Why Marangu?

This is the traditional and most straightforward route on the mountain. It is also the busiest and best equipped. If you accept that there will be others around, there are the advantages of good huts, good views of Mawenzi and, of course, others to walk with. If you are travelling by yourself, this is the only route on which you can easily join a group.




Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro airport you will be met by our representative and taken to Keys Hotel Travel and Tours. It is a family run hotel located on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, with comfortable accommodation, variety of meals, clean swimming pool and friendly services. Located only ten minutes walking distance to Moshi town centre, palatable meal and luxurious accommodation; Keys Hotel is the most spectacular place one will always wish to stay, Keys Hotel Travel and Tours - 2700 ft (BB).

MARANGU GATE (1,843 M/6,046 FT) – MANDARA HUT (2,700M/ 8,860 FT)

Walking distance:    8 km/5 miles

Walking time:           3-4 hours

Altitude gain:            857 m/2,814 ft

After breakfast you will be transferred to the Marangu Gate at Kilimanjaro National Park. Today, walk through the beautiful rainforest with dense vegetation, often on a muddy trail. The trekking pace is slow and very comfortable, ensuring you have enough time to enjoy the natural surroundings, take a photo and nibble on your packed lunch that we provide.

You will reach Mandara Hut (2 700m) after +- 4 hrs of hiking from the Park Gate. There is a detour on this route to waterfalls in the rain forest, which is well worth following – discuss with your guide before you set off. Your accommodation is in dormitory style chalets. There are no shower/bath facilities while doing the climb and toilets will be long drops. You will be provided with bowls of warm water each morning, on request, to wash with. Dinner and overnight: Mandara Hut (FB)

MANDARA HUT (2,700M/8,860 FT) – HOROMBO HUT (3,700 M /12,140 FT)

Walking distance:    12 km/7.2 miles

Walking time:           5-7 hours

Altitude gain:            1,000 m/3,280 ft

Continue the hike up to Horombo Hut. A steep, sometimes wet, 20 min walk through the upper part of the rainforest, followed by a 2km section of tall giant heather interspersed with large clumps of tussock grass, around 15km or 5 hrs from Mandara Hut. The vegetation changes to stunted clumps of heather with ‘everlasting’ flowers and short tussock grasses. Lobelia and groundsels occupy the wetter areas. Dinner and overnight: Horombo Hut (FB)


Today is an extra day to acclimatize, and it is best spent taking a day hike up toward the Maundi Hut by the upper trail to a viewpoint at 14,100 feet (4 hours round-trip). If you are feeling very fatigued, it can be spent resting or exploring the nearby region. Birdlife is abundant at Horombo. The rains come upon us almost every afternoon. So plan your day hike to be back inside the lodge with a cup of tea and good book by 4 p.m. Most climbers begin to feel the altitudinal changes at this level. After the rain clears, Horombo typically has beautiful sunsets and a night sky full of stars. Dinner and overnight at Horombo Hut (FB)

HOROMBO HUT (3,700 M/12,140 FT) – KIBO HUT (4,700 M/15,420 FT)

Walking distance:    9.5 km/5.7 miles

Walking time:           5-7 hours

Altitude gain:            1,000 m/3,280 ft

After breakfast we will set out on a path that traverses west, before turning northwards towards Middle Red Hill and the Triplets. Heading west for the final 3km to Kibo Hut (4,700m) is a little challenge which so much impresses climbers. This alpine desert is littered with rocks and leaves you feel as if walking on the moon. Whilst here, the view towards Mawenzi Peak to the east is most spectacular. Dinner and overnight: Kibo Hut (FB).

KIBO HUT (4,700 M/15,420 FT)- SUMMIT VIA GILMAN’S POINT (5,690M /18,668 FT) TO UHURU PEAK (5,895 M/19,340 FT) AND DESCENT TO HOROMBO HUT (3,700 M/12,140 FT)

Walking distance:    5.5 km/3.5 miles ascent + 15 km/9.5 miles descent

Walking time:           5-6 hrs + 1-2 hours up, 5-6 hours down (the overall walking time may vary between10 – 16 hours)

Altitude gain:            990 m/ 3,248 ft (Gilman’s Point) or 1,195 m/3,920 ft (Uhuru Peak)

Descent:                     2,195 m/7,200 ft

You will have to wake up very early to have a quick bite to eat and something warm to drink before setting out in darkness. The hike to Gilman’s Point is a very slow steep walk on volcanic scree for about 5-6 hours. The headlamps on the trail towards the summit almost look like fireflies flying in a long row. As you approach the crater rim you will enjoy the most memorable sunrise you may ever experience – the golden sunrise over Africa! You may over and over again see the curving of the earth at this high altitude and the sunrise on the horizon just accentuates it. Keep your camera ready at all times as there are plenty of photographing opportunities along the summit. Once you reach Gilman’s Point on top of the crater rim you are within reach of Uhuru Peak. Hiking to the peak is fairly flat terrain which normally takes about 1.5 hours to conquer Uhuru Peak (Summit of Africa). Spend a few minutes at the top to get that photos of your choice next to the sign marking the summit. Descend from Uhuru Peak in high spirits as you have just achieved your goal. The trail down from Gilman’s Point on the Marangu route is often enjoyed by hikers sliding down the scree slope, which entails skidding down the loose gravel with big steps and some sideways moves. Try it, it is fun! With every step going down your body enjoys having more oxygen to breathe in. Depending on how you feel, you may enjoy a short rest at Kibo Hut before descending down to Horombo Hut. Dinner and overnight: Horombo Hut (FB)

HOROMBO HUT (3,700 M/12,140 FT) – MARANGU GATE (1,843 M/6,046 FT)

Walking distance:    20 km/12.5 miles

Walking time:           5 hours

Descent:                     1,857 m/6,094 ft

Enjoy a slow hike through the rainforest to Marangu Gate. Take time to enjoy the lush vegetation with the Old Man’s Beard (tree moss) growing on the giant trees as well as some Giant Ferns towering high over the forest bed. The path has many steps leading you down to Marangu Gate. You will be transferred back to Keys Hotels Travel & Tours for hot shower and overnight rest. (BB)


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