Tour Dates: Privately on Request
The Rongai route begins in attractive farmland and delightful forest, with the possibility of wildlife viewing, and passes through several different climate zones, as it works its way towards the summit. An extra day is added to the standard five day itinerary to ensure maximum acclimatization while offering the best possible chance of enjoying the magnificent scenery. This route retains a sense of unspoiled wilderness and offers a different perspective on Kilimanjaro by approaching it from the north.
Day 1: Moshi. Welcome to Kilimanjaro! After your plane lands at Kilimanjaro International Airport you will be met and transferred to your overnight accommodations. Attend a pre-climb briefing for all climbers, before enjoying the rest of the evening at your leisure.
Day 2: First Camp. After completing the necessary registration formalities at the gate of Marangu National Park, transfer by Landrover to Rongai. The climb begins from the attractive wooden village of Nale Moru on a small path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering a pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently, but gently, through attractive forest which shelter a variety of wildlife including the beautiful Kilimanjaro Colobus monkey. These monkeys are black with a long cape of white hair and a flowing white tail. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone with extensive views over the Kenyan plains. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Total walking time: 3-4 hours.
Day 3: Kikelewa Caves. The morning walk is a steady ascent up to the 'Second Cave' with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice-fields on the crater rim. After lunch, leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. The campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant Senecios near Kikelewa Caves. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Total walking time: 6-7 hours.
Day 4: Mawenzi Tarn. A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb views and a tangible sense of wilderness. Leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn, spectacularly situated in a cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area, as an aid to acclimatization. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Total walking time: 3-4 hours.
Day 5: Kibo Camp. Cross the lunar desert of the 'Saddle' between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach the Kibo campsite (15,580’) at the bottom of the crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent. Prepare for a very early night! Includes: (B), (L), (D). Total walking time: 4-5 hours.
Day 6: Gillman’s Point - Uhuru Peak - Kibo. Depart your campsite by torchlight around 1 am for the most challenging, yet rewarding, part of the trek. You will proceed very slowly in the darkness on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman's Point. Rest there for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the three hour round trip climb to Uhuru Peak, passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Kibo is surprisingly fast and, after some refreshment, you will continue the descent to reach the final campsite at Horombo. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Total walking time: 11-13 hours.
Day 7: Moshi. A steady descent will take you down through moorland to Mandara Hut, the first stopping place on the Marangu route. Continue descending through lovely lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu (6,000’). Enjoy a packed lunch on the way down. Overnight at the Marangu Hotel, or similar. Includes: (B), (L). Total walking time: 5-6 hours.
Day 8: Arusha - Onward. Transfer back to Arusha for lunch. Later, you will be transferred to the Kilimanjaro International Airport for your flight home, or extend your stay with either a wildlife safari or a visit to Zanzibar Island. A day room can be reserved on request, for an additional cost. Includes: (B).
Note: Other route options are available.
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