Trek Africa’s highest mountain on the quiet and less demanding Rongai Route
The Rongai Route approaches Kilimanjaro from the north and retains a sense of untouched wilderness lost on the crowded Marangu and Machame trails. The ‘easiest’ of all the Kilimanjaro climb routes, it has a relatively gentle gradient and short daily stages as it winds its way from the starting point just south of the Kenya-Tanzania border. It passes through farmland, forest, and Alpine moorland on its way to the beautiful summit cone. There are magnificent views throughout, with possibilities for wildlife viewing, and an extra day to aid acclimatization as the trail climbs beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The final ascent is arduous and made in darkness, but the reward is a spectacular dawn view of the glaciers and ice cliffs of the summit, and across the East African plains far below. Descending through lush forest, there is time to relax and recover before the flight home.
Day 1: Transfer to KilimanjaroClimb Rongai Route
Rongai gate – (1,950m) – Simba camp (First Cave) (2,880m) – (6,400ft – 9,450ft)
Transfer by our vehicle to the attractive wooden village of Nale Muru. After the park formalities you will begin hiking on a wide path that wind through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone.
Day 2: First cave (2,880m) – Second cave (3450m) – (9,450ft to 11,320ft)
The trail continues up towards Kibo, passing Second Cave (3450m) en-route, and reaching Kikelwa Cave at about 3600 metres. The views start to open up and you begin to feel you’re on a really big mountain! Water is in the obvious stream below the cave, although you might have to wander downhill a way to find some. Overnight at 3rd Cave camp (Kikelewa Caves).
Day 3: Second cave (3450m) – Third cave (3870m) – (11,319ft to 12,700ft)
A short but steep climb up grassy slopes offers superb views of this wilderness area. The vegetation zone ends shortly before you reach your next camp at Mawenzi Tarn spectacularly situated beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. Spend the afternoon acclimatizing and exploring the area.
Day 4: Third cave (3870m) – Kibo hut – camp (4750m) – (12,713ft to 15,600ft)
Continue ascending on the east side of Kibo crossing the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo taking 4 to 5 hours to reach Kibo Hut. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent, which begins around midnight. Overnight at Kibo Camp.
Day 5: Kibo hut – camp (4,750m) – Summit (5,895m) & Horombo Hut (3720m) – (15,600ft to 19,340ft) (down 12,200ft)
In the midnight you will be awaken by your guide for a cup of coffee/tea/hot chocolate with a piece of bread and biscuit. After warm up you will stand the most demanding part of the Kilimanjaro around 1 a.m. With your flash light, sun glass, walking stick, camera, drinking water, warm layers the trail will take you to Gilman’s point (5,685m/18,650ft). Rest there for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. Don’t rest for to long as it will ruin your ability to finalize to the summit the Uhuru peak at (5895m). After taking some pictures you will descend to Kibo hut have some breakfast and a rest before proceeding to Horombo Hut – camping for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Horombo Hut – Camping (3,720m) – Marangu gate (1,700m) (12,200ft to 5,500ft) To Moshi/Arusha
After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to Mandara Hut (2,700m / 8,858 ft), the first stopping place at the Marangu route. Continue descending through lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu. A vehicle will meet you at Marangu village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi or Arusha.