Maragu Route known by its common nickname “coca-cola” is the oldest and most established routes on Mt Kilimanjaro. This is the only trail with permanent sleeping huts that are informed of the dormitory where hikers share. It’s the most popular route that takes a shorter timed itinerary which is mostly utilized by the uninformed trekkers in Africa. Maragu Route is considered to be one of the cheap options and some are misled that it’s an easy route which is practically incorrect.
This reputation is based on tour operators who have no or limited challenges to organize a full package that covers sleeping bags and tents during the trip. The route requires few potters since the guests move with only their personal belongings and sleep in huts during their trek of the mountain. The Maragu Route got this nickname as the coca-cola product was the only product that was supplied I the huts at the route.
Maragu Route has the worst record of success for the hikers since it takes a short time and does not allow hikers to have enough time for acclimatization. This route is mostly enjoyed by experienced trekkers that can walk at a good speed to cover great distance at a short period of time with an estimate of 2800 meters in a period of 3 days. Despite the fact that the route is the shortest route does not mean the distance to the peak is short, the route is 72 kilometers to the summit which is the same to most of the routes but because of the location of the huts for accommodation this forces you to cover much at a short period of time.
With experienced and fit hikers they can take 3.5 days to ascend and 1.5 days to descend back to the main gate. It’s out of this that it has made it impossible for many with an estimate of 60% failing to reach the summit while only around 40% make it to the peak. Maragu Route starts from the Maragu Gate that enters to the tropical rainforest where light clothing is sufficient. Hikers also need to be with trekking poles especially during the rainy season when the soils are very muddy.
The huts are located in some specific points which give trekkers a chance to have a scenic view of the environment like Mandara Huts is near Maundi Crater for the view, the hut has 70 beds and 148 beds at Horombo hut. The huts have running water and bathrooms while at Kibo hut there are 58 beds. Horombo hut is more scenic with a clear view of the sunrise or sunset while at Mawenzi and Kibo is saddle area is moonscape. This is the point where most hikers stop and return back due to altitude sickness. Despite the fact that Maragu Route drawbacks, it remains the cheap option for anyone wishing to hike Mt Kilimanjaro.
Marangu Route/Itinerary 5 Days Climbing + 2Nights at the Hotel. This is one of the most amazing safaris that you will encounter on the routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as you explore Tanzania’s famous mountain and the tallest mountain in Africa.
Day 1: Moshi (890 m/2,920 ft) when clients arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport or Dar es Salaam International Airport, you will be met at the airport by our representatives and transferred to the hotel or clients preferred residential home for Overnight. You can start your trek any day, any month of the year!
Day 2: Moshi (890 m/2,920 ft) to Marangu Gate (1,830 m/6,000 ft) approx 45 km, and from Marangu gate to Mandara Huts (2,740 m/9,000 ft) 12 km, 4-5 hours Montane Forest:
After breakfast and a briefing from your guide, leave at the Hotel or Residential at 8:00 AM, drive for 50 minutes, from Moshi to the Marangu Gate or 2 Hrs and 30 mins, drive from Arusha to Marangu Gate on the eastern side of Kilimanjaro National park. After arrive at the gate register of the national park and begin hiking at around 09:30 am. In the rainforest, look for towering Eucalyptus trees, birdlife, 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 2 or 3 PM. Unpack, rest, and have some tea or coffee. A 15-minute side trip to Maundy Crater is a good way to see the surroundings including Northern Tanzania and Kenya. Dinner is served during the early evening at around 07:00 PM. Bathrooms with running water are available at Huts, you will have dinner and overnight at Mandara Huts.
Day 3: Mandara Huts (2,740 m/9,000 ft) to Horombo Huts (3,690 m/12,100 ft) 11 km, 6-8 hours – Heath land.
On this day of the Marangu route you will wake up at around 06:30 am, prepared for breakfast which you will take at around 07:00 am and after breakfast, pack for another day, next trek. Porters will break camp by 8:00 AM, and all group continue hiking to the next Camp. For an hour through rainforest glades, then follow an ascending path through heathland 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 will have dinner and overnight at Horombo Hut. 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 for acclimatization.
Day 4: Horombo Huts (3,690 m/12,100 ft) to Kibo Huts (4,695 m/15,400 ft) 10 km, 6-8 hours Alpine Desert
You will wake up at around 06:30 am and get prepared for breakfast and at around 07:00 am you will have 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 heathland 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. On this day you will have very few hours of sleep, and your night will be very short. You will have a long walk from Horombo to Kibo Hut and after evening meals at around 06:30 pm, you will have a short rest and sleep for 3hrs from 07:30 pm, as you will need to wake up at 10:30 pm and start getting your summit gears ready. The start to climb to the summit will be at around 11:30 pm. The goal is to climb before dawn so that you can reach Uhuru Peak shortly after sunrise. Switchback up steep scree or possibly snow and reach Gilman’s Point on the crater rim at 5,861 m/18,640 ft between 05:00 am to o6:00 am.
Day 5 – Summit Day! The hike from Kibo Huts (4,695 m/ 15,400 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m/19,340 ft) to Horombo Huts (3,690 m/12,100 ft) 4 km up, 14 km down 10-15 hours Alpine Desert.
On this long-awaited day of the Marangu Route to of the hike, you will be already walking more than halfway to the summit. Here, views of the fabled crater and its icecaps greet you. Sun Rise can be seen at around 05:30 am. Another 1 hr to 2 hours of hiking along the crater rim near the celebrated snows takes you to Kilimanjaro’s true summit, Uhuru Peak, by 07:00 am. You are now at 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. They descend from Summit to Kibo hut can take approximately 1 to 2 hrs and descend from Kibo hut to Horombo can take 3 to 4 hrs and when you arrive at Horombo Hut you will get your last and happy supper on the mountain. After Dinner and get some well-deserved sleep, Overnight at Horombo Hut.
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 6: Horombo Huts (3,690 m/12,100 ft) to Marangu Gate (1,830 m/6,000 ft) to Moshi (890 m/2,920 ft) 18 km, 5-7 hours:
As this will be your last day on the mountain, you will need to wake up as usual at around 06:30 am, pack, and then you will get your breakfast at 07:00 am and start to descend at around 07:45 am from Horombo, through the moorland to the Mandara Huts. Have lunch there then continue your triumphant recessional down through the lush forest to the park gate, which you should reach around 02:00 pm or 03:00 PM. Remember to tip your guides, cooks, and porters, since you will be leaving them here at the Gate, as most of them are living at the home and their villages are just nearby so they will not need to back to Moshi/Arusha Town with the group/climbers and then return back to their homes at the villages where they stay with their families. A vehicle will take you back to the hotel or similar lodging in Moshi or Arusha, where it is definitely time for celebration!
Day 7: Moshi
On day 7 of this amazing Marangu Route, you will depart for the airport or other destinations in Tanzania or Kenya or other parts of East Africa and South Africa countries. A trip to the beaches at Zanzibar is a good way to recuperate. We can arrange many reasonably priced trips and safaris around Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.
- Pickup and Transfers from Airport to Hotel and Return
- Accommodation at the Hotel on Half Board for two nights
- Government taxes
- Kilimanjaro climbing, entry fees,
- Porters to carry luggage,
- Guides and assistants Guides,
- Transport from base hotel to a starting point of starting the climbing and return pick up. Transfer, are all-inclusive in the climbing tour costs.
- Salaries for Porters, Guides, Office operations costs
- All meals on the mountain Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
- Staff Tips-Driver/guides, Personal Gears for climbing the mountain like warm jackets, walking sticks and warm gloves
- Hotel staff, international flights from abroad to Tanzania and return.
- Any personal of nature expenses, outings, sodas, laundry and ironing, pedicure, manicure, massage service.