Hut to hut Hiking in Tanzania
Tanzania hut to hut treks

Tanzania offers an exceptional opportunity for hut-to-hut hiking, providing access to some of the most pristine areas in this East African country. The Tanzanian mountains are renowned for their awe-inspiring and diverse hiking experiences, and hut-to-hut hiking is a popular choice for exploring these majestic landscapes. With this type of hiking, minimal gear is required as hikers can enjoy the comfort of staying in well-maintained mountain huts along the way. On both Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, hikers can look forward to well-marked trails and breathtaking views, ensuring an unforgettable adventure. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced hiker, Tanzania is an excellent destination to discover its varied trails and remarkable natural beauty.

Hut-to-hut hiking in the Tanzanian mountains is a widely sought-after and distinctive approach to discovering the region. This intriguing method allows hikers to delve into the mountains, without the burden of heavy gear, by providing them with well-maintained and cozy mountain huts. It delivers a harmonious blend of excitement and ease, enabling hikers to fully immerse themselves in the breathtaking scenery while indulging in the comfort the huts have to offer.

Tanzania, renowned for its vast savannahs, rich wildlife, and cultural heritage, offers some of Africa’s most thrilling and scenic hut-to-hut hiking experiences. This unique form of trekking allows adventurers to traverse stunning landscapes, from the lush montane forests and alpine deserts of Mount Kilimanjaro via the Marangu Route, which offers accommodation in A-shaped huts to the dramatic craters and ridges of Mount Meru, all while staying in rustic mountain huts. Unlike traditional camping treks, hut-to-hut hiking in Tanzania means carrying less gear, which makes the high-altitude trails more accessible and enjoyable. It’s an immersive way to explore the country’s natural beauty, offering trekkers breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, close encounters with wildlife, and a deep sense of connection to the majestic terrains. Whether you’re scaling the iconic peaks or meandering through less-trodden paths, hut-to-hut hiking in Tanzania promises an unforgettable adventure, combining physical challenge with the serene simplicity of nature

What is Hut-to-Hut Hiking?

Hiking is a beloved outdoor pastime that entails traversing trails in natural surroundings like mountains, forests, and parks. It can be pursued either independently or in the company of others and encompasses various levels of difficulty, ranging from mellow strolls to arduous, multi-day expeditions. On the contrary, Hut-to-Hut hiking offers an alternative experience where hikers lodge in mountain huts along the trail instead of camping out. These huts offer a cozy haven for rest and sleep while providing basic amenities like sustenance, water, and restroom facilities. Rather than lugging around a burdensome backpack through miles of woodland, hikers can simply carry a small, lightweight pack containing their belongings as they journey between huts each evening. Hut-to-hut hiking is an impeccable choice for those who desire the best aspects of camping without fretting over tent setups or cooking meals over a campfire—plus, the scenery is equally breathtaking!

6 Days Marangu Route hut-to-hut hike

The Marangu Route, also known as the “Coca-Cola Route,” is one of the most popular ways to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. It’s the only route that offers hut accommodations instead of camping, making it more comfortable for many trekkers. Here’s a detailed 6-day itinerary for the Marangu Route:

Mandara hut Marangu

Day 1: Marangu Gate to Mandara Hut

  • Elevation: 1,843 meters (6,046 feet) to 2,720 meters (8,923 feet)
  • Distance: 8 km (5 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rainforest


  • Drive from Moshi to Marangu Gate (about 45 minutes).
  • Complete registration at the gate.
  • Start your hike through the dense rainforest.
  • Arrive at Mandara Hut, where you’ll spend the night. Optional side trek to Maundi Crater for acclimatization and views of Kibo and Mawenzi.

Day 2: Mandara Hut to Horombo Hut

  • Elevation: 2,720 meters (8,923 feet) to 3,720 meters (12,205 feet)
  • Distance: 12 km (7.5 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Habitat: Heathland


  • After breakfast, continue through the forest until the trail opens into moorlands.
  • Enjoy views of the Mawenzi and Kibo peaks.
  • Arrive at Horombo Hut, your home for the next two nights.

Day 3: Acclimatization Day at Horombo Hut

  • Elevation: 3,720 meters (12,205 feet) to 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) and back
  • Distance: Varies based on chosen acclimatization hikes
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours (optional)


  • This extra day is crucial for acclimatization.
  • Take a hike to Zebra Rocks (about 4 km round trip) or further up to Mawenzi Ridge.
  • Return to Horombo Hut for a second night.

Day 4: Horombo Hut to Kibo Hut

  • Elevation: 3,720 meters (12,205 feet) to 4,703 meters (15,430 feet)
  • Distance: 10 km (6.2 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert


  • Trek through the last bit of heathland and into the alpine desert.
  • Pass by the “Last Water Point” and the famous “Saddle” (a desert-like area between Mawenzi and Kibo peaks).
  • Reach Kibo Hut, where you will rest and prepare for the midnight ascent to the summit.

Day 5: Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak to Horombo Hut

  • Elevation: 4,703 meters (15,430 feet) to 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) and down to 3,720 meters (12,205 feet)
  • Distance: 22 km (13.7 miles) round trip
  • Hiking Time: 10-15 hours
  • Habitat: Arctic Summit and Moorland


  • Wake up around midnight and start the final ascent.
  • The first section is steep and rocky up to Gilman’s Point (5,685 meters/18,652 feet).
  • Continue along the crater rim to Stella Point and finally to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa.
  • After celebrating and taking photos, descend back to Kibo Hut for a short rest and then down to Horombo Hut for overnight.

Day 6: Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate

  • Elevation: 3,720 meters (12,205 feet) to 1,843 meters (6,046 feet)
  • Distance: 20 km (12.4 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 6-7 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland and Rainforest


  • Descend through the moorland and back into the rainforest.
  • Arrive at Marangu Gate, complete your descent, and sign out.
  • Transfer back to Moshi for a well-deserved rest.

Tips for the Marangu Route:

  • Acclimatization: Utilize the extra day at Horombo Hut to acclimatize properly.
  • Gear: Ensure you have proper trekking gear, especially warm clothing for the summit night.
  • Hydration: Drink plenty of water each day to aid acclimatization.
  • Pace: Trek slowly to allow your body to adjust to the altitude (“pole pole” in Swahili means “slowly slowly”).

By following this itinerary, you increase your chances of a successful and enjoyable summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

4 Days Mount Meru Hut to Hut Trek

Mount Meru, located in Tanzania, is the second-highest mountain in the country and offers a spectacular trek. Unlike Mount Kilimanjaro, the trek to the summit of Mount Meru is typically done in 4 days. Here is a detailed hut-to-hut itinerary for the Mount Meru trek:


Day 1: Momella Gate to Miriakamba Hut

  • Elevation: 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) to 2,514 meters (8,248 feet)
  • Distance: 10 km (6.2 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Habitat: Montane Forest


  • Start with a drive from Arusha to Momella Gate (about 1 hour).
  • Complete park registration and meet your armed ranger (required for the trek due to wildlife).
  • Begin your trek through the lush montane forest, encountering wildlife such as giraffes, buffaloes, and various bird species.
  • Pass through the Ngare Nanyuki River and the open grassland before reaching the montane forest.
  • Arrive at Miriakamba Hut for overnight stay.

Day 2: Miriakamba Hut to Saddle Hut

  • Elevation: 2,514 meters (8,248 feet) to 3,570 meters (11,712 feet)
  • Distance: 8 km (5 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 3-5 hours
  • Habitat: Montane Forest to Moorland


  • After breakfast, start the hike from Miriakamba Hut, ascending through the forest.
  • The path is steep but well-defined, offering spectacular views of the Meru Crater and the Ash Cone.
  • Take a break at the halfway point known as “Mgongo wa Tembo” (Elephant Ridge).
  • Continue to Saddle Hut, which is situated at the saddle between Little Meru and the main peak.
  • Optional acclimatization hike to Little Meru (3,820 meters/12,533 feet) for better acclimatization and stunning views of the main summit and surrounding areas.
  • Return to Saddle Hut for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 3: Saddle Hut to Socialist Peak to Miriakamba Hut

  • Elevation: 3,570 meters (11,712 feet) to 4,566 meters (14,980 feet) and back to 2,514 meters (8,248 feet)
  • Distance: 5 km (3.1 miles) ascent + 13 km (8 miles) descent
  • Hiking Time: 10-14 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland to Alpine Desert and Montane Forest


  • Wake up around midnight for a light meal before starting the final ascent.
  • Begin the trek with a steep climb to Rhino Point (3,800 meters/12,467 feet).
  • Continue along a narrow ridge with some scrambling required, passing through Cobra Point (4,350 meters/14,272 feet).
  • Reach Socialist Peak (4,566 meters/14,980 feet) around sunrise, enjoying breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro and the surrounding landscape.
  • After a short celebration and photo opportunity, descend back to Saddle Hut for a brief rest and brunch.
  • Continue descending to Miriakamba Hut for overnight stay.

Day 4: Miriakamba Hut to Momella Gate

  • Elevation: 2,514 meters (8,248 feet) to 1,500 meters (4,921 feet)
  • Distance: 10 km (6.2 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 2-4 hours
  • Habitat: Montane Forest


  • After breakfast, start the descent back to Momella Gate.
  • Take a different route down, known as the “Northern Route,” which provides opportunities to see different wildlife and scenery compared to the ascent.
  • Arrive at Momella Gate, sign out, and receive your summit certificates.
  • Transfer back to Arusha, concluding your trek.

Tips for the Mount Meru Trek:

  • Acclimatization: Though shorter than Kilimanjaro, proper acclimatization is still crucial. Utilize the optional hike to Little Meru.
  • Gear: Pack adequately for varying temperatures, from the warm forest to the cold summit.
  • Hydration and Nutrition: Drink plenty of water and eat regularly to maintain energy levels.
  • Safety: Follow the guide’s instructions and stay with the group, especially due to the presence of wildlife in the park.

By following this 4-day itinerary, you can experience the unique beauty and challenge of trekking Mount Meru while ensuring a safe and enjoyable adventure.

Why We Love Hiking Hut to Hut

  1. Accessibility for Multi-Day Hiking: Hut-to-hut hiking makes multi-day adventures feasible for more people. You don’t need to carry heavy camping gear like tents and cooking equipment, which reduces the load and makes the hike more enjoyable.
  2. Lighter Packs: Without the need for a tent and extensive camping gear, your pack is significantly lighter. This reduction in weight allows you to tackle more demanding and higher-altitude trails more easily and safely.
  3. Cultural Immersion: Especially in regions like the Alps, hut-to-hut hiking provides a unique opportunity to experience local culture and cuisine. Staying in mountain huts, often run by local families or communities, you can savor traditional dishes and meet locals, enriching your travel experience.
  4. Waking Up in the Mountains: There’s nothing quite like waking up surrounded by mountains, right on the trail. It offers a unique sense of immersion in nature, starting each day with stunning views and fresh air.
  5. Effortless Sunrises and Sunsets: Staying in huts situated in remote, scenic locations allows you to easily catch breathtaking sunrises and sunsets without the need to hike in the dark.
  6. Wildlife Encounters: Being in less trafficked areas and staying overnight increases your chances of seeing wildlife. Early mornings and evenings, when the trails are quieter, are prime times for wildlife sightings.
  7. Simplicity and Reduced Stress: Hut-to-hut hiking simplifies logistics. Each day is straightforward: wake up, eat breakfast, and hike to the next hut. This routine reduces daily stress and planning, allowing you to focus on the hike and the experience.
  8. Greater Solitude: Many hut-to-hut trails are inaccessible to day hikers, meaning they see less foot traffic. This leads to a more tranquil experience with fewer crowds, allowing for greater solitude and a stronger connection to nature.
  9. Soul-Cleansing: Hiking for 5-8 hours a day over several days offers a holistic cleanse for the mind, body, and soul. The physical exertion, combined with the natural environment, provides a profound sense of rejuvenation and clarity.
  10. Empowering Experience: Traveling long distances solely on foot is incredibly empowering. It instills a sense of accomplishment and self-reliance, highlighting the capabilities of your own body and mind.


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