+255 710 160 161 info@africantrekkers.com
+255 710 160 161 info@africantrekkers.com

6 Day Rongai Route

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The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, this route still experiences low crowds. Rongai has a more gradual slope than the mountain’s other routes. It is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the popular Marangu route, for those who would like a more remote hike, and for those who are climbing during the rainy season (the north side receives less precipitation). Rongai is a moderately difficult route, and is highly recommended, especially for those with less backpacking experience.

Itinerary

Day 1Rongai Gate (1950m) – 1st Caves Camp (2600m)

Hiking time: 5 hours
Distance: Approximately 8 kilometers
Habitat: Montane Forest

After an early breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked up from Arusha (1400m) and driven to the Marangu Gate (1980m). At the gate, the porters will organize and pack the belongings for the hike while you and your guide register with the Tanzania National Park (TANAPA). You will then be transferred by vehicle to the Rongai trailhead, which is 2.5 hours away from the Managu Gate. The trail begins in the tall cornfields then leads into the pine forest. This trail has a gradual ascent and allows hikers to enjoy their surroundings. About halfway up the trail you will have a lunch break and you will reach the 1st Caves Camp (2600m) in the late afternoon or early evening. The porters and chef, who move very fast up the mountain, will reach camp before you and set up your tents, boil drinking water, and prepare snacks for your arrival. After washing up, a hot dinner will be served. For overnight, mountain temperatures may drop to freezing so be prepared.

Day 21st Caves Camp (2600m) – Kikelewa Cave (3600m)

Hiking time: 6-7 hours
Habitat: Moorlands

Following a hot breakfast, hikers will continue their ascent to Kikelewa Cave (3600m). The trail passes Second Cave (3450m) and this is a good spot to take a lunch break. Similar to the first night, your tents will be set up prior to arriving at camp and the porters will prepare drinking and washing water for you. You will enjoy evening snacks then dinner prepared by our chef. Be prepared for a cold night as temperatures drop below freezing at this exposed camp.

Day 3Kikelewa Cave (3600) – Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4330m)

Hiking time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Moorlands

On this day, hikers will enjoy a short, yet steep trail to Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4330m). In the moorland, you will spot exotic plants, including giant lobelia and groundsel. At camp, hikers will enjoy spectacular views and allow their bodies to acclimate. Hot dinner and washing water will be prepared for hikers as they enjoy the magnificent sunset.

Day 4Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4330m) – Kibo Hut (4700m)

Hiking time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine desert

After breakfast, hikers will continue ascending east for a half-day hike to Kibo Hut. Kibo is located in the “Saddle,” which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo in an alpine desert. There is no water at this camp, but hikers can buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. An early dinner will be served so hikers can rest before attempting the summit the same night. Your guide will brief you in detail on how to prepare for summit night. Get to sleep by 19:00!

Day 5 Summit Attempt - Kibo Hut (4700m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo Hut (3720m)

Hiking time: 7 to 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 6 to 8 hours to descend to Horombo
Distance: Approximately 5.4km ascent and 15 km descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

You will rise around 23h20, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night, and this is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gillman’s point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort. This is probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly.

From Gillmans Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend, taking photographs, before the 3 hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest you gather all your gear you left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) for your overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office) on the mountain and a well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.

Day 6Horombo Hut (3720m) – Marangu Gate (1980m)

Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: Approximately 27 kilometers

Following a well-deserved breakfast, your staff will have a big celebration full of dancing and singing. It is here on the mountain that you will present your tips to the guide, assistant guides, chef(s), and porters. After celebrating, you will descend for 6 hours back to Marangu Gate (1980m). The National Park requires all hikers to sign their names to receive certificates of completion. Hikers who reached Gillman’s Point (5681m) receive green certificates and hikers who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. After receiving certificates, you will drive back to Arusha for long overdue showers and more celebrations.

Enquire This Trip

Price Includes

  • Accommodation according to the itinerary
  • Transportation in a 4×4 safari vehicle
  • Professional, English-speaking guide
  • Professional, English-speaking safari cook
  • Overnight stays in safari tents
  • Camping equipment (tents, sleeping mats, chairs, tables etc.)
  • Meals according to the itinerary
  • Mineral water
  • All mentioned activities
  • All national park fees

Price Excludes

  • Sleeping bag
  • Flights
  • Optional activities
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Visa fees
  • Tips
  • Personal spending money for souvenirs etc.
  • Travel insurance