Rongai Route - Difficulty : EASY
PRESENTATION OF THE CIRCUIT
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). Rongai is a moderately difficult route, and is highly recommended, especially for those with less backpacking experience.
The drive starts from Arusha/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.
You begin this morning with a steady incline up to Second Cave. The trek continues though moorland, leaving the main trail for a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi, before finally arriving at Kikelewa Cave for overnight.
The hike today is 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. Your 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.
This is an extra day 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.
The climb is gradually, then cross the lunar desert of the “Saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo. Your camp, Kibo Hut, sits at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Once here you rest, enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit night hike.
Very early in the morning (around midnight), you’ll 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’ll arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the rooftop of Africa.
After spending a few moments taking in the plains of Africa and your accomplishment, you will descend to Horombo Hut. Later in the evening, you will enjoy your last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
On our last day, we have a long trek mostly downhill through the tropical rainforest. Once at the park headquarters at Marangu gate, you’ll collect your summit certificates only if made it. A vehicle will meet you here and drive you back to the hotel in Moshi/Arusha town for a well-earned shower and drinks to celebrate your achievement.
- • Sun hat or scarf
• Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
• Sunglasses with UV protection
- • Under garments
• Hiking shorts
• Lightweight cotton long pants
• Light and expedition weight thermal bottoms
• Fleece or wool pants (seasonal)
• Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants
- • T-shirts
• Light and expedition weight thermal tops
• Fleece jacket or pullover
• Fleece wind-stopper jacket (optional)
• Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell jacket
• Down jacket
- • Lightweight gloves
• Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell outer (seasonal)
- • Thin and lightweight inner socks
• Thick and warm wool hiking socks
• Hiking boots with spare laces
• Camp shoes (sneakers / sandals
• Gaiters for protecting you from the stones entering your shoes on the summit night
Personal small first aid kit
• Pain Killers (Ibuprofen)
• Diamox (Acetazolamide) if you are climbing Kilimanjaro – Paracetamol
• Zinc oxide tape and small scissors.
• Compeed Blister Pads
• Imodium / Loperamide anti-diarrhea tablets
• Any medication you normally use
Dioralyte sachets or similar re-hydration packs.
Note that your guide or safari liaison will carry a more comprehensive medical kit containing additional Acetazolamide, Ibuprofen, Anti-inflammatory gel, bandages, Loperamide, Amoxicillin, Oral Dexamethasone, and several other items.
• Headlamp with spare batteries
• Camera and film / digital camera & spare memory cards & charger / batteries
• Day pack 30-40 litres for personal use while on the mountain /safari
• Rack sack or duffel bag to contain everything you will need while on the mountain / safari
• Sleeping bag rated to – 10C if climbing Kilimanjaro with us / +5C if only doing safari
• Sleeping mat
• Large plastic bags – for keeping items dry inside your rack sack
• Trekking poles
• Water bottles
• Water purification tablets / Iodine drops
• Ear plug – cause there’s some in the camp are snoring
• Spare contact lenses and fluid – if worn /watch
• Reading book
• Journal and pen
• Toothbrush and toothpaste & deodorant – Flat packed wet ones / travel wipes
• Medium sized quick drying towel
• Multipurpose soap
• Face and body moisturizer
• Small mirror
• Hairbrush / comb
• Tissue / toilet roll
• Hand sanitizer
• Lip bum with UV protection
• Vaseline to prevent chafing skin and heel friction blisters
• High energy snacks (Cereal bars, dried fruits and nuts
Mobile phone. There is signal reception in much of the national parks and safari areas.
Note: It is a very good idea to unlock your phone before you come out so that a local SIM card can be used. This will make calls home very inexpensive.
• Passport (with additional 6 months’ validity after proposed trip return date)
• Tanzanian Entry Visa. (If flying to Nairobi and taking the bus to Arusha, Kenyan visas can be bought on arrival at Nairobi airport.)
• Air Travel Documents – Cash in US dollars in denominations of $10 and $20 (tipping allowance and local purchases, taxis, meals, etc)
• Credit Cards (recommended for eventualities only & obtaining extra cash from ATMs)
• Travel Insurance Documents
• Vaccination Certificates (where applicable) – Traveler’s Cheques are not recommend as they are subject to extremely poor conversion rates in Arusha.
• Malaria Tablets (if you choose to take these. Most will seek advice from their GP. Note: some anti-malarial courses need to commence several weeks before departure
• Sun cream Note: some argue that most sun creams are carcinogenic and either organic sun barriers or loose fitting clothes that cover the skin are regarded by many as preferable.
- • Tanzania VAT on tourism activities and Park fees
• Transport to and from mountain’s gate
• 1 Night hotel accommodation before and after the climb
• All Kilimanjaro National Park entry fees, camping fees and climbing permit
• Kilimanjaro rescue fees ( Kilimanjaro Rescue Team )
• Emergency Oxygen Cylinder ( for use in emergencies only – not as summiting aid)
• Basic first aid kit ( for use in emergencies only)
• Camping equipment’s ( tents, chairs and tables)
• Qualified mountain guides, assistant guides, porters and chef
• Salaries for mountain crew as per guidelines set by Kilimanjaro National Park
• Large portion of fresh, health and nutrition food based on three meals per day
• Acclimatization walk and coffee tour before the actual climb
• Water for washing up daily
• Airport pick up
- • International flights
• Tips, drinks and food in Moshi / Arusha town and all items personal nature
• 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 traveling to Tanzania recommended)
• Highly recommended travel and medical insurance
• All mountain gears (winter closes) we can also arrange for hiring