Marangu Gate (1,800m/5,905ft) to Mandara Hut (2,743m/9,000ft)
Elevation Gain: 915 meters, 3,000 feet
Leave bustling, colorful Moshi early for the drive to Marangu Gate, the threshold of magnificent Kilimanjaro. It’s just an hour’s drive, but you’ll be captivated by the countryside – coffee and banana plantations, through picturesque Marangu village, with Kilimanjaro rising majestically ahead of you.
We’ll register you at the Marangu Gate (because we don’t want to lose you!) and then your adventure will begin. At first, the ridged trail is narrow as you wander through the rainforest. It’s lush and misty, with the trees adorned with moss. The canopy overhead is alive with birdsong and strange rustlings – is that a colobus? Mongoose might scuttle ahead of you. You’ll also meet tired hikers descending from the summit. Give them a high five for effort.
The hike to Mandara Hut is around three hours so stop to rest your legs and have a tasty lunch at the Hut and once you’ve replenished yourself, take the short but challenging walk to the Maundi Crater. On a clear day, the views to the east over Taveta and to the northwest to Mawenzi Peak are stunning. Don’t forget your camera! After basking in the beauty of it, you’ll hike back down to the Marangu Gate where our vehicle will be waiting for you to drive you, tired but happy, back to Moshi. This Kilimanjaro day hike is suitable for most people, even if you’re a little unfit!