Marangu – or “Coca-Cola” – route is rightfully popular amongst Kilimanjaro climbers. It is unique in that it provides extra comfort with its permanent huts. Fabulous vistas of Kilimanjaro’s Mawenzi and Kibo peaks are an added advantage of Coca-Cola Route! Marangu Route offers 6 and 5-day itineraries, the latter being the way to go for experienced trekkers. The 6 days Marangu Route itinerary with its longer acclimatization is preferable if this is to be your first climb. Those who climb Kilimanjaro on Marangu can look forward to a trek that covers the distance of 64 km (40 miles) with comfortable conditions resulting in a 92% success rate for the longer programme.
DAY 1: AIRPORT TO HOTEL
Transfer by our guide Kilimanjaro International Airport to your chosen hotel. All of the hotels we use offer comfort with rooms with hot showers, swimming pools, pleasant staff and Wi-Fi access. Your tour Manager will brief you on your forthcoming climb in the evening, answer your questions and make sure you are properly equipped for the climb, providing rental gear when necessary.
DAY 2: TREKKING FROM MARANGU GATE TO MANDARA HUT
A morning pre-climb briefing and introductions with our team precede the drive to Kilimanjaro Park’s Eastern Gate: Marangu, which lies at 1,860 m. Here, your head guide arranges all necessary permits and registration for rescue and search services before you start the walk to Mandara Hut’s 2,700 m. The trail takes you through rain forest with its high probability of rain showers, so bring a raincoat.
This being your first day at high altitude we strongly recommend the following:
- Do not consume any caffeine or alcohol
- Drink often, a little at a time for a total daily intake of 4 litres minimum.
- Take Diamox for relief from altitude sickness symptoms. It is usually taken in the morning before the day’s climbing. Consult your physician before undertaking the trip to check for possible contraindications.
- Heed your body’s warnings and promptly inform your guide of any adverse symptoms.
Acclimatization-associated discomfort is common at night, when your body gets less oxygen than during the day. This is normally expressed in the form of nausea and headaches.
Change in Elevation: Marangu Gate (1,860 m) — Mandara Hut (2,700 m)
Hiking distance: 11 km
Hiking time: 5–7 hours
DAY 3: TREKKING FROM MANDARA Hut TO HOROMBO HUT
Early in the morning after breakfast, the group will depart Mandara Hut to start a moderate trek towards the second high altitude camp: Horombo Hut (3,720 m). When you reach the camp on this day, you will be treated to views of two volcanoes at once: Kibo and Mawenzi.
Several hours after lunch you will have to complete an acclimatization hike in the direction of Kibo Hut with a 200-meter gain in altitude, and then hike back down to Horombo Hut where dinner will be prepared for you.
Note: The acclimatization hike is an easy trek with a slight gain in altitude done in order to speed up the acclimatization process. You should take the acclimatization hikes very seriously. They help increase your chances of successfully summiting Kilimanjaro and save you from the consequences of altitude sickness.
Trekking from Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut:
Change in Elevation: Mandara Hut (2,700 m) — Horombo Hut (3,720 m)
Hiking distance: 10 km
Hiking time: 5–6 hours
Change in Elevation: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) — Destination point en route to Kibo Hut (3,920 m)
Hiking distance: 2.5 km
Hiking time: 1–2 hours
DAY 4: ACCLIMATIZATION DAY HOROMBO HUT
After breakfast you will go on an acclimatization hike towards Kibo Hut and back. After lunch you have the opportunity to walk around the surrounding area, take pictures of Mawenzi Volcano or just sleep before the upcoming trekking to Kibo Hut.
Change in Elevation: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) — Destination point en route to Kibo Hut (4,500 m)
Hiking distance: 5–8 km
Hiking time: 3–4 hours
DAY5: TREKKING FROM HOROMBO HUT TO KIBO HUT
On this day, right after breakfast the group will be trekking to the Kibo Hut (4,700 m). The actual trekking is not very difficult; just remember to stick with an appropriate pace to keep up your strength for the climbing to Kilimanjaro’s summit. When you reach the camp you will be served lunch, after which we recommend you sleep as much as you can, avoid any strenuous activity, and drink lots of water.
Change in Elevation: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) — Kibo Hut (4,700 m)
Hiking distance: 10 km
Hiking time: 4–8 hours
DAY 6: ASCENT FROM UHURU PEAK AND DESCENT TO HOROMBO HUT
Night departure from Kibo Hut (4,700 m) and the start of your trekking to Kilimanjaro’s summit: Uhuru peak (5,895 m). This stretch of Marangu Route is of a moderate physical difficulty, but high altitude puts any climbers body to the test. For the entire length of the trekking each pair of climbers will be accompanied by their own guide, who will be monitoring your stamina and mental resolve. After your successful ascent to Uhuru Peak, you can descend to the nearest glacier if desired. Then you will return to Kibo Camp and after a two-hour rest continue your descent to Horombo Hut (3,720 m).
Please note: 90% of mountain accidents – including broken limbs – happen on the way down. However, they are easily avoided by taking care of how and where you step.
Change in Elevation: Kibo Hut (4,700 m) — Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) — Horombo Hut (3,720 m).
Hiking distance: 16 km.
Hiking time: 9–12 hours.
DAY 7: DESCENT FROM HOROMBO HUT TO MARANGU GATE
You will be offered a warm breakfast in the morning, after which we will head for the Kilimanjaro National Park’s exit: Marangu Gate (1,860 m). After your descent the whole group will gather to congratulate you, and then you will have the chance to share your opinions on the trip in the guestbook. Lastly, we will present you with your commemorative certificates (in our office) and provide you a transfer back to the hotel.
Change in Elevation: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) — Marangu Gate (1,860 m)
Hiking distance: 18 km.
Hiking time: 5–6 hours.
DAY 7: DEPARTURE
Rest in the hotel and transfer to the airport.