The Marangu Route, famously referred to as the “Coca-Cola Route”, is the oldest and most established trekking path on Mount Kilimanjaro. Its popularity stems from being the only route with hut accommodation, offering trekkers the classic Kilimanjaro climbing experience while still maintaining its unique character.
Unlike other routes, Marangu doesn’t allow camping, instead, trekkers are housed in permanent huts equipped with bunk beds and simple mattresses. These huts provide extra protection from the weather, making Marangu a popular choice for those climbing during the rainy season. With 60 bunk beds at Mandara and Kibo Huts, and 120 at Horombo Hut, this route also provides trekkers with the chance to purchase various snacks and beverages, hence its nickname “Coca-Cola Route.”
While Marangu has a reputation for being an easy trek, its approach to the final camp can be physically demanding, with roughly 1000 meters of vertical gain on the last day alone. However, the five-day duration of the trek, which doesn’t include an acclimatization day, makes it a popular choice for those with limited time.
It’s important to note that Marangu also has the highest failure rate of all the routes up Mount Kilimanjaro due to the lack of acclimatization. This trail is also the only route that uses the same path for both ascent and descent, meaning trekkers will see the same sights twice and can encounter crowded conditions.
Despite its limitations, Marangu offers the classic Kilimanjaro experience and is a tried and true path to the Roof of Africa. Marangu is available as a five or six-day private climb, with the five-day option excluding an acclimatization day at Horombo Hut.