Climbing Kilimanjaro Marangu Route, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kilimanjaro climb, climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa Highest peak
CLIMBING MOUNT KILIMANJARO - Marangu route
KILIMANJARO MARANGU ROUTE TREKKING
Total Kilimanjaro hiking distance: About 96 km's
(Excluding any acclimatisation hikes on day 3)
Affectionately known as the "Coca-Cola route", Marangu is by far the most popular route to the summit of Kilimanjaro. This could partly be as a result of the fact that the Marangu is the least expensive route, but more so, perhaps the fact that it is possible to do the Marangu route in 5 days, thereby getting to the summit one day earlier than on the Kilimanjaro Machame route. This is not always the best way due to a shorter acclimatisation period. The Marangu route does however offer you the option of spending an extra acclimatisation day on the mountain. This extends the route to a 6-day march, greatly increasing your chances of success. Hut accommodation on the Kilimanjaro Marangu route forms one of the main differences, compared to the other routes. It offers you the relative luxury of being able to sleep in huts along the entire route. Mineral water, soft drinks, chocolates and beers are also sold at all the camps on this route. All your equipment and supplies are portered and a cook prepares all your meals.
6 day - Itinerary for the Marangu route
For the 5-day Kilimanjaro route, simply exclude the additional acclimatisation day at Horombo hut - day 3 on the itinerary below.
Day 1: Arrival - Arusha
On arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport, met and assisted. Transfer to SG Resort for an overnight rest on bed and breakfast in readiness for the next day's hit to Kilimanjaro.
Day 2: Arusha - Kilimanjaro Marangu Gate (1980m) - Mandara hut (2700m)
Hiking time: 5 hours
Distance: About 12 km's
Habitat: Montane forest
The drive from Moshi to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate, takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Marangu, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. Once you reach the park gate, all hikers are requested to sign in at the Park office and make their final preparations for the climb. Porters will be seen arranging and loading their packs, containing the food, water, cooking gas as well as most of your equipment. Make sure that you have all your daypack items (containing at least drinking water, your lunch pack and extra clothing) with you as the porters ascend a lot quicker than the hikers. Our guides will be available to assist with any additional information or needs you might have. You now leave the Park gate and ascend on a cleared ridge trail through the rain forest. The forest, suffused with mist and dripping with beards of moss, is also where most of Kilimanjaro's animals are found. (An alternative and more scenic parallel forest trail, branches off to the left a few minutes after the gate. This trail follows the edge of a stream through the undergrowth and offers you the option to rejoin the main trail either, after 1Â½ hours Kilimanjaro hiking, or 1 hour before Mandara hut.)
Your first night stop, Kilimanjaro Mandara hut, is a group of wooden A-framed huts in a forest clearing. Each hut features 6-8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting. The total capacity of the camp is 60 climbers. Water is piped into the camp from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut, B,L,D.
Day 3: Kilimanjaro Mandara hut (2700m) - Horombo hut (3720m)
Kilimanjaro Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: About 15 km's
From Kilimanjaro Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, then skirts the base of the Maundi Crater and then emerges into the transition from rain forest to moorland. It is well worth a short detour to scramble up the rim of the Maundi Crater for your first really impressive view of the Kibo Crater. On a clear day, Kibo will glimmer in the distance, showing off her majestic glaciers in the morning sun. Once you are in the open moorland you will get the chance to see some of Kilimanjaro's most spectacular plants - the endemic giant lobelia which grows up to 3 m in height and the giant groundsel (Senecia Kilimanjari), which can reach heights of 5m! After about 6 hours from here you reach the Horombo hut, where you will have hot washing water, rest; an evening meal and overnight, B,L,D.
Day 4: Kilimanjaro Horombo hut (3720m) - Acclimatisation day
Kilimanjaro Horombo hut is a village of huts perched on a small plateau, with buildings similar to Mandara, but with a total capacity of 120 climbers! Normally bustling with hikers, guides, porters and with an atmosphere of adventure and excitement. You will meet both ascending and descending hikers here. This extra day and night at Horombo is for additional acclimatisation. A hike towards the Kilimanjaro Mawenzi hut, passing the Zebra Rocks on the way (about 3 hours up and 1.5 hours down), is strongly recommended. This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatisation. Remember to drink enough water and move slowly! All meals for the day are provided at the hut. Retire to bed early and get a last good night's rest, B,L,D.
Day 5: Kilimanjaro Horombo hut (3720m) - Kibo hut (4700m)
Kilimanjaro Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: About 15 km's
Habitat: Alpine desert
After breakfast you now continue your ascent into the Alpine desert habitat. From Horombo there are two trails to the "Saddle" (which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo). There is an upper route (right hand fork) and lower route (left hand fork) to choose from. The upper route (right hand fork) will be very familiar, as you will have climbed most of it the previous day towards Mawenzi hut. It is very stony and eroded.
The recommended lower route (left hand fork) is much easier and nearly an hour and it also passes the last watering point at 4130m. You will have to fill your water bottles with all the water you will need until your return to Horombo hut in two night's time (unless you are willing to buy Mineral water at Kibo hut). Once again remember to slow down and drink enough water!! Situated in the barren Alpine desert is Horombo hut, a stone build block house which has bunk beds for 60 climbers, but no streams with water nearby. It is however possible to buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office.
There are platform toilets behind the hut. The summit is now a further 1195m up and you will make your final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski-stick and thermal clothing for your summit bid. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible, B,L,D.
Day 6: Kilimanjaro SUMMIT ATTEMPT, Kibo hut (4700m) - Uhuru Peak (5895m) - Horombo hut (3720m)
Hiking time: 8 hours to Uhuru - 6 hours to descend to Horombo
Distance: 6 km's ascent - 21 km's descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit.
You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night, and this is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gillman's point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort. Probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly.
From Gillman's Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction - you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend, taking photographs, before the 3 hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest you gather all your gear you left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) for your overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day.
Later in the evening you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office) on the mountain and a well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions, B,L,D.
Day 7: Kilimanjaro Horombo hut (3720m) - Marangu Gate (1980m)
Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: About 27 km's
After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. At Marangu gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Gillman's Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive gold certificates. You now drive back to Arusha for a long over due hot shower, dinner and celebrations!! Overnight at SG Resort, B,L
Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for your flight back home or continue with your safari schedule. End of services. B
Tour cost: US$ 1,385 per person sharing. Single room supplement: US$ 65
Tour price includes:
-Transfer to and from the base of the mountain
-Marangu route trek as itinerary depicts
-Full board accommodation whilst on the trek.
-Meal plan as clearly detailed: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
-Accommodations at SG Resort for 2 nights on bed and breakfast
-Accommodations in huts on the mountain as per the itinerary
-All park entrance fees to include government taxes
-Service of an English speaking professional Mountain guide on the mountain, porters and skilled cook
-All services begin and end at Kilimanjaro Airport as per the itinerary
-Treated water on the trek
-Return airport transfers from/to Kilimanjaro Airport
-Chemical toilet/s on the mountain
-Kilimanjaro climb certificate (Those that reach Gillman's Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates & Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive gold certificates)
-Mountain rescue fees
-Any possible park fees entrance increments
-Tips, laundry, sleeping bags, drinks and climbing gears
-Travel, health, baggage loss and flight delay insurance
-Medical & hospitalisation bills
-International flights and taxes
-Visas & travel documents
-Items of a personal nature and any other extras not detailed in the above itinerary.
Kilimanjaro with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, is an inactive stratovolcano in north-eastern Tanzania. Depending on definition, Kilimanjaro may be considered as having anywhere from the tallest to the fourth tallest free-standing mountain rise in the world rising 4,600 m (15,100 ft) from its base, and includes the highest peak in Africa at 5,895 meters (19,340 ft), providing a dramatic view from the surrounding plains.
The highest point is Uhuru Peak on the volcano Kibo, 5,895 metres (19,341 ft). Kibo has a 1.5 mile wide crater on the top of it. As the highest point in Africa, Uhuru Peak is one of the Seven Summits. The summit was first reached by the Marangu army scout, Yohanas Kinyala Lauwo, German Hans Meyer and Austrian Ludwig Purtscheller, on October 6, 1889. Two other peaks are also extinct volcanoes: Mawenzi (5,149 m, 16,890 ft), the third highest peak in Africa (after Mount Kenya) and Shira (3,962 m, 13,000 ft). Yohanas' Notch is named after Lauwo.
Mount Kilimanjaro from the air. July 2007. An ascent of Mawenzi requires rock climbing and/or snow/ice climbing skills. The climb to Uhuru Peak is considered to be a relatively straightforward endeavour; however, ample time must still be provided for proper acclimatization to prevent altitude sickness. The three shortest routes, Marangu, Rongai and Machame can be climbed by a person of good health and limited mountaineering experience. Many who climb employ altitude-sickness medication and find this to be helpful in preventing the pounding headaches that plague many travellers. Those who travel on the Marangu route usually take four to five days to complete their climb. Huts with cooking facilities, bathrooms, and electricity are available at the end of each day's journey. The huts are Mandara, Horombo and Kibo, located at approximately 2700m.a.sl., 3700m.a.s.l. and 4,500m.a.s.l. respectively. All huts have rangers stationed at them with rescue facilities (modified wheelbarrows to transport climbers stricken with altitude sickness to lower altitudes).
The final part of the climb, from Kibo hut at 15,500 ft (4,720 m) to the summit, is generally undertaken at night, because the scree is frozen together, making the climb significantly easier. Gilman's Point, on the rim of the crater but about a 1Â½ hour hike from Uhuru, is attained at 5:00 - 6:00 am; those who have the strength to continue may then hike on to Uhuru in the growing sunlight and rising temperatures. Another route is the Western Breach, which is much more technical in nature. Annually, approximately 15,000 people attempt to climb the mountain, of whom 40% reach the summit.
The rapidly retreating FurtwÃ¤ngler Glacier is near the summit. At the summit, there is a sign posted by the Tanzanian government. The sign (printed in English only) reads "Congratulations! You are now at Uhuru Peak, Tanzania, 5,895 m. AMSL. Africa's Highest Point. World's Highest Free-Standing Mountain. One of World's Largest Volcanoes. Welcome." The sign is covered in travel stickers from past trekkers who have left their mark on the top of the peak. Near this famous sign is a box containing a log that many climbers have signed. As of January 2007 this box has either been removed or buried.
Due to the mountain's equatorial location as well as its high elevation, climbers can experience almost every climate type on earth during the journey to the top. It is also known to many for its year round snow-topped summit.
The summit of Kilimanjaro is covered by a GSM mobile phone network, provided by Vodacom. It lost its claim as the highest point in the world with mobile phone service, as China Mobile now provides coverage at the top of Mt. Everest, the highest point in the world.
Almost all nights on Kilimanjaro are clear. A pre-dawn start is very important to avoid the debilitating effects of the sun and uv radiation. To make the night ascents more pleasant and in some cases beautiful, getting up and walking up by moonlight is the optimal situation. As a rough guide a full moon rises at sunset and sets at sunrise. This combined with strength of the moonlight provide excellent conditions for walking at night. However as the moon sets about 1 hour later every day. the best conditions are probably about 2 to 3 days after the full moon as then at about 5am the moon is still big and quite high in the sky throughout the critical hours of the ascent. If you plan your ascent before the full moon you might get up by moonlight but it will set before first light.
Lemosho: Long access drive, remote, less frequented, beautiful forests, scenic traverse to Barafu, camping. Excellent for acclimatisation. 8 (-1) 56km
Machame: Second most popular route. Beautiful forest, very good for acclimatisation, scenic traverse to Barafu. 7 (-1) 49km
Marangu: Very popular. Gentle gradients and long sections up to 4700m. Beautiful forests and moorlands, comfortable but basic huts. The 6 day variant provides good time for acclimatisation. 6 (-1) 64km
Rongai: Long access drive, remote, less frequented, some fine, wild, high-altitude mountain scenery, camping. Good for acclimatisation. 6 65km
Umbwe: Shortest and steepest route, tough. Beautiful forest, spectacular ridge, bad for acclimatisation, scenic traverse to Barafu, camping. Dangerous route.