Mt Kilimanjaro at 5896m, is the highest mountain in Tanzania and Africa. It has three main volcanic peaks, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. Kilimanjaro is located near the town of Moshi which is few minutes from Kilimanjaro Airport, it is also a protected area under Tanzania National parks. Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s most accessible high summits, a beacon for visitors from around the world. When climbing Mount Kilimanjaro you have an option to choose a route for trekking because there are several routes and one best route is Marangu. This is the only Kilimanjaro climb route that offers hut accommodation as camping is not allowed, jokingly referred to as the “Tourist Route” or “Coca-Cola Route. Marangu route is also the only climbing route that uses the same path for ascent and descent, which contributes to it being the most crowded climb route on Kilimanjaro. Climb on the Marangu route is comparatively cheap as you don’t need camping equipment or extra porters to carry the equipment. Here is the schedule of 6days 5nights climbing Mount Kilimanjaro using Marangu route.
Day 1: Marangu Gate – Mandara Hut
After breakfast you will drive from hotel to Kilimanjaro National Park gate for the necessary formalities. Together with a crew we will start our trek from Marangu gate to Mandara Hut which has elevation of 6046 feet to 8858 feet and you will hike for a distance of 8km which can take 4-6 hours. The trail climbs through a tropical rain forest, near the upper edge of the forest line you can spot blue monkeys. The trail then widens to expose beautiful hillsides until we reach Mandara Hut where you will be saved with hot soup/tea then dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Mandara Hut -Horombo Hut
The second day starts with breakfast then we follow a trail begins with a steep from mandara to horombo hut with elevation of 8858 feet to 12205feet and 12km distance of hiking, ascent through the forest is not technical one and opens tract of open uncultivated upland. From Mandara to Horombo you will trek for 6-8hours and if the weather allows, we may get our first views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks which is two of the three volcanic peaks that make up the summit of Kilimanjaro. Dinner and overnight at Horombo hut.
Day 3: Horombo Hut
This will be an extra day to acclimatize at Horombo, elevation of 12205feet to 14160feet and can be spent day hiking on Mawenzi ridge whereby the unique landscape offers motivating views of Kibo and Mawenzi. For the second day you will have dinner and overnight at Horombo hut.
Day 4: Horombo Hut – Kibo Hut
After breakfast we will start to climb gradually, then cross the lunar desert of the Saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo. This trek on alpine desert will take 6-8hours with elevation of 12205feet to15450feet covering a distance of 10km to reach our dormitories which sits at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Once at camp we will rest, enjoy dinner and prepare for the next day.
Day 5: Kibo Hut – Summit –Horombo
After early breakfast in the morning, around midnight we continue our way to the summit in hopes of catching the sunrise. To reach to the summit we can use 10-13hours covering a distance of 22km with elevation of 15430feet to 19341feet. This trail has 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 so you will spend some minutes at Uhuru peak, the ‘highest point in Africa’ taking some pictures for this unforgettable journey. After spending a few moments, we will descend to Horombo Hut passing through Kibo Hut to have dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Horombo Hut – Marangu Gate
This is our last day, so after breakfast we will descend covering a distance of 20km which can take 5-7hours to Marangu gate. Once at the park headquarters at Marangu gate you will be awarded a recognized certificate of achievement for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. After a short discussion with a team we will bring a vehicle for transfer to hotel for a celebration, dinner and overnight.