• Date
    22 Jan - 03 Feb
    5 Days
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    Overview: Tanzania Climbing Safari Tour

    The oldest route on Mount Kilimanjaro, the Marangu route, is also known as the "Tourist Route" or "Coca Cola Route" and you may have heard that "of all routes up Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Marangu route is the easiest, cheapest and by far the most popular." Only one of the statements is true: climbing Kilimanjaro on the Marangu route is the cheapest option.The Marangu route is not the most popular route any more. It has been surpassed by the Machame route and I disagree with the statement that the Marangu Route is the easiest because it is misleading. It maybe the easiest trip to organise, have the widest, most comfortable path to walk on and offer hut accommodation, but that does NOT make it easier to reach the summit.

    Of all climbing routes on Kilimanjaro, the Marangu route has the lowest success rate!

    Keep that in mind. Don't fall for the promise of "easy"! (If you think your fitness leaves to be desired and are looking for easy, I recommend you tackle Kilimanjaro on the Rongai route.) Having said that, as long as you are aware of the aspects that lead to the high failure rate you can avoid them to some degree.

    Starting Point: Marangu Gate (1860 m/6100 ft)

    Duration: 5 days (acclimatization day can be added at Horombo)

    Tanzania Climbing Safari Tour Itinerary

    Day 1: Marangu Gate (1860 m/6100 ft) - Mandara Huts (2700m/8860 ft)

    Walking distance: 8 km/5 miles

    Walking time: 3-4 hours

    Altitude gain: 840 m/2760 ft

    Your first day on Kilimanjaro starts with the transfer from your hotel to Marangu gate, the registration formalities, an introduction to your guides, the packing of all equipment and distributing it among the porters. Expect to linger at the gate for an hour or two before you get going.The first day on the Marangu Route leads through rain forest. (You know why it's called rain forest, right? ALWAYS carry your rain gear in your day pack!) Actually, montane forest is the correct name for this climate zone and vegetation. The wide and well formed gravel path is fairly steep and leads steadily uphill, but the forest is so pretty that you don't mind. For a while the path follows a little stream and it passes a couple of picturesque little waterfalls. You'll probably have lunch at the Kisamboni picnic area, which marks half way. It should take about an hour and a half to get there. And it is about another hour and a half from here to the Mandara Huts. As you near the huts you will notice the vegetation change. You are about to enter the next climate and vegetation zone—the alpine heath and moorland. The first heathers appear, but most noticeable is the lichen dangling from all the trees and shrubs, leading to the name "bearded forest" that you may have seen under some Kilimanjaro pictures. Soon you'll arrive at the Mandara Huts, a group of wooden huts in a forest clearing. If you do have time and energy left you can take a little side trip to the Maundi Crater. It takes about 15 minutes and, weather permitting, you will be rewarded with good views to Mawenzi. You may also spot blue monkeys (they have become very used to people), and with a bit of luck even black and white colobus monkeys.

    Day 2: Mandara Huts - Horombo Huts (3700 m/12140 ft)

    Walking distance: 12 km/7.2 miles

    Walking time: 5-7 hours

    Altitude gain: 1000 m/3280 ft

    First thing in the morning you will walk through a patch of forest. If you did not make the detour to Maundi Crater yesterday you now have another chance of spotting colobus monkeys. However, soon you will leave the last trees behind. You are now walking through moorland and the dominating plant is heather. That means that, weather permitting, you should get good views of Kibo and Mawenzi. Some people describe the vegetation as bleak or boring as compared to the forest, but I actually prefer the more open views. The most noticeable features, apart from the Kilimanjaro peaks of course, are the first giant senecios and loblelias that you can see growing among the ubiquitous heather. The path meanders through the hills with some ups and downs and across a few dry creeks. This is a long day. You will be covering quite some distance and altitude and you may start to feel the latter. Remember to drink plenty, and try to eat well, even if you don't feel like it.The Horombo Huts are in a scenic location with good views to Mawenzi. On clear days you may even be able to see Moshi way below you, as well as the Pare mountain range.People who climb Kilimanjaro via the Marangu route stay here on the way up, on the way down, and if they take an extra acclimatization day they will spend another night at Horombo, and as if that wasn't enough, climbers ascending via the Rongai route also descend via Marangu and will also spend a night at Horombo. (At least they have their own camping equipment and won't eat or sleep in the village of huts.)

    Day 3: Horombo Huts - Kibo Huts (4700 m/15420 ft)

    Walking distance: 9.5 km/5.7 miles

    Walking time: 5-7 hours

    Altitude gain: 1000 m/3280 ft

    Whether you took the acclimatization day or not, hopefully you wake up without any symptoms of altitude sickness and feeling refreshed. Because another big day lies ahead of you.As you keep trudging uphill the vegetation is gradually thinning out. You will be passing several water streams and they do not necessarily look inviting. Nevertheless, soon you'll reach the signposted "Last Water Point" at 4200 m/13780 ft. It is indeed the last chance to collect water, and your porters will. You might sit down at the picnic tables here and have a break.Eventually—after having crossed a ridge and another ridge and another ridge to get here—the path leads uphill onto the "Saddle". This is the barren plain of alpine desert between the two main peaks of Kilimanjaro: Mawenzi and Kibo. The only living things left are some hardy grasses and the occasional everlasting flower. (How DO they do it? Blooming in this environment.)

    Day 4: Summit attempt via Gilman's Point (5700 m/18700 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5895 m/19340 ft) and descent to Horombo Huts (3700 m/12200 ft)

    Walking distance: 5.5 km/3.5 miles ascent + 15 km/9.5 miles descent

    Walking time: 5-6 hrs + 1-2 hours up, 5-6 hours down (the overall walking time may vary from 10 - 16 hours)

    Altitude gain: 1000 m/ 3280 ft (Gilman's Point) or 1195 m/3920 ft (Uhuru Peak)

    Descent: 2195 m/7200 ft

    You arrived at Kibo Huts early enough to get plenty of rest. (Rongai route climbers will have, Marangu route climbers may not.)Your day pack should be ready with everything you will need tonight: rain gear if you aren't wearing it anyway, enough water, hand warmers, balaclava... You should have fresh batteries in your head torch and camera and you should already be wearing the right clothes. Make sure everything you are wearing is bone dry!

    Your guides will wake you up some time between 11.00 and 11.30 pm. There will be some hot drinks and maybe some food, but mostly it's a matter of crawling out of your sleeping bag, putting on a few more layers of clothes, your boots and your head torch. Grab your day pack and off you go... Around midnight or not long after.As you emerge from between the Kibo Huts you will see strings of little lights. They are the head torches of the climbers ahead of you, and as you continue through the night they will also appear behind you.All those groups of little lights are moving in slow motion, following the path snaking back and forth, back and forth, up the steep scree slope that is the side of Kibo Peak. It's actually rather pretty. Whether you'll be able to appreciate it is a different question.

    Day 5: Horombo Huts - Marangu Gate

    Walking distance: 20 km/12.5 miles

    Walking time: 5 hours

    Descent: 1840 m/6040 ft

    It's your last day on the mountain and there isn't much to say about it.After beakfast you set off, down, down, down, past Mandara Huts (lunch stop) to Marangu Gate. If you climbed on the Marangu route you already know the path.If you came up via the Rongai route then it's new territory and you will enjoy the last day in the lush rainforest. (Though some climbers can muster only a very moderate interest...) Once you get to the gate you'll have to endure some more formalities, but eventually you will say good bye to your guides (a sad and emotional moment), climb into the vehicle waiting for you and be whisked away to your hotel for hot showers and cold beers.


    1 5800 Single
    2 7800 1 Double
    3 9800 1 Triple
    4 11800 2 Double
    5 13800 1 Double & 1 Triple
    6 15800 3 Double or 2 Triple


    1 4800 Single
    2 6800 1 Double
    3 8800 1 Triple
    4 10800 2 Double
    5 12800 1 Double & 1 Triple
    6 14800 3 Double or 2 Triple


    1 4800 Single
    2 6800 1 Double
    3 8800 1 Triple
    4 10800 2 Double
    5 12800 1 Double & 1 Triple
    6 14800 3 Double or 2 Triple
    • Park fees, camping fees & rescue fees
    • 18% VAT on tour fees & services
    • Accommodation in wooden cabins on the mountain
    • -29C Extreme Limit Sleeping Bags
    • Double layered Sleeping Mats
    • Transportation to & from the mountain gate
    • Professional mountain guides, cooks and porters
    • 3 meals daily while on the mountain>
    • Katadyn filtered water throughout the trek
    • Pre & Post Trek accommodation at the Weru Weru River Lodge (or alternative) on Bed & Breakfast Basis
    • Fair wages for the mountain crew as approved by the Kilimanjaro Association of Tour Operators (KIATO)
    • 10% discount on meals at selected restaurants in Moshi Town
    • Tree donation in support of our environmental conservation projects
    • 2- way shared airport transfers (for private transfers it costs $20 extra per vehicle.
    Not Include
    • Tips
    • Laundry Services & Items of personal nature
    • Add-on tours & activities

    Safari Booking Terms and Conditions

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    Related Routes

    • 7 Days Machame Route
    • 4 Days Machame Route
    • 8 Days Machame Route
    • 6 Days Machame Route
    • 9 Days Machame Route

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