We avoid the crowded Marangu route on Kilimanjaro, preferring to approach the mountain from the north by the lightly-used Rongai route. The Rongai route starts just south of the Kenya-Tanzania border and has been almost unused for many years because the area was considered sensitive. Now open for climbing once again, experienced guides consider this ascent route to be both easier and more beautiful than the main Marangu trail. The Rongai route begins in attractive farmland and delightful forest, with the possibility of wildlife viewing, and passes through several different climate zones, adding considerably to the interest of the trek.
We have laid out the day-by-day itinerary under the "itinerary tab". If you have any questions to us, please contact us. We can assure you that this will be an experience of a lifetime.
Trek type: Small- Medium group size, Youth and Family, High altitudes. Summit Success Rates: Gilman’s Point (96%). Uhuru Peak (97%)
Day 1: Arrival Day in Tanzania:
Upon arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport code: JRO you will welcomed by ANAPA representative who will usher you into a waiting vehicle and transfer you to the Hotel in Arusha. The rest of the day will be yours to do as you please; you may choose to relax at the hotel or explore the small town of Arusha (Arusha City excurtion). You will have a preliminary talk in preparation for your trek the following days. Dinner& Overnight at Outpost Lodge Arusha.
Day 2: Kilimanjaro Gate – Rongai 1st Caves camp (2600m)
Hiking time: 4/5 hours - Distance: About 8 kms - Habitat: Montane forest
After breakfast, you will be collected from your hotel and taken to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate 2hours a half drive ride from Arusha. Once the necessary paper work has been completed, your trek can begin and you will soon be hiking entering a pine forest and climbs gently though a forest. The trail is not at all steep, but is rather a gentle hike through beautiful country. The first nights camp is at 1St First Cave, at about 2,600 metres above the sea level. There is a toilet and a wooden table with benches, but no hut. Water can be found just down the trail below First Cave.
Day 3: 1st Cave – Kikelewa Cave (3600m)
Hiking time: 6-7 hours - Habitat: Moorlands
The trail continues up towards Kibo, passing Second Cave (3450m) en-route, and reaching Kikelewa Cave at about 3600 metres. The views start to open up and you begin to feel you 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) all meals included.
Day 4: Kikelewa Cave – Mawenzi Tarn camp (4330m)
Hiking time: 3-4 hours - Habitat: Moorlands.
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. All meals served at camp.
Day 5: Mawenzi Tarn camp – Kibo hut (4700m)
Hiking time: 4 – 5 hours - Habitat: Alpine desert
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 all meals served.
Day 6: Kibo hut (4700m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo hut (3720m)
Hiking time: 6 hours to reach Uhuru - 7hours to descend to Horombo - Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
At mid-night on around 23h30 (Summit attempt), wake up and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. This is a really tough piece of final trekking up to summit. 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 Gillmans 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, 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 can spend, taking photographs, before the 4-hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest you gather all your gear for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut 3hours where you will overnight.
The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. Later in the evening you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office) on the mountain and well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.
Day 7: Horombo hut (3720m) – Marangu Gate (1980m)
After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate (About 27 kms). It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. At Marangu gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates .
Those climbers who reached Gillmans Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. You now drive back to Moshi or Arusha for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!! Overnight at Hotel category #1day you selected.
Day 8: Arusha – Transfer
After breakfast, you can continue with your travel plans or be transferred to Kilimanjaro Airport.