The Marangu Route is certainly the easiest route for operators, as very little equipment needed to be carried as accommodation is in dormitory style huts. The huts have a communal dining room, simple washrooms and toilets that lower down will be flushable, but as you move higher up the mountain will be “long drop”. Meals prepared by our mountain camp chefs. Your guide will be the local Tanzanian guides the expertise and best knowledge of the mountain, explain fascinating details about the route, Flora and Fauna, and attend to the endless details that make a climb successful and look out for your safety.
Pick up from Kilimanjaro International Airport/Bus station and transfer by shuttle bus to Arusha or Moshi drop of at Hotel your will enjoy stupendous view of Mount Kilimanjaro (Bed & Breakfast).
The actual hike begins at the park gate (6,000 feet) and we hike 5.5 miles up to Mandara Hut (8,860 feet) near the upper edge of the forest line. The hike takes about 4-6 hours. The path is interesting, starting off through rain forest vegetation, and then opening up to giant heather. If time and weather permit, a short walk from Mandara to Maundi Crater is worth the effort. Accommodations here, as well as at Horombo, are in wooden A-frame huts that sleep 4 to 8.
Today the destination is Horombo Hut at 12,200 feet. It takes a good 5-6 hours to cover the 10-mile journey and we often get our first views of the Kibo summit. The trail is strenuous and slippery and takes us clear of the forests and out onto the moorland. It passes beneath the rocky southern face of Mawenzi-one of the three volcanoes that make up Kilimanjaro. Rainfall in this region is frequent.
Ascending, we now pass the last watering point, walking onto the saddle of Kilimanjaro between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi.. Although somewhat shorter in distance, this usually takes 7 hours because it is steeper and the altitude slows everyone down. The route passes directly up onto the Saddle, a wide, flat area with the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi looming overhead. Views from here can be fantastic. The last part of the trail passes across the arid plateau before ascending to Kibo Hut. Kibo Hut is a stone hut with rooms that sleep 10-15 people in bunk beds. We will have a light dinner, and turn in early for any sleep if possible. The guides give a little pre-climb talk after dinner.
We are awakened at about midnight, and have tea and biscuits in preparation for the climb ahead. The guides try to get everyone ready to climb as quickly as possible, leaving between 1:00-1:30 a.m. Starting off, the trail swings back and forth up a steep scree slope and the ambience is bitterly cold. The summit climb is an event you will not forget, with the night sky full of stars and only your breathing to help focus your mind. Most climbers arrive at Gillman’s Point, elevation 18,635 feet, in time to enjoy sunrise at around 6:30 a.m. The views from the top looking down on the plains of Africa make it all worthwhile. Some climbers decide that they have reached their goal and head down from here. For those who still have some fight in them, the true summit at Uhuru Peak (19,340 feet) is an additional 3 hours’ round-trip. The descent from Gillman’s Point is fairly rapid, taking about 2 hours. Most climbers take a short rest at Kibo Hut before descending to Horombo Hut for the night, arriving in the late afternoon.
Today involves a long 14-mile hike back to the Marangu gate and park’s headquarters. We will stop at the hotel, pick up our gear and drive to our hotel in Moshi. It is a welcome treat to sleep in a comfortable bed, take a hot shower and celebrate the climb with a meal and some drinks. Don’t forget to tip your guides and porters. It is time for celebration!