Rongai Route

INTRODUCTION

The Rongai Route is easier and more scenic than the Marangu or Machame routes, and the success rate is very high. All climbers sleep in tents (tents are included) and meals are served in a dinner tent or on a blanket outside.

The route starts on the north side of Mount Kilimanjaro just south of the Kenyan border. The descent is down the Marangu Route on the south side of the mountain, so climbers see the mountain from many view points.


Rongai route Itinerary

DAY 1: 

Pick up from Kilimanjaro International Airport. You will be met and transferred to the Babylon Lodge in Marangu for accommodation and dinner. If you arrive early, you will spend day for relaxation in the beautiful lodge as you enjoy the Kilimanjaro region and the high altitude if you are coming from low altitude places. You can even take a walk to the local town which is just 10 minutes walking just to stretch your legs. Briefing will be done before dinner if you arrive early but if you arrive late briefing will be done the next morning before departure.



DAY 2

Rongai Gate (1950m) - 1st Caves camp (2600m)
Hiking time: 5 hours | Distance: About 8 km's | Habitat: Montane forest


Register at the Marangu park gate with a 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


DAY 3:

1st Cave (2600m) - Kikelewa Cave (3600m)
Hiking time: 6-7 hours | 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 to find some. Overnight at 3rd Cave camp (Kikelewa Caves


DAY 4:

Kikelewa Cave (3600) - Mawenzi Tarn camp (4330m)
Hiking time: 3-4 hours | 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 If you are spending an extra day on the mountain, you will camp for two nights here. You can hike up and around Mawenzi for your acclimatization hike. 



DAY 5: 

Mawenzi Tarn camp (4330m) - Kibo hut (4700m)
Hiking time: 4 - 5 hours | 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: 8 hours to reach Uhuru, 6 hours to descend to Horombo | Distance: 6 km's ascent - 21 km's descent | Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit


You will rise around 0230hrs 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. 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 will enjoy your last dinner on the mountain and well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions


DAY 7 -- To Marangu Gate

After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to Mandara Hut (2700m / 8858 ft), 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 / 6004 ft). 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). 

A vehicle will meet you at Marangu gate to drive you back to the Babylon Lodge in Marangu. At Babylon Lodge you will have hot water showers and thereafter it will be time to celebrate with your guides and porters. Kilimanjaro beer for those who drink and barbecue will be a good way to celebrate your success of being to the highest point in Africa! The guides will also sing for you and the jovial mood of the evening will make your trip worth remembering!


DAY 8:

After breakfast you will depart for the airport or other destinations in Tanzania. We will be glad to arrange for you a tour to see the wild life of Tanzania or to the beautiful spice island of Zanzibar through our partner company.