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Kilimanjaro Climbing Via Rongai Route

The Rongai route ascends Kilimanjaro from the north-eastern side of the mountain, along the border between Tanzania and Kenya. This route retains a sense of unspoilt wilderness and offers a different perspective on Kilimanjaro by approaching it from the north. The topography of the route does not allow for the application of the climb high and sleep low principle and hikers generally suffer more from altitude sickness on the Rongai route compared to other routes (an additional acclimatization day is highly recommended on this route). The Rongai route use the scree summiting path from Kibo hut to Gilman’s point and descend via the Marangu route.

Safari tour package: A set-date, set-itinerary, group safari
Prices: $1700 - $1850
Includes internal flights: Yes
Length of safari: 7 days
Best months: January - March, May - December
Countries visited: Tanzania Tanzania
Parks visited: Kilimanjaro
Activity level: Extreme - Technical climbing (Kilimanjaro, Mt. Meru)
Safari type:
  • Self-drive
Rongai Route 7 Day Itinerary begins at the remote, northern side of Kilimanjaro, near the Kenyan border. We hike through a true wilderness area towards the jagged Mawenzi Peak, then cross a barren desert saddle, before climbing up Kibo’s eastern crater wall. The Rongai route is a more gradual ascent, and is therefore preferred by those with little or no backpacking experience, but is equally enjoyable for even the most hardened trekkers. As mentioned above, an additional acclimatization day on Day 5 is added. During this day, we will do additional acclimatization hikes around and up to the saddle towards Camel’s Back.

Day 1: Arrive in Marangu. Arrive in Marangu we will use our private transfer to Marangu at Kilimanjaro Mountain Resort. We will gather in the evening for a pre-climb briefing and an equipment check. We will also confirm you have the appropriate mandatory medical coverage and travel insurance.

Day 2: Rongai Simba Camp (Full board). We take a ride to Marangu to complete the necessary registration formalities, before transferring by SUV to Rongai. The climb begins from Nale Moru (6,400 ft) on a small path that wind through fields of maize and potatoes before entering a pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently, but gently through an attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife, including the Colobus monkey. These monkeys are black with a long ‘cape’ of white hair and a flowing white tail. The forest begins to thin out at the edge of the moorland zone. Then, we take in the expansive views over the Kenyan plains as we arrive at our first campsite atRongai One Camp (8,500 ft). [3-4 hours walking]

Day 3: Rongai Second Cave (Full board). The morning walk is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave (11,300 ft) with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern Icefields on the crater rim. After lunch, we leave the main trail and strike out and head southeast across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. Our campsite is in a sheltered valley, decorated with giant senecios near Kikelewa Caves (11,800 ft). [6-7 hours walking]

Day 4: Rongai Kikelelwa Cave (Full board). A short but steep climb is rewarded by superb all-around views and a tangible sense of wilderness. We leave vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn (14,200 ft), 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 acclimatization. [3-4 hours walking]

Day 5: Mawenzi Turn (Full board). We have an additional day to acclimatize. We explore the area with a walk up onto the Saddle towards Camel’s Back. We return back to camp at Mawenzi Tarn (14,200 ft). [2-3 hours walking]

Day 6: Mawenzi Turn to Kibo Hut (Full board). We cross the lunar desert of the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo Hut (15,400 ft) at the bottom of the crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for an early morning final ascent. [5-6 hours walking]

Day 7: Kibo Hut to Summit to Horrombo Hut (Full board). We start the final and most demanding part of the climb by torchlight around 1 a.m. We plod very slowly in the darkness on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman’s Point (18,600 ft). We rest here for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the three-hour round trip to Uhuru Peak (19,345 ft), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Kibo Hut (15,400 ft) is surprisingly fast and, after some refreshments, we continue the descent to Horombo Huts (12,200 ft). [11-15 hours walking]

Day 8: Horrombo Hut (Full board). A steady descent takes us down through moorland to Mandara Huts (8,900 ft). We then continue descending through lovely lush forest on a good path to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate at Marangu (6,000 ft), where we are transferred back to Moshi/Arusha Hotel. [5-6 hours walking]

END OF PROGRAM

Kilimanjaro Climb Includes: •Tanzania VAT on tourism activities and park fees • Return transfers Kilimanjaro airport to Arusha and Arusha to Kilimanjaro airport • Hotel Lodging the night before and the night after the climb, with dinner and breakfast included (double occupancy) • with bed dinner and breakfast • Transfer from your hotel to starting point for your climb, and return to your hotel after your climb • Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food • All Kilimanjaro National Park gate fees, camping fees and climbing permits. • Kilimanjaro National Park rescue fees (Kilimanjaro Rescue Team) • Emergency oxygen (for use in emergencies only – not as summiting aid) • Basic first aid kit (for use in emergencies only) • Qualified mountain guide, assistant guides, porters and cook • Salaries for mountain crew as per guidelines set by Kilimanjaro National Park • Breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as hot drinks on the mountain • Camping equipment (tents, camp chairs, tables & sleeping mattress • Water for washing up daily • Porter to carry your duffel bag (max weight 15kg / 32 lbs) from one camp to the next camp. • Kilimanjaro National Park certificate for your successful summit attempt • A comprehensive Climbing Kilimanjaro travel info pack • Flying Doctor Service 

Kilimanjaro Climb Excludes: • Flights and airport taxes • Items of a personal nature • Compulsory tips for guides, porters and cook (average tip is anything from US $ 230 to US $ 300 per hiker – depending on number of days / how many hikers in the group and route chosen) • South African passport holders do NOT require a visa for Tanzania, however most other Nationalities require a visa for Tanzania • Health requirements (Yellow Fever compulsory if travelling to Tanzania recommended) • Highly recommended travel and medical insurance. • Personal hiking/trekking gear – we can rent some of the gear from our equipment store in Tanzania • Optional but highly recommended Portable toilet • Snacks, personal medicine and water purifying tablets • Meals & drinks not specified and snacks

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