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Marangu route

The Marangu Route is the oldest and most well established trekking route on Mt. Kilimanjaro, and it remains extremely popular, despite a wide variety of other options becoming available. This path provides trekkers with the classic Kilimanjaro climbing experience, offering sweeping views and a wonderful hiking adventure all the way to the summit of Uhuru Peak. That said, it also has some unique aspects that set it apart from any of the other routes as well, giving Marangu a character and feeling that is entirely its own.

Marangu RouteOne of the more interesting aspects of Marangu Route is that it is the only route up Mount Kilimanjaro that doesn’t allow camping, so instead of sleeping in tents, trekkers stay in permanent huts instead. These dormitory-style shelters provide extra protection from the wind and rain, which makes this route a popular one for travelers climbing during the rainy season, which comes in April and May. While staying at those huts, trekkers will sleep in bunk beds equipped with a simple mattress and pillow. They’ll also be able to purchase an array of candy bars, bottled water, and soft drinks, which is why Marangu route is often referred to as the “Coca-Cola Route.”

Marangu Route offers a slow, steady climb to each of the daily camps, which has given it the reputation for being an easy trek. Don’t underestimate this trail however, as the approach to the final camp can be physically demanding with roughly 1000 meters of vertical gain on that day alone. Of course, summit day on Kilimanjaro is always a challenge no matter which direction you approach from, making the final steps onto the top all the more satisfying.

Because it is one of the shortest treks to the summit – requiring just five days to reach Uhuru Peak – the Marangu Route is a popular one with trekkers who have a limited amount of time for their climb. The downside to this is that it doesn’t provide as much of an opportunity to acclimatize to the altitude. Because of this, Marangu route has the highest failure rate of any of the routes up Mount Kilimanjaro. Keep that in mind when choosing this option for your Kilimanjaro trek.

The Marengu Route is also the only route that uses the same path going up and coming back down. That means that while the trail is a scenic one, trekkers will experience the same sites going up as they do going back down. And because it has traffic going both directions, Marangu can also get overly crowded at times too.

Still, for a classic Kilimanjaro experience, it is tough to top this tried and true route to the Roof of Africa.


Marangu Route 6 Day Itinerary Overview

Starting from Marangu Gate to the summit and back to Marangu Gate.For a day-by-day itinerary for the Marangu Route please click on this link: 6 day Marangu Route

Day Start Altitude (m) Altitude (ft) Finish Altitude (m) Altitude (ft) Time (hrs) Distance (km) Distance (miles
1 Marangu Gate 1,843 6,046 Mandara Hut 2,700 8,858 4-5 8 5
2 Mandara Hut 2,700 8,858 Horombo Hut 3,720 12,205 6-8 12 7
3 Horombo Hut 3,720 12,205 Mawenzi Ridge 4,390 14,400 2-3 5 3
Mawenzi Ridge 4,390 14,400 Horombo Hut 3,720 12,205 1-2 5 3
4 Horombo Hut 3,720 12,205 Kibo Hut 4,703 15,430 6-8 10 6
5 Kibo Hut 4,703 15,430 Uhuru Peak 5,895 19,341 6-8 6 4
Uhuru Peak 5,895 19,341 Horombo Hut 3,720 12,205 4-5 16 10
6 Horombo Hut 3,720 12,205 Marangu Gate 1,843 6,046 5-7 20 12
Total 82 50


Marangu Route Frequently asked questions

The questions and answers below are specific to the Marangu route.

How difficult is the Marangu Route? 

The Marangu Route is attempted by many novices trekkers each year because it offers comfortable hut accommodation while other routes you sleep in Mountain tents. Many people perceive it as a less-difficult trek than the other routes up mount Kilimanjaro. This is a misperception! The 5 day route does not allow much time for acclimatization and can be very difficult, particularly if you attempt it without proper preparation. The 6 day option is easier, however, a good level of fitness is still required.

What is the distance of the Marangu Route and how many days does it take?

The exact trekking distance for the Marangu Route is 82km or 50 miles. The shortest number of days required for Lemosho Route is 5 days, but by the time you have added on arrival and departure days it is 9 or 10. However, as it the shortest route on the mountain it is actually best done over 6 days to increase your changes of success.

What is the Marangu Route Summit Success Rate?

Because it has one of the shortest routes on the mountain, the Marangu Route has the lowest summit success rates. This is mainly due to unprofessional local operators taking people up the mountain on short 5 day trek. Because of this, the 5 day average success rate is under 50%! We advice our clients accordingly and we only take the 6 day option which means that our summit success rate on the Marangu route is over 90%!

What is the Scenery like on the Marangu Route?

The Marangu Route ascends through rainforest, moorlands and alpine areas before finishing in the glacial zone. Whilst the trek is very beautiful, this is the only route in which you accent and descend back down the same trail.

When is the best time to Trek Marangu Route Route?

July-September is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro, as the weather is most stable during this period and encountering rain is less likely. That said, since it is close to the equator it is possible to climb the mountain at any time of the year. April and May is the rainy season so this period is best avoided.

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