Zara Tours leads treks up the unique Rongai Route known to be more scenic than the Marangu Route, easier than the Machame Route, and the success rate on the Rongai is very high. Unlike the Marangu Route where you sleep in huts, on the Rongai you sleep in tents (tents are included), and the porters will pitch your tent for you. Meals are served in a dinner tent or on a blanket outside. The Rongai starts on the north side of the mountain just south of the Kenyan border, and is one of the least traveled routes. The Rongai joins the Marangu for the summit climb, then you descend the Marangu Route on the mountain’s southeast side, so you see Kilimanjaro from many view points. There are two versions of this trek – a direct 6-day itinerary, and a 7-day itinerary that takes a longer route. The more expedient 6-day itinerary is described below and the longer variation is described in the extra days section.
Arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the Springlands Hotel or similar hotel in Moshi for your overnight dinner and Breakfast.
After breakfast, we will transfer you to Rongai. The climb begins from the attractive wooden village of Nale Moru (1,950 m.) on a small path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering a pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently, but gently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife, including the beautiful Kilimanjaro Colobus monkey. These monkeys are black with a long ‘cape’ of white hair and a flowing white tail. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone(2,600 m.) with extensive views over the Kenyan plains. [3-4 hours walking]
The morning walk is a steady ascent up to the ‘Second Cave’ (3,450 m.) with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. After lunch, we leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. Our campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant views near Kikelewa Caves (3.600 m.) [6-7 hours walking]
A short but steep climb up grassy slopes 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 (4,330 m.), 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]
We cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach School campsite (4,750 m.) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night! [4-5 hours walking]
We will start the final and by far the steepest 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 (5,685 m.) We will rest there 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 (5,896 m.), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Kibo (4,700 m.) is surprisingly fast and, after some refreshment, we continue the descent to reach our final campsite at Horombo (3,720 m.). [11-15 hours walking]
Wake in the morning for a steady descent takes us down through moorland to Mandara Hut (2,700m.), the first stopping path to the National Park gate at Marangu (1,830 m.). [5-6 hours walking. You will be transferred to Springlands Hotel or Alternative Hotel in Moshi for overnight.
We drive you to the airport for the flight home.
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash.
- Hair brush or comb, hair ties, barrettes/bobby pins.
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Sunscreen and face lotion with SPF.
- Night time Moisturizer/Lotion.
- If under any medication, enough stock
- All Meals
- All ground and plane transportation
- All accomodation
- Full trek guide and staffs
- All trek pack and equipment
- Alcohol or Beverage
- Camera and other non trek accessories
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