• Arusha, Tanzania
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7 Days Rongai Route

OVERVIEW

This is one of the easiest and least traveled routes and the success rate are very high. The route starts on the north side of the mountain just south of the Kenyan border. The descent is down the Marangu route on the south side of the mountain, so climbers see the mountain from many view points. The drive to the trailhead takes about 2.5 hours from Moshi.

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Day 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Rongai Gate (Nale Moru), Hike to Simba Camp

Drive to the attractive wooden village of Nale Moru (about 2 hours including a stop to get permits at Marangu. After you will begin the hike on a wide path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.

Elevation: 2000m/6560ft to 2650m/8700ft

Distance: 6km/4miles

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Montane Forest

Meals: LD

Budget Lodging: Simba Camp

Day 2: Hike Simba Camp to Second Cave

The morning hike is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim.

Elevation: 2650m/8700ft to 3450m/11,300ft

Distance: 6km/4miles

Walking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Moorland

Meals: BLD

Budget Lodging: Second Cave Camp.

Day 3: Hike Second Cave to Kikelewa Camp.

Hiking Time: 3 – 4 hours

Habitat: Moorlands.

After breakfast then continues up towards Kibo, reaching Kikelwa Cave at about 3600 meters.

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The views start to open up and you begin to feel you’re on a really big mountain! Water is in the obvious stream below the cave, although you might have to wander downhill a way to find some. Overnight at 3rd Cave camp (Kikelewa Caves)

Elevation: 3450m/11,300ft to 3600m/11,800ft

Distance: 9km/5miles

Walking Time: 2-3 hours

Habitat: Semi-desert

Meals: BLD

Budget Lodging: Kikelewa Camp.

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Day 4: Hike Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn

A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb views. Leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn, 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.

If you are spending an extra day on the mountain, you will camp for two nights here. You can hike up and around Mawenzi for your acclimatization hike.

Elevation: 3600m/11,800ft to 4330m/14,200ft

Distance: 6km/4miles

Walking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Semi-desert

Meals: BLD

Budget Lodging: Mawenzi Tarn Camp.

Day 5: Hike Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut

Cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo campsite at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remained day will be spent resting in preparation for the final ascent early in the morning.

Elevation: 4330m/14,200ft to 4750m/15,600ft

Distance: 9km/5miles

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Meals: BLD

Budget Lodging: Kibo Hut Camp.

Day 6: Kibo Camp to Summit and Horombo Hut

Very early in the morning, commence the climb to the summit on steep and heavy stone scree or snow up to Gilman’s Point located on the crater rim (elevation 5700m/18,700ft). We will ascend to Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point in Africa. The beginning of this climb is done in the dark and requires headlamps or flashlights. It will be very cold until you start descending, so you will need all of your warm layers. This is far the most difficult part of the trek with many switchbacks. After we will descend, stopping for lunch and a rest at Kibo before continuing on to the Horombo encampment.

Elevation: 4700m/15,500ft to 5895m/19,340ft

Down to 3700m/12,200ft

Distance: 6km/4miles up / 15km/9mi down

Hiking Time: 6-8 hours up / 15km/9mi down

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Meals: BLD

Budget Lodging: Horombo Hut Camp.

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Day 7: Hike Horombo Hut to trailhead, drive to Moshi

After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to the Mandara Hut. Continue descending through lush forest path to the National Park gate at Marangu. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).

Our vehicle will meet you at Marangu gate to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 1 hour).

Elevation: 3700m/12,200ft to 1700m/5500ft

Distance: 20km/12.5mi

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Forest

Meals: B

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