Rongai Route 6 days 5 nights
The Rongai route is the only one that comes from northern side of the mountain, close to the Kenyan border. It is a long drive to reach the starting point but you are rewarded by fantastic views and the likelihood that you will be the only climbers around. When using this route you will descend via Marangu, which is the most popular route and offers different views of the mountain and surrounding scenery.
Day 1 Rongai Gate to Simba Camp
Walking distance: approximately 7 km
Hiking time: around 4 hours
Altitudes: Rongai Gate 1,950 m - Simba Camp 2,626 m
Vegetation zone: Rain forest
After breakfast at your hotel you will be collected by your head guide and driven to Kilimanjaro National Park for registration. Form here you travel by vehicle onto the village of Rongai Gate at around 1,950 meters. Today’s walk is around 3 to 4 hours, beginning on a small path that winds its way through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. You will gradually ascend trough attractive forest to the edge of the moorland zone. Extensive views over the Kenyan plains will be the highlight of today.
Day 2 Simba Camp to Kikelelwa Cave
Walking distance: approximately 11.8 km
Hiking time: around 5 - 6 hours
Altitudes: Simba Camp 2,626 m - Kikelewa Caves 3,679
Vegetation zone: Moorlands
After breakfast at camp you set off to the Kikelelwa Cave. On this day you will walk around 5-6 hours from the campsite, with a steady ascent up to Second Cave at 3,450 meters. Here you are rewarded (weather permitting) with superb views of Kibo (the summit) and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. Tonight we have dinner and camp overnight near Kikelelwa cave at 3,679m.
Day 3 Kikelelwa Cave to Mawenzi Tarn Camp
Walking distance: approximately 3.7 km
Hiking time: around 3 - 4 hours
Altitudes: Kikelewa Caves 3,679 - Mawenzi Tarn Camp 4,303 m
Vegetation zone: Moorlands
Today’s trek is shorter, being around 3- 4 hours but involves some steeper sections. Leaving camp at a short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by a real sense of wilderness and stunning all round views. The vegetation zone ends shortly before you reach next camp at Mawenzi Tarn. Spend the afternoon acclimatizing and exploring the area. Dinner and overnight at Mawenzi Tarn Camp at 4,303 m.
Day 4 Mawenzi Tarn Camp to Kibo Hut
Walking distance: approximately 9 km
Hiking time: around 4 - 5 hours
Altitudes: Mawenzi Tarn Camp 4,303 m - Kibo Hut 4,700 m
Vegetation zone: Alpine desert
After breakfast we head west and continue ascending on the east side of Kibo crossing the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo taking 4 - 5 hours to reach Kibo Hut. Early dinner and short sleep at Kibo Hut.
Day 5 Summit Attempt Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak to Horombo Hut
Walking distance: approximately 6 km ascent and 21 km descent
Hiking time: 8 hours to Ufuru Peak and 6 hours to Horombo Hut
Altitudes: Kibo Hut 4,700 m - Ufuru Peak 5,895 m - Horombo Hut 3,720 m
Vegetation: Rocky, ice-capped summit, alpine desert
In the early morning at around 1:00 a.m. you will be woken for a hot drink and snack before you begin the climb to the summit. Pass Gilman’s Point at 5685m where you will take a short rest before proceeding to Uhuru (Swahili for “freedom”) Peak, the highest point in Africa. After taking some victory photos you descend down to Horombo Hut for dinner and overnight.
Day 6 Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate
Walking distance: approximately 27 km
Duration: around 6 hours
Altitudes: Horombo Hut 3,720 m - Marangu Gate 1,980 m
Vegetation: low alpine zone, montane forest
The final day is spent descending down to the park gate. At the gate you will sign out of the Park and then be transferred to your hotel.