MOUNT KILIMANJARO – MARANGU ROUTE
The “Coca Cola” route is Kilimanjaro’s easiest, shortest, and most popular route. The trip usually takes 5 days. However, you can also add an extra acclimatization day and make it 6 day trip. Marangu is the most popular route taken by trekkers to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro. It takes you at a gentle pace through forests, moorlands and then across a high-altitude desert called ‘The Saddle’ towards the Summit at Uhuru Point. It is generally a less expensive route to take and gives you the chance to complete the route in five days, although some people do prefer an extra day for acclimatization. One of the main differences of this route is that it offers hut accommodation which is unavailable on other routes.
- It takes 5-6 days for climbing
- The shortest route but less time to acclimatize, their fore low success rate
- Accommodation in huts
- Less scenic due to ascent and descent on same route
5 days 4 nights
Jumbo Tours and Safaris Ltd trek up the Marangu Route, which is the easiest and shortest route to Kilimanjaro’ Summit (Uhuru Peak )and is known as the “Coca Cola” or “Tourist” route. This is the only route on Kilimanjaro with the comforts of solar-powered sleeping huts and comfortable beds at every camp. The huts are communal, and each bunk has a sponge mattress and pillow. There are 60 beds at both Mandara and Kibo Huts and 120 beds at Horombo Hut. Bathrooms and running water are available at the two lower huts. Basic men’s and ladies’ latrines are available at the last camp. All climbing groups, often from several countries around the world, share meals in dining huts providing a jovial and energetic atmosphere. This route is usually done in 5 days, but you can do it in 6 days for better acclimatization. You can spend your extra day resting at Horombo or Climbing to a Base Camp below Kibo’s sub peak Mawenzi.
Day Zero: Arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to the Hotel in Arusha where you will meet your Chief Guide for final gear checkup and overnight at the Hotel.
Day 1: Transfer from Arusha – Marangu Gate – Mandara Hut
After breakfast and a briefing from your guide, leave Arusha at 8 AM, drive to Marangu Gate on the eastern side of Kilimanjaro 1860m (6102) ft., register with the national park, and begin hiking every this done. In the rainforest, look for towering Eucalyptus trees, bird life, and Colubus monkeys. At these lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy, so gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts should be sufficient, but keep your rain gear and warmer clothing handy. Stop halfway for lunch, and reach the Mandara Huts at 3or 4 PM 2705m (8875) ft. Unpack, rest, and have some tea or coffee. 15 minute side trip to Maundi Crater is a good way to see the surroundings including Northern Tanzania and Kenya view on the clear day. Dinner is served during the early evening at 7 PM. Bathrooms with running water are available.
Day 2: Mandara Hut – Horombo Hut
7:30 AM breakfast, and pack for your next trek. Break camp by 8:30 AM, hike for an hour through rainforest glades, and then follow an ascending path through heather land where you can look for giant lobelias and groundsels. Continue up into open Moorlands where small shrubs are the main vegetation. Stop halfway for lunch, where you can enjoy amazing views of Mawenzi. Arrive at the Horombo Huts by 3 PM, where you can see Kibo’s Summit. Rest, unpack, and prepare for dinner. Bathrooms with running water are available. You may start to feel the effects of altitude here, and to aid your acclimatization, you can choose to spend an extra day resting at Horombo or Climbing to a Base Camp below Kibo’s sub peak Mawenzi.
Day 3: Horombo Hut – Kibo Hut
Wake to breakfast as usual, but if you wake early you can get some great photos of the Sunrise. The first part of the day’s hike climbs through the dwindling heather land that blends into a moonscape as you enter the sweeping saddle connecting Mawenzi and Kibo. When you stop for lunch, and later when you cross this surprisingly large saddle, you can examine the summit climb up Kibo that you will be starting in just a few hours. Be careful to notice any signs of altitude sickness. There is no running water at the Kibo Huts.
Day 4: Kibo Hut – Uhuru Peak – Horombo
Wake at midnight to a light breakfast, then prepare for your Summit ascent. The goal is to climb before dawn so that you can reach Uhuru Peak shortly after Sunrise. Leave at 1 AM but at this your Guide will judge the time that is optional for you based on your pace thus far, switchback up steep scree or possibly snow, and reach Gilman’s Point on the crater rim at 5,861 m/18,640 ft. between 5 and 7 AM. Here, views of the fabled crater and its icecaps greet you. Another 2 hours of hiking along the crater rim near the celebrated snows takes you to Kilimanjaro’s true Summit, Uhuru Peak, by 9 AM. This is Africa’s highest point, and you would have to travel more than 3,000 miles toward the Himalayas to find a higher peak! Be sure to have your picture taken at the Summit to show your friends. After your Summit stay, descend back to the Kibo Huts, have lunch, rest, collect your things, and re cross the Saddle to the Horombo Huts. Eat dinner and get some well-deserved sleep! You do the beginning of this climb in the dark with headlamps or flashlights. It will be very cold until you start descending, so you will need all of your warm layers. This is, by far, the most difficult part of the trek. Slowly slowly, or, “pole pole,” and an optimistic attitude will get you there!
Day 5: Horombo Hut – Mandara Hut
Wake as usual, pack, and descend through the moorland to the Mandara Huts. then continue your triumphant recessional down through lush forest to the park gate, which you should reach around 1 or 2 PM. Remember to tip your guides, cooks and porters , A vehicle will take you back to the Hotel Arusha, where it is definitely time for celebration. Later on you will meet with the Managing Director of Jumbo Tours and Safaris Ltd so as to receive a certificate of touring with Jumbo. Tip is recommended and is highly appreciated at the end of the trip. Tips can be given to the Guide at the exit gate or a day before descent to the exit gate.