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Kilimanjaro - Rongai Route
Transport - Minibus, on foot.
Accommodation - Lodge (2nts), camping (5nts).
Meals - 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 7 dinners.
All Kilimanjaro park fees are included in the price.
We often have multiple itineraries so please check to see which itinerary is suitable for you, by selecting the relevant tab.
Marangu is situated on the south-eastern side of the mountain. As you drive, there are usually some excellent views of the snow-capped peak. Once settled into your lodge you are briefed on the coming trek. Please meet your tour leader in the lodge reception at 19.00. Hotel - 1 night (D)
First Cave Camp (2600m)
This morning you’ll transfer to the northern side of the mountain and the village of Nale Moru (1950m). Having registered at the Rongai Gate you’ll meet your team of guides and porters who will accompany you during your trek. As you walk up from the gate you’ll wind through cultivated farmland and pine forest plantations before entering lush forests. As you go along keep your eyes open; the trees hide many species of birds and you might be lucky enough to see monkeys and signs of larger game. Your first mountain camp will be on the edge of the moorland zone with great views back down to the plains and into Kenya. Walking time 3-4 hours. Camp - 1 night (BLD)
Kikelewa Caves (3600m)
After waking with the dawn and a hot drink you’ll have a hearty breakfast and prepare for the day’s walk. Continuing uphill you’ll ascend steadily up to the second cave at 3450m whilst high above you Kibo Peak towers and the eastern ice fields cling to the mountain’s crater rim. Below, the slope sweeps away down into the forests. The third cave is your goal for today and so you’ll head further up the mountain and reach camp in the afternoon. Total walking time 5 hours. Camp - 1 night (BLD)
Mawenzi Tarn (4330m)
This morning you will have a steady but steep ascent under the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. Leaving grassy slopes behind you’ll leave the vegetation zone and enter the high altitude desert. You’ll head for tonight’s camp near to the Mawenzi Tarn – the only permanent lake on Kilimanjaro - with the cirque of this 5149m peak towering above you. The afternoon is free to help your acclimatisation. Total walking time 4 hours. Camp - 1 night (BLD)
Kibo Hut (4703m)
Skirting Mawenzi Peak, you head out into the lunar landscape of "The Saddle", a broad tundra desert between the two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. From here you get fantastic views of the upper reaches of the mountain before arriving at Kibo Hut (4703m), a dry-stone-walled hut with limited facilities. Tonight you prepare for tomorrow's final assault - re-packing to leave any non-essential items with the porters; you need to summon all your energy to get to the summit so there's absolutely no point in carrying anything you don't need! An early night is imperative as you must make a midnight start in order to reach the summit in the morning before the cloud cover settles, and then have time to get back down. Total walking time - 4/5 hours. Camp - 1 night (BLD)
Uhuru Peak (5895m)
This is a long and demanding day! The guides wake you soon after midnight and you start out in darkness, zigzagging up a long scree slope by the light of your head-torch in the extreme cold. At this time of day the scree is still frozen - which makes it easier to walk on! After roughly two hours you should reach Hans Meyer's Cave - named after the German geologist who made the first successful ascent in 1889 - where he found the remains of a frozen leopard. The gradient gets steeper and three hours on (this is the hardest stretch of the ascent!) you should reach the crater rim at Johanne’s Notch. From here it's a short scramble to Gillman's Point (5680m) in time for dawn. Your reward is the dramatic spectacle of the sun rising over the ice fields and craggy peaks of Mawenzi - the profusion of colours and shapes make all the suffering seem worthwhile! The views are incredible as you look down with the plains of Africa stretching away. For those who still have the energy and drive, it takes another couple of hours along the crater rim to reach Uhuru (Freedom) Peak (5895m). Your descent retraces the route back down to Kibo Hut. Here you’ll be able to get some food and recharge a little before continuing down to Horombo Hut camp for a well-deserved rest. Total walking time approx. 13 hours. Camp - 1 night (BLD)
The pace quickens as you continue your triumphant way back down across alpine meadow and past Mandara Hut through the rainforest to Marangu Gate where you board the vehicle for the journey back to Arusha. After the solitude of the mountain this town seems like a lively metropolis. Here you can take a well-earned shower and relax with a celebratory drink! Lodge - 1 night (BLD)
The morning is free to relax, shop, or explore. It’s worth a look at the covered market, or the stalls and shops around the clock tower. However the likelihood is that you will want to relax, maybe with a drink, at the lovely lodge in Arusha resting those tired legs and reminiscing about your journey to the highest point in Africa!!
If you fancy completing your African adventure with a safari many departures are combined with Serengeti Explorer, or you can extend your stay and chill out on spicy Zanzibar island.
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Getting to the top of Kilimanjaro despite the altitude sickness! The group we had were amazing, the guides and porters were excellent, they looked after us so well and were all so lovely!