Two African Lions
Kilimanjaro Rongai Route
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The Rongai Route begins on the northern side of the mountain just south of the Kenyan border and gives you an entirely different perspective than any of the other routes which are located on the western, southern, and eastern sides of the mountain.  You will ascend on the north side and then your descent will be by way of the Marangu Route where you will exit at the Marangu Gate.  This route is gaining in popularity, but presently is not often taken.  If you prefer to stay away from the crowds this route may be for you.

Traveling to the trailhead requires much more driving time than the other routes.  You must first go to the Marangu Gate to register then drive for another 1.5 hours to Rongai.

Your accommodations will be in tents and all your equipment and supplies will be carried for you by a team of porters and a cook prepares all your meals.  You will be accompanied by your guide(s) throughout.

DAY 1:  Arrival
Our staff will meet you at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer you to your lodging where you will spend the evening. Before dinner, your guide will give you a briefing, go through your equipment, and help you pack your daypack and duffle bag.  Enjoy dinner and get a good nightís sleep in preparation for your adventure which will start in the morning

DAY 2 (HIKING DAY 1): Lodge - Rongai Cave

We will meet you at your lodging after breakfast and you will be transported to Marangu Gate where you will complete the necessary registration formalities.  You will then be transferred by vehicle to the start of the Rongai Route. We begin the ascent in the village of Nale Moru and start by hiking along a small path winding through fields in the cultivation zone before entering the forest. The trail then starts to climb gently through the forest where you may see a variety of wildlife. Later in the afternoon, the forest begins to thin out before you reach the First Cave known as Rongai Cave where you will be spending the night

By the time you arrive at camp your porters will already have started preparing for your arrival, your tents will be pitched and water will be on to boil. You will be given warm water to wash with and later your cook will prepare dinner for you.

You can expect temperatures to drop to near freezing point during the night.

Todayís Route: Lodge - Rongai Cave
Altitude range: 1,950 meters (6,400 ft) - 2,600 meters (8,500 ft)
Hiking time: 4 hours
Distance: 8 km's (5 miles)
Habitat: Rain Forest

DAY 3 (HIKING DAY 2): Rongai Cave - Kikelwa Cave

After breakfast we start the morning with a steady walk as we ascend to the Second Cave also known as Kikelwa Cave. As you hike you will be treated to views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. If you look behind, you will see views of Kenya that few see.  Ahead you will see the Mawenzi Tarn above.

The campsite is in a sheltered area by the Second Cave.  Here you will see Giant Senecios growing nearby.

Again, the porters will have your tents pitched before you arrive and will boil drinking and washing water, before your cook prepares your dinner.

Your night at this camp will see temperatures dropping to freezing point.

Todayís Route: Rongai (First) Cave to Kikelwa (Second Cave)
Altitude range: 2,600 meters (8,500 ft) - 3,600 meters (11,800 ft)
Hiking time: 7 hours
Distance: 10 km's (6.2 miles)
Habitat: Moorland


DAY 4 (HIKING DAY 3): Kikelwa (Second Cave) - Mawenzi Tarn
After breakfast you will head up steep grassy slopes until you reach the Saddle between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo.

Later after lunch in the afternoon we will reach Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m - 14,200 ft) where we camp overnight. You may have some time for relaxing or do some exploring of the surrounding area to aid with acclimatization.

Todayís Route: Kikelwa to Mawenzi Tarn
Altitude range: 3,600 meters (11,800 ft) - 4,700 meters (15,400 ft) - 4,330 m (14,200 ft)
Hiking time: 4 hours
Distance: 10 km's (6.2 miles)
Habitat: Moorland and Alpine Desert

DAY 5 (HIKING DAY 4): Mawenzi Tarn - Kibo Hut

After breakfast we continue across the volcanic lava covered Saddle between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. We will camp at the base of Kibo Crater Wall at the Kibo Hut.

At camp, your guide will advise you to familiarize yourself with your surroundings before dark, as you will be leaving in the dark to make the final ascent to the summit.

You will also need to spend some time preparing your equipment for your summit attempt. Ensure that your headlamp and camera along with batteries are in order and make sure you have spare sets of batteries available as well.  Also have your water in a thermal flask

Best get to bed early by at the latest 19:00 (7 PM) and try to get some sleep as your wake up call is not far off.

Todayís Route: Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut
Altitude range: 4,330 meters (14,200 ft) - 4,750 meters (15,500 ft)
Hiking time: 5 hours
Distance: 6 km's (3.7 miles)
Habitat: Moorland and Alpine Desert

DAY 6 (HIKING DAY 5):  Kibo Hut - Uhuru Peak - Horombo Hut
This will certainly be your most mentally and physically challenging day.  You will be hiking for a total of about 16 hrs!  After some hot tea and biscuits you will be on a trail of loose volcanic scree which is steep and it can be very difficult to make progress.  Eventually you will reach the rim at Gillman's Point (5,690 m - 18,600 ft).  The worst is over.  Take a quick rest and get some pictures as the sun will be starting to rise over the horizon.  You will now follow the crater rim, most likely hiking in snow, until you reach your goal of Uhuru Peak (5,895 m - 19,340 ft). CONGRADULATIONS you made it!  Enjoy the incredible views and savor the moment of your success.

Donít get too relaxed and spend too much time on the summit, even if the weather is good. Cold and fatigue will set in quickly and you may find it very difficult to get started again. Itís still a long way down!

You will descent through the slippery scree where you must take care not to slip and turn an ankle on your way to Kibo Hut. After a short rest you will descend to Horombo Hut where you will spend the night.

You will be amazed at how good it feels to once again have oxygen flowing to your body.

Todayís Route: Kibo Hut - Uhuru Peak - Horombo Hut
Altitude range: 4,700 meters (15,400 ft) - 5,895 meters (19,300 ft) - 3,720 meters (12,200 ft)
Hiking time: 15 - 16 hours
Distance: 30 km (19 miles)
Habitat: Snow, Ice and Stony scree, Moorland

DAY 7 (HIKING DAY 6): Horombo hut - Marangu Gate
After an early and well-deserved breakfast, you continue your descent passing the Mandara Hut, to the Marangu Gate.  This will take about 6 hours. At Marangu Gate you sign your name and details in a register. To make your achievement official, you will receive a summit certificate. If you reached Gillman's Point you will be presented with a green certificate, and if you made it all the way to Uhuru Peak you will have earned yourself a gold certificate.

You will then take a road transfer back to your lodging where you will find a long hot shower, a great dinner and a comfortable bed.

Final Descent
Todayís Route: Horombo hut - Marangu Gate
Altitude range: 3,720 m (12,200 ft) - 1,980 m (6,500 ft)
Hiking time: 6 Hours
Distance: About 27 km (16 miles)
Habitat: Moorland and Rain forest

Day 8: Departure

After you have had breakfast our staff will transfer you back to Kilimanjaro International airport for your onward flights or Safaris.