The Marangu route, famously known as the "Coca-Cola" route as you can get a bottle of Coca-Cola at each hut, is the original route established to climb Kilimanjaro. The Marangu route is often billed as one of the easier walking routes, however, according to KINAPA it suffers from the lowest success rate (42%) as too many climbers try to do it in only 5 days and fail because of poor acclimatisation. We've built in an extra day's acclimatisation for you, greatly improving the success rate.
Approaching Mount Kilimanjaro from the southeast, the Marangu route uses the same ascent and descent route which means it is less scenic than the other routes. For climbers who do not wish to camp, then Marangu is the only route that offers dormitory-style hut accommodation. The huts have a communal dining room, simple washrooms and toilets which lower down will be flushable, but as you move higher up the mountain will be "long drop" loos.
Although some climbers like the idea of staying in the huts rather than camping, you need to remember that on the Marangu route you will be sharing the hut with lots of other climbers in open dormitory accommodation. Bring ear plugs just in case!
We run several open group climbs on the Marangu route each season. Please check our availability and schedule below:
You will arrive at Kilimanjaro Airport. A Kandoo driver will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel in Moshi.
After breakfast we will collect you from your hotel for the transfer to Marangu Gate for registration. Our porters prepare and pack our supplies and luggage before we start our ascent on a cleared ridge trail through the rainforest. The forest, covered with mist and dripping with beards of moss, is also where most of Kilimanjaro's animals are found. We will spend our first night at Mandara Hut, a group of wooden A-framed huts set in a forest clearing. Water is piped into the camp from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut.
From Mandara Hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, skirting the base of the Maundi Crater, emerging into the transition zone from rain forest to moorland. After about 6 hours we arrive at Horombo Hut.
This extra day and night at Horombo is ideal for good acclimatisation. A hike towards Mawenzi, passing the Zebra Rocks on the way (about 3 hours up and 1.5 hours down) is strongly recommended as it will further assist with acclimatisation.
We continue our ascent into the Alpine desert zone, passing the last place where water is available at 4130m. From Kibo Hut, the summit is now a further 1195m of ascent. We will make our summit ascent tonight so we will go to go to bed early to get as much rest as possible.
We will wake up around 23:30 hours, and after some tea and biscuits we shuffle off into the night, and this is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer point (5250m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gilman's Point (5681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort.
From Gilman's Point we will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru Peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long we will be able to spend taking photographs before the 3 hours descent back to Kibo Hut. After a short rest we gather all the gear we left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo Hut, a further 3 hours. Later in the evening, we will enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Our final day on the trek, departing after breakfast we descend a further 1740m to Marangu Gate to pick up your summit certificates from the Park Headquarters. Transfer to your hotel for a well-earned shower and celebration.
After a night in a warm, comfortable bed at your hotel in Moshi, we'll take you to the Airport for your return flight.
Congratulations! You've made it!
Q1HOW DIFFICULT IS THE MARANGU ROUTE?
Although many people are led to believe this is one of the easiest routes, it’s actually considered difficult because of the speed by which you ascend. This is especially true on the 5 day itinerary where many people suffer from lack of acclimatization. The 6 day option is easier, however, a good level of fitness is still required.
Q2WHAT IS THE DISTANCE OF THE MARANGU ROUTE?
The total trekking distance for the Marangu Route is 70km or 43 miles.
Q3WHAT IS THE MARANGU ROUTE SUMMIT SUCCESS RATE?
Because it has one of the shortest itineraries on the mountain, the Marangu Route has the lowest summit success rates. This is mainly due to unprofessional local operators taking people up the mountain on short 5 day itineraries. Because of this, the 5 day average success rate is under 50%! Here at Kandoo we only take the 6 day option which means that our summit success rate on the Marangu route is over 85%!
Q4WHAT IS THE SCENERY LIKE ON THE MARANGU ROUTE?
The Marangu Route ascends through rainforest, moorlands and alpine areas before finishing in the glacial zone. Whilst the trek is very beautiful, this is the only route in which you descend back down the same trail.