The Rongai Route is the only trail that starts from the Northern (Kenyan) side of Mount Kilimanjaro. Because of its remote location the route offers trekkers a relatively unspoiled wilderness experience, it is possible to see antelope, elephant and buffalo. I’ve chosen this route as the Rongai Route receives the least traffic of all the routes on Kilimanjaro and is a little more scenic and adventurous than previous climbs. This is a private tour and will have around 8-10 participants only.
Day 1 – Fly from London to Kilimanjaro International Airport
Day 2 – Arrive in Tanzania – Transfer to hotel in Arusha. Event Briefing.
Day 3 – Rongai Gate (1950m) – 1st Caves Camp (2600m)
Hiking time: 5 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
After breakfast we drive to Marangu Gate (1980m) where porters organise and pack our equipment while we register. We then transfer by vehicle (2.5 hours) to Rongai trailhead. The trail begins in tall cornfields and leads into pine forest. Gradual ascent. Great views. About halfway up the trail we will have lunch. Arrive at 1st Caves Camp early evening. The porters and chef will reach camp beforehand, set up tents, boil drinking water, and prepare snacks. Hot dinner will be served. Temperatures may drop to freezing, be prepared!
Day 4 – 1st Caves Camp (2600m) – Kikelewa Cave (3600m)
Hiking time: 6-7 hours
After breakfast, we continue our ascent, passing Second Cave (3450m) a good spot to take a lunch break. Our tents will be set up upon arrival at camp and the porters will prepare drinking and washing water. After snacks follows a hot dinner. Prepare for a cold night as temperatures will drop below freezing at this exposed camp.
Day 5 – Kikelewa Cave (3600) – Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4330m)
Hiking time: 3-4 hours
A short, yet steep trail to Mawenzi Tarn Camp, in the moorland, and may spot exotic plants including giant lobelia and groundsel. At camp, there are spectacular views. Hot dinner and washing water will be prepared as we enjoy a magnificent sunset whilst acclimatising.
Day 6 – Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4330m) – Kibo Hut (4700m)
Hiking time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine desert
We ascend east for a half day to Kibo Hut, located in the “Saddle,” which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo in an alpine desert. There is no water at this camp, but we can buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. An early dinner will be served so we can rest before attempting the summit the same night. Your guide will brief us in detail on how to prepare for this. Get to sleep by 7pm!
Day 7 – Summit! Kibo Hut (4700m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo Hut (3720m)
Hiking time: 8 hours to Uhuru and 6 hours to Horombo
Habitat: Stone scree / ice /Snow
Wake around 23:30 for tea and biscuits. We’ll then begin our summit attempt. The trail is rocky to Hans Meyer Cave (5150m). We continue our ascent to Gillman’s point (5681m). Reaching this section is a great achievement as the trail is steep, rocky, and at altitude. Gillman’s is located on the crater rim. From here, you usually experience a snow covered trail until the summit, Uhuru Peak (5895m). Reaching the summit of Kili is a lifetime accomplishment! You’ll spend a short time on the summit taking photographs before descending to Barafu. The hike down to Kibo Hut takes about 3 hours where we rest and enjoy lunch in the sun. After eating, continue descending down to Horombo Hut (3720m). We have dinner, wash, and rest soundly at the hut after a long and strenuous day.
Day 8 – Horombo Hut (3720m) – Marangu Gate (1980m)
Hiking time: 6 hours
Following breakfast, we have a celebration full of dancing and singing. It is here we present our tips to the guides, assistant guides, chef(s), and porters. After celebrating, we descend 6 hours back to Marangu Gate (1980m) where we receive certificates of completion. Hikers who reached Gillman’s Point (5681m) receive green certificates and hikers who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. We are then driven back to our hotel.
Day 9 – Depart Hotel for journey back to Kilimanjaro Airport
Day 10 – Arrive Back in London (Usually AM)
*Please note, All of the above may be subject to slight change, final details will be fully confirmed at least 2 months before you travel (flight numbers, hotels etc). Prices are based on 2 sharing accommodation when applicable.