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Marangu Routes

marangu route kilimanjaro climb


The  is one of the oldest routes on Mt. Kilimanjaro. While the Machame route is also known as Whisky Route. Marangu is known as the “Coca Cola” route of Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro Marangu Route is the second most popular route after Machame Route.

Marangu Route is one of the most established and most favored courses on Kilimanjaro. It is the most effortless way on the mountain because of its steady slant and direct way.

It is the main course on Kilimanjaro as it has cottage housing for the climbers making it famous among the travelers. Kilimanjaro Marangu Route is consequently otherwise called a “visitor course”. Marangu Route has three cabin lodging: Mandara Huts, Kibo Huts, and Horombo Hut. These cottage housings give cots. There are 60 bunks beds each at Mandara, Kibo. Also 120 bunk beds at Horombo Hut. The achievement rate is relatively low on this course. Unfortunately, the route has a less striking perspective than alternate courses on Kilimanjaro. Marangu Route is swarmed with voyagers, because of which proficient trekkers don’t take this course.

The mountain offers a great view. The crater rim on the Gilman’s Point at an elevation of 18,600 ft is the best scene of the mountain. Hence, it’s considered as the jewel of Kilimanjaro.

Due to being the oldest route, Kilimanjaro Marangu Route is the most established route of the country. Another reason for being the popular route is the low cost. It’s the cheapest route option for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa Region.

Due to being the popular route, the route meets 12 to 13 thousand people every year. Due to high traffic, it’s called the “Tourist Route”.

The route takes only 5 Days To Reach the Uhuru Peak; hence the acclimatization is very poor. The ascending is though very easy. The trail is direct, not steppe and offers a gradual easy climbing.

Due to less number of days and cheap amount the route is preferred by many trekkers. Most of them are inexperienced and aspiring trekkers. Hence the Marangu Route offers the lowest success rate among all Kilimanjaro routes.

Covering 72 km, Kilimanjaro Marangu Route approaches from the south-eastern side of Kilimanjaro. The route starts at the Marangu gate. What make the route unique from all other route are the huts to sleep. While rest 5 routes of Kilimanjaro offer camping route only Marangu came with huts. While trekkers choose to climb to the Summit of Kilimanjaro via Marangu they get to rest more comfortably. The huts of Marangu come with bunk beds equipped with mattresses and pillows.

The huts are quite comfortable and come with bunk beds and mattresses. However, you will still need your sleeping bags as the temperature became really chilly at night.The huts also come with the dining room and toilets. You can find flushing toilets at the huts too.

The journey starts as you land at Kilimanjaro International airport, and then you will pick by the trekking company’s staff. After that, you will be shifted to your hotel in Moshi. From Moshi to the Marangu Gate takes about a 1-hour drive passing through local villages of Marangu.

The hike to the Uhuru peak starts from the foothill and continues through the cultivation zone. The rest of the hiking goes through 4 more different zones such as;

  • Rain-forest
  • Heath zone & Mooreland
  • Alpine desert
  • Arctic

The huts on Marangu Route offer a great view of the sides of the mountain. Usually the hiking is for 5 days but usually it is advised to add one extra day to acclimatize more. Kilimanjaro Marangu  is the most crowded route of Kilimanjaro compared to other routes.

However, the route surprisingly doesn’t offer a high success rate due to poor acclimatizing opportunities.

The first stopover of the trekking is at Mandara hut at the height of 2720m. Marangu Gate to Mandara Hut covers 8km and it takes 4 to 5 hours to cover the distance.

The next stop through Marangu is Horombo hut at an elevation of 3720m. Traversing through heath zone the hike takes further to the Kibo hut. From Kibo, the final hike starts at the mid-night to the Uhuru Peak.Crossing Lava tower is the hardest part of Climbing.

5-7 days Trekking

The Marangu Route is one of the most popular routes for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Many trekkers believe that Marangu is the easiest route to summit Uhuru Peak as it can be hiked in 5 days. However, the Marangu Route has one of the lowest summit success rates of all routes up the mountain.

Mostly trekkers add one extra day as the acclimatizing day. However, it’s hard to acclimatize properly as the hike starts at a relatively high peak. So the body gets less time to cope with the elevation and AMS makes it worst to continue with the climb.

Many trekkers believe it as the easiest route. The actual truth is though it is quite a difficult one as it starts at a very high elevation. This is especially true on the 5-day itinerary where numerous people suffer from the absence of acclimatization. The multi-day alternative is easier; however, a great level of fitness is as yet required.

73% – 80% Success Rate

The Marangu Route, or the Coca-Cola route, is known to be one of the cheapest routes. It is cheap due to the shorter itinerary. Marangu Route has one of the shortest itineraries on the mountain, due to which it has the lowest summit success rates. As hikers tend to hurry to reach the top, the lowest success rates come in place.

Skipping one additional acclimatization day can significantly lower the average success rate of 50%.To give better acclimatization opportunity we at Ascend Tanzania offer 6 days Marangu Route hike. Hence, our summit success rate via the Marangu route is 87%.

High Traffics

The medium success rate can be achieved by adding one extra day in the 5 days itinerary. It allows the trekker’s time to cope with the lower oxygen level.

Trekkers are attracted to this route because it is significantly cheaper than other routes. It is also the only route that provides communal sleeping huts at every overnight site. Most of the huts also sell soft drinks, beer, and chocolates. However, a large number of trekkers can be overwhelming. The route uses the same path for the ascent and descent; it is dirty and overcrowded.

So in Marangu Route, there is a high Number of traffics to and give the successful way to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Immense Popularity

Marangu Route is breathtakingly beautiful. However due to following the same ascend and descend route Marangu is considered as less scenic. It is also more crowded from the other Kilimanjaro routes. However, due to its popularity, the path is well maintained. The route takes you through a forest and the Saddle before reaching the Kibo Hut.

Good Kilimanjaro Scenery

Marangu has the best trail in the rainforest section of the hike. Of course, there are still stunning views of the Mawenzi and it’s equally spectacular at Uhuru.The Marangu Route approaches the Uhuru peak through rainforest, moorlands and alpine areas before finishing in the glacial zone. Even if the trek is very beautiful, this is the only route in which you descend via the same route.

Sleeping Huts Accommodation

Marangu Route is the only route on a mountain which offers the luxury sleeping in dormitory-style hut accommodation. The comfort of hut accommodation also attracts novice hikers or trekkers who don’t like camping.

The Huts In This Route Are:

  • Mandara Hut
  • Horombo Hut
  • Kibo Hut

Are you choosing Marangu only for huts?  We would like to clear that huts doesn’t make the trek easier. However, it can give you relaxing nights. In the huts, everything is communal; from the basic washrooms to the showers and the dining halls.

Best Tips For Success

If you are not limited with time and budget try going for 6 days hike rather than 5 days. This extra day will let your body acclimatize in a better manner.

It’s advisable to download the “Kilimanjaro Playlist” and save it in your music system. While climbing to the peak of Kilimanjaro it will entertain you as well as it will let you stay motivated mentally.

Be easy on the speed, go slow

Take a close look at your Kilimanjaro Packing List to make sure you have all of the right gear. Remember: water is a hiker’s best friend, and staying hydrated could be the difference between reaching the summit or not.

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