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 colourful 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 7 days Rongai Route is considered to be moderately difficult. During the wet season, this route is favoured due to the fact that there is less precipitation in the area – this allows for enjoyable, drier conditions.
Moshi to Rongai Gate / Nalemoru (1950m) to Simba Camp (2650m) (First Cave Camp)
Walking Time: 3-4hrs Distance: 6.5km Altitude Gain: 700m
In the morning we will transport you from your hotel to the Marangu Gate (1,8km). Park registration will be completed upon arriving and then we will proceed to the Nalemoru gate (Under 2km). The extended trip to the gate is packed with astonishing sceneries and ventures through a native village. An appetizing hot lunch will be served at the gate and introductions between you and your crew members will take place. We will embark on the 9 day Rongai Route to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. The coiling path amid the golden maize field leads to the entrance of the oak-brown forest. Fallen leaves will crackle beneath your feet as you marvel at the immensity of the emerald canopy. The knotted ember arms of the tree rise towards the sky, assisting the blue monkeys with their trapeze performance. The orchestra of birdsong floats through the mist-covered air. You may encounter the striking Black and White Colobus or the adorable Bush Baby. We will arrive at the Simba Campsite where we will spend the night (2650m / 3-4 hours of hiking).
Simba Camp (2650m) to Second Caves Camp 3150m
Walking Time: 3-4hrs Distance: 4km Altitude Gain: 500m
After a delicious breakfast, we will continue to move in the direction of the looming peak of Kibo to the Second Cave. We will venture on a gentle incline through the fuscous brown moorland and heather vegetation zones. The arid plains are scattered with hoary desert plants and the heather is dominated by whimsical plantation and celestially enormous trees. Hot lunch will be provided at the Second Caves Camp (3150m / 3-4 hours). There is a possibility of small excursions towards the Third Cave – this will aid the acclimatization process, relaxing is also an option. The excursions will increase your chances of witnessing marvelous sights including the distinct crown of Mawenzi’s serrated, dark peak speckled with snow. Encountering wildlife such as buffaloes or jackals is conceivable and the spectacular figure of Kibo Peak (the summit peak) is best observed at this angle. Your tents will be assembled at the Second Cave.
Second caves Camp (3150m) to Kikelewa Caves (3600m)
Walking Time: 3-4hrs Distance: 5km Altitude Gain: 450m
The trek advances towards Kibo and we will begin after breakfast is served. We will venture through an exposed area of moorland and heather foliage to reach the Kikelewa Caves Camp. Your chances of viewing Kibo, which is shrouded in ghost-grey mist, are high. You may spot the great buffalo with winding horns and more jackals. A tantalizing lunch will be served at the campsite.
Kikelewa Caves (3600m) to Mawenzi Tarn (4330m)
Walking Time: 3-4hrs Distance: 6km Altitude Gain: 370m
We will travel to the Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4,330m) after breakfast. We will traverse on a malachite-green slope. The chatter of the birds breaking the quiet of the world whilst clouds shaped like tufty pillows glide slowly across the sky. The parched fauna and flora of the moorland is temporarily banished as we travel through a region of wilderness. Our trek proceeds through a low desert area. The comforting aromas of your delicious hot lunch will drift through the entrance of the Mawenzi Tarn Hut. (6000m / 3-4 hour trek). Brief excursions for acclimatization may occur but the remaining hours of the afternoon will be spent lounging around the campsite.
Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut (4700m)
Walking Time: 4-5hrs Distance: 9km Altitude Gain: 370m
The route gradually develops into a steeper, rockier trail as we further ourselves from the Mawenzi Tarn Hut. Traveling along the meek landscape of the ashen ‘Saddle’, an expansive lava stone ridge amid Mawenzi and Kibo, provides stunning views of the lofty peak of Kilimanjaro. An appetising, warm meal will be served when we arrive at the Kibo Hut (4703m). You will have a relaxing evening and an early bedtime to ensure that you are well rested for the midnight trek to the summit.
Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak (5895m) to Horombo Hut (3700m)
Walking Time: 6-8hrs ascent, 5-6hrs descent Distance: 5km ascent, 15km descent Altitude Gain: 1195m Altitude Loss: 2195m
We will depart from the huts shortly after midnight and undertake the most demanding day of the entire trek. Until we reach the beautiful Hans Meyer Cave the trail ensues an extended screed incline, at this stage it adapts into a single-file zigzag. A rocky path with wildflowers bursting from the earth with their azure gongs attached will lead us to Gillman’s Point (5685m). The pollen travels like floating grains of pixie dust, scattered by the blustery wind. This is the most challenging section of the route. Gillman’s Point signifies the last two hours of the hike to Uhuru Peak are upon us (5895m). On Africa’s rooftop the gleaming landscape is smothered in wispy clouds and pasty streaks. An amethyst-purple tint invades the skies as the sun begins to emerge, soon the sky will be a-fire in the warm glow of tree-flame. Sun washes the ice fields with a golden radiance and the sugar-frosted coating glints. We will marvel at the view and celebrate what you have accomplished before starting the descent to Kibo Hut where we will take a break. Horombo Hut is our final destination for the day and you can enjoy a well-deserved slumber.
Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate (1800m) to Moshi
Walking Time: 5-6hrs Distance: 20km Altitude Loss: 1900m
After enjoying an appetizing breakfast we will circle past the Mandara Hut and through the magnificent rainforest before reaching the Marangu gate. You will receive your summit certificates for completing the 7 days Rongai Route and short festivities with your porters will occur. You will be transported you to your hotel where a steaming shower and plush bedding await. Will bring you to Kilimanjaro Airport, where it is time to say goodby to Tanzania and its friendly people. If you’ve decided to go on a safari – well, that’s a different adventure and we’ll take care of that too!