7 Days Kilimanjaro Trekking Via Rongai Route
The Rongai Route is one of the easiest routes and the success rate is very high.
The route starts on the north side of the mountain just south of the Kenyan border and is one of the least traveled routes. The descent is down the Marangu Route on the south side of the mountain, so climbers see the mountain from many viewpoints.
The drive to the trailhead takes about 3 hours from Moshi through many villages and coffee plantations, including a stop to register climbing permits at Marangu.
Rongai Gate (1950m) – Simba Camp (2600m).
Hiking Time: 3 – 4 Hours. Distance: About 8 Km. Habitat: Montana forest Pick up from your hotel drive for two hours and a half to Marangu park gate for formalities registration after that transfer to the Rongai trailhead in about 3hours. Meet your guide and porters before you begin your hike from the Nale Moru village. The small winding path crosses maize fields before entering the pine forest and then climbs gently through a forest. The trail is not at all steep but is rather a gentle hike through the beautiful country. The first night’s camp is at Simba camp, at about 2,600 meters. There are a toilet and a wooden table with benches, but no hut. Water can be found just down the trail below samba camp.
Day 2 Simba Camp (11,810ft/3,600m)
Hiking Time 2 – 3hours Habitat: Moorland Late Breakfast, enjoy the morning at Simba camp proceed with the hiking very slowly acclimatize your body until you reach Second cave (3450M ) for hot lunch. Afternoon relaxes at the second cave with dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Second Tarn Cave (2600m) – Kikelewa Cave (3600m).
Hiking Time: 3 – 4 hours. Habitat: Moorlands. After breakfast then continues up towards Kibo, reaching Kikelwa Caveat about 3600 meters. 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).
Day 4 Kikelewa Cave (3600) – Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4330m).
Hiking time: 3 – 4 hours. Habitat: Moorlands. A short but steep climb up grassy slopes offers superb views of this wilderness area. The vegetation zone ends shortly before you reach your next camp at Mawenzi Tarn spectacularly situated beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. Spend the afternoon acclimatizing and exploring the area.
Day 5 Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4330m) – Kibo Hut (4700m).
Hiking Time: 4 – 5 hours. Habitat: Alpine desert. Continue ascending on the east side of Kibo crossing the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo taking 4 to 5 hours to reach Kibo Hut. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent, which begins around midnight. Overnight at Kibo Camp.
Day 6 Summit Attempt, Kibo Hut (4700m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo Hut (3720m).
Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru 6 hours to descend to Horombo. Distance: 6 km’s ascent – 21 km’s descent. Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit. You will wake up around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. This is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gillman’s point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort. Probably the most demanding section of the entire route. From Gillman’s Point, you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you can spend, taking photographs, before the 3-hour descent back to Kibo hut for a short rest ten after you descent to Horombo hut (3 hours) where you will overnight. The descent to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around almost 14 hours, . Later in the evening, you enjoy your last dinner on the mountain and well-earned sleep.
Day 7Horombo Hut (3720m) – Marangu Gate (1980m).
Hiking Time: 6 hours. Distance: About 27 Km. After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. At Marangu gate, you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Gillman’s Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. You now drive back to Moshi where your trekking tour ends with sweet memories.