The Marangu route is the original climbing route on Kilimanjaro and the home of the park’s headquarters. This is a well-established route and is the only route which has dormitory-style huts in lieu of camping. The A-frame style huts have between 8 and 20 beds in each room. Sleeping can be very comfortable, but might be noisy depending on how many people are in your hut.
The Marangu route is known for being relatively comfortable and luxurious compared to the other routes on Kilimanjaro. The hut system is a nice option for staying dry, especially if you are climbing during the rainier times of the year. The huts are clean and each hut is supplied with nice mattresses and comfortable pillows, but climbers still need to bring a sleeping bag. There are communal dining halls and basic washrooms that are cleaned regularly by the rangers. The lower huts have flushing toilets and running water. As you climb to the higher elevation, the huts have long-drop toilets.
Many hikers prefer the Marangu route because it is considered to be the easiest trail on the mountain, because of the gradual grade and more direct path. The shorter time frame of the journey makes altitude acclimatization fairly difficult. Marangu is the only route on Kilimanjaro that uses the same path for ascending and descending.
The Marangu route is the least expensive route, because it is possible to complete the climb in as little as 5 days. There is a 6-day option, which helps with acclimatization and greatly increases your chances of success for reaching the summit.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO CLIMB KILIMANJARO VIA THE MARANGU ROUTE?
Marangu Route Cost
The Marangu route is a wonderful route for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. It is a shorter climb than some of the other routes and it has huts along the way so sleeping in a ten is not necessary. We would recommend selecting the 6 day climb option because it allows for an additional day to acclimatize to the high elevation.
5 Days + 2 Nights hotel - $1650 to $1800 per person
6 Days + 2 Nights hotel - $2000 to $2300 per person
Pricing depends on how many people are in the group and what type of lodging / accommodations are desired.
5-Day Marangu Route Itinerary
The Marangu route is Kilimanjaro’s original climbing route and climbers will sleep in huts instead of camping. The Marangu route is considered one of the easiest on Kilimanjaro and due to the hut system, this is a popular choice during the rainy season.
We will gather at your hotel the day before we start the climb for an introduction to your mountain guide and for a pre-climb meeting and equipment check. We will also confirm that you have the appropriate travel insurance which should include climbing a mountain that is 5,895 meters tall (19,431 feet).
Marangu Route: Marangu Gate 1,970 meters (6,463 feet) to Mandara Hut 2,720 meters (8,923 feet)
- Distance - 7 km (4.4 miles)
- Elevation Gain – 750 meters (2,460 feet)
- Estimated Hiking Time – 3-5 hours
After breakfast at the hotel we will load up your gear and drive for about 45 minutes to the Kilimanjaro Park Gate. After we arrive at the gate, we will have to complete the registration process and the guides and porters will get organized. Shortly after the registration we will start climbing Mount Kilimanjaro!
The first day of climbing on the Marangu Route is in the rainforest. Keep an eye out for towering Eucalyptus trees, bird activity, and Colobus monkeys. This first day of trekking is not super difficult and is a good way to get the legs warmed up. After arriving at the Mandara Hut you will have some time to relax and later in the evening we will take a short walk to the Maundi Crater. There is a lookout with a beautiful view of Northern Tanzania and part of Kenya.
Marangu Route: Mandara Hut 2,720 meters (8,923 feet) to Horombo Hut 3,720 meters (12,205 feet)
- Distance - 11 km (6.8 miles)
- Elevation Gain – 1,000 meters (3,282 feet)
- Estimated Hiking Time – 5-7 hours
Today is a more difficult day than the first day and we will make sure to fill your water bottle with plenty of water for the climb. We will leave the glades of the rainforest and follow an ascending trail on the open moorlands to Horombo camp. This is a beautiful camp and if the weather is clear there will be incredible views of Mawenzi Peak and the summit of Kibo.
You may begin to feel some minor effects of the altitude so make sure to drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest.
Marangu Route: Horombo Hut 3,720 meters (12,205 feet) to Kibo Hut 4,730 meters (15,518 feet)
- Distance - 10 km (6.2 miles)
- Elevation Gain – 1,000 meters (3,313 feet)
- Estimated Hiking Time – 6-8 hours
Today is usually a difficult day for most climbers. Even though the hiking distance and elevation gain isn’t much more than previous days, the effects of the higher elevation will become more noticeable.
Ascending will become more difficult, but don’t forget to enjoy the views along the way. We will walk onto the saddle of Kilimanjaro between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. You will notice the vegetation virtually disappear as we head into the alpine. Rest is extremely important as we will have an early dinner and we brief all climbers on what to expect for the Kilimanjaro summit.
Marangu Route: Kibo Hut 4,730 meters (15,518 feet) to the summit of Kilimanjaro 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) then down to Horombo Hut 3,720 meters (12,205 feet)
- Distance - 4 km up (2.5 miles) and 14 km down (8.7 miles)
- Elevation Gain – 1,165 meters (3,823 feet)
- Elevation Loss – 2,175 meters (7,136 feet)
- Estimated Hiking Time – 10-15 hours
Around 11:30 PM we will wake you for some small snacks and tea before we begin the climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro (Uhuru Peak). The beginning of the summit night requires headlamps. It will be very cold, so you will need to dress in warm layers. Today will be the most difficult part of the trek so make sure to listen to your guide and have a positive attitude. It is extremely important to walk slowly “pole pole” because at this elevation it is difficult to catch your breath.
The climb is steep up to Gilman’s point, which is located on the rim of the crater. The terrain is on steep and heavy scree or snow. We will take a few rest breaks along the way and possibly watch the sunrise until we continue our ascent to the summit of Kilimanjaro called Uhuru Peak. After reaching the highest point in Africa we will celebrate your incredible accomplishment, take photos, and enjoy the incredible views. It is usually very cold at the summit of Kilimanjaro so we will probably only stay at the top for a few minutes before we begin our descent back to Kibo hut. We will stop at Kibo hut for lunch and a short rest before continuing the descent to Horombo Hut.
The descent is sometimes more difficult than the ascent, so be prepared to have sore knees, legs, and feet. Over dinner we will share stories about the summit day and we promise that you will rest very well tonight.
Marangu Route: Horombo Hut 3,720 meters (12,205 feet) to Marangu Gate 1,970 meters (6,463 feet)
- Distance - 18 km down (11.2 miles)
- Elevation Loss – 1,750 meters (5,742 feet)
- Estimated Hiking Time – 5-7 hours
After an early breakfast, a steady and long downhill awaits us. Many trekkers forget that going downhill is as difficult if not more difficult than climbing. Make sure to be mentally prepared for a long descent that will take us down through the rain forest until we reach the Kilimanjaro National Park gate at Marangu.
As we descend to the lower elevations, you will find it becomes much easier to breath. Keep your rain gear handy as it is often rainy and wet as we get closer to the Marangu Gate. Your feet will be very happy when we arrive at the Marangu Gate and our driver will be waiting for us to take us back to our hotel. The ride back is a great time to reflect on the incredible accomplishment of making the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
“Kilimanjaro is a pretty tricky climb you know, most of it's up until you reach the very very top, and then it tends to slope away rather sharply.”