The Marangu Route is the most established route on Mt. Kilimanjaro. Taking a southeast approach up the mountain, this route is one of the more popular routes. This is partially due to the short amount of days needed to climb, the shortest of all the routes, which is considered more budget friendly. Though the climb can be done in as short as 5 days, we do recommend 6 days to increase your chances of success in summiting. Accommodation on this route is also different than all other routes. Climbers stay in dormitory style mountain huts equipped with bunk beds, mattresses and pillows. This makes it an especially popular choice during the rainy season. Climbers take the same route back down the mountain and during high season this can make the route a bit crowded. The route below shows the 5 day itinerary. The extra day that can be added to make the climb 6 days is shown as the bold OPTION.
- Number of days needed: 5 or 6 (recommended)
- Total walking distance: 64 kilometers
- Starting elevation: 1,830m
- Price: $
After breakfast you will be transferred to the Marangu Gate. The drive to Marangu takes you from the town of Moshi to an elevation of 1,843m. Marangu looks quite different from Moshi with lush greenery and cool, fresh air. At the gate, your guide will sort out all of the
necessary paperwork and get the porters bags weighed and approved. Once approved, you will set off through rainforests towards the Mandara Hut, your stop for the night. The pace you take is relaxed. Many climbers rush on the first day but it is recommended to follow your guides pace. When you arrive at Mandara hut you will find the porters are already there with your bags and lunch is waiting for you.
Marangu Gate (~1,800m) – Mandara Hut (2,700m)
- Distance: 7 km
- Trekking time: 3-4 hours
- Altitude gain: 900 meters
After a cooked breakfast, you will again set off on your slow ascent up the mountain. Climbers often feel the altitude on this day more than the first. During the hike today you will be awarded amazing views of Mawenzi peak.
Mandara Hut (2,700m) – Horombo Hut (3,720m)
- Distance: 12 km
- Trekking time: 6-7 hours
- Altitude gain: 1,200 meters
You will again wake up to a cooked breakfast before setting off towards the next camp. On this day, you cross the saddle connecting the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. This area is semi dessert.
- Trekking time: 6-7 hours
- Altitude gain: Ascent 400 meters,
- Descent: 400 meters
An extra day can be added here for acclimatization, making the total trip 6 days. On this day, you will hike out towards the Zebra rocks (6-8 km round trip) and return back to the same hut to stay overnight.
This is summit day! Climbers will wake up just before or close to midnight to prepare for the final ascent to the summit, which is done in the dark. “Breakfast” will be already prepared. Depending on how many climbers there are, some of the porters will join you and the guides on the summit attempt to provide extra support if needed. The walking pace is very slow, with climbers focused on putting one foot in front of the other, following the trail of headlamps you see before you. Climbers often feel very sleepy at this time but just keep going forward! It usually takes about 4-5 hours to reach Gilman’s Point, which is your first checkpoint at 5,690m. From Gilman’s point you make your way up to Stella Point and then to your final destination at Uhuru Peak! The time from Gilman’s to Uhuru Peak is about 2 hours. After spending a short time at the peak, you will descend again to Horombo Hut.
Kibo Hut (4,700m) ascend to Uhuru Peak (5,895m) descend to Horombo Hut (3,720m)
- Distance: 20 km
- Trekking time: 12-14 hours
- Altitude gain: Ascent 1,195
- Descent 2,175 meters
After breakfast, you will start your final descent from Horombo Hut down to Marangu Gate, with a stop off at the Mandara camp for lunch, where you will share a soda/drink with the guides and porters to celebrate your success on the mountain! Afterwards you will head back to Moshi for some well deserved rest and a hot shower.
Horombo Hut (3,720m) – Marangu Gate (1,800m)
- Distance: 18 km
- Trekking time: 5-6 hours
- Descent: 1,840 meters