7 Days Rongai Route
Second Cave, Kikelelwa Cave, Mawenzi Tarn, Kibo Hut, Horombo Hut
Rongai Route Highlight
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.
Today after breakfast, you will drive from Moshi to Marangu Gate for permits before taking a short transfer to the Rongai Gate trailhead. The path winds through corn and potato fields and then climbs gently through the forest which is home to a variety of wildlife, including the black and white colobus monkey.
Today in the morning, you will begin with a steady incline up to Second Cave. You continue trekking though moorland, leaving the main trail for a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi, before finally arriving at Kikelewa Cave for the night.
Today the hike will be short and steep up a grassy slope. Views of the wilderness area are stunning. As you exit the heath zone and emerge into the Alpine Desert zone, the landscape changes dramatically. Our camp is situated beneath the jagged spires of Mawenzi, at Mawenzi Tarn. The remainder of the day can be spent relaxing or exploring the area.
Today is meant for acclimatization and can be spent day hiking on Mawenzi Ridge. The unique landscape offers motivating views of Kibo and Mawenzi. After spending a few moments exploring the area we head back to Mawenzi Tarn for camp.
Today you will climb gradually, then cross the lunar desert of the “Saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo. Our camp, Kibo Hut, sits at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Once here we rest, enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day.
On this day round midnight, you begin your push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. At Gilman’s point (18,600 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, you will arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.
After spending a few moments taking in the plains of Africa and your accomplishment, you descend to Horombo Hut. Later in the evening, you enjoy your last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
This day will be your last day, you will have a long trek mostly downhill through the tropical rain-forest. Once at the park headquarters at Marangu gate, you collect your summit certificates. A vehicle will meet you here and drive back to the hotel in Moshi.