The extended (7-day) Marangu route is certainly one of the best routes up Kilimanjaro. Compared to the standard 5 day / 4 nights route you have two extra days for acclimatization and a very interesting detour to the base of Mawenzi with its towering rock spires, which reach to 16,890 ft. (5,150 m). -->Highly recommended!
Itinerary (7 days / 6 nights on the mountain):
Briefing Your guides will meet you at your hotel in Arusha or Moshi for a detailed briefing of the climb. Accommodation: hotel in Arusha or Moshi (D)
Transfer to Marangu gate - hike to Mandara hut (2700 m) Departure from Arusha at 8am, about 2 hours to Marangu village. Once you arrive at the gate, and after completion of administrative formalities and meeting with porters and guides, begin the 4 to 5 hour walk to Mandara Hut. The walk is at a leisurely pace through a dense and humid forest to the hut. If you feel up to it at day's end, walk to the nearby Maundi crater for a long view over the plains & Lake Jipe, and in the distance: the Pare and Usambara mountains. The night is spent inside one of the huts.
Accommodation: Mandara hut (B, L, D)
Mandara hut - Horombo hut (3720 m) After about 45 minutes in the forest, you will suddenly arrive upon an area of high grasses of the heather belt, which as the trek continues, becomes increasingly desert-like, into the moorland. About 5 to 6 hours of walking brings you to Horombo Hut, and a stunning view of Mawenzi Peak. Night will be spent in one of the huts.
Accommodation: Horombo hut (B, L, D)
Horombo hut - Mawenzi hut (4,600 m) Instead of continouing straight towards Kibo hut (as in the 5d version) or spending your acclimatization day here (6 day version) you'll have a relaxed trek to thebase of Mawenzi, at nearly 15,000 feet (4,600 mt.). Along the way you pass Zebra Rock the striking landscape of the moorland zone. 4-6 hours of trekking.
Accommodation: Mawenzi hut
Acclimatization day at Mawenzi hut (4600 m) This extra day is perfect for your body's acclimatization. You'll have a full day to explore the hidden valleys of the majestic Mawenzi volcano. The sunrise upon Kibo to the west, as viewed from Mawenzi Hut, is one of the most spectacular sights on Kilimanjaro, and this extra day help gather your strength for the trail ahead.
Accommodation: as before (Mawenzi hut) (B, L, D)
Mawenzi hut - Kibo hut (4703 m) The day's trekking will about 6 to 7 hours. You will trek across the exposed, barren alpine desert of the saddle between Kibo and Mawenzi. The last fresh water point is at 14,100 ft. (4,300 m), where it will be necessary to fill your water bottles. The porters will carry the rest of the water required for food and hot beverages. The saddle crossing is impressive and the landscape spectacular. Night spent at Kibo Hut.
Accommodation: Kibo hut (B, L, D)
Kibo hut - Uhuru Peak (5895 m) - descend to Horombo hut (3720 m) You will be woken up early with a steaming cup of coffee or tea, and the departure will be between 12:30 to 01am. The temperatures range from just below freezing at midnight, to between 10 deg. F (-12 deg. C) to -10 F. (-23 deg. C) just before dawn at Gillman's point, at about 18,652 ft. (5,685 m) on the crater rim. The winding scree path of endless switchbacks will carry you through the night, and at dawn the spires of Mawenzi will be silhouetted against the red glow of the sun from beneath the clouds. After about 6 hours of walking, you will come to the edge of the crater, near the Ratzel Glacier. Once reaching Gillman's Point, summon your strength for another 1.5 hour trek over a gentle slope around the edge of the crater rim to the high point; Uhuru Peak, at 19,340 ft. (5,895 m). After a short time at the summit, descend the steep scree trail back to Kibo Hut for some rest, then descend further to Horombo Hut for the night. Total trekking: 12-15 hrs
Accommodation: Horombo hut (B, L, D)
Final descend - Transfer to Arusha Descend straight to the gate of Marangu, which will take about 6 hours of walking. On arrival at the gate you will have lunch, receive your certificates, and say goodby to many of your crew. We'll bring you to the KIA lodge, where you can use day rooms for a shower, change cloths etc. In the afternoon, return to Arusha (or Moshi).
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