This is the most popular and easiest way to the summit. The trail has huts along its route with all the basic necessities. No technical skills are required for this five day trek. The trek can also be taken in 6 days/5 nights to add acclimatization with an extra day at Horombo Hut.
Accommodation: Mandra Hut
From the gate, you ascend a cleared ridge trail, formerly a vehicle track to Mandara Hut. The cleared trail is the fastest way to Mandara, but opportunities to see wildlife or enjoy the forest are limited due to the heavy foot traffic. An alternative is to ascend along the parallel forest trail and descend on the main trail. The forest trail branches off to the left, a few minutes after the gate, and follows the edge of a stream through the under growth. About halfway (1 hrs from the gate) you can choose to cross the stream and rejoin the main trail, or continue on the forest trail. Both trails continue on opposite sides of the stream, merging about one hour before Mandara Hut Marangu-Mandara Hut. 1830m-2700m. 3-4 hours trek. Transfer to Marangu Gate at an altitude of 1,860m. The path to Mandara Hut, the first overnight stop, passes through rain forest and takes up to four hours.
Accommodation: Horombo Hut
Mandara-Horombo Hut. 2700m-3720m. 5-7 hours trek. From Mandara Hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest and skirts the base of Maundi Crater, crosses a meadow and a wooded stream, then emerges into grassland. It is well worth the short detour to scramble up to the rim of Maundi Crater for a superb view of the mountain and its surroundings. The trail crosses numerous moorland ravines before ending at Horombo Hut, which is set in a rocky valley with a fine stand of giant sceneries or groundsels. Leaving behind the forest and following the ascending path through alpine meadows on to the slopes of Mawenzi. Horombo Hut is reached after about six hours and is 11km from Mandara.
Accommodation: Kibo Hut
Horombo Hut-Kibo Hut. 3720m-4703m. 5-6 hours trek. From Horombo Hut there are two trails to the Saddle. The right fork is very stony and eroded and is the most direct route to the Saddle and Mawenzi. From the Saddle (about 2 hrs from Horombo), there are trails to Mawenzi Hut ( hr) or Mawenzi Tarn Hut (2 hrs) and across the length of the Saddle to Kibo Hut (3 hrs). The left fork from Horombo Hut is an easier trail and emerges on the Saddle much closer to Kibo and about one kilometre from Kibo Hut. The landscape now becomes more rocky and rugged until the Saddle is reached. Kibo Hut is the overnight stay.
Accommodation: Kibo Hut
Kibo Hut-Gillman's Point (5680m)-Uhuru Peak (5892m)-Horombo Hut. 10-12 hours trek. The trail to the summit lies directly behind Kibo Hut, to the west. It is normal to start this days climb at 2 am or earlier. (The reasons for this are to see the sun rise over Mawenzi from the top of Kibo, the loose stone scree is frozen- making it easier to climb, and you can get back in good time). The first part is an uneven trail which leads to the Hans Meyer Cave, a good restpoint. After that, the trail makes more regular switchbacks most of the way to the top, with a last scramble over rocks to Johannes Notch and Gillmans Point. From there, the trail continues along the rim past Stella Point to Uhuru Peak.An early (2.00am) start to make the steep and demanding final ascent through the snow. By daybreak you should be at the rim of the crater at 5,685m. Time and weather permitting the final push to Uhuru Peak should take about 45 minutes. At the top there are stunning views of the ice walls offset by rugged rocks. After a fast descent to Kibo Hut for a meal and rest continue to descend to Horombo Hut
Horombo Hut-Marangu. 10-12 hours trek. An easy descent to Marangu Gate then transfer to Moshi.
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