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7 DAY RONGAI ROUTE

Tour Overview:

The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, this route still experiences low crowds. Rongai has a more gradual slope than the mountain’s other routes. It is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the popular 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). Rongai is a moderately difficult route, and is highly recommended, especially for those with less backpacking experience.
Although the scenery is not as varied as the western routes, Rongai makes up for this by passing through true wilderness areas for nearly the entire way. Descent is made via the Marangu route.

Itineraries

DAY 1: Rongai Gate to Rongai Cave

We drive from Moshi to Marangu Gate for permits before taking a short transfer to the Rongai Gate trailhead. The path winds through corn and potato fields and then climbs gently through the forest which is home to a variety of wildlife, including the black and white colobus monkey.

  • Elevation: 6,398 ft to 9,300 ft
  • Distance: 8 km/5 miles
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

DAY 2: Rongai Cave to to Second Cave

We begin this morning with a steady incline up to Second Cave. We continue trekking though moorland, leaving the main trail for a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi, before finally arriving at Kikelewa Cave for the night.

  • Elevation: 9,300 ft to 11,300 ft
  • Distance: 6 km/4 miles
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Heath

Second Cave to Kikelewa Cave

  • Elevation: 11,300 ft to 11,811 ft
  • Distance: 6 km/4 miles
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Heath

DAY 3: Kikelewa Cave to Mawenzi Tarn

The hike today is short and steep up a grassy slope. Views of the wilderness area are stunning. As we exit the heath zone and emerge into the Alpine Desert zone, the landscape changes dramatically. Our camp is situated beneath the jagged spires of Mawenzi, at Mawenzi Tarn. The remainder of the day can be spent relaxing or exploring the area.

  • Elevation: 11,811 ft to 14,160 ft
  • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

 

DAY 4: Mawenzi Tarn to Mawenzi Ridge

This is an extra day meant for acclimatization and can be spent day hiking on Mawenzi Ridge. The unique landscape offers motivating views of Kibo and Mawenzi. After spending a few moments exploring the area we head back to Mawenzi Tarn for camp.

  • Elevation (ft): 14,160 ft -14,400 ft
  • Distance: 2 km/1 mile
  • Hiking Time: 1-2 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Mawenzi Ridge to Mawenzi Tarn

  • Elevation (ft): 14,400 ft -14,160 ft
  • Distance: 2 km/1 mile
  • Hiking Time: 1-2 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

DAY 5: Marwenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut

We climb gradually, then cross the lunar desert of the “Saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo. Our camp, Kibo Hut, sits at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Once here we rest, enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day.

  • Elevation (ft): 14,160 ft to 15,430 ft
  • Distance: 8 km/5 miles
  • Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

DAY 6: Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak

Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. At Gilman’s point (18,600 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

After spending a few moments taking in the plains of Africa and your accomplishment, we descend to Horombo Hut. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

  • Elevation (ft): 15,430 ft to 19,341 ft
  • Distance: 6 km/4 miles
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Habitat: Arctic

Uhuru Peak to Horombo Hut

  • Elevation (ft): 19,341 ft to 12,250 ft
  • Distance: 16 km/10 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Heath

 

DAY 7: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak

On our last day, we have a long trek mostly downhill through the tropical rainforest. Once at the park headquarters at Marangu gate, we collect our summit certificates. A vehicle will meet us here and drive us back to the hotel in Moshi.

  • Elevation (ft): 12,205 ft to 6,046 ft
  • Distance: 20 km/12 miles
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

 

DAY 8: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us back to the hotel in Moshi.

  • Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
  • Distance: 10 km/6 miles
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

 

Safari Details

Departure & Return Location

Kilimanjaro Airport (Google Map) or From the hotel

Departure Time

07:00 Am (East Africa Time)

Price Includes

  • Portable toilet tent
  • 2 Night Hotel accommodation in Moshi, a day before trek and a day after trek
  • Transportation to and from your selected route
  • Transfer from Airport/Bus station in Moshi on arrival and return to airport/Bus station after climb.
  • Quality, Waterproof, four-season private mountain sleeping tent
  • Quality Mess tents with table and chairs
  • Certified, experienced, English speaking mountain guides:
  • All Tanzanian National Park Fees
  • Government Climbing Taxes
  • Climbing permits
  • All hot Meals prepared by our cook while on Mountain
  • Guides, Porters and Cook Salaries
  • Fair and ethical treatment of Porters
  • Enough porters to carry your luggage
  • Safety Equipment:
  • Emergency Oxygen
  • Pulse Ox meter

Price Excludes

  • Tips for guides, porters and cook (this is a guide to tipping on the mountain
  • Any Private Expenses
  • International airfares and departure taxes
  • Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks
  • Laundry services
Tipping is highly appreciated at the end of safari

Tips will vary depending on the length and complexity of the trip, the number of staff on the trip and the number of clients on the trip. Generally, groups like to meet before the end of the trek to discuss how much they would like to tip each staff member based on their individual trek experience.
The following are daily rates for each climber recommended to tip per staff member:

  • Guides: $20/day/guide
  • Cook: $15/day
  • Porter: $10/day/porter

N/B: Our Guides, cooks and Porters are always satisfied with your thanks giving (tip) you have and not beyond your ability.