The Marangu Route is thought to be the easiest route to take to ascend Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa with its two main summits, the craggy Mawenzi, 5149m, and the 'flat-topped', glaciated Kibo, 5896m. The Saddle, a 5km wide, high-altitude, semi-desert separates the two. From the summit glaciers, screes, cliffs, afro-alpine moorland then forests lead down to the cultivated foothills.
For the ascent to Uhuru Peak, a very early start is made since the scree is easier to climb when frozen. Accommodation on the mountain is in comfortable huts and you will require a sleeping bag. It is the only route with emergency evacuation service.
This is a tough walking trip but within the limits of a fit individual used to walking in mountain areas. An extra day for acclimatisation to the altitude can be spent at Horombo.
Because this trail is popularly called the ‘Coca Cola trail’, some trekkers are misled into thinking this climb to the summit is simply a walk in the park - but a greater proportion of people fail on this route than on any other. It may have something to do with the fact that Marangu’s reputation for being ‘easy’ attracts the more inexperienced, out-of-condition trekkers who don’t realize that they are embarking on a 35-kilometre uphill walk, followed immediately by a 35-kilometre descent.
Marangu is not much easier than any other trail: with the Machame Route, you start at 1828m and aim for the summit at 5895m, whilst on Marangu, you start a little higher at 1860m and also aim for the summit.