Trek the incredible Rongai Route of Mt Kilimanjaro.

See Africa from a different perspective – from the peaks of Mt Kilimanjaro. Approach the striking mountain from the north for the opportunity to see mountainside animals – monkeys and even the occasional elephant inhabits these parts, so keep your eyes peeled. Traverse through rich forests along the north-eastern side, then embark on a trek to the summit. Discover an enticing array of wildlife and gorgeous scenery along the way and be rewarded by incredible views from Uhuru Peak.

Start
Marangu, Tanzania
Finish
Marangu, Tanzania
Countries
Tanzania
Themes
Walking & Trekking
Code
YKXR
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 16
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
405kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Visit Marangu and explore the lush tropical surrounds
  • Travel with a group of experienced guides and porters with 1 guide for every 2 passengers
  • Hike through the dense greenery, spotting native wildlife of Mt Kilimanjaro’s foothills
  • Witness the stark beauty of Mawenzi from its heart at Mawenzi Tarn.
  • Hike Kilimanjaro's climactic last stretch by lamplight reaching Africa’s highest point
  • Experience an incredible African sunrise from Mt Kilimanjaro

Itinerary

Jambo! Welcome to Tanzania.
Our hike begins at the Kibo Hotel in the foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro.

Please make sure you are at Kibo Hotel by early evening, as your tour commences here with a full briefing and kit inspection before dinner by an experienced Kilimanjaro climber, in preparation for the start of our trek.

Please note that it is sometimes necessary to have this meeting on the morning of Day 2 if someone arrives late. Please check at reception for up to date information on where and when this important meeting will take place.
Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

Located in the heart of Marangu and just a short walk from the village’s bustling market, and shops (including some excellent coffee shops brewing locally grown coffee), Kibo Hotel is Marangu’s most iconic building and one of the most historic buildings in the whole of Northern Tanzania. It is also located within very close proximity of beautiful waterfalls and ancient Chagga caves, used originally to hide cattle from attack from invading Maasai tribes.

Originally founded in 1886 by a German family in partnership with the then Chagga Chief Marealle, the building was originally intended as a base for Kilimanjaro expeditions and in fact played host to Hans Meyer and his crew who, in 1889, led the first successful expedition to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Still owned by the current Chagga Chief and his family, the building retains many of its original features and the walls in public areas are covered in historic antique maps of Tanzania and of the Mountain, as well as photos of famous past guests – including ex-US President Jimmy Carter, who stayed at the hotel before and after a successful Kilimanjaro climb in 1988. With its beautiful landscaped gardens, lawns and views of the lush Marangu forests, it really is an ideal place to take in the history of this incredible area of the world, as well as to unwind after a strenuous Kilimanjaro climb.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:

http://d3oxn90f3yphmd.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/file_attach/52735_product_altitude-sickness.pdf
We meet our guides and porters after breakfast. Each person has a personal porter and there are extra porters for camping equipment and food. Please read your trip notes for further information about your guides and porters.
This morning you’ll transfer to the northern side of the mountain and the village of Nale Moru (1950m). . As you walk up from the gate you’ll wind through cultivated farmland and pine forest plantations before entering lush forests. As you go along keep your eyes open; the trees hide many species of birds and you might be lucky enough to see monkeys and signs of larger game. Your first mountain camp will be on the edge of the moorland zone with great views back down to the plains and into Kenya. Walking time 3-4 hours.
After waking with the dawn and a hot drink we have a hearty breakfast and prepare for the day’s walk.

Continuing uphill we ascend steadily up to the second cave at 3450m whilst high above you Kibo Peak towers and the eastern ice fields cling to the mountain’s crater rim. Below, the slope sweeps away down into the forests.

The third cave is our goal for today and so we head further up the mountain and reach camp in the afternoon. Total walking time 5 hours
This morning we have a steady but steep ascent under the jagged peaks of Mawenzi.

Leaving grassy slopes behind we also leave the vegetation zone and enter the high altitude desert. We head for tonight’s camp near to the Mawenzi Tarn – the only permanent lake on Kilimanjaro - with the cirque of this 5149m peak towering above you.

The afternoon is free to help your acclimatisation. Total walking time 4 hours.
Skirting Mawenzi Peak, today we head out into the lunar landscape of "The Saddle", a broad tundra desert between the two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. From here you get fantastic views of the upper reaches of the mountain before arriving at Kibo Hut (4703m), a dry-stone-walled hut with limited facilities.

Tonight we prepare for tomorrow's final assault - re-packing to leave any non-essential items with the porters; you need to summon all your energy to get to the summit so there's absolutely no point in carrying anything you don't need!

An early night is imperative as you must make a midnight start in order to reach the summit in the morning before the cloud cover settles, and then have time to get back down. Total walking time - 4-5 hours.
This is a long and demanding day! The guides wake us before midnight and we start out in darkness, zigzagging up a long scree slope by the light of your head-torch in the extreme cold.

At this time of day the scree is still frozen - which makes it easier to walk on! After roughly two hours we should reach Hans Meyer's Cave - named after the German geologist who made the first successful ascent in 1889 - where he found the remains of a frozen leopard. The gradient gets steeper and three hours on (this is the hardest stretch of the ascent) we should reach the crater rim at Johanne’s Notch.

From here it's a short scramble to Gillman's Point (5680m) in time for dawn. The reward is the dramatic spectacle of the sun rising over the ice fields and craggy peaks of Mawenzi - the profusion of colours and shapes make all the suffering seem worthwhile. The views are incredible as you look down with the plains of Africa stretching away.

For those who still have the energy and drive, it takes another couple of hours along the crater rim to reach Uhuru (Freedom) Peak (5895m). Our descent retraces the route back down to Kibo Hut. Here we’ll be able to get some food and recharge a little before continuing down to Horombo Hut camp for a well-deserved rest. Total walking time approx. 13 hours
The descent from Horombo to Mandara Hut takes around 3 hours, and the final part of the descent through the forest to Marangu Gate takes another 2 hours. At the Gate vehicles will be waiting to take you and your crew back to the hotel.

We return to the Kibo Hotel for a relaxing shower - a real treat after the physical exertions of the last few days. Over a celebratory meal we can relive and share our experiences of the past five days on the mountain.
You are free to depart at any time on the final day of your trip.
Transfers to Kilimanjaro Airport or a shuttle to Nairobi can be arranged locally. Please speak to your leader at the welcome meeting.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
Transport
Minibus
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (5 nights), Hotel (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, mountain huts & rescue services (5 days)
  • Services of highly experienced guides and porters

Dates

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Important notes

1. Passenger Self Assessment Form required for this trip.
2. A single supplement is available on this trip. This applies to Day 1 & Day 7 at the hotel only.
3. Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude.
4. Please arrange your flights to arrive at Marangu hotel before 4pm on Day 1 in order to attend the very important pre-climb briefing and information session.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Kilimanjaro - Rongai Route trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews in the last year.

Kilimanjaro - Rongai Route , October 2015

Kilimanjaro - Rongai Route , February 2015

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