Set out to conquer Africa’s highest peak

Take on Kilimanjaro with Lonely Planet and Intrepid on an eight-day trekking adventure. This is the most popular and direct of the mountain routes and the only one serviced by mountain huts to provide protection from the elements. With one guide for every two passengers and a team of porters, all you have to do is focus on the incredible views and keep your footing, while the crew keeps you safe and sound. 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
Destination
Tanzania
Style
Basix
Theme
Lonely Planet Experience, Walking & Trekking
Code
YKXM
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

A powerful partnership

Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel share the same philosophy: we help curious people explore the world.

Why you'll love this trip

  • Sleep in mountain huts during your trek and enjoy an included acclimatisation day at Horombo Hut to give you the best chance of reaching the summit.

  • Travelling with experienced guides – the best on the mountain – plus trained porters, you'll be in good hands, with one guide for every two trekkers.

  • Passing through vast grasslands, giant cacti fields and alpine meadows, all against dramatic mountain backdrops, the Marangu Route is popular for good reason.

  • Hike Kilimanjaro's climactic last stretch by lamplight and give yourself as much chance as possible to watch a sunrise over icefields from behind Africa’s highest peak.

  • We’re an official partner with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. Hike easier knowing that while our porters are taking care of you, there’s someone looking out for them.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Although no mountaineering experience is required, a good level of physical fitness is necessary to tackle Mt Kilimanjaro. You’ll need to be comfortable walking 6–8 hours uphill a day. The distances may not be long, but the altitude makes it harder than your average uphill hike. You can find our detailed guide to tackling Mt Kilimanjaro here https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/theme/walking/kilimanjaro-trek.

  • The sky’s the limit! Sections of this trip take you above 2800 metres (9200 ft), where it is common to experience altitude sickness.

  • Temperatures at night can get very low when you're above 3500 metres, so clothing and a sleeping bag made for this kind of climate are essential. You can hire this at the beginning of your trip if you need, but make sure you speak to your travel agent or an Intrepid representative for details.

  • Your safety comes first. All our guides and trekking leaders have been trained by independent, UK-based medical specialists and are proficient in first aid. They also carry oxygen cylinders on all treks for emergency use.

  • You must be prepared to share the huts along this route with between 3 and 11 other people who may be of a different gender.

  • Hiking for several days without a shower can be tough – be prepared for some dust and dirt. A mask, wet wipes and face washer may become your best friends!

  • Some passengers on this trip may have been travelling together prior to the start of your trip. See what you're missing out on in the Serengeti & Kilimanjaro adventure – search trip code YGOMC on the Intrepid website for more information.

Itinerary

Jambo! Welcome to Tanzania. Your hike begins in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Marangu. The hotel is a short walk from the village’s bustling market and some excellent coffee shops. It is also very close to some beautiful waterfalls and ancient Chagga caves. Please make sure you are at the hotel by early evening, as your trip starts with a full briefing and kit inspection by an experienced Kilimanjaro climber. This will take place before dinner, usually around 6 pm. In the event that one of you fellow travellers are late, the meeting may have to be rescheduled for the following morning.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Sleeping Bag and walking pole hire ( must be requested at time of booking )
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Trek Briefing
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the Essential Trip Information for more important details on this.

It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, consider arriving a day early so you can attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Stop into one of the offices of the Intrepid Foundation-supported Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. Learn how various projects support the people who are helping you tackle Mt Kilimanjaro, making sure these hardworking individuals are fairly compensated and safe while they work. Not only will you gain an appreciation for the work of the folks who make the trek possible, but you’ll also be able to walk easier with the knowledge you’re supporting ethical trekking. Continue to Marangu Gate, the entrance of the Mt Kilimanjaro National Park (1860 m) and meet your guides and porters. With introductions and assignment of porter loads taken care of, it’s time to embark on the trek of a lifetime.
Accommodation
  • Mountain hut (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, mountain huts & rescue services (5 days)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Services of experienced English speaking mountain guides (first-aid qualified) cooks and porters (a minimum of 1 guide to every 2)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Return transfers from hotel to park gate
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Porterage of 1 bag (9kg/20lb max)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Emergency oxygen and comprehensive first aid kits
  • Marangu - Kilimanjaro Porters Assitance Project
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
We provide one guide for every two climbers in our groups. Each person will have a personal porter for the bulk of their gear and there are extra porters for camping equipment and food, though they will likely be ahead of the group most days.
Your second day on the mountain involves another long hike over a slightly steeper stretch. The total distance from Mandara to the Horombo huts is 12 kilometres (approximately 5–7 hours). Today you will see the rainforest give 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. These are two of the three great cones of Kilimanjaro (the other being Shira). During the day’s walk we will traverse several ravines before reaching the hut, which is set in a rocky valley. There is time to enjoy a wide variety of vegetation and changing landscapes on the way to Horombo Hut (3780 metres). We will spend the next two nights here at the hut.
Accommodation
  • Mountain hut (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Services of experienced English speaking mountain guides (first-aid qualified) cooks and porters (a minimum of 1 guide to every 2)
  • Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, mountain huts & rescue services (5 days)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast, walk towards Mawenzi Hut, passing the unusual Zebra Rocks on the way. It’s a steep climb up a grassy slope, but well worth it: the views over the area towards Kibo are second-to-none. Afterwards, return to Horombo for lunch. Spend the afternoon relaxing and acclimatising to the altitude, or ask your guides about short walks in the area. Take advantage of the rest day here and drink plenty of water – the next couple of days will be pretty intense!
Accommodation
  • Mountain hut (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you’ll walk the 10 kilometres or so from Horombo to Kibo Hut (approximately 5–7 hours). As the journey progresses you will notice the landscape gradually becoming more rugged and rocky, and the air noticeably thinner. We will have to soften our pace a little to accommodate these environmental changes. Marvel at giant groundsels and lobelias while you travel across the sparse moorland. Skirt Mawenzi Peak and marvel at the stark lunar landscape of the Saddle, reaching Kibo Hut in afternoon (4740 m), take the opportunity to have an early night in preparation for a very early (or late?) wake-up call.
Accommodation
  • Mountain hut (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, mountain huts & rescue services (5 days)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Services of experienced English speaking mountain guides (first-aid qualified) cooks and porters (a minimum of 1 guide to every 2)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Your guides will wake you up at 11 pm and hot tea will be served. Prepare for the last leg of the trek – to the summit. The distance from Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak is six kilometres (approximately 6–8 hours), and the descent to Horombo will be approximately the same amount of time. The trek begins beneath the stars as you zigzag your way up a large scree slope, guided only by torch light, to reach Gilman's Point (5685 m). With some luck, arrive in time for 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. The dramatic spectacle of the sun rising over the ice fields of the crater will make the early start worthwhile. For those who still have the energy, it's a further walk (approximately 2 hours) along the rim of the crater to Uhuru Peak (5896 m), the highest point in Africa. From here there are amazing views of the crater, ice fields and plains below. After photos and time to catch your breath, descend back to Horombo Hut for a well-earned rest.
Accommodation
  • Mountain hut (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Services of experienced English speaking mountain guides (first-aid qualified) cooks and porters (a minimum of 1 guide to every 2)
  • Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, mountain huts & rescue services (5 days)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Continue your descent through alpine meadows and rainforest to the park gate. The distance from Horombo to Marangu Gate is 20 kilometres (approximately 5–6 hours). Here your transport awaits and you will return to the 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
There are no activities or trekking planned for today. A transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport or a shuttle to Nairobi can be arranged locally – please speak to your group leader about this at the welcome meeting.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This trip is a Lonely Planet Experience
Our Lonely Planet Experiences include plenty of free time so you can do the things that suit your budget and interests. Between your Intrepid Travel leader’s local knowledge and Lonely Planet’s trusted travel tips and recommendations, your trip will be more epic than ever.

Meals

7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners

Transport

Minibus

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nights), Mountain hut (5 nights)

Included activities

  • Complimentary Sleeping Bag and walking pole hire ( must be requested at time of booking )
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Trek Briefing
  • Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, mountain huts & rescue services (5 days)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Services of experienced English speaking mountain guides (first-aid qualified) cooks and porters (a minimum of 1 guide to every 2)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Return transfers from hotel to park gate
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Porterage of 1 bag (9kg/20lb max)
  • Mount Kilimanjaro - Emergency oxygen and comprehensive first aid kits
  • Marangu - Kilimanjaro Porters Assitance Project

Lonely Planet extras

  • Free access to the Lonely Planet mobile app for one year
  • 25% discount on all items in the Lonely Planet Shop

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Kilimanjaro: Marangu Route trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

1. A Passenger Self Assessment Form is required for this trip. An Intrepid booking agent will provide you with this form when you book to fill out before arrival.
2. A single supplement is available on this trip for days 1 and 7 only, subject to availability.
3. The cabins used during your trek are multishare for 4–12 people per cabin.
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 the starting hotel before 4 pm on Day 1 in order to attend the very important pre-climb briefing and information session that is usually held before dinner.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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 Essential Trip Information

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