The Marangu route, popularly nicknamed the “Coca-Cola” route, is a famous Kilimanjaro trail that dates back to many years ago. It is the oldest and most well-known route. Many people prefer the Marangu route since it is said to be the simplest on the mountain due to its gentle and gradual profile. It is also the only route that provides sleeping huts in a dormitory setting.

The least number of days necessary for this route is five, albeit the chances of reaching the summit in that time are slim. When ascending Klimanjaro via the Marangu route, an extra acclimatization day on the peak is highly suggested.

We do not, however, lead climbs on the Marangu route, despite its tremendous popularity. Because the ascent and descent are on the same path, the route offers the least beautiful diversity of all the routes, and it is also the busiest. Marangu is only recommended during the rainy season, when hut accommodations are preferable over soggy ground, or for climbers with just five days on Kilimanjaro (which we do not recommend anyhow). 

Marangu Route Profile

Minimum Days: 5
Recommended Days: 6 or more
Difficulty (1-10):  Mount Kilimanjaro Routes ranks the Marangu Route at a 5.5/10.  Some consider Marangu to be the easiest route due to its gradual slope.  Hence, the nickname “Coca-Cola Route”.
Scenery:  Marangu uses the same route to ascend and descend to and from Uhuru Peak.  This means your scenery is not as varied as the other routes.
Success Rate:  The success rate of Marangu is very low due to many climbers trying to complete it in 5 days.  For this reason, Mount Kilimanjaro Routes only offers Marangu treks of 6 days or more.
Traffic:  Marangu is reported to be one of the busiest routes on the mountain.  If you are looking for peace and quiet, we do not recommend using this route during the dry season.  During the rainy season, the traffic is very low on all routes including Marangu.
Comfort:  Marangu is the only Kilimanjaro route with huts, which makes it the most comfortable by default.

Marangu Route Highlights

  • Shortest route to the summit which means a lower success rate.
  • Ascent and descent on same route.
  • Only route up Kilimanjaro with dormitory style accommodation.

The Marangu route, famously known as the “Coca-Cola” route as you can get a bottle of Coca-Cola at each hut, is the original route established to climb Kilimanjaro. The Marangu route is often billed as one of the easier walking routes. However, according to KINAPA it suffers from the lowest success rate (42%) as too many climbers try to do it in only 5 days and fail because of poor acclimatisation.

Approaching Mount Kilimanjaro from the southeast, the Marangu route uses the same ascent and descent route which means it is less scenic than the other routes. For climbers who do not wish to camp, then Marangu is the only route that offers dormitory-style hut accommodation. The huts have a communal dining room, simple washrooms and toilets which lower down will be flushable, but as you move higher up the mountain will be “long drop” which translates as “big smelly”.

Although some climbers like the idea of staying in the huts rather than camping, you need to remember that on the Marangu route you will be sharing the hut with lots of other climbers in open dormitory accommodation. And that means one snorer and nobody sleeps.

The minimum time taken to climb via this route is 5 days, however, it is highly recommended if you do choose this route that you add at least one extra day to assist acclimatisation.

Private climbs only on this route.

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Marangu Route Map

As the map of Marangu route outlines, the route begins at Marangu Gate, at the mountain’s south-east corner, where the hike begins. The journey may be completed in as little as five days, although six days is more feasible and suggested. The descent follows the same way, adding to Marangu’s sense of overcrowding. Since of the near proximity of the gate to Moshi, the gateway town, and because it is a shorter path, it is also a less expensive ascent.

Marangu Route map

Marangu Huts – Accommodation for Marangu Route

Staying at the mountain lodges on the Marangu trail is an alternative to camping on Kilimanjaro. The Kilimanjaro National Park maintains these permanent tiny towns in picturesque areas on the mountain’s eastern flank. The oldest and one of the two most popular climbing routes, Marangu is also known as the “Coca-Cola” route since it was formerly simpler to climb than the more difficult Machame Route (Whiskey Route). In the past, these were the only routes that were routinely climbed. Because climbing companies do not need to pay a huge staff to transfer camp equipment from site to site every day, Marangu is the most affordable route to climb.

Facilities at the Marangu Huts

  • Sleeping huts that accomodate 4 to 20 people
  • Communal dining hall
  • Park ranger hut
  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchen hut
  • Separate huts for crew
  • Concessions at some locations
  • Solar power
  • Running water at lower huts
  • Mattress pads
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