Altitude: 1970 m.a.m.s.l.
The Marangu gate is an entry point into mount Kilimanjaro
as well as the start of the Marangu hiking trail
of the mountain. The gate also serves as an exit point or the end of the Marangu and Rongai hiking trail. As the Marangu route is the most popular on the mountain, the gate and its compound is also the largest of any in the national park, boasting shops, souvenir shops, small restaurants and some tour and travel offices.
The Marangu gate also has the largest number of offices belonging to the park authorities (TANAPA) and is where all tourists going into or out of the park is supposed to register. This is also where most would meet their guides and porters before finally heading into the park, and if you have less equipment, there usually are some shops around the area where you may find a limited range for hire or sale. There also is a large, secure car park onsite for those who would like to head to the gate in their own cars.
The Marangu gate also serves as an entry point for vehicles going into the park and for part of the trek heading to the first campsite - Mandara huts
, you should be able to see a dirt road running along side the trail. The road culminates at the first campsite and is normally used to ferry park supplies as well as evacuate people in case of emergencies but not for tourists. Other features near the gate include a waterfall with a plunge pool that is located along the trail, less than 30 minutes away that may provide a relaxing swim on the way down.