Travel

Best Route for Kilimanjaro

Have you ever wondered if you are someone who could summit one of the world’s seven summits? Can you imagine yourself standing on top of Africa’s highest peak? Are you interested in climbing the world’s highest free standing mountain?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, then we have the perfect trip for you! 

The Rongai Route of Mount Kilimanjaro climbs the North side of the mountain, and offers climbers a remote experience boasting breathtaking vistas, mysterious caves, rainforests, and much more. 

Over the last several years, the Rongai Route has increased in popularity, but is still considered relatively uncrowded.  Only basic hiking skills are required to climb this route. It is considered one of Kilimanjaro’s more moderate routes, as the elevation gain is gradual when compared to alternate routes.

Are you worried that you don’t have enough time or money for a trip like this? Or, perhaps, are you concerned about your lack of experience or gear? Fear not, our team of professional guides, porters, and office staff at Summitclimb are here to help you!

One of the benefits of this trip is its length. The Rongai Route takes only 9 days while still allowing you to reach Uhuru Peak, Kilimanjaro’s summit at 19,340 ft/5895m.  Because of its temperate climate and lack of technical climbing, you will not need much gear. 

The Rongai Route is 44 miles (72 km) round trip, and is highly recommended for less experienced climbers. It is the only route from the North side, and is close to the Kenyan boarder.  Because of its’ prime location near the equator, we are able to offer trips year round.  The warm temperatures often allow for snowless trips, and no technical climbing is required regardless of the season.  Even if you decided to climb during the rainy season, you will encounter less rain on this route than on other parts of the mountain.

On the first day of your trip, you will be greeted by our staff at Kilimanjaro International Airport in Arusha, Tanzania.  From there we will provide transportation directly to the hotel. 

Day two begins with a generous breakfast.  After breakfast, you will be transported via private bus to NaleMoru.  During this scenic drive, be sure to keep those cameras at the ready.  We will pass through banana and coffee plantations as we follow roads through areas of lush vegetation.  After the 3 hour drive, we officially start our trek!  You should plan on spending about 3-4 hours on the trail hiking to Camp Moorland, near Rongai Cave at 8,530 ft/2,600m.

On the third day, we will hit the trail and head towards the second cave.  We will take a lunch break there (11,319ft/3,450m).  After lunch, we will start our hike to Mawenzi, allowing us to setup camp near the Kikelewa Caves. Plan on spending 5-7 hours hiking this day. The elevation of this camp is 11,811ft/3600m.

Day 4 will consist of a short, but steep climb that will take us to our camp near Mawenzi Tarn, 14,107ft/4300m.  We will spend about 3-4 hours hiking today.

Congratulations, you’ve earned yourself a rest day! Day five provides an opportunity to relax and acclimatize. If you feel the mountain calling, we will be happy to offer you short hiking options that you can take from camp. These hikes provide some truly stunning views of Mawenzi.

On the sixth day, we will be hiking to high camp.  We will sleep in a hut at this camp.  It will take about 4-5 hours to reach to the hut.  The elevation of high camp is 15,748ft/4800m.

Day seven begins with an “Alpine Start.” We will be hitting the trail at about midnight.  Plan on spending approximately 4-6 hours on the trail as you hike to Gilman’s Point, 18,652ft/5685m. From here, you will have hike along the summit crater, where the terrain is forgiving and flat.  In order to reach the true summit, you will have to climb about 1-2 hours more (200m), to reach the highest point in all of Africa!  Total walking time for this day will be 9-12 hours (6-8hrs ascent, 3-4hrs descent).  After summiting, you will descend to camp at 3950m.

On this final day on the trail, we will spend about 3-4 hours hiking to Marangu Gate.  You will be picked up here and driven back to the hotel.  Upon return, you will be rewarded for all of your hard work and summit success by receiving an official certificate from the National Park.

On day nine, we say our goodbyes and depart for our respective destinations.

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