Kilimanjaro Coca Cola Route
Marangu Route, or as it is often called Coca Cola Route, is a gradual route up Kilimanjaro’s eastern slopes, starting in Marangu Village at 1 800 meters above sea level. This is the perfect route for those who value sleeping in a bunk bed in a hut instead of in a tent and it is also not steep so the first 2-3 days are quite easy.
Highlights of the journey
It is an absolutely awesome feeling to stand on top of the highest mountain in Africa
The most amazing sunrise
When you are close to the peak the sun will rise and it will be the most amazing sunrise you have seen.
The small depression near Mandara Huts is a beautiful place but mostly visited for the views of Kibo.
The saddle is the alpine desert between Mawenzi and Kibo. A barren, lunar landscape that is stunningly beautiful
Day 1: Start Kilimanjaro expedition
Your guide will come to your hotel at 09:00 if you stay in a hotel in Moshi. If you stay in Arusha, you will be picked up at 07:30. En route to the starting point your guide will brief you on the climb. After all arrangements at the gate are taken care of you start your walk up through the forest from 1 800 meters above sea level (masl) to 2 750 masl. You will walk pole pole (slowly) all day and make a stop for lunch about halfway. In the afternoon you get to Mandara Hut and can visit the Maundi Crater before dinner. If you are lucky and the weather is clear there will be great views of Kibo at the crater.
Walking time: 3-4 hours
Elevation: +950 meters, end up at 2 750 meters
Sleeping at Mandara Huts
Day 2: Mandara Huts to Horombo Huts
After breakfast you walk up through the alpine meadows with big trees. Along the path on this fairly easy hike you can enjoy the flora and fauna and fantastic views of Kilimanjaro’s both peaks Mawenzi and Kibo. You have a picnic lunch on the road and dinner is served at Horombo Hut in the evening.
Walking time: 5-6 hours
Elevation: +1 030 meters, end up at 3 780 meters
Sleeping at Horombo Huts
Day 3: Horombo Huts to Kibo Huts
After a well-deserved night’s sleep, you continue up through this increasingly sparsely vegetated landscape and pass the “last water” when you enter the lunar landscape in the “saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo. You have dinner and sleep in Kibo Hut which is located 4,700 meters above sea level. You go to bed early because you will get up at 12 at night to reach the top in the morning.
Walking time: 5-7 hours
Elevation: +920 meters, end up at 4 700 meters
Sleeping at Kibo Huts
Day 4: Ascend to Uhuru Peak and then back down to Horombo Huts
You start your hike to the top very early (in the middle of the night) to have a chance to reach Gillman’s Point (5680 masl) at dawn. After Gillman’s Point, you have 1-1,5 hours to go. From here it is varying uphill and downhill. No tough path but the altitude is extreme and that makes this finale section of the climb very tough. Here it is important to be mentally strong. However, when you get to Uhuru Peak, it will be worth the effort. Remember that you are going down too. The walk down is also tough on already tired legs. When you arrive at Horombo Hut you will be very tired.
Kibo Huts: 4 700 meters
Uhuru Peak: 5 895 meters
Horombo Huts: 3 780 meters
Walking time to Uhuru Peak: 6-7 hours
Walking time down to Horombo Huts: 6-8 hours
Day 5: Horombo Huts to Marangu Gate
Last day hiking is easy, but your legs will be tired. Walking downhill will prove to be tougher than you will think. Still, you will quite quickly come down to Marangu Gate and from there you will drive back to Moshi or Arusha. The drive from Marangu Gate to Moshi takes about 1 hour. If you are going back to Arusha, the drive is about 2,5 hours.
Walking time: 5-7 hours
Elevation: -1 980 meters, end up at 1 800 meters