The drive from Moshi to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Marangu, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. Once you reach the park gate, all hikers are requested to sign in at the Park office and make their final preparations for the climb. Porters will be seen arranging and loading their packs, containing the food, water, cooking gas as well as most of your equipment.
From the park gate, we ascend on a cleared ridge trail through the rain forest where you will see most of Kilimanjaro’s animals. An alternative and more scenic parallel forest trail branches off to the left a few minutes after the gate.
This trail follows the edge of a stream through the undergrowth and offers you the option to rejoin the main trail either after 1.5 hours hiking, or 1 hour before Mandara hut where you will spend the night.
Mandara hut consists of a group of wooden A-framed huts in a forest clearing. Each hut features 6-8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting. The total capacity of the camp is 60 climbers. Water is piped into the camp from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut.