Rongai Route – 7 days Trek

8 Days

The Rongai Route: A Unique Journey to Kilimanjaro’s Summit

Embark on a less-traveled path to Kilimanjaro’s summit with the Rongai route, offering a distinct and rewarding trekking experience. Beginning on the mountain’s northern slope amidst lush coniferous forests, this route promises a diverse range of landscapes as you ascend towards the peak.

One of the key highlights of the Rongai route is its solitude, providing a tranquil escape from the crowds often found on the more popular southern trails. Here, you’ll encounter significantly fewer fellow trekkers, allowing for a more serene and intimate journey.

As you trek, be prepared to be captivated by breathtaking scenery, with unparalleled views of Kilimanjaro’s iconic volcanic cones, Mawenzi and Kibo. The route showcases the beauty of the Tanzanian landscape, adorned with unique flora such as the towering Kilimanjaro Giant Groundsels and verdant tropical forests.

While the northern slopes boast drier terrain and sparse vegetation, the ascent is filled with awe-inspiring sights. Picture waking up to the majestic silhouette of Mawenzi illuminated by the gentle hues of dawn, while rare Bearded Vultures gracefully glide overhead, tracing their path towards the distant Kenyan horizon.

With its secluded ambiance and enchanting vistas, the Rongai route offers trekkers seeking solitude a truly unforgettable adventure on Kilimanjaro.

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Overview

Embark on an extraordinary adventure along the Rongai Route, a less-traveled path that unveils the majestic beauty of Mount Kilimanjaro in all its splendor. Over the course of six days, you’ll traverse diverse landscapes, from lush forests to rocky terrains, as you ascend towards the summit.

Beginning your journey at the northern slope of Kilimanjaro, the Rongai Route offers a unique perspective, boasting breathtaking views of Mawenzi and Kibo, the iconic volcanic cones. As you trek through pristine wilderness, you’ll encounter an array of flora and fauna, including the iconic Giant Groundsels and rare Bearded Vultures.

With fewer trekkers on this route, you’ll enjoy a more secluded and intimate experience, allowing for moments of reflection and connection with nature. Each day brings new challenges and rewards, culminating in an unforgettable summit attempt at Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa.

Led by experienced guides and supported by a dedicated mountain crew, your journey along the Rongai Route promises an adventure of a lifetime, filled with awe-inspiring landscapes, camaraderie, and the triumph of reaching the roof of Africa.

Itinerary

DAY 1 :
ARRIVAL

Upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), a representative from Serengeti Heroes Safaris will greet you and facilitate your transfer to the hotel included in your package. The hotel offers all the essentials for a comfortable stay, featuring cozy rooms, hot water, courteous staff, a refreshing swimming pool, and Internet access. An evening briefing with our managers will ensure you are well-prepared to commence your climb.

For private tour packages, shared airport transfers are included for your group. Additional charges may apply for individual transfers, so coordinating your group’s arrival and departure times can help avoid extra costs.

PLEASE NOTE: Check-in begins at 2:00 PM.

Dinner

In the morning, your guide and mountain support team will meet you at your hotel for a brief orientation. Following this, you’ll embark on a journey by vehicle to Kilimanjaro National Park’s northern entrance, Nalemuru Gate (2,020 m / 6,627 ft). Upon arrival, you’ll complete the necessary formalities of obtaining climbing permits and registering with the search and rescue service.

The trek commences as you ascend towards Simba Camp (2,671 m / 8,612 ft). This day’s hike is of moderate intensity, leading you through the enchanting coniferous forest on Kilimanjaro’s northern slope. It’s important to maintain a comfortable pace and refrain from rushing.

Upon reaching the camp, you’ll find everything prepared by our experienced mountain crew, including tent set-up and dinner preparation. Take the time to relax and unwind after the day’s journey amidst the natural beauty of Kilimanjaro’s wilderness.

As it’s your first day at this altitude, adhere to the following guidelines:

– Refrain from consuming alcohol and caffeine.
– Hydrate with over 4 liters of bottled water daily, sipped frequently.
– Consider using preventive measures like high-altitude aid medicine to alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness; consult your doctor beforehand for potential allergies or health concerns.

Nighttime may bring discomfort due to acclimatization to high altitude. Your body receives less oxygen during reduced nighttime breathing, potentially causing sickness or headaches. Be attentive to your body and inform your guide of any symptoms of altitude sickness.

Trekking time: 3 hours        Hiking distanceDistance:  7 km

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early in the morning after breakfast, the group will depart from Simba Camp to start trekking towards your second high altitude camp: Second Cave Camp (3,450 m). This route is rather easy and will only take around 3 hours, so when you reach the camp you will still have ample time to rest and explore the surrounding area. After lunch you will have a couple hours to rest, followed by an acclimatization hike in the direction of Kikilewa Camp (3,630 m) on a stretch of the Rongai Route at a short distance with a 100-meter gain in altitude, after which you will hike back down to Second Cave Camp.

Trekking time:  3  hours          Hiking distanceDistance:  8 km

Acclimatization hike:
Change in ElevationChange in Elevation:
Second Cave Camp (3,450 m /11,319 f)
Kikilewa Camp (3,630 m /11,909 f)
Hiking distanceHiking distance:  2.5 km      Hiking time:  1-2 hours

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Embarking from Second Cave Camp after breakfast, the journey continues towards Kikilewa Camp at an elevation of 3,630 meters. En route, enjoy captivating views of the majestic Kibo Volcano, weather permitting. Upon arrival, a relaxation period is scheduled, providing an opportunity to rest after lunch before the subsequent trek towards Mawenzi Tarn Camp.

In the evening, following dinner, the guide will conduct health assessments for each member of the group and provide essential instructions for the upcoming day’s trekking itinerary.

Hiking time:  3 hours          Hiking distanceHiking distance:  5 km

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Embarking from Kikilewa Camp after an early breakfast, the trek towards Mawenzi Tarn Camp commences. Nestled at the base of Mawenzi Volcano, Kilimanjaro’s second summit, this leg of the journey offers breathtaking views. Upon reaching the camp, indulge in a satisfying lunch followed by a rejuvenating two-hour rest period.

Later in the day, embark on an acclimatization hike towards Mawenzi Volcano, ascending 200 meters in altitude. Upon descent, return to Mawenzi Tarn Camp where a hearty dinner awaits in the evening.

Trekking time:  4 hours          Hiking distanceDistance:  6 km

Acclimatization hike:
Change in ElevationChange in Elevation:
Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,315 m /14,156 f)
Mawenzi Volcano (4,510 m /14,796 f)
Hiking distanceHiking distance:  2 km      Hiking time:  1-2 hours

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

On this leg of the journey, you will trek from Mawenzi Tarn Camp to Kibo Camp (4,720 m). As you ascend, the landscape transitions into a rocky semidesert, offering a stark but captivating contrast. While the trek itself isn’t overly challenging, maintaining a steady pace is crucial to conserve energy for the impending summit push.

Upon arrival at Kibo Camp, it’s essential to prioritize rest and hydration in preparation for the ascent to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) later that night. Ensure you get adequate sleep and refrain from strenuous activities, as the summit climb awaits.

Kindly note:

It’s crucial to remain vigilant during the descent, as a majority of accidents, including toe injuries, occur during this phase.

Trekking time:  5 hours          Hiking distanceDistance:  9 km

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Embark on the final push towards the summit of Uhuru Peak from School Hut Camp, situated at 4,800 meters above sea level. This nocturnal ascent requires mental fortitude and physical endurance as you navigate the challenging high-altitude terrain. While the climb features a moderate gradient, the thin air poses a significant challenge to your cardiovascular system.

Throughout the ascent, our experienced guides will closely monitor your well-being, ensuring a safe and steady progression. Upon reaching the summit at 5,895 meters, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the nearby glacier, adding an extra dimension to your achievement.

Following your triumphant summit, the descent to Horombo Camp at 3,720 meters begins, with a brief rest stop at Kibo Camp along the way. It’s crucial to exercise caution during the descent, as the majority of climbing accidents occur during this phase. Stay vigilant and watch your footing as you make your way back down to the comforts of Horombo Camp.

Trekking time:  12 hours          Hiking distanceDistance:  21 km

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Embark on the last leg of your journey as you descend from the majestic heights of Kilimanjaro to Marangu Gate, situated at an elevation of 1,970 meters. Following breakfast, take in the final moments of your expedition with your dedicated support crew, reflecting on the memories and achievements of your remarkable journey.

Upon arrival at Marangu Gate, you’ll have the chance to collect your well-deserved certificates of accomplishment at our offices. Afterward, you’ll be transported back to your hotel, bringing your unforgettable Kilimanjaro adventure to a close.

Trekking time:  6 hours        Hiking distanceDistance:  17 km

Breakfast
DAY 9 :
DEPARTURE

Relax at the hotel before transferring to the airport.

Kindly be advised that hotel check-out is scheduled for 11:00 AM. Should your flight depart in the evening and you require a late check-out, you have the option to extend your hotel stay for an additional fee.

Breakfast

Cost

Climbing Cost Includes

  • All transfers Upon Arrival
  • Hotel before and after the hike
  • Camping equipment
  • Meals during the Climb
  • Professional guides and porters
  • Oxygen tanks
  • GPS Trackers
  • All park fees and taxes
  • Dedicated support team
  • Safe room and storage room
  • Environmentally friendly treks
  • Medical check-ups
  • Fully-loaded medical kits
  • And in-company doctor

Climbing Cost Excludes

  • International flights
  • Visa fee
  • Tips to the climbing crew
  • Personal gear rentals
  • Single supplement accommodations during the climb
  • Travel insurance
  • Portable toilet
  • Lunch and dinner in the hotel

Rongai Route FAQ

How long is the Rongai Route?

The Rongai Route spans approximately 81 kilometers or 50 miles.

Is the Rongai Route suitable for beginners?

Yes, the Rongai Route is often recommended for beginners or those with less trekking experience due to its gradual ascent and less crowded trails. However, proper physical conditioning and preparation are still necessary for a successful climb.

Is the Rongai Route difficult to climb?

The Rongai Route is considered moderate in difficulty. It features a gradual elevation gain, making it suitable for most trekkers. However, climbers should still be prepared for the challenges of altitude.

Additionally, if you wish to complement your Kilimanjaro climb with a Tanzanian safari or an island vacation, we are more than happy to accommodate your preferences.

What is the starting point of the Rongai Route?

The Rongai Route begins on the northern slope of Mount Kilimanjaro, near the Tanzanian border with Kenya.

Are there any specific challenges to be aware of on the Rongai Route?

While the Rongai Route is considered less strenuous than some other routes, climbers should still be prepared for the effects of high altitude, such as altitude sickness. Additionally, weather conditions can vary, so proper gear and clothing are essential. The Rongai Route traverses a variety of landscapes, including lush forests, open moorlands, and alpine deserts.

Can I get private accommodations?

You will share a room with your travel companion during the trip, or, if traveling solo, with a same-sex traveler. Should you prefer a single room, please request a single supplement at your earliest convenience. Our hotels often reach full capacity, so securing your accommodation in advance is advised. Additionally, if you decide to descend earlier than planned, extra charges for any additional nights spent in our hotels will apply. Please contact your travel consultant to arrange a single room booking.

On the day preceding the climb, our managers will conduct an orientation briefing at your hotel, and our vehicle will pick you up to embark on your Kilimanjaro adventure.

What are the meals like during the hike?

During your adventure with Serengeti Heroes Tours & Safaris, our dedicated mountain chefs and waiters will ensure that you are well-fed with delicious and energy-rich meals. Our menu has been meticulously crafted with the expertise of a professional dietitian to provide hikers with the nutrition they need while delighting their taste buds.

Understanding that dietary preferences vary, we proudly offer a range of meal options, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and lactose-free dishes. Simply inform your manager of your dietary requirements, and our mountain chef will happily accommodate your needs at no extra cost.

For breakfast, anticipate a hearty spread featuring porridge, eggs, sausages, local-style spinach (“mchicha”), and freshly brewed coffee or tea. Lunches typically include a variety of soups, stews, salads, and main dishes, while dinners feature flavorful soups, salads, stews, and a selection of chicken, beef, or fish entrees. Fresh fruits like mangoes, oranges, pineapple, and bananas are served after each meal to boost your vitamin intake.

We prioritize sourcing organic, locally grown produce and meat from nearby farms with certifications from the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA). By supporting small local farms, we ensure that our ingredients are always fresh, organic, and contribute positively to the local economy.

During the expedition, our mountain chefs handle all meal preparations except for lunch on the first day, which is provided by our restaurant chefs from the Hotel. This meal is packed in sturdy compostable packaging from an eco-friendly food packaging supplier.

While our chefs strive to maintain quality standards in challenging conditions, please understand that factors like inclement weather and camping constraints may occasionally affect the appearance and presentation of our dishes. Nevertheless, our team remains committed to delivering exceptional dining experiences amidst the demanding environment of Kilimanjaro.

Who accompanies you during the Climb?

During your journey with Serengeti Heroes Tours & Safaris, you’ll be guided by our exceptional team of Kilimanjaro mountain guides.

Extensive Experience:
Our guides boast a minimum of seven years of experience and possess in-depth knowledge of Mt. Kilimanjaro’s terrain, flora, and fauna.

Certified Wilderness First Responders:
Rest assured, all our mountain guides are certified Wilderness First Responders through Wilderness Medical Associates, an esteemed USA-based organization. This certification ensures they are well-equipped to handle any emergencies that may arise in the wilderness, providing you with peace of mind throughout your journey.

Compelling Storytellers:
Our guides are skilled storytellers, ready to captivate you with Kilimanjaro legends and tales while imparting knowledge about the mountain’s ecosystem and history. For those interested, they can also share insights into local culture, lifestyle, and customs. However, they understand the importance of solitude and will respectfully give you space to immerse yourself in nature when desired.

Dedicated Support Team:
Supported by a diligent team of porters, camp managers, and crew members, our guides ensure that every aspect of your expedition runs smoothly. From setting up camp to fetching water from mountain streams and transporting supplies, our support team works tirelessly to enhance your experience.

Are gear rentals Provided?

When embarking on your Mount Kilimanjaro adventure, essential personal gear such as hiking boots, sleeping bags, trekking pants, thermals, and trekking poles are necessary. For a comprehensive list, please refer to our equipment checklist.

At Serengeti Heroes Tours & Safaris, our gear rental shop stands as the premier choice on Kilimanjaro, offering climbers access to all the necessary equipment for their journey. Our gear selection comprises top brands like The North Face, Black Diamond, RedFox, Columbia, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, and more.

To streamline your rental process, simply provide us with a list of the gear you require in advance. Rest assured, we’ll have everything prepared for you prior to your arrival in Tanzania, ensuring a hassle-free experience.

Map

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Rongai Route – 7 days Trek