The Silent One
In the northern region, the base of Kilimanjaro is covered in a dense blanket of rusty gold savannah. The spectacular landscapes of the Masaai land feature elephants, monkeys, and gleaming silhouettes of the contrasting black buffalo whilst colorful flocks of East Africa’s enticing birdlife soar the blue skies. The tranquil route travels through many different climate zones. The towering peak of the mountain is drenched in brilliant light, spikes of thin emerald impale the snow in distinctive directions. The enchanted cloud forest beckons one into its pulsing heart. Steeped in plushness and opulence with coils of vaporous mist and light illuminating through fractured canopies. The long drive to the gate is crammed with beautiful sights and the 6 days Rongai Route is considered to be moderately difficult. During the wet season, this route is favored due to the fact that there is less precipitation in the area – this allows for enjoyable, drier conditions.
Rongai Gate / Nalemoru (1850m) to Simba Camp (2650m) (First Cave Camp)
WalkingTime: 3-4hrs Distance: 6.5km Altitude Gain: 700m
In the morning we will pick you up from your hotel and drive to the Marangu Gate (approximately 1,8km). After the necessary park registration is completed, we will proceed to the Nalemoru Gate (Just under 2km). There will be an opportunity to meet your crew and a comforting hot lunch will be served at the gate. We will embark on the great journey to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Your trek starts with a twisting path that intersects with a field of maize. We will enter the ember canopies of the dense forest and walk along the moist floor. The trees above the misty paths are home to the striking blue monkey, the contrasting black and white colobus and the adorable bush baby. The trek lasts three to four hours. We will spend the night at the Simba Camp (2650m). Comprehensive camping facilities are provided.
Simba Camp (2650m) to Kikelewa Caves (3600m) (Third Caves Camp)
Walking Time: 6-7hrs Distance: 8km Altitude Gain: 850m
In the morning the journey towards Kibo will resume. At the second ancient cave, an appetising hot lunch will be served. After lunch we will trek through a brief section of the barren dunes of the moorland and continue amid the heather vegetation zone which is studded with ethereal, enormous lobelias. There is a high possibility of viewing the breath- taking display of the Kibo peak. There is also a chance that we may spot jackals and the odd buffalo – there is no need to panic as your guide accompanies you at all times. Once we reach the Kikelewa Caves camp, you can relax for the remaining hours of the day (3600m).
Kikelewa Caves (3600m) to Mawenzi Tarn (4330m)
Walking Time: 3-4hrs Distance: 6km Altitude Gain: 370m
Breakfast will be served at the campsite. Our day begins on a short inclined pasture that leads to an area of wilderness. A low desert environment will replace the limited vegetation. We will arrive at the Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4,330m) where a delectable hot lunch will be served. There is a possibility of small excursions for acclimatisation taking place but you are likely to spend the rest of the day lounging at the campsite.
Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut (4700m)
Walking Time: 4-5hrs Distance: 8km Altitude Gain: 370m
Note that the trail progressively becomes steeper and stonier as we advance further away from the Mawenzi Tarn Hut. We will travel up a desolate site that leads to ‘The Saddle’ – an extensive lunar lava stone landscape that stretches between Mawenzi and Kibo. The journey is complemented by the marvelous views of the towering upper regions of Kilimanjaro. Our trek will come to an end when we reach the Kibo Huts (4703m) and a steaming hot meal will be served in the afternoon. You can relax for the remainder of the day. We recommend that you try to get to bed early so you are revitalized for the climb to the summit at midnight.
Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak (5885m) to Horombo Hut (3700m)
Walking Time: 6-8hrs ascent, 5-6hrs descent Distance: 5km ascent, 15km descent Altitude Gain: 1185m, Altitude Loss: 2185m
Our voyage to the summit begins at midnight and this is the longest, most laborious day of the whole trek. The trail consists of a long, sharp slope until we pass the Hans Meyer Cave. At this point the path transforms into a twisting, single-file lane. To reach Gillman’s Point (5685m) you will use a brief path with a terrain that is laden with rocks, some climbing is necessary. This is the biggest difficulty of the ascension. Gilman’s point or the lips of Kilimanjaro indicate that Uhuru Peak (5885m) is merely a two hour hike away. Once you progress to Uhuru and behold the spectacle of the first peach hued rays of light brushing against the ice laden fields of the Mawenzi Peaks – you will comprehend the magnitude of your victory. We won’t spend too much time at Uhuru as we have to start our descent to the Kibo Hut. We will take a short, desirable break. We will proceed to the Horombo Huts and at this point you will beam with joy at the sight of your sleeping bag.
Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate (1800m)
Walking Time: 5-6hrs Distance: 20km Altitude Gain: 1185m Altitude Loss: 1800m
After breakfast we will descend to the Marangu gate. On our journey we will encounter the Mandara Hut and travel through the lush rainforest once again. When we get to the Marangu gate you will be awarded with a certificate to prove that you completed the 8 days Rongai Route. After the brief festivities with your porters conclude you will be transported back to the hotel – where a piping hot shower, soft mattress and fresh clothes await. You may even want to try one or two Kilimanjaro beers. We will transfer you to Kilimanjaro Airport, from where you will connect your flight back home If you’ve decided to go in a safari – well, that’s a another adventure and we’ll be happy to arrange it for you.