Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu Route is immortalized by the words of the great Ernest Hemingway; Mount Kilimanjaro has long held a mystical place in the popular imagination.
Day 1: Arusha – Kilimanjaro Marangu Route Gate
The drive from Arusha to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate takes about 1.5 hours. The journey passes through the village of Marangu, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. Once you reach the park gate, all hikers are requested to sign in and make their final preparations for the climb. You will only be responsible for your day pack. Porters will be packing the food, water, cooking gas as well as most of your equipment. Make sure that you have all your day pack items with you (at least drinking water, your lunch pack, and extra clothing) because the porters ascend a lot quicker than the hikers. Our guides will be available to assist with any additional information or needs you might have. You now leave the park gate and ascend on a cleared ridge trail through the rain-forest. The forest, shrouded in mist and dripping with beards of moss, is also where most of Kilimanjaro’s animals are found.
Hiking time: 5h Distance: Approximately 12kms
Day 2: Mandara Huts – Horombo Huts
From Mandara hut, the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, then skirts the base of the Maundi Crater, and then emerges into moorland. It is well worth a short detour to scramble up the rim of the Maundi Crater for your first really impressive view of the Kibo Crater.
Day 3: Horombo Huts – Zebra Rocks – Horombo Huts – Acclimatization day at Horombo hut
Horombo is a group of huts perched on a small plateau, with buildings similar to Mandara, but with a total capacity of 120 climbers! Horombo is normally bustling with hikers, guides, and porters, with an atmosphere of adventure and excitement. You will meet both ascending and descending hikers here. This extra day and night at Horombo will be for additional acclimatization. A hike towards the Mawenzi hut, passing the Zebra Rocks on the way (about 3 hours up and 1,5 hours down), is strongly recommended.
Day 4: Horombo Huts – Kibo Huts
After breakfast, you’ll continue your ascent into the alpine desert. From Horombo there are two trails to the “Saddle” (the area between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo). There is an upper route (right hand fork) and a lower route (left-hand fork) to choose from. The upper route will be very familiar, as you will have climbed most of it the previous day towards Mawenzi hut. It is very stony and eroded. The recommended lower route (left-hand fork) is much easier and nearly an hour shorter and it also passes the last watering point at 4130m. Situated in the barren alpine desert is Kibo hut, a stone-built block house which has bunk beds for 60 climbers, but no streams with water nearby. It is however possible to buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. There are platform toilets behind the hut. The summit is now a further 1195m up and you will make your final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, walking poles, and thermal clothing for your summit bid. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at around about 19h00 and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible. Rest well for the next day you will be making a summit attempt.
Day 5: Kibo Huts – Uhuru Peak – Horombo Hut (Summit Attempt Day)
You’ll be getting up around 11:30 pm and after some tea and biscuits shuffling off into the night. This is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gillman’s point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring great physical and mental effort. This is probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly. From Gillman’s Point, you will normally encounter snow all the way up to the Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend, taking photographs, before the 3-hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest, you gather all the gear you left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) for your overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening, you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office) on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Hiking time: 8h to Uhuru, 6h to get to Horombo Distance: Approximately 6kms ascent,
Day 6: Horombo Hut –Marangu Gate – Arusha
You’ve defeated the mighty Mt. Kilimanjaro! After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. At the Marangu gate, you sign your name and details in the register. This is where successful climbers receive their summit certificates.
Those climbers who reached Gillman’s Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive gold certificates. You now drive back to Arusha or Moshi for a long overdue hot shower
Day 7: Departure Day
Today is your final day to snap up some quick souvenirs before being taken to the airport in time for your international flight back home or on to your next destination.
Specification: Mount Kilimanjaro Marangu Route
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