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Summit Kili Tours & Safaris

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Marangu Route

The Marangu Route is the oldest on Kilimanjaro and is also one of the most popular – mainly because it is the only route on the mountain that has huts provided for hikers.

There are 60 bunk beds each at Mandara and Kibo Huts, and 120 bunk beds at Horombo Hut. The Marangu route can be completed in 5 days; however, it is recommended that climbers take an extra day to acclimatise at Horombo Hut.

 Below is the day by day itinerary for the 6 days Marangu climb on Mount Kilimanjaro.

The seven day Machame variation is the ideal schedule for this route. On the 7 day Machame route, the trek from Barranco to Barafu is broken up into two days, allowing for a short day just prior to the summit attempt. This is important because summit day begins very early, around midnight, so climbers are sleep deprived going into the toughest day on the mountain. By having a short day beforehand, climbers can be better rested.

The 7 day Machame route is highly recommended and used by most prominent Kilimanjaro operators.


•Marangu Gate to Mandara Hut
•Elevation (ft): 6,046 ft to 8,858 ft
•Distance: 8 km
•Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
•Habitat: Rain Forest

We depart Moshi for Marangu Gate for the necessary formalities before beginning our trek. The hiking trail begins by ascending a beautiful, tropical rain forest. At the upper edge of the forest line, we have the opportunity to see blue monkeys. The trail then widens to expose beautiful hillsides until we reach Mandara Hut.


•Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut
•Elevation (ft): 8,858 ft to 12,205 ft
•Distance: 12 km
•Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
•Habitat: Heath

We start the day continuing through the forest until the trail opens into high moorland. We may get our first views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks - two of the three volcanic peaks that make up the summit of Kilimanjaro.


•Horombo Hut to Mawenzi Ridge
•Elevation (ft): 12,205 ft to 14,400 ft
•Distance: 5 km
•Hiking Time: 2-3 hours
•Habitat: Health

•Mawenzi Ridge to Horombo Hut
•Elevation (ft): 14,400 ft to 12,205
•Distance: 5 km
•Hiking Time: 1-2 hours
•Habitat: Health

This is an extra day meant for acclimatization and can be spent day hiking on Mawenzi Ridge. The unique landscape offers motivating views of Kibo and Mawenzi. After spending a few moments exploring the area we head back to Horombo Hut.


•Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut
•Elevation (ft): 12,205 ft to 15,430 ft
•Distance: 10 km
•Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
•Habitat: Alpine Desert

We climb gradually, then cross the lunar desert of the “Saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo. Our camp, Kibo Hut, sits at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Once here we rest, enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day.


•Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak
•Elevation (ft): 15,430 ft to 19,341 ft
•Distance: 6 km
•Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
•Habitat: Arctic

•Uhuru Peak to Horombo Hut
•Elevation (ft): 19,341 ft to 12,250 ft
•Distance: 16 km
•Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
•Habitat: Health

Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. At Gilman’s point (18,600 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

After spending a few moments taking in the plains of Africa and your accomplishment, we descend to Horombo Hut. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.


•Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate
•Elevation (ft): 12,205 ft to 6,046 ft
•Distance: 20 km
•Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
•Habitat: Rain Forest

On our last day, we have a long trek mostly downhill through the tropical rainforest. Once at the park headquarters at Marangu gate, we collect our summit certificates. A vehicle will meet us here and drive us back to the hotel in Moshi.

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