The Marangu Route

Duration: 6 days hiking is recommended but it can be done in 5 days.

Overview: The Marangu route (a.k.a. the "Tourist Route") is a lovely hike up a ridge line to the top of Kilimanjaro. This route has some of the most beautiful sections of rain forest and even offers glimpses of monkeys, if you're lucky. You can sleep in huts and even buy small items like soda, chocolates and other goodies along the way.

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scenic waterfall on marangu route

Day 1: Marangu Gate (6497 ft) to Mandara Hut (8858 ft)

Elevation Gain Distance Time
2361 ft 4 mi 4-5 hrs

Your entire walk today will be through a beautiful rain forest up to Mandara Hut. The path is well maintained and even passes a few water falls. You may even see a monkey or two if you're lucky.

Day 2: Mandara Hut (8858 ft) to Horombo Hut (12,204 ft)

Elevation Gain Distance Time
3346 ft 7 mi 5-7 hrs

The path takes you through giant heather as you make your way up to the moorland. Some portions of the trail are steep but you have a great view of Mawenzi peak. The Horombo huts sleep about 120 people. This is where you will meet people coming down from their summit attempts.

Day 3: Horombo Hut (12,204 ft) to Kibo Hut (15,430 ft)

Elevation Gain Distance Time
3226 ft 6 mi 5-7 hrs

Your hike today takes a gradual ascent past the Last Water point and up to the Saddle between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. The trail is gradual and smooth. These huts sleep about 60 people. You will rest here before your summit attempt.

Day 4: Kibo Hut (15,430 ft) to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft)

Elevation Gain Distance Time
3910 ft 2.5 mi 7-8 hrs

Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft) to Horombo Hut (12,204 ft)

Elevation Loss Distance Time
-7132 ft 9 mi 5-7 hrs

This is the longest day. You begin your ascent at around 12:00 am. The path up to Gilman’s Point, zigzags back and forth along a gravel path. After Gilman's Point you follow the crater rim over to Uhuru. The train can have snow and ice and there are a few parts that require care as you pass a rocky outcropping. After a few victorious photos, it’s time to head back down to Kibo Hut for a short rest before making your way down to Horombo Hut.

Day 5: Horombo Hut (12,204 ft) to Marangu Gate (6496 ft)

Elevation Gain Distance Time
5708 ft 11 mi 5-7 hrs

Enjoy your last views of the mountain as you descend through the moorland and rain forest zones on your way to Marangu Gate. The path will be muddy, especially if it rained recently. At the gate, you will receive your completion certificate if you made it to Gillman’s Point or Uhuru Peak. Then it’s back to the hotel for a hot shower and a dip in the swimming pool!