Mt Kilimanjaro – Rongai Route


The Rongai route takes us away from the crowds and into an environment with endless views, beautiful flora, fauna and the remoteness of the alpine desert. This route takes on the mountain from the north on the border of our home in Kenya. It provides guests with a better chance to do the all-important acclimatisation, and a chance to explore the real beauty of this magical wilderness. The ascent takes us through the forest on the slopes and then into an environment you will never forget. You will walk past some of the famous Giant Groundsel, some of which will be thousands of years old, and will get the chance to see the other Lobelias and the fabulous Sunbirds that enjoy them. Explore the Lava Tunnel and the peaks of Mawenzi whilst acclimatising before the gruelling summit day.

Transfer from the Marangu National Park gate to the Rongai Trail Head (1,950m) (6,400 ft) to begin an unforgettable African Ascent. The climb starts through the maize and potato fields surrounding the village of Nale Moro. From there the climber will enter the wild forests and the opportunity to see African wildlife before arriving at Cave Camp 1 (2,600m) (8,530 ft).

 3 – 4 Hours

Overnight at Cave Camp 1 (2,600m) (8,530 ft)

This is a big day of altitude ascent and is taken very steadily. The ascent takes us out of the forest and into the open heath zones and alpine plains, incorporating views of Kibo and the eastern ice fields on the crater rim. Here there is a route diversion across the moorland where climbers will get their first glimpse of the Giant Groundsel and fabulous Lobelias.

7 – 8 Hours

Overnight at Kikelewa Camp (3,600m) (11,810 ft)

This is a short day, yet entails a steep climb through the moorland, starting to leave the vegetation as Mawenzi Tarn is approached. Here, spectacular views of the jagged peaks of Mawenzi will be seen.  We will arrive early at camp, allowing for an acclimatisation and exploration session.

4 – 5 Hours

Overnight at Mawenzi Camp (4,330m) (14,205 ft)

Acclimatisation is very important when attempting Kilimanjaro’s summit, and should be taken seriously. The day in camp can be used to explore the Mawenzi amphitheatre, hiking up the Mawenzi peaks. This is a fantastic day of exploration and very good preparation for the challenges that lie ahead.

3 – 4 Hours

Overnight at Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,330m) (14,205 ft)

Now in the alpine desert in very challenging altitude, the gentle ascent on the east side of Kibo crosses the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo. The next day is summit day so; day 5 is taken slowly helping to achieve optimum acclimatisation for the summit bid. This is a short climbing day with beautiful views up through the saddle and in to the camp at Kibo Hut.

5 – 6 Hours

Overnight at Kibo Hut (4700m) (15,420 ft)

With an early start, tea and biscuits at 2330 hrs, Summit day is upon us!! It goes without saying that this is the greatest challenge that the group will face.  Here, you will cross the scree and scrabble over rocks in the dark, however a sunrise summit awaits you, and is simply spectacular when viewed from the roof of Africa.

Summit day takes us past some of the greatest Kilimanjaro land marks. Starting on the rocky paths towards Hans Meyer cave and then up to Gilman’s point at 5,680 meters on the crater rim. Now, on the greatest challenge of the route, team work is paramount as working together provides us all with the mental strength to carry on. Traversing the rim of crater towards the ultimate goal and summiting Uhuru peak at 5,895 meters.

From the highest point in Africa we descend to Horombo Camp.

13 – 15 Hours

Overnight at Horombo Camp (3,720m) (12,205 ft)

Back to where it all began. The descent to the Marangu gate is long yet amazing as your bodies enjoy the drop in altitude.  During this time you will also be able to take in more of the terrain that was passed on the ascent. Back at the gate formalities will be completed with gratuities and farewells made to the porter team who endured the same journey. Transfers will be waiting to a comfortable hotel and hot showers.

6 – 7 Hours

Overnight at Marangu Gate (1,980m) (6,495 ft)

This Mt Kilimanjaro expedition is extremely challenging for all who take it on, therefore, with safety a key aspect for African Ascents, we highly recommend that the acclimatisation day is incorporated into your trips itinerary. Acclimatisation is the key to success on an expedition of this nature. Further details will be arranged when the actual itinerary is formally finalised.

African Ascents will make all the necessary bookings required in Tanzania; in addition, we can make any other bookings required including flights and accommodation arrangements.

Once a booking has been made African Ascents will create a full information pack for you. This will include a formal itinerary with all dates and times specific to the group, including any additional bookings made, an equipment list and recommended packing system will also be included, and finally all booking and indemnity forms will be released.


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