The only northern approach route to Kilimanjaro, the Rongai route offers the closest to a wilderness experience. The trek in is through a remote and barren landscape where the rainforest has sadly been lost to agriculture. For those looking to get away from the crowds on Kilimanjaro's popular routes, though this offers a much quieter trail. Like the Marangu route, the Rongai route suffers from a low summit success rates as the topography does not allow the climber to "walk high, sleep low". Rongai route can also be climbed in 6 days. Please let us know if you want quotes for the same.
Kilimanjaro is a big mountain and each of the trekking routes to its summit involves around 4000 metres of ascent. The 7 day Rongai Route is potentially the quickest route on the mountain but it also has a drawback of not being able to follow the 'walk high, sleep low' formula.. However, it is a very quiet route with less climbers than other routes and is therefore preferred by climbers who want to get away from the crowd. Generally, the trek is on good trails and is never very steep. With the exception of the summit day (which is very long) each of the trekking days is short, usually just 4 to 5 hours of walking, which gives us the afternoons to take it easy. The summit day will present a considerable challenge to everyone, as much for the 3000 metres of descent as for the ascent.
Meet at the group hotel in Moshi. where you can finally meet your Rongai route trek partners and crew or mingle with other climbers if any staying at the hotel. The first day is reserved for resting and the chief guide will introduce himself and explain the week long climb to Mt. Kilimanjaro the group. Rest is essential before you embark towards your goal of climbing the Uhuru Peak.
Transfer from your hotel to Marangu Gate for registration and then a further transfer to the Rongai trailhead (approx. 2½ hours). Our porters prepare and pack our supplies and luggage before we start our ascent through the village of Nale Moru. The small winding path crosses maize fields before climbing gently through a pine forest until we reach First Cave at 2,600m altitude.
The trail continues up towards Kibo, passing Second Cave (3450m) en-route, and reaching Kikelewa Cave at 3600m. From here the views start to open up and you will see for yourself how huge a mountain Kilimanjaro really is. We overnight at Third Cave Camp (Kikelewa Caves).
A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb all-round
views and a tangible sense of wilderness. We leave the vegetation behind
shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn (4330 m), 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.
We will spend an extra day at Mawenzi Tarn to help with acclimatisation.
We cross the lunar desert of the 'Saddle' between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo campsite (4750m) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent tomorrow!
We will rise around 23.30 hours and after some tea and biscuits, we will start our ascent. 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). We then zigzag up to Gillman's point (5681m), on the crater rim. This section is very steep with much stone scree and is the most demanding section of the route. From Gillman's Point we could 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 we can spend, taking photographs, before we descend back to Kibo Hut and then Horomobo where we will stay overnight.
After breakfast we continue our descent, passing Mandara Hut, down to the Marangu Gate where you will receive your summit certificates. A vehicle will meet you to drive you back to the Hotel.
Get going for your next destination. If you want to extend your holiday in Tanzania with safari and other activities please contact UFO office.
For more information regarding the Kilimanjaro Rongai route please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org