Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro Rongai Route – TKRON
You will be met by unspoiled wilderness, on a more gentle route, as you take this Kilimanjaro Rongai Route to Africa’s highest point. There is only one route over on the north eastern side of the mountain, Rongai, which is usually a five night climb. This lesser known track may not be quite as spectacular as the western routes, but it does usually have far less traffic than the other five night routes. This route offers a different perspective on Kilimanjaro by approaching it from the north. It is generally considered to be the easiest of the quality routes on the Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Day 1 Moshi
Pick up from Arusha town or Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to Moshi town, which is commonly known as the gateway to Mount Kilimanjaro. Half Board accommodation is at a base hotel in Moshi.
Day 2 First Cave Camp (2600m)
Register at the Marangu park gate and then transfer to the Rongai trailhead (approximately 2 ½ hours). Meet your guide and porters before you begin your 5 hour 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 meters. 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 Kikelelwa Cave (3600m)
The trail continues up towards Kibo, through moorlands, passing Second Cave (3450m), and reaching Kikelelwa Cave at about 3600 meters, after 6 – 7 hours. The views start to open up and you begin to feel you’re on a really big mountain! Water is usually in the obvious stream below the cave, although you might have to wander downhill a way to find some. Overnight is at Kikelelwa Cave camp.
Day 4 Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4330m)
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, after 3 – 4 hours, spectacularly situated beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. Spend the afternoon acclimatizing and exploring the area.
Day 5 Kibo Hut Camp (4700m)
Continue ascending on the east side of Kibo crossing the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo taking 4 to 5 hours to reach Kibo Hut through alpine desert. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent, which begins at midnight. Overnight is at Kibo Camp.
Day 6 Summit Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo hut (3720m)
You will rise around 2330 hrs., 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 (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, probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kilimanjaro 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. It will take about 8 hours to reach the summit. Weather conditions 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 hiking 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.
Day 7 Marangu Gate (1980m)
After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. At Marangu gate, 1980 m, 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! Accommodation is at a base hotel in Moshi.
Day 8 Depart
After breakfast, transfer back to Arusha town.