7: Horombo Huts – Marangu Gate – Moshi

 The final day is a descent through the moorland and forest to Marangu Gate. The 20-kilometer journey takes about 5 to 7 hours, and as you walk, the air becomes richer with oxygen, and the fatigue starts to lift. Upon reaching the gate, successful climbers receive their summit certificates, a testament to their determination and spirit.

Climbing Kilimanjaro Cost -Marangu Route:

Solo Climber: US $ 2250
2 climbers: US $ 1750 per person
3 – 4 Climbers: US $ 1650 per person
5 climbers and more: US $ 1600 per person.

Climbing Cost Includes

Airport Pick up and drop off.
Pre and post climb accommodation in Moshi / Arusha
Park fee, permit and rescue fees
Hut accommodation
Service of the Professional Mountain Guide, porters & chef
Meals (Breakfasts, lunches and dinners)
Hot water for shower
Water; tea and coffee with meals
Summit Oxygen

Price Excludes:
Tanzania Visa: $50 per person on arrival
Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)
Meals not listed above
Optional Tours (short safari after your climb etc)
Tips and any items of personal nature.
Emergency Evacuation by Flying Doctor
climbing gears
Drinks and beverages


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Marangu Route: Preparation for the Climb

Climbing Kilimanjaro via the Marangu Route requires preparation and respect for the mountain. Physical fitness is essential, so regular hiking, cardio exercises, and strength training in the months leading up to the climb are recommended. Additionally, it’s crucial to have the right gear, including warm clothing, broken-in hiking boots, and a sleeping bag rated for extreme cold.

Embracing the Challenge

The Marangu Route may be dubbed the easiest path up Kilimanjaro, but it is by no means an effortless feat. Altitude sickness is an ever-present risk, and the summit day is a true test of endurance. However, with proper preparation, determination, and respect for the mountain’s challenges, climbing Kilimanjaro via the Marangu Route can be an enriching and life-changing adventure. The sense of accomplishment, the bonds formed with fellow climbers, and the beauty of the Tanzanian landscape make the journey up the Coca-Cola route one that will be etched in your memory forever.