Rongai Route

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515

Moshi / Kilimanjaro National Park

Every Day : 8 Days / 7 Nights Total hiking distance: Approximately 96 kms

The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border.Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, the Rongai route still experiences low traffic.

Rongai is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the crowded Marangu route, for those who would like a more remote hike, and for those who are climbing during the rainy season (the north side receives less precipitation).

The minimum number of days required for this route is six days, and seven days are recommended.

Although the scenery is not as varied as the western routes, Rongai makes up for this by passing through true wilderness areas for days before joining the Marangu route at Kibo camp. This route descends down the Marangu route.

Rongai is a moderately difficult route, and is highly recommended, especially for those with less backpacking experience.

DAY 1 – ARUSHA OR KILIMANJARO AIRPORT / MOSHI

You are met at the Airport or in Arusha City,  drive to Moshi.
Overnight: Hotel in Moshi

DAY 2 – RONGAI GATE (1950M) – 1ST CAVES CAMP (2600M)

Hiking time: 5h
Distance: Approximately 8 kms
Habitat: Forest (Montane)

Register at the Marangu park gate, after which you transfer (approximately 2 ½ hours) to the Rongai trailhead. 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 beautiful country. The first night’s camp is at First Cave, at about 2,600 metres. There is a toilet and a wooden table with benches, but no hut. Water can be found just down the trail below First Cave.
Overnight: First Cave

DAY 3 – 1ST CAVE (2600M) – KIKELEWA CAVE (3600M)

Hiking time: 6 – 7h
Habitat: Moorlands

The trail continues up towards Kibo, passing Second Cave (3450m) en-route, and reaching Kikelwa Cave at about 3600 metres. The views start to open up and you begin to feel you’re 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).

DAY 4 – KIKELEWA CAVE (3600) – MAWENZI TARN CAMP (4330M)

Hiking time: 3 – 4h
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.
Overnight: Mawenzi Camp

DAY 5 – MAWENZI TARN CAMP (4330M) – KIBO HUT (4700M)

Hiking time: 4 – 5h
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

DAY 6 – (SUMMIT ATTEMPT) KIBO HUT (4700M) – UHURU PEAK (5895M) – HOROMBO HUT (3720M)

Hiking time: 8h to Uhuru, 6h to Horombo
Habitat: Stone scree / ice-cap summit
Distance: Approximately 6 kms ascent, 21 kms descent

You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. 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 Gillman’s 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 3-hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest you gather all your gear for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) where you will 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 well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.
Overnight: Horombo Camp.

DAY 7 – HOROMBO HUT (AT 3720M) TO MARANGU GATE (AT 1980M)

Hiking time: 6h
Distance: Approximately 27 kms

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. 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 and celebrations!!
Overnight: Hotel in Moshi.

DAY 8 – MOSHI /ARUSHA CITY OR KILIMANJARO AIRPORT

After breakfast you will be transferred to the Airport for your return flight or to Arusha to  start your safari.

Included in the Said Trekking:

  • Transfers from Arusha or Kilimanjaro Airport.
  • Accommodation, meals as per the programme.
  • Hut Fees, Entry Fees, Park fees.
  • 2 porters for each climber (15Kgs each porter), Guide, Assistant Guide.
  • Rescue fees.

Not included in the Said Trekking:

  • Other meals not mentioned as included, items of a personal nature,
  • Gratuities to Porters and Guide/s – the driver guides.
  • Mountain Equipments.
  • All type of drinks.
  • Visa and visa fees for Tanzania.
  • Visa fees (currently US$ 50.00 per passport holder – US CITIZEN US$ 100.00). Visas are available on arrival at all Entry point/s
  • Flying doctors coverage: Optional @ US$ 50.00 per person.
    • Covers you within East Africa for a period of 14 days. In the eventuality of a medical emergency, you will be airlifted to Nairobi where you will be taken to a good hospital. Hospital bills are born by the patient
    • We highly recommended you to have your personal insurance.
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