The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. The Rongai Route’s premier advantage has been that it is the quietest route on the mountain, this route is remote and less frequently. It is also the second easiest route to Mt. Kilimanjaro. The approach to the mountain is from the less-forested north side and the descent is by the Marangu Route. There are several variations; the one described is a longer route taking in Mawenzi Tarn.
The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, this route still experiences low crowds. Rongai has a more gradual slope than the mountain’s other routes. It is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the popular Marangu route, for those who would like a more remote hike, and for those who are climbing during the rainy season (the north side receives less precipitation).
Your 6 Days Rongai route on Mount Kilimanjaro climb starts as you are met at the Kilimanjaro International Airport by a representative of Kilitop and Safaris. After customs & Immigration formalities make your way to your hotel in Arusha in a private transfer. Attend a pre-departure meeting with your guide scheduled for the evening.
After breakfast in your hotel in Arusha ,you will be transferred to Rongai Gate via Marangu where you will complete registration formalities. At the gate you will meet rest of your Kilimanjaro crew that include assistant guides, porters and the cook, you begin the ascent from the attractive wooden village of Nale Moru (1950m) you trek through a small path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes owned by the chagga people resident of the area before entering pine forest.
Your Kilimanjaro trek track starts to climb consistently, but gently, through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife, including the beautiful Colobus monkey. These beautiful monkeys are black with a long ‘cape’ of white hair and a flowing white tail. Your first Kilimanjaro climb camp will be outfitted at the edge of the moorland zone (2750m) where the forest begins to thin out and extensive views of the Kenyan plains can be seen.
While on Mount Kilimanjaro, hiking will begin early in the morning. On each day You will hike from between 3 to 6 hours. Kilitop’s highly trained mountain guides will take you at a slow pace, this will give you an opportunity to acclimatize to the altitude changes you encounter on your Kilimanjaro climb. Your guides will continually insist on you trekking slow.
As you hike, you will realize that the lower terrain is magnificent and fascinating, as you will pass through a thick rainforest zone. Over the next three days you will continue to your ascent to the saddle of Kilimanjaro. From up there the views are vast and beautiful. Since you will have limited activities at your camp, you will be encouraged to take advantage of your time on the hikes to take in all the scenery and spectacular views.
Today you continue on a steady ascent during the morning walk, about 5km up to the Kikelelwe Camp where you will be rewarded with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. After taking your lunch, leave the main trail and strike out for the approximatly 3-5 hour walk across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. The location for your camp is in a sheltered valley with great vistas near Kikelelwe Caves (3600m).
Hike further up on a short but steep climb through grassy slopes where you will be rewarded with spectacular all-round views and a tangible sense of wilderness. As you head towards the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn at an elevation of 4330m, you will leave the vegetation behind. Once you reach your camp, resting or exploring the surrounding area is recommended as an aid to acclimatization, you do that during the afternoon. Overnight at Mawenzi Tarn Campsite.
Time to get back on your feet again as you cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach School Campsite (4700m) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Spend the remainder of the day resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night!
This could be the toughest day of your climb as you start the final and, by far, the steepest and most demanding part of your Kilimanjaro climb by torchlight around 12am. Plod very slowly in the darkness on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman’s Point (5685m). Rest there for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. If you are still feeling strong, make the three hour round trip to Uhuru Peak (5895m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. Descend to Kibo (4700m), which is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshment continue the descent to reach our final campsite at Horombo (3700m).
Walks down through high scrub desert, woodland scrub, then into a tropical rain forest. Continue down through moorland to Mandara Hut (2700m.), the first stopping place on the Marangu route. Descend through lovely lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu (1830m.). You will be transferred back to Arusha for a well-deserved shower and rest in relative comfort before you are transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your flight.