The only route that offers huts in the form of dormitory-styled cabins as a form of accommodation on Mount Kilimanjaro is the Marangu route. The Mandara Huts and Kibo Huts each have 60 bunk beds, while Horombo Hut has 120 bunk beds. The Marangu Huts provide dormitory-style lodging with four to twenty bunk beds per room. There is no option to rent a private room, and beds are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. As a result, you should expect to share your hut with strangers. It is worth mentioning, however, that the huts do not include beds or pillows, which are provided by tour companies. You will be responsible for bringing your own sleeping bags. The Mandara A-frame Huts, which have solar lighting, flush toilets, and piped water, will be your first stop.

  1. Mandara Hut
  2. Horombo Hut
  3. Kibo Hut

The most unique thing about the Marangu Route is that it is the only route up Mount Kilimanjaro that does not allow camping, thus hikers must sleep in fixed huts rather than tents.

These dormitory-style shelters give additional wind and rain protection, making this a popular route for climbers during the rainy season, which occurs in April and May. Mandara and Kibo Huts each have 60 bunk beds, while Horombo Hut has 120 bunk beds.

Trekkers will sleep in bunk beds with a modest mattress and pillow while staying at those huts.

They’ll also be able to buy candy bars, bottled water, and soft drinks, which is why the Marangu road is also known as the “Coca-Cola Route.”

The Marangu Route has a reputation for being an easy trip because of the long, steady rise to each of the day sites. However, don’t underestimate this track; the approach to the last camp, with around 1000 meters of vertical gain on that day alone, may be physically difficult.

Staying at the mountain cabins on the Marangu trail is an alternative to camping on Kilimanjaro. The Kilimanjaro National Park maintains these permanent tiny villages in picturesque areas on the mountain’s eastern flank.

The oldest and one of the two most popular climbing routes, Marangu is also known as the “Coca-Cola” route since it was formerly simpler to climb than the more difficult Machame Route (Whiskey Route). In the past, these were the only routes that were routinely climbed. Because climbing companies do not need to pay a huge staff to transfer camp equipment from site to site every day, Marangu is the most affordable route to climb.

The A-shaped Marangu Route Huts.

Climbers can only stay in huts on the Marangu route up Kilimanjaro. Yes, there are beds, but don’t anticipate luxury: they are basic dorms that sleep anywhere from four to twenty people, depending on the camp.

Mandara and Horombo camps include smaller cottages, while Kibo Summit Camp features huts that can accommodate up to 20 people.

Sleeping arrangements are designated by park officials, so you may be mixed in with other climbing groups. This may be a terrific way to meet other hikers, or it might be uncomfortable if you don’t enjoy being in close quarters and want to be alone.

Don’t trust anything you read on the internet: these huts lack hot showers, toilets, and other facilities. This also means that you won’t have access to energy; you’ll have to rely on chargers or solar devices to keep your devices charged.

These cottages are just sleeping quarters for bunk beds. Of course, there are no linens on these beds, and the huts are not heated, so bring a good sleeping bag with you. Tranquil Kilimanjaro can provide you with one. We carry a huge selection of high-quality items for a Kilimanjaro expedition.

Mandara Huts: A-shaped Cabin

(Elevation 8,875 ft/2,705 m)

Mandara hut lies deep in the rainforest, surrounded by nature, where trees abound and the night air is filled with the chattering of nocturnal creatures. It is located in Kilimanjaro’s montane forest on the southeastern side of Kilimanjaro. The A-frame huts can accommodate 4 to 8 people, with a total of 60 climbers in the camp. A ranger’s office, a cook hut, and a dining hall are also available for climbers to use. There are facilities with running water and a tiny shop where you may occasionally purchase food, drinks, and beer.

A short walk leads to the Maundi crater, which provides spectacular views of Kibo Peak and the rainforest you just climbed through.

Excellent for fantastic photographs. Because Mandara is a junction point for most climbers descending the mountain, you’ll see a lot of people going down.

Read more about the Mandara Huts

Horombo Hut: A-shaped Cabin

(Elevation 12,340 ft/3,761 m)

Horombo is one of Kilimanjaro’s largest huts, with up to 120 climbers and 4 to 8 people in each hut. It is located on the south-eastern slope of Kilimanjaro on one of Mawenzi’s ridges. A ranger’s cabin, a cooking hut, a central dining hall, restrooms, and separate lodging for porters and guides can all be found on the property. Water is brought in via a piping system.

Climbers generally feel the altitude here, on the boundary of the heath-moorland and alpine desert zones.

You’ll spend an additional day here on your Tranquil ascent to acclimate and walk to Zebra Rocks, a lava cliff made of volcanic rocks that have developed black and white stripes due to mineral-rich rains.

Read more about the Horombo huts

Kibo Huts - Stone Building

(Elevation 15,446 ft/4,708 m)

Kibo Hut is located at the base of Kibo Peak’s volcanic cone, which gives it its name. Up to 60 climbers can be accommodated in dorm-style dorms with a central eating area. It’s made of stone to survive the harshness of the weather at this elevation. A separate ranger house is also available, as well as lodging for your guides and staff. There are pit toilets, and there is no running water because all water must be carried in by porters.

Because Kibo hut is located in the alpine desert, it is eerily silent, with little animals at this elevation.

The most difficult section of the trek to the peak is approaching. No matter how well acclimated you are, you will feel the shortage of oxygen at high altitudes, decreasing your speed. You actually don’t have an option, even if your guides advise you to hike pole pole (slowly). You climb through Kibo hut on your way back down to Horombo hut for the night after summiting.

Read more about the Kibo Huts

Advantages & Disadvantages of sleeping in huts over tents

At night, the shelters are exceedingly chilly, sometimes even colder than a tent. In a tent, you frequently sleep next a climbing companion, and your body heat and breath keep the closed tent warmer than the outside temperature throughout the night. In a hut, where air may easily flow, this is not the case.

Another disadvantage of sleeping huts is that they may be noisy, especially if there are groups of people speaking or if someone snores, thus earplugs are suggested for a good night’s sleep.

The Marangu Route’s popularity is most evident in the campgrounds, particularly around mealtimes. Meals are provided in open canteens along the Marangu Route. Food is prepared and served at your team’s allotted table by trekkers from your trekking crew, but you share the entire canteen space with other trekkers. This might be a fun experience if you want to meet other trekkers, but if you and your group prefer a more isolated trip, you should look into other options because Marangu is packed.

The sleeping huts on the Marangu Route are particularly useful for climbs during the rainy season. Mud and slush are never nice, but they’re much worse when you’re sleeping in a tent. The sleeping shelters along Marangu provide a more comfortable ascent by keeping hikers’ sleeping arrangements apart from the cold and damp.

Marangu Hut facilities

FACILITIES AT THE HUTS

The three mountain hut sites are like little mountain villages, each with different facilities. Some common features are:

  • Sleeping huts that can accommodate 4 to 20 people
  • Communal dining hall
  • Park ranger hut
  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchen hut
  • Separate huts for crew
  • Concessions at some locations
  • Solar power
  • Running water at lower huts
  • Mattress pads
Marangu hut Dining Hall

DINING HALL

Everyone congregates in a fixed central eating hall at each of the hut sites. The dining hall, which has seats and tables to seat a large number of people, is buzzing with enthusiasm from climbers from all over the world. It’s a terrific location to meet new people, trade tales, and seek advice from climbers on their way down.

While enjoying wonderful meals made by Tusker chefs educated at the Culinary Institute of America, you will be the envy of all the other climbers in the room.

Marangu Hut Toilet

MARANGU HUT TOILETS

A dining room and bathrooms are also included in the huts. There are also flushing toilets at the huts. Simple bunks, mattress pads, and pillows are provided in the sleeping shelters. You will be responsible for bringing your own sleeping bag. Kibo’s structures resemble dormitories and can accommodate up to 20 climbers. Some of the huts sell food and drinks at certain periods of the year.

Marangu Hut Dormitory

WAKING UP

Your day begins early for you. With a nice cup of tea or coffee, one of your guides will wake you up. In the meantime, your chef has begun making breakfast. After you’ve filled up, you and the rest of the party begin preparing for the kilometers ahead. But first, a morning medical check, and then it’s on to the climb.

AT THE CAMP

Marangu is the most popular and oldest path, and it has its own historical significance. Each hut site has its own personality and attraction, with the vegetation zone varying from one to the next. You may acclimate to the altitude by staying in Horombo Hut for two nights. The additional day allows you to go on a longer hike to explore the beautiful surroundings.

Your social center is the dining hall. Relax and take in the gorgeous mountain scenery as you arrive at camp. At the conclusion of the day, each climber takes pleasure in the camp in his or her own unique way. You may go exploring with your camera, make new acquaintances from all over the world, or simply relax.

The majority of climbers relish this unforgettable experience and bond with their climbing companions. Throughout your Kilimanjaro climb, the team spirit is obvious. Before you know it, you’ve become a member of a family, working together as a close-knit group with the same purpose.

If you want to achieve your fitness objectives while still receiving 8 hours of sleep each night, the Marangu route is the way to go.

With a route duration of only 5 days, you’ll have plenty of time to add a Serengeti Plains safari to your itinerary.

TENTED CAMPS VS. HUTS

You sleep in permanent mountain cabins along the route on Marangu. The huts are permanent, so you may climb to the top and return on the same route. You take more time on Tusker’s tented camp routes, climbing to the peak and down on separate tracks.

This allows you to see more of Kilimanjaro while traversing a wider diversity of terrain and environments.

Read also: Machame Route vs Lemosho Route

How difficult is the Marangu Route?

Many first-time climbers attempt this route each year since it provides nice hut accommodations, in a contrast to other routes that necessitate sleeping in mountain tents. Many people claim that this way is easier than other routes to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Trekkers frequently mistakenly believe that a 5-day trip is easier than a 6-day hike. The 5-day choices, on the other hand, might be challenging because there isn’t much time to adjust to the altitude. The 6-day option is simpler, but it still requires a strong level of fitness.