The Marangu Route, popularly known, as the “Coca-Cola Route” is one of the most unique and popular routes mainly due to the fact that it is the oldest existing route on Mount Kilimanjaro and the only one that uses huts instead of tents, eliminating camping as a way of accommodation.

How long does the Marangu route trek take? it takes 5-6 days to climb and descend Mount Kilimanjaro using the Marangu route. However, you can also take a one-day hike to Mandara Huts, along the Marangu Route. Mandara huts is the first accommodation point on Kilimanjaro’s Marangu Route.

The Marangu Route is the original and pioneer route created to access the summit and climb Mount Kilimanjaro. This route can also be confirmed as one of the easier hiking routes with many favouring Marangu because it is considered to be the easiest path on the mountain, given its gradual slope and direct trail. It can be done perfectly with extra time for acclimatization increasing the summit success rate to around 80%. Unfortunately, it has a dented reputation of a low 42% summit success rate mainly because climbers usually opt for the shorter 5 days Marangu Route itinerary, which doesn’t give enough time for acclimatization. At Tranquil Kilimanjaro, we are behind your successful Mount Kilimanjaro climb that is why we have a better 6 days Marangu Route option with an extra acclimatization day.

Marangu route distance

  • Distance: The Marangu route is 72 kilometres (45 miles) long.
  • Location: The route proceeds towards the Summit of Mount Kilimanjaro from the southeastern side of the mountain. The hike begins from the Marangu gate.
  • Height: The route approaches Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru peak summit standing at a staggering height of 5,895 meters (19,341 feet).
  • Trail conditions: During the Marangu Route climb, you will bypass a variety of vegetation zones including misty forests, moorlands, alpine desert area in the Saddle, and paths with rock outcrops and snow as you near the Uhuru Peak

Planning your Marangu Route Climb

The Marangu Gate, located at an altitude of 1870 meters (6,137 ft.), on the Southeastern side of Mount Kilimanjaro is where the Marangu Route trek begins on the first day. You will take a one-hour drive from Moshi to the gate or 2 hours from Arusha town, following a scenic road on your way there.

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Read our reviews from the easy Coca-Cola route on Kilimanjaro.

Vigorous training or previous trekking experience is would be an added advantage, as normal trekking days will feature a solid 6-8 hours of trekking with daily ascents of up to 900m (2,953 ft.) to 1,000m (3,289 ft.), with irregular exceeded ascents of around 1,100m to 1,200m.

You will have to be physically and mentally prepared to trek for many tiring days over difficult terrain with harsh weather conditions brought about by high altitudes.

Marangu route success rate

Marangu route on average shares one of the lowest success rates of around 40%-50%, if not done well because hikers have a habit of rushing to the summit. Adding an extra acclimatization day, however, increases the chances of having a higher summit success rate of about 80%

How to climb the Marangu Route

  • Tranquil Kilimanjaro recommends the 6 day Marangu route hike which has the extra acclimatization day for improved summit success chance over the shorter 5 days Marangu Route tour which of course depends on your time and budget.
  • Prepare an inspiring ‘Kilimanjaro playlist’ with your favourite songs to listen to when you are climbing to help with mental and physical exhaustion issues especially on the summit night towards Uhuru peak!
  • Enjoy the views, your playlist and take it easy and it is not a race to the top of the mountain, save your energy.
  • Cross-check your packing list to make sure you have all the essential climbing gear, including footwear, clothing, snacks, and equipment.
  • Always stay hydrated on the mountain. Water comes in handy when climbing and it could be the thin line between summiting and quitting.

How busy is the Marangu Route?

Marangu offers striking scenery of its surroundings although it is less scenic when compared with the other routes because the ascent and descent follow the same trail which usually receives high traffic of climbers.

Even though the route might be crowded at times, the path is well maintained due to it is frequently used and popular.

Marangu Route Map & Location

The Marangu Route trail approaches the Uhuru peak summit of Mount Kilimanjaro from the southeastern side of the mountain. It follows the same ascent and descent trail for going up and down the mountain. This factor makes the Marangu Route monotonous hence less scenic as compared to the other routes that change their descent course.

Marangu Route Map

Marangu Route 6-day itinerary

Trekking the Marangu route usually takes 5 to 6 days for the whole hike, ascending and descending. The best option for climbing the Marangu route is the 6 day Marangu Route itinerary that adds an extra acclimatization day for improving the summit success rate and combating altitude sickness.


Tranquil Kilimanjaro offers both the five days and six days Marangu Route tours but we strongly advise and recommend using the 6 days Marangu route which gives you an extra acclimatization day at the Horombo hut.

Difference between 5 and 6 Days Marangu Route Itinerary.

Both Marangu Route package itineraries are the same apart from the added extra day for acclimatization on the 6 days Marangu Route to increase chances of reaching the Uhuru peak summit.

Both route variations offer a gradual ascent profile of Kilimanjaro’s slope the only difference is on that extra day added to the 5 day Marangu Route itinerary to help you to acclimatize and minimize the risks of altitude sickness.

Machame Route 6 & 7 Day Tours

Frequently Asked Questions

Mount Kilimanjaro is accessible to climbers of all levels of fitness and ability, but high levels are fitness, planning and stamina will me required to reach the summit. Tranquil Kilimanjaro recommends that you add an extra day for acclimatization to minimize on altitude sickness.

The climb the Marangu Route, you will need Mount Kilimanjaro and Kilimanjaro national park entrance fees. These fees help in maintaining the park and the mountain and they are included in our Marangu route tours which are all-inclusive.

The Marangu route is one of the most affordable routes on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is less expensive because it is shorter and more direct hence takes a shorter time to reach the Uhuru peak summit.

The total distance for the Marangu Route trail is 70km or 43 miles from the gate to the summit

The Marangu Route has a low summit success rate of about 50% for the shorter 5-day itinerary that excludes the acclimatization day. The longer itinerary that takes 6 days including the extra day for acclimatization has a success rate of about 80%, which is impressive. Tranquil Kilimanjaro recommends the longer 6 days Marangu Route itinerary.

Marangu Route is one of the easiest routes up the mountain if the correct tips are followed plus of course fitness. The best option is the 6 days Marangu route tour, taken at a slow pace. The main reason as to why climbers, find it hard to climb with the Marangu route is because most climbers tend to rush to the summit while others choose the shorter 5 days Marangu route tour which excludes the extra acclimatization day. These factors cause climbers to suffer more on the mountain.

The Marangu Route is a beautiful hike that passes through various mount Kilimanjaro vegetation zones of rainforest, moorlands and alpine areas before encountering the summit’s glacial zone at the very top. Even though the ascend trek is beautiful, it becomes monotonous while descending as the route used the same route for descending. Marangu is the only route that uses the same course for ascent and descent.

For climbers flying into Tanzania from the UK, the US, Australia or Canada, the rest of Europe and other parts of the world have many resources for searching flights at their disposal. Once you reach the Kilimanjaro International Airport, out tranquil Kilimanjaro driver and crew will pick you up to your hotel. The next day, early in the morning you will drive to the Marangu gate to begin your Marangu Route journey..

The Marangu route got its name from the Chagga people of Mount Kilimanjaro. Marangu means “land of water” but ironically it is nicknamed and famously known as the “Coca-Cola” route as in the past locals used to sell Coca-Cola to climbers who used to take shelter in the huts while climbing the mountain.

To climb Marangu Route, you will need Mount Kilimanjaro climbing gear and equipment that should include waterproof gear, a headlamp, sunglasses, hiking boots, medication, a non-disposable water bottle for keeping the mountain greener. Click here to get the full list of things to pack for your Marangu route climb.

Even though you can climb the Marangu route all year-round, the best time to climb the Marangu route should be between the months of January–March and June–October. The least favourable months to climb the Marangu Route are the wetter and colder months of April, May and November. Make sure you carry along, waterproof gear.

The Marangu is the only route that offers dormitory-style accommodation in the form of huts making it the ideal route for climbers who do not like camping in tents.

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable, you should exercise more to ensure you are at the peak of your fitness. Mental preparedness is also very vital for conquering the Mount Kilimanjaro via the Marangu Route.

Inside the Marangu Huts
Marangu Huts Accommodation

Marangu route huts Accommodation

The route attracts first-time climbers who mostly aim to avoid the hustle of camping on the mountain by enjoying the comfort that comes with dormitory-style accommodation of the Marangu Huts.

Marangu Route is the only route on Mount Kilimanjaro that provides entirely hut accommodation.

Mandara and Kibo huts each have the capacity of 60 bunk beds each while the Horombo hut has 120 bunk beds in total.

Tranquil Kilimanjaro will provide beddings and they may include mattresses, pillows but sleeping bags will have to be hired or bought separately by climbers.

Dormitories are to be shared with climbers in open-style dormitory accommodation.

The huts have a shared dining room for taking meals, simple washrooms and toilets located in the lower altitudes of the mountain have water supply and will be flushable, but as you move higher up the mountain will be toilets will be in the form of pit latrines.

The huts that provide accommodation on the Marangu route are:

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

Almost everything on the huts of Marangu Route is to be shared; from toilets to the showers to the dining halls.

Apart from the advantage of having hut facilities on the route, many climbers often choose the Marangu route mainly because it is one of the most popular and easiest routes to summit Mount Kilimanjaro thanks to its gradual, gentle slope and direct trail. We do not recommend the 5 days Marangu route tour that does not give enough acclimatization time for climbers.

Marangu Route Reviews

We have some great reviews from our past climbers on Mount Kilimanjaro’s Marangu Route below.

We made it to the roof of Africa, Uhuru peak on Mount Kilimanjaro after a nice and challenging whole week of trekking via the Marangu Route. Word of advice always carry your snacks, protein bars and good selection of music to keep you going on tough days. Also, carry warm clothing and comfortable hiking boots. We had a great experience and it was worth it.

Ernesto Garcia – Barcelona, Spain