Special Kilimanjaro Group Rongai Route 8 Day
6 Days 5 Nights . Tanzania . Multi-Environment Adventure
Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge leads trekking up the unique Rongai Route known to be more scenic than the Marangu Route, easier than the Machame Route, and the success rate on the Rongai is very high. Unlike the Marangu Route where you sleep in huts, on the Rongai you sleep in tents (tents are included), and the porters will pitch your tent for you. Meals are served in a dinner tent or on a blanket outside. The Rongai starts on the north side of the mountain just south of the Kenyan border, and is one of the least traveled routes. The Rongai joins the Marangu for the summit climb, then you descend the Marangu Route on the mountain's southeast side, so you see Kilimanjaro from many view points. There are two versions of this trekking - a direct 6-day itinerary, and a 7-day itinerary that takes a longer route. The more expedient 6-day itinerary is described below and the longer variation is described in the extra days section.
At arriving at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met by our Intimate staff and transferred to Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge at the outskate of Moshi town and at an altitude of 1,047 meters which is ideal for your first day of your arrival in Tanzania and it will take approximately 1 hour from the Airport. You will be served with meals at the colonial farm house surrounded by coffee plantation and tropical gardens where you will spend your comfortable and quiet night with all room over-looking the majestic mountain Kilimanjaro. You can start your trekking a day after. Our experienced and knowledgeable Mountain guides will brief you and sort all the equipments and mountain gears for your next adventure to the mountain.
Your day starts early with breakfast and a briefing. Transfer by Land Cruiser through many villages and coffee plantations for 4-5 hours to the attractive wooden village of Nale Muru (1,950 m/6,398 ft). After signing in and preparing the porters, you begin the hike on a wide path winding through fields of maize and potatoes, then enter pine forest. You then start to climb gently but consistently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. The forest begins to thin and Simba Camp (2,600 m/8,530 ft) is near the "First Cave" at the edge of the moorland zone with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.
Your morning walk is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave. En route, you will enjoy superb views of Kibo and the eastern ice fields on the crater rim.
Your continuing steady ascent takes you up to the Third Cave. Closer now, the eastern ice fields on the crater rim continue to draw you upwards. On this day, be careful to notice any signs of altitude sickness.
Today, you hike up to the Kibo Huts at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall, and this is where you join the popular Marangu Route. Plan on doing your hike early in the day, then resting in preparation for your final ascent. Prepare your equipment and warm clothing for your summit climb, then turn in early
Wake at midnight to a light breakfast, then prepare for your summit ascent. The goal is to climb before dawn so that you can reach Uhuru Peak shortly after sunrise. Leave at 1 AM, switchback up steep scree or possibly snow, and reach Gilman's Point on the crater rim at 5,861 m/18,640 ft between 5 and 7 AM. Here, views of the fabled crater and its icecaps greet you. Another 2 hours of hiking along the crater rim near the celebrated snows takes you to Kilimanjaro's true summit, Uhuru Peak, by 9 AM. This is Africa's highest point, and you would have to travel more than 3,000 miles toward the Himalayas to find a higher peak! Be sure to have your picture taken at the summit to show your friends. After your summit stay, descend back to the Kibo Huts, have lunch, rest, collect your things, and re cross the saddle to the Horombo Huts. Eat dinner and get some well-deserved sleep!
You do the beginning of this climb in the dark with headlamps or flashlights. It will be very cold until you start descending, so you will need all of your warm layers. This is, by far, the most difficult part of the trek. Slowly slowly, or, "pole pole," and an optimistic attitude will get you there!
Wake as usual, pack, and descend through the moorland to the Mandara Huts. Have lunch there then continue your triumphant recessional down through lush forest to the park gate, which you should reach around 2 or 3 PM. Remember to tip your guides, cooks, and porters, since you will be leaving them here. A vehicle will take you back to the Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge where it is definitely time for celebration!
You next day will either be departure back home or starting safari to other destinations in Tanzania like; Safari to Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tanangire or Zanzibar. All these can be arranged by Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge.
Important Travel Information
If you arrive at the Kilimanjaro Airport, you will be met at the airport and transferred to Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge. We recommend at least one rest day before starting your trekking. If you are transferring from Nairobi, this can act as your rest day. If you have time, enjoy a guided walk through the coffe plantation surroinding Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge or to the Materuni waterfalls, hot water springs and Lake Chala or you relax at the swimming pool of Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge.
Your guide will provide a briefing the evening before your trekking, and you must separate one bag for the trekking from your other luggages. Rental equipment is available. Extra luggage can be stored in a locked storage room at Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge.
The next morning, enjoy a hearty breakfast before last-minute trip preparations at Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge. Depending on the route you take, the drive to the trailhead can take up to one hour and can be very bumpy.
Once you reach the park gate, climbers are requested to make their final preparations for the climb and sign the national park registration book. Porters will be seen arranging their packs containing the food, water, and other equipments. Make sure that you have all your day pack items with you as the porters travel very quickly. Your guide will be pleased to assist with any additional information.
The average hiking day begins between 8-9am and is about 5 to 6 hours, walking very, very slowly. The distances you will hike each day are very moderate so as to acclimate a little at a time. Your guides will repeat over and over, "pole pole" (po-ly, po-ly), which means "go slowly" in Swahili.
The terrain lower down is absolutely gorgeous and fascinating. Higher up, the views are vast. There is little to do at the camps themselves, so take advantage of the slow pace to absorb the scenery and take every photo opportunity.
The hike to the summit starts around midnight depending on your route and speed of your group. You will go as high as you feel fit. Some people stop at the crater rim, and others continue to the very highest point on the mountain. Your guides will then take you down as quickly as possible to minimize any altitude problems. You will continue past your last campsite to the next one for overnight.
You can add an extra day at the Horombo Huts (3,690 m/12,100 ft). You can spend a full day and a second night at Horombo. On this day, you can either rest at the huts or take a stroll up to the Mawenzi basecamp then return to the Horombo Huts. This extra day will help your acclimatization, and further your understanding of the mountain's weather and altitude. After your pause, you will continue up to the Kibo Huts on your fourth day for your midnight start to the summit.
A local guide is required to hike Kilimanjaro. We have guides that speak English, Spanish, French and German. Porters will also go on the trip to carry your luggage, food, and other equipment. You will only have to carry a day pack with your daily essentials.
Tips for guides and porters on Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru:
• You will be given an envelope at the Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge after your trekkin for your tip money. You can use U.S. dollars, Euros, TZ shillings, or a combination of these. It helps if you have small bills to tip everyone individually. There is no need to take money on the mountain with you.
• The typical tip is $15/day for guides, $10/day for assistant guides and cooks, $7/day for porters. This is from the whole group, not per hiker.
• Expect 1 guide per 8 hikers, 1 assistant guide per 3 hikers, and 1 cook per 8 hikers:
• Expect porters as follows:
- 2 porters per hiker on the 5-day Marangu Route(minimum of 4 porters)
- 3 porters per hiker on a 6 or 7-day trek (minimum of 5 porters)
- 4 porters per hiker on the 8-day Lemosho Route(minimum of 8 porters)
- Sometimes extra porters are required based on the weight of your luggage.
• Budget $200 per hiker for tips for a 6-day trekking.
• Gifts: Guides and porters also appreciate your warm clothing, shoes, and packs. You may want to bring some older clothing items for this purpose.
• Celebration: You are also welcome to invite your guides back toKilemakyaro Mountain Lodge for drinks and/or dinner (on you) as a thank-you in addition to their tip.