- Airport transfers before and after Kilimanjaro trekking
- Hotel - Kilimanjaro park gates before and after trekking
- Trekking during the day and overnight in campsites
Rongai is the only route that approaches from the north. Due to its remote starting location, which requires a little extra effort to get to, it is one of the least frequented trails on Kilimanjaro, which is perfect for those looking for a more ‘wilderness’ experience. Technically speaking, ‘Rongai’ is not its true name, but is the one that it is best known by. The trail used to start right on the Kenyan border at Rongai Village, but now begins in the small town of Loitokitok, which is the official name of the trail. Rongai is by no means an ‘easier’ route, but it takes a slower pace, usually over 7 days, and has more of a gradual ascent than other routes. The route follows a trail through farmland and then up to a smaller forest section before continuing in the shadow of Mawenzi Peak, Kilimanjaro's second highest volcano, where trekkers have the chance experience arguably the most picturesque camp on the mountain at Mawenzi Tarn. From here the route crosses 'The Saddle' through desert terrain up to Kibo camp, and from here joins the Marangu Route on its approach to the summit via Gillman’s and Stella point.
Day 1: Arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport.
On arrival at the airport, you meet one of our representatives and transferred to the hotel in Moshi. In the afternoon or evening, our mountain guide will meet you for the briefing. Overnight at Moshi Leopard Leopard Hotel or any similar hotel, bed and breakfast included.
Day 2: Moshi to Simba Camp
After breakfast, leave the hotel and drive to Marangu Park Gate where you will register. Then you will drive for approx. two and a half hours to the start point of the Rongai Route in the village of Nale Moru. While most routes approach the climb from the south, Nale Moru lies on the north-eastern side of the mountain and offers a quieter start to your climb. You’ll meet your guide and porters and begin on a small path winding through farmed maize and potato fields, followed by pine forest. The track climbs consistently but gently through a forest that shelters beautiful Colobus monkeys — distinctive due to their 'cape' of white hair and flowing white tail. Your first night on the mountain will be at a camp made at 8,530 feet at the edge of the moorland, with extensive views over the Kenyan plains. Today you will have walked for three to four hours. Stay: Simba Camp. B, L, D.
Day 3: Simba Camp to Kikelewa Camp.
A steady ascent up to the ‘Second Cave’ awaits today, with superb views of the icefields on the crater rim. After lunch at ‘First Caves’ you will leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. Camp is in a sheltered valley near Kikelewa Caves. Water can be found in a stream below the cave. Today you’ll have reached 11,811 feet after walking for six to seven hours. Stay: Kikelewa Camp. B, L, D.
Day 4: Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn Camp
Today you’ll make a short but steep climb to be rewarded with superb views and a sense of total wilderness. The next camp at Mawenzi Tarn (14,200 feet) is spectacularly situated beneath towering spires of Mawenzi. Here you can enjoy the afternoon at leisure to rest or explore the surrounding area and acclimatise. Today’s walk will have taken three to four hours. Stay: Mawenzi Tarn Camp. B, L, D.
Day 5: Mawenzi Tarn Camp to Kibo Camp.
After breakfast you’ll head west and cross the lunar desert between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo Camp (15,600 feet) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. You will have walked for five to six hours and it will be important to spend the rest of the day resting and to get a very early night, in preparation for the final ascent which will begin at around 1am tomorrow. Stay: Kibo Camp. B, L, D.
Day 6: Kibo Camp to Horombo Camp.
Your final day on the mountain begins by torchlight at around 1am. After some tea and biscuits you will head off into the night towards the summit. This is the steepest and most demanding part of the climb, and you’ll need to put your ‘Kili shuffle’ into practise! Guides recommend learning the shuffle prior to the climb – it’s a very deliberate walk where you take a step and then lock the knee, to give you a nice solid platform for the next step. You’ll head along a switchback trail heading for the crater rim and Gillman’s Point (18,650 feet). Here you’ll have time to rest and enjoy the spectacular sunrise — this is a special moment to take in. Those still strong enough can make the three-hour round trip to Uhuru Peak (19,350 feet) – the highest point in Africa. From Gillman’s Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru Peak, and you’ll pass close to the glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The weather conditions will determine how long you are able to spend at the top, but be sure that as well as taking some photographs, you commit the moment to memory as you stand there on what feels like the top of the world. The descent back to Kibo Camp is surprisingly fast, and after a short rest and some refreshments you’ll continue the descent to reach the final camp at Horombo (12,200 feet). Today will have been a long but rewarding day, with 11-15 hours spent walking. Stay: Horombo Camp. B, L, D.
Day 7: Horombo Camp to Moshi/Arusha.
You’ll make a steady descent through moorland to Mandara Hut then through lush forest on a good path to the national park gate. On this final day you’ll have spent five to six hours walking. With the climb completed, you’ll sign the register and receive your certificate for successfully reaching the summit (green certificates for those who reached Gillman’s Point; gold for those who went all the way to Uhuru Peak). You’ll then be driven back to Moshi Leopard Hotel or Arusha Outpost Lodge, or any similar hotel in Moshi or Arusha, bed and breakfast included.
Day 8: Transfer to the airport.
Transfer to the airport on time as indicated on your flight tickets.