One or two hours is spent at Marangu Gate Headquarters for registration and payment of fees. From Marangu Gate at 18,000
meters (5,904 feet), the trail leads through lush rainforest. Wildlife is limited due to the heavy foot trafFic. An alternative route branches off through the forest after the gate and follows the edge of a steam. About an hour and half from the gate it is possible to cross the stream and rejoin the main trail, or remain walking along the forest trail. Both paths continue on opposite sides of the stream, merging
one hour before Mandara Hut, located at 2,700 meters (8,856 feet). From Mandara Hut it’s a short walk to the Maundi Crater for a scenic view and a look at the massive protea Flower.
The morning of the second day is spent walking over the steep slopes and rushing streams of the giant heather forest, after which
the track opens out into the southern slopes of Mawenzi running through a band of moorland. Five hours and fourteen kilometers (nine miles) from Mandara bring you to Horombo Hut at 3,810 meters (12,500 feet).
(OPTION FOR 2 NIGHTS AT HOROMBO)
There are a numbers of good reasons for staying an extra night at Horombo: the most important is to become acclimatized to the altitude and reduce your chances of sickness. There are also several interesting features in the area well worth visiting, including the Zebra Rocks, a low cliff 1.5 kilometers (one mile) away with vertical stripes of contrasting colors caused by differential rain Flow. Below the huts are cul-de-sac lava tunnels with glass walls that are worth exploring. Finally, the number of bunks at Horombo makes it the most comfortable of all the huts on the mountain
A valley behind Horombo leads straight up to the barren and rockstrewn saddle between Kibo and Mawenzi passing Zebra Rocks on the way. It is thirteen kilometres (eight miles) and seven hours to Kibo Hurt at 4,725 meters (15,500 feet), reached by taking the left fork just after a rain gauge at the start of the saddle.
The trail to the summit lies directly behind Kibo Hut to the west. The climb begins shortly after midnight for two reasons:
1) To see the sun rise over Mawenzi from the top of Kibo
2) The loose stone screen is frozen, making it easier to climber over.
The First part of the trail is uneven and leads to Hans Meyer Cave, a good place to try and catch what little breath you have left. From the
cave the path switchbacks most of the way to the top, with a last scramble over rocks to Johannes’s Notch and Gillman’s Point. From there the trail continues along the rim past Stella Point to the triumphant Uhuru Peak. After enjoying the view from the top ofAfrica, hikers make a speedy return to Horombo Hut.
The descent continues from Horombo to Mandara Hut, which is reached by lunch time, then proceeds to the park gate and Marangu in the afternoon.