With 7 different routes to choose from, it can be hard to decide which Kilimanjaro Route is right for you, but if you are looking for a quieter path to the Roof of Africa, you might want to consider the Rongai Route.
The only Kilimanjaro Route that approaches the mountain from the north (close to the Kenyan border), the Rongai Route is less crowded than the popular Machame Route, and as such it offers unspoilt wilderness and plenty of wild animal encounters along the way. Here’s a sample itinerary of what your Rongai Route Climb might look like:
Day 1: After breakfast today, your driver will collect you from your hotel in Arusha and drive you to the Marangu Gate where you will collect your permit. You will then continue to the Nalemoru gate near the Kenyan border, where you will start your Mt. Kilimanjaro trek. Your first day’s walk is a gradual ascent through the rain forest. As you walk, watch out for elephants and cats covering portions of the trail. The trek is about 3 to 4 hours and it bring you to your first camp, Simba Camp Trekking Time: 3-4 Hours
Day 2: After a hot cooked breakfast in the mess tent, you will start the day with a steady ascent up to the ‘Second Cave’ (alt.3450m) where you will be treated to breath taking views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields of the Crater rim. After breaking for lunch, you will leave the main trail and head out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. Your campsite for tonight is in a sheltered valley with giant Seneciois near Kikelelwa Cave.
Day 3: Today’s trek starts with a short but steep grassy slope, as you make your way towards Kilimanjaro’s peak. At the top, you will be rewarded with stunning views and a tangible sense of wilderness. As you leave the vegetation behind, you will make your way to your next camp Mawenzi Tarn (alt. 4330m), a spectacular camp located directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. In the afternoon, you will have some free time to rest at camp or explore the surrounding areas. Trekking Time: 3-4 Hours
Day 4: After breakfast today, you will cross the lunar desert and the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo Hut (alt. 4750m) at the bottom of the Kibo Crater wall. You will spend remainder of the day resting in preparation for the final ascent. Trekking Time: 5-6 Hours
Day 5: Today is the day you have been waiting for! After a midnight wakeup call, and a warming cup of tea with biscuits, you will begin your summit to Uhuru Peak at 5895m / 19,340ft. This part is considered steepest and most demanding part of your journey, but you will walk very slowly through loose scree to reach the crater rim at Gilman’s Point (alt. 5685). Here you will rest briefly to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi, before continuing further to Uhuru Peak (alt. 5896m), where you will pass the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. After taking those cherished photos, you will begin your descent to Kibo Hut for lunch, before trekking further down to Horombo Campsite for your final night on the mountain. Trekking Time: 11-12 Hours.
Day 6: After breakfast in camp, you will have a steady descent that takes you down through moor land to Mandara Hut (alt. 2752m), the first based used by people climbing the Marangu route. Here you will receive your certificate and spend some quality time with your mountain crew. After a picnic lunch, you will enjoy a private transfer back to your lodge in Arusha for a welcome hot shower and overnight.