As mentioned on the Routes page, the Marangu or "Coca Cola Route" is considered to be easier than the Machame "Whiskey Route," and thus it is nicknamed after a soft drink instead of hard liquor. The Marangu is another of the tribal groups in the larger Chagga tribe from the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. There are several other subsets in the Chagga tribe, including one that was discussed in the Machame Route. Our very own RG3 hails from the Marangu sect of the Chagga tribe.
The six-day Marangu Route is another popular route because of its shorter length and its generally easier terrain. For example, you skip the Barranco Wall on the Marangu Route. However, be aware that less is not more on Kilimanjaro, and fewer acclimation days can impact your likelihood of success. That said, your professional guides will assure your safety no matter what and do their level best to get you safely to the summit. Another big difference between this and other routes is that you stay in huts instead of tents.
The Marangu Route starts at the Marangu Gate on the southeast side of the mountain. You will spend your first day climbing a gentle grade through the rain forest to Mandara Hut. On the way you can see blue monkeys and black and white Colobos monkeys, as well as hardbill Turaco, ravens, and other indigenous birds.
On Day Two, you climb through the Moorland Zone and open space. You will see a nice view of Marangu Village and the Usambara Mountains. Your destination for the day is Horombo Hut.
Day Three is an acclimation day, where you will climb up to Mawenzi Peak. On the way you will see the Zebra Rocks. After lunch, depending on your guides' assessment, you will return to Horombo Hut under the "climb high, sleep low" plan.
On Day Four, you will leave Horombo Hut and head up to Kibo Hut--your base camp for summit night. Today, you will notice a drastic change in your environment, as the Moorland Zone gives way to the dry and treeless Alpine Desert. The lack of trees will give you a spectacular view of the foothills of Kilimanjaro. You will have lunch somewhere along the way. After reaching Kibo Hut, depending on the time of day, you will eat a snack, take a nap, eat dinner, and receive instructions to prepare for summit night. After instructions, you will return to your hut to sleep, and depending on you and your group's progress, your staff will wake you around 11:00 pm to midnight, with your summit bid starting once your guide clears you for departure.
On Day Five, you will first climb to Gilman's Point, and thereafter you will head to your next major landmark: Stella Point. An approximate one hour hike from Stella Point will bring you to Uhuru Peak at 19,341'. After celebrating and taking pictures of the beautiful glaciers and views, your guides will take you down through the scree back to Kibo Hut. Depending on your guide's advice, you may eat lunch and rest a short time at Kibo Hut. Then you will prepare to descend to Horombo Hut.
On Day Six, you will wake and eat breakfast and enjoy your staff's rendition of the
Kilimanjaro and Jambo songs. After that, you will start your final descent to Marangu Gate. At Marangu Gate, you will eat a hearty lunch, drink Kilimanjaro beer and/or soft drinks, and have the opportunity to gift some of your gear and clothing to the staff. After that, this is the proper time to tip your staff. (See Tipping Guidelines.) Make sure you show your appreciation for the excellent service and their hard work!
Following the celebration, we will provide transportation back to your hotel, after which you can arrange for safari, an excursion to Zanzibar, or something else tailored to your needs.