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6-day Marangu Route

Day-By-Day Itinerary

Day 1
  • Transfer to the park gate
  • Moshi (831m)  →  Marangu Gate (1,879m)
  • 1,048m
  • 39km
  4 – 5h
  • Montane rainforest
  • Marangu Gate (1,879m)  →  Mandara Hut (2,720m)
  • 841m
  • 8km
Day 2
  5 – 6h
  • Grassy moorland and heather
  • Mandara Hut (2,720m)  →  Horombo Hut (3,720m)
  • 1,000m
  • 11km
Day 3
  2 – 3h
  • Acclimatization hike
  • Horombo Hut (3,720m)  →  Mawenzi Hut (4,389m)
  • 669m
  • 5.5km
  1 – 2h
  • Acclimatization hike
  • Mawenzi Hut (4,389m)  →  Horombo Hut (3,720m)
  • -669m
  • 5.5km
Today you will be crossing the so-called saddle, a lunar landscape between ...read moreMawenzi and Kibo in the alpine desert zone devoid of vegetation. You may start to be feeling butterflies, since tonight is the exciting summit night.

The day will be short but crucial in helping to acclimate. As you cross the saddle, it will take approximately 5-6 hours to reach your base camp. The thin air will be challenging today, so it is important to walk slowly to help with acclimatization. The mentality will be slow and steady.

Once you've arrived at Kibo Huts, the rest of the day is spent resting in preparation for your exciting night ahead. Try to catch a few hours of sleep and eat as much as you can, the energy will be well-used the following day! You will be woken a couple of hours later for a day you won’t soon forget.
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Day 4
  6 – 7h
  • Alpine desert
  • Horombo Hut (3,720m)  →  Kibo Hut (4,720m)
  • 1,000m
  • 9km
Day 5
  6 – 8h
  • Final summit push through the night and sunrise on top of Africa
  • Kibo Hut (4,720m)  →  Uhuru Peak (5,895m)
  • 1,175m
  • 6km
After getting as much rest as possible, it’s time for your exciting early...read more start. You will be woken up around 11:00 pm, and will have breakfast waiting for you. The reason for the (very) early start is to try and make the summit by sunrise. Try to eat as much as possible, making sure that you have energy for the thrilling day ahead. Your day pack should be ready with rain gear, hand warmers, snacks, sunscreen and sunglasses for the summit, and of course, your camera.

As your summit ascent begins, your pre-summit goal is to reach Gillman’s point. The scree-sloped Kibu is steep in the beginning, but the switchbacks will make the climb easier for you. As the oxygen becomes thinner, you’ll begin to feel the effects of the higher altitude. Take your time and focus on taking the trek step-by-step. After approximately an hour and a half you will hit rockier terrain, with some boulders to walk over. These rocks are called the Jamaican Rocks, and can be slippery at times so be mindful of your steps as you cross over them.

The night will be cold with frigid temperatures and altitude sickness may begin to hit you. Your final push to the top may seem endless, but rest assured that it will come to an end. What satisfaction as you reach Gilman’s point at the top of Kibo! From here, it is only an hour and a half or so until Uhuru Peak and you will have the opportunity to rest and refuel a bit before the final haul. As you look across the starlit sky, you have the outline of Mawenzi glaring back at you. Take in the cosmic sights and congratulate yourself for making it thus far! The worst has been accomplished.

As you turn Southwest, you start to push through the steady but shallow trail along the crater rim and past Stella Point to arrive at the breathtaking Uhuru Peak. While it’s a very gradual ascent, the thin air will make it challenging and each step will take all your focus and energy. Dawn is approaching, take some pictures, pat yourself on the back, and enjoy the glistening pink and orange sunrise hues overlooking the icefields and glaciers. The rolling clouds splash against the noble beauty of Kibo – it’s a sight you won’t soon forget.
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  4 – 5h
  • Half way down into thicker air
  • Uhuru Peak (5,895m)  →  Horombo Hut (3,720m)
  • -2,175m
  • 15km
You’ve made it! Congratulations are in order as you’ve conquered an imp...read moreressive feat. It’s time for hugs and photos, as you revel in elation with your loved ones. You’ll remember this feeling forever.

After you take in the sights, it’s time to return back since you can’t remain too long in the altitude. The trek begins back to Gilman’s point, where you then head back down the Jamaican Rocks and scree-laced slopes of Kibo. As you make your way down, you may very well find that the descent is tough on your knees, which will by now be feeling the impact of your climb up this formidable mountain. To ease the strain on your knees, walking poles are highly recommended.

A hearty lunch is waiting for you at the Kibo Huts – you may have forgotten about your appetite with all the excitement swirling that morning! There are opportunities to rest before the second part of the hike, to allow the porters to pack and regain some energy on your part.

Finally, it’s time to head down to the Horombo Huts, the final campsite of the day. The long day may seem daunting, but it will in fact become easier as you descend since the air becomes richer in that precious oxygen you’ve been missing! The dinner that night is a lively affair, with a sparkle in everyone’s eyes and memories being recounted.
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Day 6
  5 – 7h
  • All the way back down through the forest
  • Horombo Hut (3,720m)  →  Marangu Gate (1,879m)
  • -1,841m
  • 19km
As you wake up, you’re coming off a high of excitement from the day prior...read more. While you feel accomplished, you still have one more exciting day to finish your trek. The trail down to Marangu Gate drops at a steady gradient, your knees may need the support of trekking poles from the intense day before. For your last day on the mountain, you enjoy a lovely lunch at the Mandara Huts. This is the last meal with the trekking team who will undoubtedly become your friends, so be sure to enjoy your time together.

The last haul of your trip will take you through the lush rainforest, which is a treat! You are reintroduced to the sounds of birds, troops of monkeys and colorful scenery. Be sure to take in the charming senses of the mountain one last time. The rich oxygen doesn’t hurt either! Once you arrive to the Marangu Gate, you are presented with your certificates, and it’s time for the emotional goodbyes to your mountain crew. Please note that tipping your mountain crew typically occurs at this point, which is customary for the last day.
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  • Transfer to your hotel
  • Marangu Gate (1,879m)  →  Moshi (831m)
  • -1,048m
  • 39km
After your celebratory Marangu Gate photos, you will make your way to your ...read morehotel in Moshi for a warm shower. A car will be ready for your pick-up and will whisk you away back to civilisation. The scenic drive back to Moshi takes you through coffee and banana plantations. Arriving at your hotel, you’ve finished the magical journey, and it’s time to sift through photos, brag to your friends, and reminisce fondly on those life-long memories you’ve just made.read less
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