Kilimanjaro – Rongai Route

Mount Kilimanjaro in full view

Mount Kilimanjaro in full view

Route Description:

The Kilimanjaro Rongai Trailhead is Kilimanjaro’s only route beginning from the north side, and is used by few trekkers, which is why is is one of preferred routes. This route affords the opportunity to witness up-close the Mawenzi volcano, the second highest peak of Kilimanjaro, and the magnificent saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo Peak. Due to the rugged terrain and the limited acclimatization time, fitness plays a huge role in the enjoyment and success of this trek. Each day you see many changes of vegetation and scenery, due to the rising terrain and decrease in precipitation. The accommodation is in mountain tents and dining is in our mess tents.

Daily Itinerary:

DAY 1 – RONGAI GATE (6,550 ft./ 2,000 m) ~ RONGAI 1 CAVES CAMP (9,285 ft./ 2,830 m)

Departure from Arusha at 8am, about 5 hours drive (2 on rough roads) to the Kilimanjaro rongai gate. After completion of administrative formalities and meeting with porters and guides, begin the 3 to 4 hour walk to the first camp. The walk is at a leisurely pace through fields and then into the rain forest. Arrive at your camp set in the heather, to your mess tent and a hot meal.

DAY 2- RONGAI 1 CAVES CAMP ~ RONGAI 2 CAVES CAMP (11,300 ft./ 3,450 m)

About 4-5 hours trek through the heather will bring you to second caves. If the weather is clear, Mawenzi will be in plain view; a stunning sight. Enjoy stopping to see the exotic heather-zone flowers and plants which grow alongside the trail.

DAY 3- RONGAI 2 CAVES CAMP ~ KIKELEWA CAVES CAMP(11,800 ft./ 3600 m)

"Restaurant" on Kilimanjaro

“Restaurant” on Kilimanjaro

Today is a short trek designed to help you acclimatize. A smaller track leads off the main trail through the moorland and towards Mawenzi’s steeply rising slopes. The trekking time is about 3 – 5 hours, arriving in camp for a hot lunch, and a chance to acclimatize while exploring the surrounding landscape of bizarre plants and rock formations and caves.

DAY 4- KIKELEWA CAVES CAMP~ MAWENZI TARN CAMP(14,160 ft./ 4,315 m)

Trek from the moorland and eventually into the stark highland desert towards Mawenzi, on trails not frequented by many tourists. From the Tarn Campsite you will enjoy a magnificent view across the saddle towards Kibo; your final target. Total trekking time is 5-7 hours.

DAY 5 – MAWENZI TARN CAMP ~ OUTWARD BOUND CAMP(15,585 ft./ 4,750 m)

The trekking time today is 5 – 7 hours, though a relatively easy hike across the wide saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo. The trek takes you across the massive saddle- the crossing is impressive and the landscape spectacularly stark. Prepare all your gear for the night ahead, and turn in early to rest

DAY 6 – OUTWARD BOUND CAMP ~ UHURU PEAK (19,340 ft./ 5,895 m) HOROMBO CAMP (10,200 ft./ 3,110 m)

You are awoken at midnight, and depart the camp at about 1am. From your camp to the rim of the crater (Gillman’s Point (18,750 ft./ 5,712 m)) to Uhuru Peak, the trekking time is about 7 – 8 hours. The following descent to Mweka Camp is about 5 – 6 hours. Total trekking time is 12 – 14 hours. Upon your 1am departure, the temperatures will be between -0 to -10° C, and then from 4am to 6am (just before sunrise), you can expect temperatures from -10° to -20° C. The slope is steep, with switchbacks, over loose rock and scree with some boulders as you near Gilman’s Point. You will stop at Hans Meyer cave on the way, the famous place where Kilimanjaro’s first western climber described in his journals. Once you arrive at Gilman’s Point (after about 5 – 6 hours) at the edge of the crater, the trail to the summit is less demanding, and is reached after a further 1½-2 hours along the snowy crater rim (depending on the season). After 3 hours of descending to Kibo hut, there is a pause for rest & food, then another 3 to 4 hours to reach Horombo Camp.

DAY 7- HOROMBO CAMP~ MARANGU GATE(5,900 ft./ 1,800 mt.)

Descend straight to the gate (5 – 6 hours), where you’ll have lunch and will be awarded climbing certificates. Transfer back to Arusha for a much-welcomed shower!

Prices:

Prices vary depending on a number of factors including the time of year you are travelling, the number of persons in your group, whether you have any children in your group. We are happy to provide you with pricing information if you can provide us with some basic details including those already noted. Contact us for pricing by clicking on this link.