Many itineraries lead to the top of the “king mounain” of Africa, Mt Kilimanjaro.
Six are the most famous among so many, and they are the most popular for tourists. We already told about Lemosho Route
in our introduction to Kilimanjaro National Park, which is the first tourist route.
Another easy and popular way to climb Kilimanjaro is Marangu Route. You do not need to be sporty to face this path, though you should be used to walking on mountain ground. You will be asked to bring appropriate clothes and shoes since this route crosses different environments. You can do it in 4 or 5 days, depending on the tour operator.
First stop, Mandara Hut
Mt Kilimanjaro safaris usually start from Arusha or Moshi. In order to follow the Marangu Route, you better leave from Moshi. The first part of the trip is by car, the guide will lead you to Marangu Gate. From this point on, your trekking will start. You will walk through the green, wild forest, where monkeys may cross your way! Your final goal is Mandara Hut, still in the forest. There you will rest and sleep at night.
To the famous three peaks
The second day on the Marangu Route starts again into the forest but as long as you climb the landscape will change. You will be surrounded by an Alpine environment made of large, open, grassy spaces, rocks, harder paths. This is a difficult part, since you feel the altitude change. But it is also the most beautiful. You are approaching the three peaks of Kilimanjaro and will admire Mt Mawenzi and Mt Kibo, already. The second stop is Horombo Hut.
To Mt Kibo
Some guides let you stop for a whole day in Horombo, so to get used to the altitude and the difficult breathing at this height. You will complete the route the next morning, or late afternoon of the same day. Your Kilimanjaro itinerary now will lead you between Mawenzi and Kibo, going towards the latter. You will walk through a desert, dry and hot plain up to Kibo Hut. Make sure you always have water and something to eat, with you.
The highest peak of Kilimanjaro
On the fourth day, or fifth if you took a one-day rest at Horombo, the itinerary will give you the hardest time and the best time ever. You will probably walk very early in the morning, long before the sun rises. A very steep road climbs the last and highest peak of Kilimanjaro, Uhuru.
On the way you will admire the view of the valley, the crater of Gilman Point and a glacier too. You will rest and enjoy the glory of your day as soon as you get to Uhuru Point. There you are, almost at 6000 metres. A wooden road sign will welcome you and remind you that you are on one of the highest peaks in the world. Only Himalaya rises over Kilimanjaro, and inbetween you and Mt Everest there is nothing as closer to the sky!
Time to go back, now, in a faster and more relaxing descent.