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6 Days Rongai Route – Kilimanjaro

Created with Sketch. Rongai, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
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Duration

6 Days

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

Unlimited

Languages

English

Overview

The Rongai route ascends Kilimanjaro from the north-eastern side of the mountain, along the border between Tanzania and Kenya. This route retains a sense of unspoilt wilderness and offers a different perspective on Kilimanjaro by approaching it from the north.
The topography of the route does not allow for the application of the climb high and sleep low principle and hikers generally suffer more from altitude sickness on the Rongai route compared to other routes (an additional acclimatization day is highly recommended on this route). The Rongai route use the scree summiting path from Kibo hut to Gilman’s point and descend via the Marangu route.

Itinerary

Day one: Rongai Start Point – Simba camp
Altitude: (1996m) – (2626m)
Hiking time: 4 hours
Distance: Approximately 6.7 km
Habitat: Forest (Montane)

Depart from Moshi town and drive 45 minutes to the Marangu park gate for registration. From Marangu park gate we travel to Naro Moru, north east Kilimanjaro, a further 68km and approximately 2 ½ hours on bad roads to the Rongai start point (1996m). Meet your guide and porters before you begin your hike from the Nale Moru village. The small winding path crosses maize fields before entering pine forest and then climbs gently through a forest. The trail is not at all steep, but is rather a gentle hike through a beautiful countryside. The first night’s camp is at Simba Camp (2 626m). The camp facilities include a public toilet and a wooden table with benches, but no hut.
Day two: Simba camp – Kikelewa Camp
Altitude: (2626m) – (3679m)
Hiking time: 6 – 7 hours
Distance: Approximately 11.8 km
Habitat: Moorlands

We hike from Simba camp up towards Kibo till 3 482m for lunch at First Caves, a distance of 5.8km. After lunch we continue trekking until reaching Kikelewa Camp at about 3679 metres. The views start to open up and you begin to feel you’re on a really big mountain! Water can be found in a obvious stream below the cave, although you might have to wander downhill a way to find a pool or two. Enjoy dinner and overnight at Kikelewa camp.
Day three: Kikelewa Cave – Mawenzi Tarn camp
Altitude: (3679m) – (4303m)
Hiking time: 3 hours
Distance: Approximately 3.7 km
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.
Day four: Mawenzi Tarn camp – Kibo hut
Altitude: (4303m) – (4730m)
Hiking time: 5 hours
Distance: Approximately 9 km
Habitat: Alpine desert

After breakfast we head west and 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 hut.
Day Five:Kibo hut – Uhuru Peak – Horombo hut
Altitude: (4730m) – (5895m) – (3705m)
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 / ice-cap 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.

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 at Kibo hot, 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 six: Horombo hut – Marangu Gate
Altitude: (3705m) – (1860m)
Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: Approximately 19.7 km
Habitat: Moorland & Montane Forest

After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. Click here for more info on tips.
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 Gillman’s Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive gold certificates. You now drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, dinner descent bed and celebrations!!

Included/Excluded

  • Quality, waterproof, four-season private mountain
  • 2 Nights accommodation
  • Professional, experienced, mountain guides:
  • All Park fees
  • Rescue fees
  • All meals while on the Mountain
  • Arrival and Departure transfers
  • Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
  • Quality Mess tents with table and chairs:
  • Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food:
  • Clean, purified drinking water:
  • Crisis management and safety procedures:
  • Fair and ethical treatment of porters:
  • Sleeping Mattress:
  • Emergency Evacuation
  • Tanzania Visa: $50 per person on arrival
  • Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)
  • Meals not listed above
  • Optional Tours (short or long safari after your climb etc)
  • Tips for guides and porters and any items of personal nature.
  • International and domestic flights
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Sleeping bags and personal items
  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodation and meals in Moshi

Tour Categories

Mount Kilimanjaro

Durations

Multi day

Languages

English

Tour's Location

Created with Sketch. Rongai, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

FAQs

What can I expect on a typical safari day?
This is your safari trip, your adventure! You decide how you want to spend your time on this vacation. If you would like to spend a full day on safari, you are definitely welcomed to do so. Visa Expeditions does not restrict your mileage, fuel or how much time you want to be on safari. While some days you may decide set out by sunrise, other days you can have a slower-paced breakfast before starting your daily exploration. Simply sit down with your guide to plan your day and meals the night before. Your guide will have plenty of suggestions, but of course, the decision is yours.
What to Bring on Safari
Safaris are casual vacations! Dress comfortably and pack lightly. As you will be spending most of your safari viewing in the vehicle, loose-fitting and light coloured clothing is recommended. Avoid dark colours (i.e. black, dark blue) as they tend to attract unwanted attention from insects such as the tsetse fly.
What are the park fee regulations?
All park fees and conservation fees have a 24 hours limit. We plan your itinerary according to the park permits paid. Your safari driver guide will brief you the night before and provide suggestions regarding your schedule. Please note that any penalty fee resulting from the client’s wish to extend their stay will be at the guest’s expense.
Am I allowed to walk around the national parks?
It is recommended to stay inside your vehicles at all times when you are in the national parks unless your driver-guide find a safe area to stop for lunch or to stretch your legs. If you are keen on hiking, there are guided walks that are available in Tarangire, Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro. Within the Serengeti National Parks, long walks are not permitted during to conservation reasons, however, some lodgings will offer short walks near the lodge or camp.
Will there be wildlife roaming at the camps and lodges?
It is important to never assume that any of the animals encountered on your game drive are tame. Though attacks by wild animals are unusual, nothing in the African wilderness is predictable. While you are staying in your safari lodges and camps, it is important to be especially cautious and aware of your surroundings as many of these areas are not fenced and contain wildlife roaming freely. If you have children with you, keep them in sight and do not let them wander alone. At smaller tented lodges, you will always be escorted to and from your tent for dinner or during the night. Should you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to raise them to the staff or your guide.
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