Conquer the highest peak in Africa, mighty Mt Kilimanjaro

This classic Tanzania trek is the most popular route to Mt Kilimanjaro and the only one serviced by mountain huts to provide protection from the elements. We hike along the most direct path to the summit of Kilimanjaro and cover the trail in just five days, with the help of experienced guides and porters. Hike through forests and alpine meadows, over rocky ravines and past lunar landscapes to the spectacular summit of Africa's highest peak. The panoramic views from the top of Mt Kilimanjaro must be seen to be believed.

Start
Marangu, Tanzania
Finish
Marangu, Tanzania
Countries
Tanzania
Themes
Walking & Trekking
Code
YKXM
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 16
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
354kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Visit Marangu and explore the lush tropical surrounds
  • Travel with a group of experienced guides and porters with 1 guide for every 2 passengers
  • Stay in the comfort of huts along this shorter route
  • Spot monkeys hiding in tropical rainforest on the way to Mandara Hut
  • Walk through the different alpine zones and scenery as you gain altititude
  • Hike Kilimanjaro's climactic last stretch by lamplight reaching Africa’s highest point
  • Experience an incredible African sunrise from Mt Kilimanjaro

Itinerary

Jambo! Welcome to Tanzania.
Our hike begins at the Kibo Hotel in the foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro.

Please make sure you are at Kibo Hotel by early evening, as your tour commences here with a full briefing and kit inspection before dinner by an experienced Kilimanjaro climber, in preparation for the start of our trek.

Please note that it is sometimes necessary to have this meeting on the morning of Day 2 if someone arrives late. Please check at reception for up to date information on where and when this important meeting will take place.
Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

Located in the heart of Marangu and just a short walk from the village’s bustling market, and shops (including some excellent coffee shops brewing locally grown coffee), Kibo Hotel is Marangu’s most iconic building and one of the most historic buildings in the whole of Northern Tanzania. It is also located within very close proximity of beautiful waterfalls and ancient Chagga caves, used originally to hide cattle from attack from invading Maasai tribes.

Originally founded in 1886 by a German family in partnership with the then Chagga Chief Marealle, the building was originally intended as a base for Kilimanjaro expeditions and in fact played host to Hans Meyer and his crew who, in 1889, led the first successful expedition to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Still owned by the current Chagga Chief and his family, the building retains many of its original features and the walls in public areas are covered in historic antique maps of Tanzania and of the Mountain, as well as photos of famous past guests – including ex-US President Jimmy Carter, who stayed at the hotel before and after a successful Kilimanjaro climb in 1988. With its beautiful landscaped gardens, lawns and views of the lush Marangu forests, it really is an ideal place to take in the history of this incredible area of the world, as well as to unwind after a strenuous Kilimanjaro climb.

If you are doing an Intrepid safari in Tanzania, in combination with your climb of Kilimanjaro, please speak with your consultant about the possibility of either finishing your trip in Arusha (if doing the safari first), or starting your safari trip in Arusha (usually Day 2 of the safari). This will save you having to transfer back to Nairobi only to travel the same road (7-8 hours each way) the following day.
ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:

http://d3oxn90f3yphmd.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/file_attach/52735_product_altitude-sickness.pdf
We meet our guides and porters after breakfast. Each person has a personal porter and there are extra porters for camping equipment and food. Please read your trip notes for further information about your guides and porters.

It takes just 15 minutes to get to Marangu Gate (1,860 m/6,000 ft) at the entrance of the Mt Kilimanjaro National Park. We have to register as a group which can take a little bit of time depending on how busy things are. From here it is a long but easy walk through dense rainforest to the first mountain hut.

In the forest there are many species of brightly coloured birds and different types of monkeys can be seen and heard. We walk through giant heather on our way to Mandara Hut (2,725 m/9,000 ft) where we stop for the night. From here an optional walk to nearby Maundi Crater can be undertaken. If the skies are clear, there may be excellent views of the nearby town of Moshi far below.

The distance from Kibo Hotel to Mandara Hut is 8 km (approximately 3-5 hours).
Our second day on the mountain involves another long hike over a slightly steeper stretch. The rainforest gives way to open and rolling alpine meadows dotted with giant heather trees. Once out of the forest canopy, the twin snow-tipped peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi lie directly ahead.

During the day's walk we traverse several ravines before reaching the hut, which is set in a rocky valley. As we walk there is time to enjoy a wide variety of vegetation and changing landscapes on the way to Horombo Hut (3,780 m/12,000 ft), where we spend the night.

The distance from Mandara to Horombo Huts is 12 km (approximately 5-7 hours).
The landscape becomes progressively more rugged and rocky and the air noticeably thinner today so we slow our pace accordingly. We pass giant groundsels and lobelias while travelling across the sparse moorland.

Skirting Mawenzi Peak, we arrive at the stark lunar landscape of the Saddle. Reaching Kibo Hut in afternoon (4,740m/15,450ft), we take the opportunity to have an early night.

The distance from Horombo to Kibo Hut is 10km (approximately 5-7 hours).
At 11pm we are woken by our guides and hot tea is served before we begin the last leg of our trek to the summit.

The trek begins beneath the stars as we zigzag our way up a large scree slope guided only by torch light to reach Gilman's Point (5,685 m). Hopefully we'll arrive in time to see breathtaking views of the sun rising behind Mawenzi Peak. This is the stretch that most people find the hardest, and you should be prepared for a very cold morning. However, the dramatic spectacle of the sun rising over the ice fields of the crater will make the early start totally worthwhile.

For those who still have the will and the energy, it is a further two hours along the rim of the crater to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m), the highest point in Africa. From this peak, there are unforgettable views of the crater, the ice fields and the vast and distant East African plains below.

After photos and time to catch our breath we descend back to Horombo Hut for a well-earned rest.

The distance from Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak is 6 km (approximately 6-8 hours), and the descent to Horombo takes approximately the same amount of time.
Today we continue our descent through alpine meadows and rainforest to the park gate. The distance from Horombo to Marangu Gate is 20 km (approximately 5-6 hours).

Here transport awaits and we return to the Kibo Hotel for a relaxing shower - a real treat after the physical exertions of the last few days. Over a celebratory meal we can relive and share our experiences of the past five days on the mountain.
You are free to depart at any time on the final day of your trip.
Transfers to Kilimanjaro Airport or a shuttle to Nairobi can be arranged locally. Please speak to your leader at the welcome meeting.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
Transport
Minibus
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nights), Mountain hut (4 nights)
Included activities
  • Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, mountain huts & rescue services (5 days)
  • Services of highly experienced guides and porters

Dates

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For information about altitude sickness click here


Important notes

1. Passenger Self Assessment Form required for this trip.
2. A single supplement is available on this trip for days 1 an 6 only.
3. The cabins on the climb will be 4-12 person share.
4. Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude.
5. Please make sure you arrange your flights in order to arrive at Kibo hotel before 4pm on Day 1 in order to attend the very important pre-climb briefing and information session that is usually held before dinner.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Kilimanjaro - Marangu Route trips score an average of 4.83 out of 5 based on 47 reviews in the last year.

Kilimanjaro - Marangu Route , February 2016

Kilimanjaro - Marangu Route , February 2016

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