Trekking time: 4 hours
Distance: approx. 8 km
Vegetation type: Montane Forest
The starting point of your Kilimanjaro trekking Rongai Route is at Park Gate of Marangu, then you will have transport to the Rongai trail ahead (1,950 m). Normally, the transport is of about 3 hours to the Rongai gate. If time allows, a packed lunch can be taken at Nelemoru. This trail takes you along the cypress plantations and montane forest. You can possibly spot some colobus monkeys.
The path is ending at the 1st Cave camp (2,600 m) and it is gradually allowing you to enjoy the surroundings. Porters & cooks are moving faster so at the time you reach the camp you will find them waiting and already build up your tents. They might have even prepared popcorn for you and something hot to drink. At the camp, you will get hot water to wash then change the clothes you have been trekking with, and stay warm. Enjoy the camp environment while waiting for dinner time. At night Mountain temperature may drop to a freezing point, be prepared.
Caves Camp (2,600 m)
Trekking time: 6 to 7 hours
Distance: 9 km
Vegetation type: Moorlands
From the 1st Caves Camp start your day with a light breakfast, then you will arrive at the moorland vegetation type enclosed in the heather. This trail will lead you towards the second Cave Camp (3,450 m), the place where you will have lunch. After lunch and some rest you carry on up to the third Cave Campsite (3, 600 m), (Kikelelwa Cave) the alternative name. 6 Days of trekking is the best as it gives enough time for acclimatization.
By the time you reach the Kikelelwa Cave, porters will have already prepared a tent for you, hot water to wash & coffee/tea, and snacks (same procedure as per previous day). The camp is surrounded by a bunch of small caves in a valley a bit below the saddle. After dinner, you will go to sleep and get prepared for the crazy cold at night.
Kikelelwa Cave also known as the 3rd Cave (3,600 m).
Trekking time: 3 to 4 hours
Distance: approx. 6 km
Vegetation type: Moorland
Light breakfast before starting your 3rd day at Kikelelwa cave. Start your hiking day on an easy and moderate slope, you will notice changes in the landscape and the pass now is becoming steeper and soon you will reach Mawenzi Tarn Camp at the altitude of 4,330 m.
This is a very remarkable campsite as it is in a hollow beneath the sharp peak of Mawenzi which is close to a small lake. Arriving at the camp same procedures will follow as on previous days, soon hot lunch will be served followed by some relaxing hours. You can use this afternoon for resting and exploring the areas around the campsite.
You can have some walks to a number of ridges and towers in this area which will possibly offer a stunning view of Kibo. For great acclimatization and for amazing views of Mawenzi this is the right place. Enjoy the magnificent sunset from your campsite then dinner and overnight.
Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,330 m)
Trekking time:4 to 5 hours
Distance: approx. 9 km
Vegetation type: Alpine desert
After a light breakfast, you will start your today’s program by hiking over a small ridge before having an easy walk on a nice path that is on the northern part of the saddle. With a good weather view around this area is wonderful. The vegetation type that will dominate today’s walking is an alpine desert furnishing with some hardy grasses and occasionally everlasting flowers.
At this juncture, the Rongai route will adjoin the Marangu route when reaching the saddle in-between Mawenzi and Kibo. The pass to the summit at this point is the same as from the Marangu route. The final part of today’s hike that leads to Kibo hut is steeper. Reach Kibo hut at 47,00 m during lunchtime. Hot water to wash & other procedures will follow, get enough rest and some acclimatization and be ready for the final part of your Kilimanjaro trekking Rongai route for 6 days.
On this day dinner will be served early but before or after dinner your guide will give you a detailed briefing of your final push to the summit. Go to bed early & try to get enough sleep as this is your big night at Kilimanjaro but before bed, you should have prepared everything needed for your final ascent. Things needed for your final attempt to the summit are thermal clothing, a ski stick, and a thermal flask for water, don’t forget to put in and replace your headlamp and batteries. (the guide will remind you during the briefing).
Kibo Hut (4,700 m).
Trekking time: About 8 hours to Uhuru and 6 hours to Horombo
Vegetation type: Stone scree / ice-cap summit
Distance: approx. 6 km ascent and 21 km descent
On the summit day on Rongai Route, the wake-up time will be around 23:00 to 23:30. Have some biscuits and tea before you start, you will firstly hike through a very rough path with rocky passing Williams Point at an altitude of 5,000 m, Hans Meyer Cave at 5,150 m and Gillman’s Point at an altitude of 5,681 m situated on the crater rim.
To reach Hans Mayer Cave from Kibo hut you will need almost two and a half hours. Gillman’s Point is not that far from Hans Meyers Cave, it is a distance of about an hour. To reach the summit from Gillman’s Point is about 1.5 hours walking distance.
The remaining climbing is normally covered with snow and walking is along the rim of the crater all the way to Uhuru Peak. On the way to Uhuru Peak, you will pass Stella Point stands at an altitude of 5,752 m; this point is where the other routes reach the rim. Now you are almost at the summit but might be very challenging. Congratulation you have made it to the roof of Africa via the Rongai route with 6 days of tough hiking.
At Uhuru Peak you should not expect to spend much time, a few minutes will be enough at such an altitude, so you may expect to take some pictures before starting your way down. Now is the time for the descent back to Kibo hut 4,700 where your lunch is to be served. From Kibo hut, you need about 3 hours to reach Horombo hut 3,720 m. Arriving at the camp in the afternoon, get hot water followed by coffee/tea with snacks, Change clothes & have a deep breath while relaxing and waiting for dinner.
Horombo Camp in Luxurious beds
Trekking time: 6 hours
Distance: approx. 27 km
Vegetation type: low alpine zone and Montana forest
After a heavy breakfast at Horombo hut, you are last day at Kilimanjaro will then start. Passing Mandara hut at an altitude of 2,700 on your way down to Marangu gate, here you will have a short break for lunch then proceed down to Marangu gate at (1,980 m)
At Marangu gate, you will sign some of your details into a register book and you will be provided with a summit certificate, a green color certificate for those who reached Gillman’s Point, and a gold certificate (Big Diploma) for Uhuru Peak. Celebrations, singing & dancing including farewell & tipping sessions for the crew can be at Horombo hut in the morning or here when receiving the certificate. At the time you reach the gate your driver will have already arrived and waiting to take you back to your hotel possibly for a long overdue hot shower before dinner & overnight.
Panama Garden Resort