Coca cola or Tourist route

The oldest route for reaching the top of Kilimanjaro, it is also the cheapest and well established. It has earned the moniker of tourist route because of its popularity among the trekkers. Accommodation is in huts and no camping equipment is needed. Coca cola was served in the huts back in days and the tag has since stuck

One of the popular routes

It’s certainly not the easiest route but the wide, direct and comfortable paths and gradual slopes make it less challenging.  Inexperienced backpackers and those lacking technical knowledge of climbing can access the route. But it’s definitely not easy, so those with poor fitness levels should stay away.

Less scenic and crowded

Ascent and descent are on the same route so it gets crowded. The quick ascent means there is less time for acclimatization and the main contributing factor to the low success rates, besides it being the preferred route of inexperienced, underprepared trekkers. Though the route covers the moorlands, varied vegetation, and different climate zones, high altitude deserts and craters, it doesn’t offer much for variety as the same route is used for ascent and descent

For more detailed information on the Marangu route contact Lifetime safari

Marangu Route

Short Overview

Marangu Route is the most popular, least difficult and the shortest way to Uhuru Peak. This route is also called the Tourist Route or the Coca Cola Route. 70% of all climbers choose this route, because most of the route consists of easy hiking. This route is fairly easy but the final part to the summit is still difficult. Although this rout is the easiest, it has the highest failure rate due to bad preparation. It is advised to take this route seriously enough, to be well organized and to take all possible safety measures.
All the camps on this route sale goods such as chocolates, beer, soft drinks and mineral water, and they all have a radio contact to the Park Office. This route can be done in 5 days but it is advised to take an extra day for acclimatization at the Horombo hut which is also the only campsite on Kilimanjaro with beds and mattresses.

Kilimanjaro Trekking: Marangu Route
Tourcode: KL08LTZINST
From: Arusha
To: Arusha
Min. number to guarantee tour: N/A
Max number of participants: private safari
Departure day: any day of your choice
Price:
from 1445 USD (2-3 pax)
from 1295 USD (4-6 pax)
NOTE : The price listed above are per person

When to visit?
  • All year round
Included in the price
  • All meals on the safari.
  • All Park entrance fees.
  • All prices are quoted in US Dollars.
  • Camping equipment if applicable (tents
  • mattresses
  • sleeping bags
  • pillows
  • table and chairs)
  • Flying Doctors rescue insurance for the time of the tour with Shadows of Africa.
Excluded from the price
  • Any sightseeing
  • excursions and optional activities other than those specified
  • Entry visas
  • International flights
  • Laundry
  • Please
  • read our Terms and Conditions
  • Tips and gratuities to safari crew – recommended: 15-20 USD per day to safari driver
  • 10 – 15 USD per day to safari cook
  • Travel insurance
Itinerary Note
  • Note that for transfer from Nairobi Airport we use Impala Shuttle Service with departures daily at 0800 and 1400 or we can arrange private shuttle or a flight from NBO to JRO

Details of Marangu Route – Climb Kilimanjaro – 5 days

Day 1: Marangu gate to Mandara Hut

Walking distance: approximately 12 km Duration: 5 hours
Altitudes: Marangu gate (1,980 m) – Mandara Hut (2,700 m)
Vegetation zone: Montane forest, low alpine zone (heath and moorland)

After your breakfast, you will depart with your driver from Arusha/Moshi to the Marangu Gate for necessary paperwork and official formalities before you start your trek. You will be accompanied by porters who will carry your major pieces of equipment while you carry all your necessary item which you need frequent access to on the trek on a backpack

After making your way through a small stream and couple of waterfalls you will reach  Kisamboni picnic area, in about thirty minutes and have your lunch. After that it’s another 90-minute trek to reach Mandara hut (2,700 m). At this point, the initial rainforests have started to dwindle and have given way to low alpine regions characterised by heather moorlands. This is the only route which has dormitory style sleeping huts with added benefits of fresh spring water to drink and flush toilets. Mandara hut is the site of your overnight and if you are feeling particularly adventurous you can head to the Maundi Crater and check the view of Mawenzi peak and some blue monkeys and black-and-white colobus monkeys.

Day 2: Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut

Day two of your trek begins after a light breakfast. No sooner have you started you would have made your way through the last vestiges of the montane forests, leaving behind Maundi crater to enter the heather moorland vegetation zone. Besides the heath, you will also see the beautiful Senecio and lobelias and weather permitting, views of the volcanic twin peak peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. You will have a brief stopover for lunch. Food and hydration are important and the trek is long high altitude trek. After another 90 minute trek, you will reach Horombo hut (3,720 m), which has a capacity of 120 beds with hot water to wash. A fulfilling evening meal later you will hit the bed for sleep. The temperatures fall below freezing points at night, make sure you have adequate and proper warm clothes in your backpack. If possible avail an extra day at this site to enable better acclimitization for the arduous trek ahead.

Day 3 Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut

Your ascend will continue after breakfast. From this site, you have two options to reach the Saddle, between Mawenzi and Kibo. We recommend forsaking the upper route which is rocky and tough for the lower route which is relatively easier and is en route the “Last Water Point” (4,200 m). Fill up your camelbacks and enjoy a picnic lunch at the water point before resuming your trek to the  Kibo hut (4,700 m), nestled in the alpine desert. The night accommodation at Kibo huts consists of 60 bunk beds in blockhouses built with stones. Platform toilets are also available to save you the trouble of relieving yourself in stark barren surroundings.

Day 4 Summit Attempt: Kibo Hut to Uhuru peak to Horombo Hut

Walking distance: approximately 6 km ascent and 21 km descent
Duration: 8 hours to Uhuru and 6 hours to Horombo Hut
Altitudes: Kibo Hut (4,700 m) – Uhuru peak (5,895 m) – Horombo Hut (3,720 m)
Vegetation zones: rocky, ice-capped summit

 

The ascent to the summit begins at midnight. So you will have an early dinner and turn in early by 7 pm. Make sure your gear is in order. ski sticks, trekking poles, thermal clothing, headlamps et al and importantly hydrate yourself well. After some and biscuits you will embark in what is the most challenging trek of the journey so far. The first part is a steep challenging trek and after 90 minutes of trekking, you will pass Williams Point (5,000 m). As you continue the trek you would reach Hans Meyer Cave (5,150 m). Your pre-summit goal of  Gillman’s Point is now just about an hour of a trek away. The trek to the Gilman point is a tricky one as it’s a steep and zigzag ascent negotiating large rocks. From Gilman’s point, it’s just about an hour and a half to reach the summit at Uhuru peak. Along the way, you will also pass Stella point (5,752 m), the site where the other route converges. The trail to the Uhuru is laden with snow and scree along the crater’s rim. Once you summit at Uhuru pull out your camera to capture the breathtaking vistas that open up to you and also capture photos with your team to mark a personal milestone. Bask in the glory of your achievement for a few moments and then make your descent towards Kibo hut (4,700 m) where you will have your lunch. From Kibo hut, it is just another there hour descent to reach  Horombo hut (3,720 m) where you will have your dinner. Overnight accommodation will be in the Horombo Hut.

Day 5 Horombo Hut to Marangu gate

Walking distance: approximately 27 km Duration: 6 hours
Altitudes: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) – Marangu gate (1,980 m)
Vegetation zones: low alpine zone (heather and moorland), montane forest

This is your last day on Kilimanjaro and after breakfast you will continue your descent from Horombo Hut passing through Mandara hut (2,700 m) where you will have a brief halt for lunch. After that, you will resume your descent till you reach the Marangu gate where you will receive your summit certificates(green certificate – Gilman’s Point and gold certificate – Uhuru Peak) from the park office as a recognition of your efforts. After that, you will sign the register book and mark the end of your climb.

We recommend that you tip the porters when you and all your equipment reaches the gate. At the gate a driver will be waiting for you to transport you back to your hotel.

7 days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu Route – Day one 

Transfer from Moshi town to Marangu Gate (1980m) – Mandara hut (2700m).
Hiking time: 5 hours.
Distance: About 12 km’s.
Habitat: Montane forest.
Elevation change: + 720 m

After your breakfast, you will be briefed about the hiking by our seasoned mountain climbing guides. You will then depart to the Marangu Gate where you will complete the necessary paperwork and official formalities before you start your trek. You will be accompanied by porters who will carry your major pieces of equipment while you carry all your necessary item which you need frequent access to on the trek in a backpack.Ensure all your gear is in order cause being well equipped is vital for the trip. Before you start the hike our guide will show you the trail and share all additional information you might need for the trek. Now you will start your hike on a cleared ridge making your way through the rainforest shrouded with mist and bearded moss. After making your way through the edge of a small stream in the lush vegetation of the forest and ninety minutes of hiking you will reach Mandara Hut.

The weather at Mandara hut isn’t much cold and normal dressing and a jacket is enough. With an exception of Kibo hut the other huts have a group of wooden A-framed huts in a forest clearing. Each hut features 6-8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting. The total capacity of the camp is 60 climbers. Water is piped into the camp from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut.

7 days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu Route – Day two 

Mandara hut (2700m) – Horombo hut (3720m)
Hiking time: 6 hours.
Distance: About 15 km’s.
Habitat: Moorland.
Elevation change: + 1020 m

Day two of your trek begins after a light breakfast. No sooner have you started you would have made your way through the last vestiges of the montane forests, making your way around the Maundi crater to enter the heather moorland vegetation zone. If you take a short detour to the rim of the Maundi Crater, weather permitting, you can enjoy the impressive views of the Kibo glaciers. Besides the heath, you will also see the fascinating a lobelias and groundsel that reach up to impressive heights of 3 and 5 meters respectively. In the afternoon you will reach Horombo hut, the site of your overnight. The temperatures fall below freezing points at night, make sure you have warm clothes in order. Horombo hut has a capacity of 120 beds so sleeping in won’t be a problem.

7 days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu Route – Day three

Horombo hut (3720m) 

Horombo Hut – OPTIONAL acclimatization Day

Kilimanjaro is a high altitude trek and acclimatization is necessary to mitigate the effects of altitude sickness. So today is dedicated for acclimitization and you will stay put at Horombo hut and use the day to undertake measured hikes to bring into play climb high/sleep low principles. You will go on a three-hour ascent zebra rocks on the way to Mawenzi hut and descent which will around 90 minutes. Stay hydrated and observe pole -pole  and don’t rush through the trek. Horombo hut has twice the number of huts and is always buzzing with activity since the groups going up and descending down converge for a night halt at this site. So you can look forward to plenty of leisurely chatter. After dinner, you will turn in early as sleep and rest are necessary for the grueling couple of days that lie ahead.

7 days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu Route – Day four

Horombo hut (3720m) – Kibo hut (4700m)
Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: About 15 km’s
Habitat: Alpine desert
Elevation change: + 980 m

As we continue to ascend the oxygen levels deplete in the atmosphere and the body struggles to adapt. You begin your ascent for the day after breakfast. From this site, you have two option to reach the Saddle, between Mawenzi and Kibo. We recommend forsaking the upper route which is rocky and tough for the lower route which is relatively easier and is en route the “Last Water Point” (4,200 m). Fill up your camelbacks and continue your ascent slowly to the  Kibo hut (4,700 m), nestled in the alpine desert. The temperature at this altitude is extreme and wicked. The morning sun scorches your skin and at night it is freezing cold The night accommodation at Kibo huts consists of 60 bunk beds in blockhouses built with stones. Platform toilets are also available to save you the trouble of relieving yourself in stark barren surroundings.

The ascent to the summit begins at midnight. So you will have an early dinner and turn in early by 7 pm. Make sure your gear is in order. ski sticks, trekking poles thermal clothing, headlamps et al and importantly hydrate yourself well.

7 days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu Route – Day five

Kibo hut (4700 m) – Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Horombo hut (3720 m)

Hiking time: 10 hours
Distance: About 27 km’s
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

Elevation change: + 1195 m, – 2175 m

The ascent to the summit begins at midnight. Today’s trek is by far the toughest challenge you will undertake on the trail. The first part is a steep ascent into darkness and after 90 minutes of trekking, you will pass Williams Point (5,000 m). As you continue the trek you would soon reach  Hans Meyer Cave (5,150 m). Your pre-summit goal of  Gillman’s Point is now just about an hour of a trek away. The trek to the Gilman point is a tricky one as it’s a steep and zigzag ascent negotiating large rocks. From Gilman’s point, it’s just about an hour and a half to reach the summit at Uhuru peak. The trail to the Uhuru is laden with snow and scree along the crater’s rim. Once you summit at Uhuru pull out your camera to capture the breathtaking vistas that open up to you and also capture photos with your team to mark a personal milestone. Bask in the glory of your achievement for a few moments and then make your descent towards Kibo hut (4,700 m) where you will have a heavy breakfast and brief stop for rest. From Kibo hut, it is just another there hour descent to reach  Horombo hut (3,720 m) where you will have your dinner. Overnight accommodation will be in the Horombo Hut.

7 days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu Route – Day six

Horombo hut (3720 m) – Mandara hut (1980m)
Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: About 27 km’s
Habitat: Moorland + Rain Forest
Elevation change: – 1740 m

This is your last day on Kilimanjaro and after a breakfast you will continue your descent from Horombo Hut passing through Mandara hut (2,700 m) all the way to down  reach the Marangu gate; where you will receive your summit certificates(green certificate – Gilman’s Point and gold certificate – Uhuru Peak) from the park office as a recognition of your efforts. After that, you will sign the registration book and mark the end of your climb. Then you will drive to your hotel and after a hot shower and drink later you will usher in the celebrations before turning in  the comfortable beds.

Marangu Route
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Itinerary in Brief

  • Day 1: Marangu gate to Mandara Hut
  • Day 2: Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut
  • Day 3 Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut
  • Day 4 Summit Attempt: Kibo Hut to Uhuru peak to Horombo Hut
  • Day 5 Horombo Hut to Marangu gate