9-DAY ADVENTURE

The Rongai
route

Kilimanjaro

HIKING KILIAMNAJARO 'S VIEW

The Rongai route is one of the least frequented of the official Kilimanjaro trails. The upside of this is that
there will be few other trekkers about, and for most of the climb, you are walking Mount Kilimanjaro
through virgin wilderness and awe-inspiring scenery. The downside is that one of the reasons it is quiet is
because the topography of this route doesn’t make it easy to acclimatize, as you can’t easily follow the
“walk high, sleep low” principle.
Starting from the Rongai gate, the route traverses several diverse climate zones, and each produces its own
amazing views and experiences. Because of its remote location the route offers trekkers a relatively
unspoilt wilderness experience where it is possible to see large wildlife like antelope, elephant and buffalo.
Heading up to Kikelewa Caves on day two, the views start to open up, with the Amboseli Plains of Kenya
stretching into the distance. The route continues up to the mountain’s second summit at Mawenzi, before
crossing the Saddle, a barren plain that connects the two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. After reaching the
summit, the descent is along the more heavily travelled Marangu route, offering you the chance to see
Mount Kilimanjaro from both sides.
Lying in the rain shadow of Kilimanjaro, the Rongai route is one of the best routes to make the attempt on
Kilimanjaro during the rainy season, as it sees substantially less rain than the southern routes.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Extra day for acclimatisation
  • A True wilderness experience
  • High guide to client ratio

ITINERARY

DAY 1

ARRIVAL

All trekkers need to organise their own flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). From JRO we will arrange a private transfer to your hotel. That night or early the next morning you will meet your local Kandoo representative and have a full pre-climb briefing.

Transport: Private transfer (0.8 hour, 40 km)
Accomodation: Hotel

DAY 2

RONGAI TRAILHEAD TO FIRST CAVE CAMP

Transfer from your hotel to Marangu Gate for registration and then a further transfer to the Rongai trailhead (approx. 2½ hours). Our porters prepare and pack our supplies and luggage before we start our ascent through the village of Nale Moru. The small winding path crosses maize fields before climbing gently through a pine forest until we reach First Cave Camp at 2,600m altitude.

Transport: Private transfer (2.5 hours, 90 km)
Hiking time: 4 – 5 hours
Ascent: 650 m
Max. altitude: 2600 m
Accomodation: Camping
Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

DAY 3

FIRST CAVE CAMP TO KIKELEWA CAMP

The trail continues up towards Kibo, passing Second Cave (3450m) en-route, and reaching Kikelewa Caves at 3600m. From here the views start to open up and you will see for yourself how huge a mountain Kilimanjaro really is. We camp here overnight.

Hiking time: 6 – 7 hours
Ascent: 1000 m
Max. altitude: 3600 m
Accomodation: Camping
Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

DAY 4

KIKELEWA CAMP TO MAWENZI TARN

A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb all-round views and a tangible sense of wilderness. We 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 acclimatisation.

Hiking time: 4 – 5 hours
Ascent: 730 m
Max. altitude: 4330 m
Accomodation: Camping
Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

DAY 5

ACCLIMATISATION AT MAWENZI TARN

We will spend a full day at and around Mawenzi Tarn as part of the acclimatisation process. There will be plenty to do, with several paths leading up the ridges and towers of Mawenzi, and our crew will help arrange short excursions to explore the area.

Max. altitude: 4330 m
Accomodation: Camping
Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

DAY 6

MAWENZI TARN TO KIBO CAMP

We cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo Campsite (4750m) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent tomorrow.

Hiking time: 3 – 4 hours
Ascent: 420 m
Max. altitude: 4750 m
Accomodation: Camping
Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

DAY 7

KIBO CAMP TO SUMMIT TO HOROMBO HUT

You will be woken around 23:30 and after some tea and biscuits we will start our ascent. 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). We then zigzag up to Gilman’s Point (5681m) on the crater rim. This section is very steep with much stone scree and is the most demanding section of the route. From Gilman’s Point we could encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru Peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long we can spend taking photographs before we descend back to Kibo Campsite and then Horomobo Hut where we will stay overnight. Later in the evening we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Hiking time: 12 – 13 hours
Ascent: 1145 m
Descent: 2175 m
Max. altitude: 5895 m
Accomodation: Camping
Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

DAY 8

HOROMBO HUT TO MARANGU GATE

After breakfast we continue our descent, passing Mandara Hut, down to the Marangu Gate. Transfer to your hotel for a well-earned shower and celebration.

Transport: Private transfer (1 hour, 40 km)
Hiking time: 6 – 7 hours
Descent: 1740 m
Max. altitude: 3720 m
Accomodation: Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch

DAY 9

DEPARTURE

After a much needed nights rest, we will bid you goodbye. If you have arranged airport transfers with us or a safari / Zanzibar trip, we will collect you in the morning for your onward journey.

Transport: Private transfer (0.8 hour, 40 km)
Meals included: Breakfast

DETAILS

REVIEWS

INCLUSIONS