The Marangu Route, also known as the “Coca Cola Route Kilimanjaro” because of the availability of Coca Cola in the tea huts back in the day, is the easiest of all the Kilimanjaro routes due to its gradual slope and the removal of obstacles to create a well-defined path
MARANGU ROUTE 6 DAYS HIGHLIGHTS
- Summit Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the seven summits of the world at 19,340′
- Navigate Kilimanjaro’s Machame Route, the most scenic on the mountain
- Cross 6 ecological zones from lush rainforest to the harsh, beautiful arctic zone
- Follow expert African guides, full of knowledge of the mountain and its environs
- Experience Signature Camping! Spacious tents, deluxe comfort, amazing meals and more!
After breakfast we will collect you from your hotel for your 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.
Today’s the day you finally climb to the summit. You embark along a rocky path at midnight reaching the first checkpoint at 5150 meters (Hans Meyer Cave). The path continues for another two hours till you reach Gilman’s Point. This is where you take a break, rest those aching limbs and refuel your body. After adequate rest, you push onto Uhuru Peak, where you can click some of the most stunning pictures. Begin your descent back to Kibo Hut and finally back to Horombo Hut. This is surely going to be the longest day of your life, but it’s also bound to be the most enriching one so far
Your 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.
If your time in Africa ends today our transfer team will drive you back to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) for your departure. If you have booked with us a safari or a few days to dissolve into the pristine sandy beaches and tropical waters of Zanzibar, we will be there to help you comfortably transition from your climb into your next Tanzanian adventure
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro FAQs
We have put together a short documentary to show you what it’s really like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Find out what it’s really like to summit the roof of Africa at 5,895 m (19,341 ft) above sea level. No matter where you are in the planning stages, it’s an extremely useful watch as you:
- Meet the mountain crew who make this magnificent once-in-a-lifetime experience possible.
- Watch the team trek through five unique ecosystems.
- And find out what it really takes to conquer one of the world’s greatest natural wonders.
Tanzania has three major international airports:
- Dar es Salaam (DAR)
- Zanzibar (ZNZ)
- Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO)
The latter is the most convenient for Kilimanjaro, sitting only 42 km away from the mountain town of Moshi and 50 km from Arusha.
In addition to flights to Tanzania, you may consider flights to Nairobi in Kenya, which is only a five-hour shuttle bus ride to Arusha or a one-hour plane ride to JRO. Note, however, that by choosing to fly to Kenya you may need a multiple-entry Kenya visa (if you’re flying out of Kenya, too, for example, and spend longer than a fortnight in Tanzania), which can cost as much as $122. This would reduce or even eliminate any saving you may have made in airfares.
In deciding which flights to book, you should take the full trip into consideration. For example, if you’d like to spend a couple of days in Zanzibar after the climb, it might be best to book one-way tickets from your home to Kilimanjaro Airport for the climb, from there to Zanzibar after the climb, and then from Zanzibar back home.
We recommend arriving one day early (what we refer to as “arrival day”). This will give you time to relax, meet your fellow trekkers, and get a proper briefing before the climb starts. More importantly, if there’s any delay to your flight or your luggage goes AWOL, there’s enough wiggle room so that this delay doesn’t derail your climb. Seriously – this extra day really is a good idea, especially with post-pandemic airlines being in a little bit of a pickle right now.
All that said, we understand that travelling to Kilimanjaro can be a challenge. So we’ll accommodate your arrival time as best we can (for example, if you only arrive late at night the day before the climb starts, we’ll still be there to collect you!).
Yes, most foreigners need a Tanzanian visa to visit the country. US, Canadian, British and most European citizens can simply obtain a visa upon arrival at the airport. The cost is $100 for US passport holders and $50 for others. US citizens do get a longer visa, however.
If you’re a citizen of a different country, please check with your embassy if you can obtain a visa upon arrival – of if you even need one. Certain African nationals, for instance, can enter Tanzania without a visa.
Please also note that you need a passport that’s valid for at least six months after your departure date.
There are no specific vaccine requirements for entry into Tanzania. However, be aware that the Government of Tanzania requires proof of yellow fever vaccination upon arrival if you are travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever.
While it’s not mandatory by any means, we suggest you talk to your doctor about getting the following vaccinations (which are standard in developed countries): Hepatitis A & B, typhoid, yellow fever, tetanus, polio, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and meningococcal meningitis (Africa and Asia).
Kilimanjaro requires no technical climbing experience nor climbing equipment. This makes it the most accessible of the Seven Summits in many ways.
Any decently fit person can summit the mountain. That said, for most people, it will be one of the most difficult things they ever do in their lives! As we discuss in Kilimanjaro vs Everest Base Camp, it’s even harder in our opinion than trekking to Everest Base Camp!
Kilimanjaro is climbable all year round. Yippee!
The best months to clim, however, are July to October and December to February, as these are the warmest and driest months respectively.
July, August and September tend to be the busiest months on the mountain.
Another factor to take into consideration is the full moon. Summiting Kilimanjaro on a cloudless evening with the moon as your guide instead of headlamp is without a doubt an unforgettable experience. Also imagine seeing the glaciers glitter in the moonlight – absolutely stunning! Learn more in our post Kilimanjaro full moon climbs.
You can also summit the mountain to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Why not join us on a New Year’s Eve climb, a unique once-in-a-lifetime adventure?
You’ll be provided with locally sourced, healthy and nutritious meals cooked fresh every day by your cook and his assistant.
Our menus have been carefully designed to ensure the food is delicious, easy to digest, and provides plenty of energy. Expect fresh veg, fruits, meat, nuts and snacks along the way, as well as clean water throughout.
The primary carbohydrates of the meals are rice, potatoes and pasta, as well as some meat. Fresh fruit and vegetables accompany every meal. Most meals will also have a selection of hot drinks like instant coffee, tea and hot chocolate.
You may want to bring some supplementary comfort foods, such as candy, gum, chocolate, health bars and powdered energy drinks.
Any special requests regarding your menu? No worries. We can accommodate vegetarian and vegan diets as well as gluten-free diets. For those with special diets, please contact us to discuss what we can or cannot do.
This is an outdoor adventure trip in the African wild. There are no showers on the mountain. Warm water will be supplied in a bowl and you will be able to wash your face and hands. For the rest you can bring wet wipes.
At each campsite, we set up a private toilet tent which contains a plastic toilet. There are also simple, hole-in-the-ground public toilets (usually very dirty and not recommended). If you need to use the bathroom on the trail, you’ll find a spot behind a tree or rock. But you’ll need to have a little baggie for putting used toilet paper in that you then carry to camp and dispose of in a bin.
As we discuss in Advice for women climbing Kilimanjaro, ladies should consider bringing along a urinary device like a Shewee which lets you pee standing up. An antimicrobial pee cloth like a Kula Cloth is also a good idea.
Due to the great elevation gain on a Kilimanjaro climb, you will experience all kinds of weather, from 30° C (86° F) on the plains surrounding Kilimanjaro all the way down to -7 to -29° C (20° to -20° F) at the summit. So ensure you are prepared and bring the right clothing! You can learn more in Mount Kilimanjaro climate.
On the day before the trek (arrival day) and the day after the trek (departure day), we stay in a comfortable lodge in Moshi. It has lovely views as well as lovely rooms and facilities to match.
During the climb, you sleep in three-person, four-season dome-style mountain tents, two people per tent. If you’d like a tent of your own, you’ll need to pay a single-person supplement.
Our tents are modern and have an outer flysheet and large vestibules where you can store your equipment during the night.
On our Kilimanjaro climbs, we aim to build groups of 6 to 10 fellow travellers, with 12 people usually being the limit. Let’s view Tanzania are typically made up of sociable people from around the world looking to share an unforgettable adventure with you.
Yes, we love it when solo travellers to sign up for a trip with us! We’ll put you in a group and your fellow travellers will soon become your new friends. There’s little that’s more bonding than being ‘stuck’ with each other for a week on a mountain in Africa!
If you’d like your own tent, you’ll need to pay a single supplement of US$200. Or we’ll try to put you with another person in a tent if you wish and there’s someone available to share with you in your climb group.
Don’t underestimate how tough Kilimanjaro is. Too many people do, and don’t make it to the top!
Depending on your current fitness, we suggest that you start your physical training at least two or three months prior to the climb.
Remember, the fitter you are, the more enjoyable the whole experience will be for you.
In our detailed Kilimanjaro packing list we identify a variety of mountaineering clothing and gear you need for your climb.
he two most critical pieces of equipment that you might need to buy are:
- hiking boots
- a winter jacket
You might like to learn about bringing the right sort of boots in The best hiking boots for Kilimanjaro.
Most of the other clothing that you need is part of many people’s winter or skiing wardrobe already (like long underwear and a fleece jacket).
We also have cosy down winter jackets that you can rent for your climb for a flat fee of US$60. And you can rent trekking poles from us for US$15.
You should limit your duffel bag to 14 kg (31 lb) when full, as this will ease the burden on the porters.
Baggage should be of the round, squashy type rather than a hard suitcase.
Note that luggage restrictions on domestic flights are often 15 to 20 kg (33 to 44 lb) per person, so be mindful when packing your bags.
For your own backpack that you carry each day, try to keep it under 9 kg (20 lb) for your own benefit.
If you’d like advice on choosing the backpack itself.
our Kilimanjaro guides and porters are your greatest asset on the mountain. Quality guides and porters make for a wonderful time on the mountain, while a mediocre staff can put your life in danger.
Each of our experienced guides is licensed by the Kilimanjaro National Park, trained as a wilderness first responder (WFR), and speaks fluent English.
Typically, each of our groups has one guide per two climbers, and each climber has three porters. Porters carry all gear, tents, cooking supplies and water. You will come to respect these guys greatly by the end of Day 1 of your climb – each porter carries about 20 kg (44 lb) of kit on their back up the mountain!
Our guides are highly experienced to manage altitude sickness, which is the biggest obstacle on the mountain. They also have an intimate knowledge of the network of shortcuts to escort climbers to safety, and they’re trained to react quickly and calmly under any circumstances.
We cover each of the things to consider about Kilimanjaro safety in-depth in How we keep you safe on Kilimanjaro.
Please remember that the purpose of this article is not to scare you, but to keep you well informed. At Let’s view Tanzania, our top priority is your safety. We want you to know how to climb Kilimanjaro and how to do it in the safest way possible.
It is safe to climb Kilimanjaro, but only when you are educated on the risks. It’s a challenge, but that’s what it’s all about, right!?
Some climbers may fall short of reaching the summit. But even for those who never reach the top, the climb is almost always still an incredible and rewarding experience.
When one or more people in the group decide (in conjunction with their guide’s advice) they cannot continue on the ascent, they’re escorted to the most convenient campsite and wait for the others to return.
Note that nobody fit and healthy enough to make a go for the summit will be denied the chance because of the condition of another climber! We always have enough guides on every climb to ensure all climbers are accompanied, even if the group must temporarily split up.
There are always deaths on these big mountains. And Kilimanjaro is no different.
The most common cause of death on Kilimanjaro is altitude sickness. This comes about when you to ascend the mountain too quickly, not giving your body enough time to acclimatise. (But more on that just in a just moment …)
That said, Kilimanjaro is a safe climb if you travel with a good tour operator and you follow one of the routes we recommend.
Our local guides and staff are trained to keep you safe and have the ability to treat climbers who become ill or injured. Your health and well-being really are our top priority on every Kilimanjaro climb.
Altitude sickness arises when your body struggles to adapt quickly enough to the lower intake of oxygen per breath caused by the reduced air pressure of a higher altitude. Often climbers make the mistake of ascending Kilimanjaro too high too quickly.
But don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal to get mild altitude sickness on Kilimanjaro. It’s therefore more than likely that you’ll experience some form of altitude sickness when climbing Kilimanjaro. It’s only when someone develops moderate to severe altitude sickness that you have a real issue on your hands.
Note that age, sex or physical fitness have no effect on your likelihood of getting altitude sickness. And just because you haven’t had it before, doesn’t mean you won’t develop it on another trip.
This is why we always advise clients to take as many precautions against developing altitude sickness as possible.
Tanzania has a moderate risk for malaria. Malaria occurs in all areas below 1,800 m (5,900 ft) and we recommend that you take precautions against malaria prior to the commencement of your trip.
“When heading to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro , you want to take precautions against malaria and altitude sickness.”
Avoiding altitude sickness is also key. Here are our top tips for avoiding the dreaded altitude sickness on Kilimanjaro:
- Go on all optional acclimatisation hikes before your Kili climb.
- Choose a longer route that gives you more time to acclimatise.
- Walk slowly. Pole, pole, as Tanzanians always say. Slowly, slowly.
- Drink lots of water, as this mitigates the effects of altitude sickness.
- Consider taking a preventative altitude sickness medicine like Diamox.
All climbers pay a rescue fee to the Kilimanjaro National Park (included in our package price). If you cannot continue the climb because you get injured or sick, the guides and porters will gladly assist you on the way down.
There is no extra charge for coming down and being taken back to the lodge early, but we will not be able to refund you for the days you missed on the mountain. Moreover, we ask all of our travellers to purchase a special adventure travel insurance that covers any possible medical expenses and evacuation costs – just to be safe!
As of August 2022, you can connect to the internet up until almost 4,000 m above sea level! And the Government of Tanzania says there will be connectivity all the way to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) by the end of the year.
Whether or not you wish to WhatsApp, Instagram your trip and so on is up to you. For many, the chance to disconnect from the world while on a Kilimanjaro climb is part of the adventure’s appeal.
That said, the new high-speed internet available on the mountain offers certain safety benefits, and we like that those who wish – mountain crew included – can stay in touch with their families when on their climbs if they wish.
Included in this Trek :
Professional, experienced, mountain guides:
- All Park fees Airport transfers Rescue fees
- All meals while on the Mountain
- Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
- Large portions of fresh, healthy nutritious food
- Clean, purified drinking water
- Medical Kit
- Emergency oxygen
- Crisis management and safety procedures
- Fair and ethical treatment of porters
- Accommodation in Arusha
- Portable toilet
Items not included:
- Alcoholic and soft drinks
- Visa fees
- Tips Personal spending monies for souvenirs etc.
- Travel insurance