The Marangu or main route is by far the most popular way to the summit. The accommodation on the way up and down is provided in mountain huts with all the basic necessities. It usually takes 5 days/4 nights round-trip. The trek can be taken in 6 days/5 nights to add acclimatization with an extra day at Horombo Hut.
Pick up from Arusha town or Kilimanjaro International (JRO) Airport and transfer to Moshi town. Half board accommodation at Bristol Cottages or Sal salinero Hotel in Moshi.
After breakfast and a short tour briefing from the guide, depart to Marangu gate of Kilimanjaro National Park (it is a 50-min drive from Moshi to Marangu Gate). Upon registering with park authorities, the climb will officially commence with a five-hour walk to the Mandara encampment. Pass through a thick rainforest zone with a high chance of rain in the afternoon. Spend the night at Mandara Hut (2,750m).
Continue the ascent through the forest for a short time, before reaching the heather and moorland zone at roughly 3,000m (approx. a 6 hour walk). Enjoy stunning views of the mountain peaks at this altitude. Spend the night at Horombo Hut (3,720m).
Trek continues past the final watering point, and ascends to the saddle of Kilimanjaro, between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. The vegetation thins out as you enter the desert-like alpine zone (approx. 4,000m) and, once you cross the saddle, Kibo peak comes into view. The saddle is an alpine desert that resembles a lunar landscape. Be careful to notice signs of altitude sickness. This seven-hour walk will be taken at a slow pace. Spend the night at Kibo Hut (4,703m), a comfortable stone construction (no running water at Kibo Hut). Few plants other than lichens and grasses survive in these conditions.
Shortly after midnight, commence the climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro, since it is easier to climb the scree slope to Gillman’s Point (5,861m) on the crater rim when it is frozen and an early start for the 7-hour hike improves chances of reaching the summit in time for sunrise. From Gillman’s Point, it is a further two-hour round trip along the crater’s edge to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. From the summit, it is downhill all the way to Horombo Hut (approx a 6 hour hike) where you will spend the last night on the mountain.
The descent continues past the Mandara encampment to the bottom of the mountain (approx a 6 hour hike, where each hiker will receive a well-deserved certificate. From here, you will be transferred to Bristol Cottages or Sal salinero Hotel in Moshi for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, transfer to JRO Airport via Arusha.
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