Lobelia Trekking Tours - Kilimanjaro

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Marangu route - Lobelia Trekking Tours - Kilimanjaro

Duration of climb:5 - 6 days.

The Marangu route is the one of the most popular routes to the summit of Kilimanjaro.
This could partly be as result of the fact that the Marangu is the least expensive route, but more so,perhaps the fact that it is possible to do the Marangu route in 5 days,thereby getting to the summit one day earlier compare to the Machame route.This not always the best way,due to a shorter acclimatisation period.

The Marangu route does however offer you the option of spending an extra acclimatisation day on the mountain.This extends the route into a 6 days trek,greatly increasing your chances of success.Shared hut accommodation on the Marangu routeforms one of the main differences, compare to the other routes.It offer you a relative luxury of being able to sleep in huts along the entire route.

The main itinerary difference between the Marangu 5 day and 6 day routes is the additional acclimatisation day at Horombo Hut.

Day 1
Marangu gate(1800m) - Mandara hut(2720m)
Hiking time: 3-4h
Distance;8.1 km
Habitat:Montane Forest

The drive from Moshi to the Marangu Park gate takes about 1h.The journey passes through the village of Marangu ,which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain.Once you reach the park gate,all hikers are

requested to sign in at the Park office and make their final preparation for the climb.Porters will be seen arranging and loading their packs,contain the food,cooking gas as well as most of your equipment.
Make sure you have all your day pack items (drinking water,rain gears and cameras)with you,as the porters ascend quicker than the hikers.Guides will be available to assist with any addition information or needs you might have.You now leave the Park gate and ascend on a cleared ridge trail through the rain forest.
The forest,suffused with mist and dripping with beards of moss,is also where most of Kilimanjaro's animals are found.
An alternative and more scenic parallel forest trail branches off to the left a few minutes after the gate.
This trail follows the edge of a stream through the undergrowth and offers you the option to rejoin the main trail either after 1.5 hours hiking ,or 1h before Mandara hut.Your first night stop,Mandara hut consisting of a

group of wooden huts in a forest clearing.Each hut features 8 beds with solar generated lighting.The total capacity of the station is 70 clients.Water is piped into the station from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut.Dinner is prepared by our cook and served in a communal dining.


Day 2
Mandara hut(2720m) - Horombo hut(3720)
Hiking tine:6h
Distance:11 km

From Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest,skirts the base of the Maundi crater

and then emerges into transition from rain forest to moorland.It is well worth a short detour to scramble up the rim of the Maundi crater for your first really impressive view  of the Kibo peak.On a clear day,Kibo will glimmer in the distance,showing of the majestic glaciers in the morning sun.
Once you are in the open moorland you will get the chance to see some of Kilimanjaro's most spectacular plants-the endemic Lobelia deckenii which grows up to 3 min height and the giant groundsels (giant senecio), which can reach to the height of 5m.After 6h trek you reach Horombo hut,where you will have a hot bowl of washing water,rest,an evening meal and overnight.

Day 3
Horombo hut 3720m

Acclimatisation day


This extra day and night at Horombo is for acclimatisation.A hike towards the Zebra rocks(about 2h up and 1h down) is strong recommended.This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatisation.Remember to drink enough

water and move slowly.All meal for this day are provided at the dining hutsRetire to bed early and get a good night rest.

Day 4
Horombo hut(3720m) - Kibo hut(4745m)
Hiking time:5h
Distance:9.5 km
Habitat:Alpine desert

After breakfast you now continue your ascend into alpine desert habitat.From Horombo there are two trails to the ''Saddle''(which refers to the area located between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi).There is an upper route (right hand fork)and lower route(left hand fork)to choose from.The upper route should be very familiar as you will climbed it the previous day(acclimatisation day)towards Zebra rocks.
The recommended lower route is much easier and nearly an hour shorter and it also passes the last water point at 4150m.Porters will have to carry water for use at Kibo hut(cooking and drinking) Once again remember to slow down and drink enough.

Situated in the barren alpine desert is Kibo hut,a stone build block house which has bunk beds for 60 clients, but no streams with water nearby.
The summit is now a further 1200m up and you will make your final ascend the same night.
Prepare your equipment ,ski-stick and thermal clothing for your summit bid.This should include the replacement

of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well.
To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask.Go to bed at about 1900h and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible.

Day 5
Kibo hut(4745m) - Uhuru peak(5895m) - Horombo hut(3720m) Hiking time:6-7h to Uhuru peak,6-8h to descend to Horombo.
Distance:5.4 km ascent and 15 km descent Habitat:Stone scree and ice-capped summit

You will rise around 2300h and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle into the night,and is where the going really get tough.The first section of the trail consist of a rock path to the Hans Meyer cave(5150m),also a good

resting spot.The path then zigzags up to Gillmans point(5681m),which is located on the crater rim.This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree,requiring a great physical and mental effort.This is probably the most demanding section of the entire route.Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly.

From Gillmans point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak,the highest point in Africa.
Weather condition on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend,taking photographs,before

the 3hours descend back to Kibo hut.After a short rest you gather all your gears you left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut(3 hours)for your overnight.The return to Horombo will seems surprisingly fast compare to the ascent.The total time spent walking this day is around 14 hours,so be prepare for a very tough day.
Later in the evening you enjoy your last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep,filled with memories and stirring emotions.

Day 6
Horombo hut(3720m) - Marangu gate(1800m) Hiking time:6h
Distance:19 km

After breakfast you descend 6h passing Mandara hut,down to the Marangu gateAt Marangu gate you sign your name and details in a register.This is also where successful climbers receive their summit CERTIFICATES.

Those climbers who reached Gillmans point are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru peak received gold certificates.You now drive back Moshi for a long overdue shower,dinner and celebrations!!


Kilimanjaro hiking with Lobelia Trekking Tours

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