Overview

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 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 program.

Day 1 Marangu Gate (1860m) to Mandara Hut (2700m)

Elevation (ft): 6,046 ft to 8,858 ft

Distance: 8 km/5 miles

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Rain Forest

We depart Moshi for Marangu Gate for the necessary formalities before beginning our trek. The hiking trail begins by ascending a beautiful, tropical rain forest. At the upper edge of the forest line, we have the opportunity to see blue monkeys. The trail then widens to expose beautiful hillsides until we reach Mandara Hut.

This will be your first day at this altitude, so it is strongly recommended you heed the following instructions from this point on:

Abstain from consuming alcohol and caffeine

Drink over 4 liters of bottled water daily (little by little, frequently)

Take a Diamox pill to help alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness. Most mountain climbers take Diamox in the morning, before they start their ascent, in order to reduce discomfort associated with altitude sickness. We recommend you consult your doctor prior to the trip in case of potential allergies.

At night you may experience discomfort associated with acclimatization to the high altitude: because of a reduction in your waking breathing pattern, your body gets less oxygen than during the day. Taking altitude into account, you may therefore start feeling sick and have a headache. Pay attention to your own body and tell your guide if you start feeling any symptoms of altitude sickness.

Day 2 Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut

Elevation (ft): 8,858 ft to 12,205 ft

Distance: 12 km/7 miles

Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

Habitat: Heath

We will start the day by continuing through the forest until the trail opens into high moorland. We may get our first views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks – two of the three volcanic peaks that make up the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Day 3 Horombo Hut to Mawenzi Ridge

Elevation (ft): 12,205 ft to 14,400 ft

Distance: 5 km/3 miles

Hiking Time: 2-3 hours

Habitat: Heath

This is an extra day meant for acclimatisation and can be spent day hiking on Mawenzi Ridge. The unique landscape offers motivating views of Kibo and Mawenzi. After spending a few moments exploring the area we head back to Horombo Hut.

Day 4 Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut

Elevation (ft): 12,205 ft to 15,430 ft

Distance: 10 km/6 miles

Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

We climb gradually, then cross the lunar desert of the “Saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo. Our camp, Kibo Hut, sits at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Once here we rest, enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day.

Day 5 Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak

Elevation (ft): 15,430 ft to 19,341 ft

Distance: 6 km/4 miles

Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

Habitat: Arctic

Very early in the morning, we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, break. At Gilman’s point (18,600 ft), you will be rewarded with the most

magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

After spending a few moments taking in the plains of Africa and your accomplishment, we descend to Horombo Hut. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Day  6 Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate

Elevation (ft): 12,205 ft to 6,046 ft

Distance: 20 km/12 miles

Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

Habitat: Rain Forest

On our last day, we have a long trek mostly downhill through the tropical rainforest. Once at the park headquarters at Marangu gate, we collect our summit certificates. A vehicle will meet us here and drive us back to the hotel in Moshi/Arusha.