Mount Kilimanjaro Climb – Marangu Route

Mount Kilimanjaro Climb – Marangu Route

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Trip Length 9 Days
Group Size 4-12
Difficulty
5

Starting from

$4,199

for REI Members

$4,619 for non-members

Departures

Jun 2019-Dec 2020

Spend 6 days climbing Mount Kilimanjaro on our classic hut-to-hut Marangu Route, an accomplishment unlike any other.

Rising abruptly from the surrounding savannah at 19,340', summiting Mount Kilimanjaro is an immensely challenging experience. The reward at the top is more than worth it: unparalleled vantage points, a true bond formed between like-minded adventurers, and the feeling that we haven’t just reached the top of the mountain—we have achieved something deeply essential to ourselves.

Our trek takes us along the lovely Marangu route, past stunningly diverse ecosystems bathed in golden light. From the park gate, we cross bamboo rainforest, alpine heather, and "the Saddle", a wide, flat plateau with awe-inspiring views of Kibo and Mawenzi looming overhead. On our summit day, we begin the trek by midnight so we have ample time to reach the top and the best chances of actually doing so. Our non-technical climb is led by a team of superb African guides. Their deep expertise ensure our journey is highly informative, safe and filled with the fun of a challenging adventure.

Trip highlights

  • Ascend Kilimanjaro, the Roof of Africa, and behold stunning views from the summit
  • Climb the Marangu Route, seeing diverse ecosystems from rainforest to alpine desert
  • Join a team of local African guides who help you accomplish this amazing feat
  • Stay in wood and stone mountain huts along the way
  • Extend your trip with a safari; unforgettable wildlife viewing is the perfect reward

Activities

This trip is rated Strenuous [5]. We climb for 6 hours or more on most days at altitudes up to 19,340’ on varied terrain including uneven rocks and loose gravel; however, on summit day we will experience the most strenuous part of the trip, hiking for up to 16 hours. This climb is porter-supported, allowing participants to devote their full energy to reaching the summit.

Although participants should be in excellent physical condition, Kilimanjaro is a non-technical climb—no special mountain climbing technics or equipment are employed; however, previous hiking or trekking experience is essential. Due to the strenuous nature of this climb, a physician’s release is required.

  • Non-technical Climbing
  • Hiking

What's Included

Double-occupancy accommodations at hotels; mountain hut accommodations on Kilimanjaro; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 9; skilled bilingual climbing guide(s), cook, and porters on the mountain; cooking and eating utensils; waterproof duffel for the climb; filtered/treated drinking water; Oxygen and Oximeter; Gamow Bag; Enrollment in Flying Doctors, gratuities at hotel and for transfer drivers; internet (limited) at hotel; all Tanzania park fees and taxes.

Accommodations

Mountain huts, 5 nights; Hotels, 3 nights.

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Moshi, Tanzania, the gateway to the roof of Africa!

Your trip begins with an arrival flight into Kilimanjaro Airport. We provide a group transfer to a comfortable lodge. Rest amidst a working organic coffee and tea farm on the fertile slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. All meals on your own.

Day 2

Morning trekking orientation followed by coffee tour and warm up nature walk.

We’ll start our climbing orientation just after breakfast this morning. The rest of the day is for exploration and adventure. Beautiful views of Kilimanjaro’s peak shine through on clear days. We stroll next door to see the terroir and organic cultivation at Machare Estate tea and coffee farm. Kilimanjaro has a perennial spring like climate, altitude and rich soil. Taste the difference with a proper cupping of many varieties of teas and coffee. After lunch, we’ll stretch our legs on a walk to a nearby waterfall. The meandering trails pass coffee trees and streams under shady glades of magnanimous hardwoods. All meals included.

Day 3

Hike through bamboo rainforest to Mandara Hut, near the forest line.

We depart after breakfast and drive to the park headquarters. There is the normal hustle and bustle of hiring porters, signing in and beginning the climb. The actual hike begins at the park gate (6,000') as we hike 5.5 miles up to Mandara hut (8,860'), near the upper edge of the forest line. The hike takes about 4 to 6 hours- a good time to start using your walking sticks. Our path starts off in a bamboo rainforest (keep your eyes open for blue monkeys) then opens up to hillsides of heather and temperate forests. If time and weather permit, a short walk from Mandara to Maundi Crater is worth it. Lodging here, as well as at Horombo, is in wooden A-frame huts or stone buildings that sleep 4 to 12 people. All meals included.

Hiking: 5 miles, 3.5 hours; elevation gain: 2,760’.

Day 4

Enter moorland filled with alpine heather on the way to Horombo Hut.

Our destination today is Horombo Hut at 12,340'. It takes 6 to 8 hours to cover the 8-mile journey and altitude gain may slow the group down. The trail is strenuous but not technical. We often get our first views of the Kibo summit today far in the distance as we pass from forest into high moorland. We also pass beneath the impressive, rocky southern face of Mawenzi - one of the three volcanic peaks that make up the summit of Kilimanjaro. All meals included.

Hiking: 8 miles, 6-8 hours; elevation gain: 3,280’.

Day 5

Take an acclimatization hike to Zebra Rock.

Today is for acclimatization. Choose to hike up towards Zebra Rock, an aptly named geologic formation before returning to Horombo camp. The landscape has unique flora such as the odd-shaped giant groundsel. The trail offers inspirational views of both Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. Birdlife is also abundant in the Horombo area. If you're feeling fatigued at this point, you can choose to spend the day resting at Horombo. Afternoon rains are common, so plan to be back inside the lodge with a cup of tea and good book by 4pm. After the rain passes, sunsets are beautiful and the black night sky sparkles with stars. All meals included.

Hiking: 4 miles; 4 hours; elevation gain: 1,276’

Day 6

Cross "the Saddle" to Kibo Hut with Kibo and Mawenzi looming above.

Today is another long hike, this time up to Kibo Hut (15,520'). Although shorter in distance, this usually takes 7 hours because it is steeper and the altitude slows everyone down. Our route climbs the Saddle, a wide, flat plateau with the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi looming overhead. The views here are fantastic! The last part of the trail passes across the plateau before the final ascent. Kibo Hut is a stone hut with rooms that sleep 10 to 15 people in bunk beds. We have a light dinner and a pre-climb talk with our guides before turning in early to rest. All meals included.

Hiking: 5.7 miles, 7 hours; elevation gain: 3,280’.

Day 7

Summit day! On the trail before midnight, we make our way to the top.

Our guides wake us before midnight for a light snack before our summit attempt. By the time we reach Gillman's Point (18,640'), it will be below freezing. We'll hit the trail by 1am, starting the hike on a steep scree slope. We place one foot in front of the other and focus on steady breathing. With the black starry sky above us, most climbers will arrive at Gillman's point in time to see the sunrise. The views from the top looking down on the plains of Africa make it all worthwhile. Some climbers decide they have reached their goal and head down from here, a legitimate summit. Others continue to hike 2 to 3 hours to the true summit, Uhuru Peak (19,340'). The descent from Gillman's point is rapid, taking about 2 hours. We take a short rest at Kibo Hut before descending to Horombo Hut for the night, arriving in the late afternoon. All meals included.

Hiking: 3.5 miles ascending; 9.5 miles descending, 10-16 hours; elevation gain: 3,165’ to 3,820’; elevation loss: 7,000’.

Day 8

Descend from Horombo Huts back to the park gate for a celebration dinner.

Another long downhill hike today, but our spirits are up with the satisfaction of yesterday's climb. At Marangu gate we receive certificates and bid our climbing team farewell. We then transfer back to our lodge in Moshi. It's a welcome treat to take a hot shower, sip a cold drink and commemorate the climb with a celebration dinner. All meals included.

Hiking: 12.5 miles, 5 hours; elevation loss: 6,040’.

Day 9

Say good-bye to Africa or join our Kilimanjaro Safari Extension.

The day is free for shopping in Moshi or relaxing at the lodge. We provide airport transfers to the airport. Or, continue the adventure on our Kilimanjaro Safari Extension. Breakfast and lunch included; dinner on your own.

Mount Kilimanjaro Climb – Marangu Route Departures

Extend your trip

Kilimanjaro Safari Extension

Get a front row seat in the Serengeti on this 6-day safari adventure.

Learn more

Adventure Expert

Jeff

Kilimanjaro is a worthy challenge no matter how you slice it. I absolutely appreciate the comfy huts we sleep in each night, protecting us from the elements, a welcome luxury that only our REI Marangu trek offers.

AR317

Remarkable Trip - Great Climb


REI takes the guesswork out of the trip and did a good job planning and taking care of the logistics, including the flight reservations. Tanzania is a fascinating country. Take time to enjoy the people, culture, and a...

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