LET'S START PLANNING
One of the most spectacular and accessible routes up Mount Kilimanjaro is the Marangu trail. The climb begins in Marangu, a small settlement at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. Because of its popularity, the route is also known as the Coca-Cola route. Climbers that take the Marangu path to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro stay in huts rather than tents. The Marangu route does not include any technical climbing. The beginning of the Marangu climb is conveniently placed near Moshi. The trip fee includes all transportation from the airport to the hotel, gate, and back.
The climb begins at the Marangu gate and continues to Mandara huts, Horombo huts, Kibo huts, Gilman’s point, and finally Uhuru Peak, Africa’s highest point at 5,895 meters. Up and down the mountain, the same path is taken.
However, this route should be approached with caution. Height sickness is more likely on this route because of the rapid rate at which hikers gain altitude. As a result, on Lem Carnivores Tours hikes, we’ve included an extra day on the mountain to allow for better acclimatization – which, in our experience, increases your chances of reaching the peak. All of your supplies and equipment are transported, and a cook prepares all of your meals. For those who do not want to camp in tents, this route is ideal.
On arrival you are personally met at the airport by one of our representatives and transferred to your chosen hotel in Arusha or Moshi. In the afternoon there is a full briefing with the climbs manager and your guide. Overnight in hotel. Dinner is included.
If you need to hire any extra gear, advise our staff this evening. Leave any excess clothing and valuables at the hotel – they will lock them up for you. Pack your bag carefully for the climb – remember the weight limit of 15 kg. Leave some ‘plastic bin bags’ in an outer pocket of your bag, and show the porters where they are so that in case of rain they can quickly cover your bag.
Transfer from Moshi town to Marangu Gate (1980m) – Mandara hut (2700m).
Hiking time: 5 hours.
Distance: About 12 km’s.
Habitat: Montane forest.
Elevation change: + 720 m
Early in the morning after breakfast you have a final pre-hike briefing with your guide before being driven to the Marangu gate around 9:00 a.m in the morning. It’s a 45 minute trip if you are staying in Moshi. On arrival, we complete the national park registrations at the small office there. Take a day-backpack to carry few things which will be useful during the day such as a camera, extra clothes, rain jacket and snacks. Porters will carry the rest of your luggage and stores including the food, drinking water, clothes and cooking gas. Porters will walk faster than you so they can prepare dinner for your arrival in camp.
After all the formalities, our guide will lead the way and assist you with any additional information or needs you might have. You now leave the park office and ascend on a cleared ridge route through the rain forest. The forest is covered with mist and saturated with beards of moss. This trail follows the edge of a stream through the undergrowth and offers you the option to rejoin the main trail. After one and half hours of hiking you will reach Mandara hut. The weather at Mandara hut isn’t much colder than in Moshi and normal clothes and a jacket is usually enough. With the exception of Kibo huts, the huts are groups of wooden A-framed cabins in a forest clearing. Each hut features 6-8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting. The total capacity of the camp is 60 climbers. Water is piped into the camp from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut.
Mandara hut (2700m) – Horombo hut (3720m)
Hiking time: 6 hours.
Distance: About 15 km’s.
Elevation change: + 1020 m
Early in the morning after your breakfast you will start climbing towards Horombo hut with your picnic lunch. From Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, and then heads around the base of the Maundi Crater where you will leave the forest and enter the moorland zone.
We recommend you take a short detour up to the rim of the Maundi Crater – from here you see the impressive Kibo Crater, and on a clear day you will also be able to see the glaciers of Kibo. This is a great photographic opportunity. In the moorlands you will also encounter some of Kilimanjaro’s most spectacular and strange plants in the open moorland – with giant lobelia and groundsel growing to heights of 3 and 5 metres respectively! Later in the afternoon you reach Horombo Huts and we stay here for the night after a hot dinner. Your hut will be comfortable enough to ensure a good nights rest. Temperatures during the night will be around freezing point.
Horombo hut (3720m) – Kibo hut (4700m)
Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: About 15 km’s
Habitat: Alpine desert
Elevation change: + 980 m
The climb is becoming more difficult as the oxygen at these altitudes begins to thin out considerably. To begin today you can take one of the two trails to the “Saddle”, located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. We usually stick to the lower route, which is much easier and has the added benefit of taking you past the last watering point. You should stock up with all the water you will need – the next watering point will be at Horombo hut when you return there on your descent the night after next. Once again remember to take it slowly and drink enough water. It will take from 5 to 7 hours to reach Kibo Hut where you will rest and have dinner. This is a barren area of extreme conditions, with temperatures at night sometimes dropping to below freezing point and daytime temperatures being relatively high. Kibo hut is a large stone dormitory house split into several sleeping rooms with bunk beds. There is no water supply at this hut. There are toilet facilities behind the hut.Spend time this afternoon preparing your equipment as you will be making your final ascent tonight. You will need your ski-stick and extra thermal clothing for your summit bid – also ensure that your headlamp and camera batteries are in order and make sure you have spare sets of batteries available as well. Carry your water in a thermal flask otherwise it will freeze later. Make sure you are in bed by 7:00 pm – you will need all the sleep you can get before your very early wake up call in only four and half hours time.
Kibo hut (4700 m) – Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Horombo hut (3720 m)
Hiking time: 10 hours
Distance: About 27 km’s
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
Elevation change: + 1195 m, – 2175 m
Today will by far be your toughest day, you will be woken just before midnight and soon head off into the cold night up a rocky path towards to the Hans Meyer Cave at 5150 metres – you may take a short rest here before continuing your ascent up to Gillman’s point at 5680 metres. Probably the most demanding section of the entire route as it is very steep and stony – go slowly and carefully here. From Gillman’s Point, you will more than likely be walking through snow for the next 2 hours, when you will finally reach the summit of Uhuru Peak at an altitude of 5,895 metres above mean sea level.
Cold and fatigue will set in quickly here and you may find it very difficult to get started again. So spend a short time enjoying the fact that you have conquered Kilimanjaro, get the camera out and take some pictures, then it will be best that you get moving again – it’s a long way down! The first part of your descent to Kibo hut will take almost another 3 hours. After a short rest you which will be accompanied with a hearty breakfast, you will begin the next part of your descent – it will take another 3 hours of hiking to get to Horombo hut. We arrive at Horombo huts in the afternoon and have a hot hut lunch and a rest. Later we enjoy dinner and spend the night there. You will no doubt have a good sleep, feeling exhilarated and rightly proud of your achievement.
Horombo hut (3720 m) – Mandara hut (1980m)
Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: About 27 km’s
Habitat: Moorland + Rain Forest
Elevation change: – 1740 m
After an early and well-deserved breakfast, you continue your descent passing the Mandara huts, down to the Marangu gate – this will take the best part of six hours. At Marangu gate you sign your name and details in a register so the park authorities know you have arrived back safely. To make your achievement official, you will receive a summit certificate. If you reached Gillman’s Point you will be presented with a green certificate, and if you made it all the way to Uhuru Peak you will have earned yourself a gold certificate. We drive you back to your hotel where you have certainly earned a long hot shower and a drink or three to celebrate before getting a decent night’s rest in a comfortable bed.
Departure day. If you would like to book additional nights please inform us as early as possible. We will arrange for you to be transferred to the airport or you may join a Lem Carnivores Tours safari and continue your holiday exploring the world famous games parks of Tanzania.