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Kilimanjaro Marangu
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Kilimanjaro Marangu Route treks

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... follow a 4 or 5 night trail, also know as the infamous "Coca-Cola Route", which approaches the mountain from the south-east. They are far lowest quality options on the mountain.

Marangu is often cited as being the easiest route, since it is less undulating than all other routes and therefore has the lowest total ascent. Trouble is, the main challenge on Kilimanjaro is overcoming the challenges of altitude sickness, for which repeated ascents and descents are absolutely essential to aid acclimatisation.

Marangu has the least scenic variety of all routes. It also has the disadvantage of being the only route which goes up and back the same way. Described by one of our customers who had climbed it on a previous trip as "the yellow brick road", this route is not suitable for anyone who is really looking for any kind of wilderness experience.

Marangu is the only route which has accommodation in huts. This may give the impression that it is easier and more comfortable, but in reality the huts are not at all pleasant. Even people who are not very outdoorsy ultimately prefer to stay in a tent.

Until around 2005 Marangu was by far the highest traffic route on the mountain. Since the development of the internet there has been a cavitation of budget operators over to the Machame Route, which is now equally busy, the two taking around 85% of the total traffic between them.

The Kilimanjaro Marangu Route naturally attracts low quality mountain operators, so the levels of service are generally pretty low.

Additionally, the route tends to attract rather low quality trekkers, since it is largely comprised of people who have not taken the effort to research the difference between the various route options. They tend to be less outdoorsy and considerably less well prepared.

A phenomenon which particularly amazes us is the amount of supposedly well-intentioned charity treks, which shovel people out onto the Marangu Route with scant preparation and extremely low chances of summit success.

Despite being one of the supposedly easiest routes, Marangu has the highest number of Kilimanjaro fatalities, mainly due to inadequate altitude acclimatisation and a lack of seriousness on the part of both trekkers and operators.

Arguably the only advantage that Marangu genuinely does offer is that it is the cheapest route on Kilimanjaro.

We therefore do not offer any treks on this trail and recommend that you look at the Rongai Route instead.


Variants ...

Marangu 4A ... non-technical four nights standard route

Night 1 : Mandara Hut
Night 2 : Horombo Hut
Night 3 : Kibo Hut
Night 4 : Horombo Hut

This is the standard four night Marangu trek offered by lower quality operators. The main downsides are the amount of traffic which is likely to be encountered throughout, the routing up and back on the same trail and the poor altitude acclimatisation.

For a good quality shorter trek it is necessary to switch to the Rongai Route on the northeast side of the mountain, either the five night Rongai 5g group trek or the five night Rongai 5p private trek.


Marangu 5A ... non-technical five nights standard route

Night 1 : Mandara Hut
Night 2 : Horombo Hut
Night 3 : Horombo Hut
Night 4 : Kibo Hut
Night 5 : Horombo Hut

There is no good way of extending Marangu into a five night trail. The best option is probably to insert an extra night into Horombo on the way up, which gives you the chance to do a decent acclimatisation hike up onto Mawenzi during the spare day, which should help a great deal. The trouble is it involves a lot of backtracking, so really isn't ideal from an aesthetic point of view.

For a good quality shorter trek it is necessary to switch to the Rongai Route on the northeast side of the mountain, either the five night Rongai 5g group trek or the five night Rongai 5p private trek.
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