Marangu Route up Mt. Kilimanjaro – 5 days
Marangu Gate – Mandara Hut (8,875 ft)
This morning we drive through Kilimanjaro’s semi-tropical foothills to Marangu Gate, where you enter Kilimanjaro National Park and start your climb. Today’s trek takes 4-5 hours through tropical rainforest to reach Mandara Hut.
Mandara Hut – Horombo Hut (12,201 ft)
Your second day on the mountain starts with a fairly steep climb through the last of the rainforest up to alpine meadows dotted with giant heather. Further on, the environment changes to open heath with stunted vegetation before opening out to bleak moorland. Today you will gain approximately 1,000m in altitude, so walk slowly in order to acclimatize properly. It is normally a 6-7 hour hike to reach Horombo Hut.
Horombo Hut – Kibo Hut (15,463 ft)
The terrain now becomes progressively more rocky and rugged and giant groundsels and lobelias make their appearance. The trail skirts Mawenzi Peak, before crossing a stark, almost lunar landscape and the tundra desert of ‘the saddle”. The hike to Kibo Hut takes anything from 5 to 7 hours and the views from the saddle are breathtaking. Make this an early night – your attempt on Uhuru Peak starts at midnight.
Kibo Hut – SUMMIT (19,340 ft) – Horombo Hut (12,201 ft)
Soon after midnight, you will be awakened by your guides to start the zigzag trek up a long scree slope. After roughly two hours you should reach Hans Meyer’s Cave and from here the gradient gets steeper. Continue your climb for approximately another 3 hours to Gilman’s Point and you will be rewarded by the dramatic sight of the rising sun reflecting off the ice fields and craggy peaks of Mawenzi.
Walk along the crater rim for another couple of hours to reach your goal – Uhuru Peak, towering at 19,340 ft. After congratulating yourself and your companions on this great achievement, descend to Kibo Hut for rest and refreshment before continuing to Horombo Hut for your last night on the mountain.
Horombo Hut – Marangu Gate
After a leisurely breakfast, make your final descent across the alpine meadow, past Mandara Hut and on down through the rainforest to Marangu Gate, where your driver and vehicle will be waiting to transfer you back to Arusha.