7 Days Kilimanjaro Trekking Rongai Route

7 Days Kilimanjaro Trekking Rongai Route

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The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, Rongai has a low traffic. It 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, Tanzaniaflow tours will ensure that your trekking is safe and confortable

6Days Rongai Route Itinerary

DAY 1 — To First Cave 1950m to 2600m 6400ft to 8500ft About 4 hours Transfer by Land Rover/Land cruiser (about 3 hours) to the attractive wooden village of Nale Muru (1950 m). After signing in and preparing the porters, you will begin the hike on a wide path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently, but gently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone (2600 m) with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.

DAY 2 — To Kikelewa Camp 2600m to 3600m 8500ft to 11,800ft About 7 hours The morning walk is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave (3450 m) with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. After lunch, leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. The campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant Senecios near Kikelewa Camp (3600 m).

DAY 3 — To Mawenzi Tarn 3600m to 4330m 11,800ft to 14,200ft About 4 hours A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb all-round views and a tangible sense of wilderness. Leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn (4330 m), spectacularly situated in a cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatization.

DAY 4 — To Kibo Camp 4330m to 4750m 14,200ft to 15,600ft About 5 hours Cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo campsite (4750 m) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night!

DAY 5 — To Summit and Horombo Hut 4750m to 5895m (and down to 3720m) 15,600ft to 19,300ft (and down to 12,200ft) About 11 hours Begin the final, and by far the steepest and most demanding, part of the climb by torchlight around 1 a.m. Proceed very slowly in the darkness on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman’s Point (5685 m) Rest there for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the three hour round trip to Uhuru Peak (5895 m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Kibo (4700 m) is surprisingly fast and, after some refreshment, continue the descent to reach the final campsite at Horombo (3720 m).

DAY 6 –Moshi Elevation (ft): 12,200ft to 5500ft Elevation (m): 3720m to 1700m, Hiking Time: 5-7 hours After breakfast, A steady descent takes us down through moorland to Mandara Hut (2700m), the first stopping place at the Marangu route. Continue descending through lovely lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu (1830 m). At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). Transfer to Moshi.

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Day 1: (Airport to Hotel)
You will be picked up by our staff from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and drive you to your accommodation in Arusha. Participants will be given a short briefing for the climb the next day. Kits and the necessary equipment will be checked as well.
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Day 2: (Simba Camp)
We depart from Moshi town and drive 45mins. to Marangu park gate for registration. From there, we travel to Naro Moru, a further 68km and approximately 2 ½ hours on bad roads to the Rongai starting point (1996m). We begin our hike from the Nale Moru village. The small winding path crosses maize fields before entering pine forest, and then we climb gently through a forest. The trail is not steep, but is rather a gentle hike through a beautiful countryside. The first night’s camp is at Simba Camp (2626m). The camp facilities include a public toilet and a wooden table with benches, but no hut
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Day 3: (Kikelewa Camp)-
We hike from Simba camp to Kibo (3482m). We arrive for lunch at First Caves. The distance is 5.8km. After lunch, we continue trekking until we reach Kikelewa Camp at about 3679m. Here you will have an amazing view including a stream of water below the cave.
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Day 4: (Mawenzi Tarn Camp)
A short but steep climb up grassy slopes offer superb views of this wilderness area. The vegetation zone ends shortly before you reach your next camp at Mawenzi Tarn situated beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. Here we spend the afternoon acclimatizing and exploring the area.
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Day 5: ( Kibo hut )
After breakfast, we head west and continue ascending on the east side of Kibo. We then cross 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.
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Day 6: (Summit attempt)
The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. You will rise around 23h20, and after some tea and biscuit, we begin our ascent. 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 (5681m), 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. 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 and enjoying the amazing scenery. Afterwards, we begin our 3-hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest at Kibo hut, we gather all our remaining gears and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) for your overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. Later in the evening, you will have your last dinner on the mountain and have a well-earned sleep.
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Day 7:( Marangu Gate)
After breakfast, we continue our descent for around 6 hours passing the Mandara hut down to the Marangu gate. At Marangu gate, 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. Afterwards, we drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower and celebration.