dventurer Explore Africa
The Marangu (Coca-Cola) route is one of the most popular routes 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 compared to the Machame route. This is not always the best way, due to a shorter acclimatization period.
The Marangu route does however offer you the option of spending an extra acclimatization day on the mountain. This extends the route into a 6-day trek, greatly increasing your chances of success. Shared hut accommodation on the 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 Marangu is offered as a five to six day private climb.
After breakfast you head to the National Park gate for the necessary formalities before beginning your trek. The trail climbs through a tropical rain forest, near the upper edge of the forest line (keep an eye out for blue monkeys). The trail then widens to expose beautiful hillsides until we reach Mandara Hut.
Our second day on the trail begins with a steep, but not technical ascent through forest and opens into high moorland. If weather allows, we may get our first views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks, two of the three volcanic peaks that make up the summit of Kilimanjaro.
This is an extra day to acclimatize and can be spent day hiking on Mawenzi Ridge. The unique landscape offers motivating views of Kibo and Mawenzi.
On this day you will climb gradually, then cross the lunar desert of the “Saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach our campsite which sits at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Once at camp you will rest, enjoy dinner and prepare for the next day trek.
Leaving very early in the morning around midnight, and continue on your way to the summit in hopes of catching the sunrise. The trail is a series of switchbacks up a steep scree slope, with climbers stretched into the darkness, visible only by headlamps. It is important to focus on breathing and foot placement. The views from the summit are dramatic and immense. After spending a few moments taking in the plains of Africa and your accomplishment, you will descend to Horombo Hut.
This day you will have a long trekking, however it is mostly downhill. Once you are at the park headquarters at Marangu gate pick up your certificate that proves your achievement and transferred to the hotel of your choice for a celebration.