RONGAI CLIMB

6 day private camping trekking tour + 2 nights hotel stay

Rongai is only available as a private climb which means that you can choose your departure date and fellow hikers in your group.

Probably the least-used route to the summit of Kilimanjaro is the Rongai route. It starts on the northern side of Mt Kilimanjaro where it can be relatively dry even in the rainy months. Rongai traverses lesser-known areas of Kili and is perfect for hikers than want a more remote route. This camping route is only available as a private climb. This means that the client will select the suitable day of departure and can make up his own group of hikers.

Highlights

Day 1

Start: Nalemoru Gate (1990m)
Finish:  Simba Camp (2625m)
Altitude: ↑600m
Walking time: 3-4h

This section goes through farms, pine trees and into the forest on the mountain slopes.


Day 2

Start: Simba Camp (2625m)
Finish: Kikelewa Camp (3630m)
Altitude: ↑1000m
Walking time: 5-6h

The vegetation changes with the altitude and there will be more shrubs and better views of the two peaks and Kenya’s plains.


Day 3

Start: Kikelewa Camp (3630m)
Finish: Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4310m)
Altitude: ↑680m
Walking time: 3-4h

A day of ups and downs with great views and interesting plants.


Day 4

Start: Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4310m)
Finish: School Hut (4715m) or Kibo Hut (4700m)
Altitude: ↑400m
Walking time: 4-6h

Some easy gradual stretches and a tough section crossing the Saddle that links Mawenzi and Kibo peaks.


Day 5

Start: School Hut (4715m) or Kibo Hut (4700m)
Finish: Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo Hut (3700m)
Altitude: ↑11803 ↓2175m
Walking time: 12-14h

Summit day with a long cold climb to reach to Gilman’s Point on the crater’s rim. Up to Uhuru for a 360° view. The downhill is long, steep and dusty.


Day 6

Start: Horombo Hut (3700m)
Finish: Marangu Gate (1860m)
Altitude: ↓1860m
Walking time: 5-6h

Today’s decent is easier and the path is better. Descend into the forest.

Itinerary

Kilimanjaro Airport – Moshi

No need to arrange transport! Our transfer driver will collect you and all your gear from Kilimanjaro Airport and take you to the hotel in Moshi. Relax after your flight, take a dip in the pool or explore Moshi. Later you will meet the Kilimanjaro-Experience operation team. They will tell you more about the trip, share tips and safety information and thoroughly check your gear to see if you have everything you need. Supper is included in tonight’s accommodation.

Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner


Day 1 Moshi – Nalemoru Gate ( 1990m) – Simba Camp (2625m)

You will have breakfast before all the gear is loaded. It is a long drive – about four hours – to the north side of Kilimanjaro. After registration at Nalemoru Gate, the hike begins. You will walk pass small farms, pine trees and the up into the forest on the mountain slopes. You might be lucky to see the colobus monkeys with extravagant black and white tails. The porters will go in front to set up camp while you will hike at a moderate pace to reach the Simba campsite (2 625m) in about four hours. The tents and some warm washing water will be ready. A warm supper will be served.

Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner


Day 2 Simba Camp (2625m) – Kikelewa Camp (3630m)

After some hot porridge and eggs you will set off on today’s section. Vegetation is changing and you see more shrubs as you walk through the moorland zone. On a clear day you should see the Kenyan plains and Mawenzi peak. There will be a break at Second Cave (3 450m) where you will stop for lunch before crossing over some ups and downs to reach Kikelewa Camp. Tea is served! The camp has great views. Relax and breathe in the tranquillity of the mountain.

Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner


Day 3 Kikelewa Camp (3630m) – Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4310m)

Today you will not see the weird-looking senecias as the landscape change to resemble a rocky moon landscape. If there are no clouds, you will see the Mawenzi and Kibo peaks.After about six hours of work you should reach Mawenzi Hut. A small lake nearby freezes over at night so expect the night to be very cold.  Fear not, a hot supper waits.

Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner


Day 4 Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4310m) – School Hut (4715m)

On a good firm path, you will cross the Saddle today. You will feel the altitude and might experience symptoms of altitude sickness – headache and nausea? Takes lots of fluid and keep going very slowly. You will hear your guide say pole pole – slowly slowly. One last tough section and you will be there. You will camp at School Hut tonight, but not before some dinner and hot chocolate. Get your daypack ready and go to bed early as you will be woken up at around 00:00 to start the final stretch to the summit.

Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner


Day 5 School Hut (4715m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo Hut (3700m)

Rise and shine! It will be dark and very cold when you enter the darkness on the way to the top. A row of headlights in front of you will show the way. Take it slow and listen to your guide. The ground will be frozen and you will get very tired, but keep going. After about seven hours you will be standing on the crater’s rim – Gillman’s Point (5 715 m). Warming up in the sun, it is just an hour or two to reach Uhuru peak at 5 895m. You will be standing on the highest mountain in Africa! The return path is almost the same, but now the ground is defrosted and it will be dusty. It will be late morning when you arrive at School Hut. Here you will rest for an hour and have a hot meal. Onwards! The descent continues to Horombo Hut where you will rest for the night.

Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner


Day 6 Horombo Hut (3700m) – Marangu Gate (1860m) – Moshi

Today is the last day on the mountain. The descent to Marangu Gate will take about six hours. Here, the crew will say farewell and the transfer driver will be waiting. At Sal Salinero Hotel, cold drinks will be waiting too. No doubt you will enjoy a shower and a swim before sitting down for supper to celebrate your adventure.

Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner


Arusha or Safari

Feeling a little stiff today? Why not relax for a few days on Zanzibar? After breakfast you will transfer to the Kilimanjaro Airport. If you are extending your holiday in Africa with a safari in Tanzania, our safari transfer driver will pick you up from the Sal Salinero Hotel.

Breakfast

Price includes:

  • Trekking tour according to the itinerary
  • Accommodation in tents and hotels as indicated in the itinerary
  • Professional English-speaking guide
  • Personal porter
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Drinking Water
  • Portable toilet and toilet tent
  • Transfers as indicated in the itinerary
  • National park fees
  • Rescue fees
  • Camping equipment – tents, sleeping mattress and camping furniture

Price excludes:

  • Flights (international and domestic)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Beverages other than water (alcohol and soft drinks)
  • Visa, tips, personal expenses, travel insurance
  • Sleeping bag (can be rented, please ask us at the time of the booking)

 

FAQ

  • The group size is the client’s decision and can vary from a solo hiker to a group of over 50 guests.
  • On a private climb, you choose you hiking partners. You will not be teamed up with strangers.
  • As per the national park authorities, the minimum age for climbing Kilimanjaro is 10 years but seeing that children are more prone to altitude sickness than adults, we recommend a minimum age of 14 to 16 years. There is no maximum age restriction, but a medical check-up is advisable for people over the age of 60.
  • Kilimanjaro is one of the few mountains of its height, than can be summited without mountaineering skills or experience. You should however be healthy and fit enough to manage the 4-6 hour hike each day, as well as the 12-14 hour hike on the day of the summit. For the last stretch, much endurance and willpower is needed.
  • Generally yes. We however discourage any attempts during the main rainy season (end of March to beginning of June). During the short rainy season (November), daily short rainfalls and cloudy views can be expected. From December until the end of February, temperatures are at their highest and rainfall is at its minimum. The best time to travel is between the end of June and the middle of October, when temperatures are a little lower and there is almost no rain.

The Rongai route starts on the northeast (Kenyan) side of the mountain and requires a long drive to the starting point. It can be drier than most routes if you hike during the rainy season as the northeastern side is more protected from the rain.  The acclimatization profile is fair. The route is less busy, moderately steep and have good views towards Kenya and Kili’s summit. Accommodation is in tents. The descent is via the Marangu Route.

  • The group will sleep in rustic timber huts with dormitory style bedrooms and stacking beds.
  • There are no ablution facilities except for basic long-drops (very simple latrines), but on private climbs mobile chemical toilets are included.
  • Fresh water will be collected from the available sources on the mountain and is boiled before it’s served. Porters will carry water in canisters for the higher areas, where no more fresh water is available. All meals are freshly prepared by your cook.
  • Meals are included as indicated in the itinerary.
  • Breakfast usually consists of fruit, scrambled eggs, porridge, toast and jam, hot chocolate, coffee or tea. For lunch you are usually provided with a lunch box that contains sandwiches, boiled eggs, chicken etc.
  • For dinner you will be served a soup and bread followed by the main course that either consists of red meat or poultry served with some sort of starch (chips, mashed potatoes, pasta or rice) and vegetables. For dessert you will get fresh fruit, hot chocolate, coffee or tea and milk.
  • Breakfast and dinner are served in a mess hall that is equipped with tables and benches while lunch is enjoyed en-route.
  • We are able to provide meals for vegetarians or people with other dietary requirements or food allergies but we need to know in advance in order to cater for special requests.
  • Almost every hiker attempting Kilimanjaro will notice the altitude and the thinner air. Fitness fanatics are just as likely to suffer from it as couch potatoes. Symptoms include headaches that are often accompanied by fatigue, loss of appetite and nausea. More often than not, symptoms are mild, allowing you to continue to ascend. Occasionally the symptoms are more severe and a rapid descent is required, after which your body tends to recover quite quickly. Please keep in mind, that severe altitude sickness can be life threatening and it may even lead to death. We do not recommend the use of medication, as it suppresses the symptoms of altitude sickness. We do however encourage you to drink enough water to replace the fluids lost from the physical activity. Two to four litres per day are recommended, as well as mineral supplements (magnesium) to help replace lost minerals and prevent muscle cramps.
  • Unfortunately there are no state of the art mountain rescue services like the ones to be found in the European Alps for example. If you no longer have the ability to walk, you will either be carried or transported on a wheeled stretcher. This is by no means a pleasant experience which is why we encourage you not to overstrain your body and to travel safe. Helicopters can only land at a lower altitude and are therefore rarely used.
  • Please ensure that you are covered by your health insurance while travelling. If you do not have sufficient coverage, we highly recommend taking out appropriate travel insurance. Your insurance should cover all your medical expenses including costs for rescue and repatriation.
  • It is common practice to tip the members of your mountain crew after the climb. Tips make up a large portion of their income and are therefore highly appreciated. Below are some guidelines based on a group (not per person).
  • Guide: 12-18 USD / day
  • Assistant Guide: 8-12 USD / day
  • Cook:   8-10 USD / day
  • Waiter: 7-9 USD / day
  • Porter:   6-7 USD / day
  • Of course the above is just a guideline. If you are happy with the service received, you are welcome to show this when it comes to tipping.
  • If you plan to tip in USD, please make sure the notes have been printed after 2004 as any earlier dated bank notes are not valid and can therefore not be used in Tanzania.
  • Travel bag, backpack or kitbag, weighing no more than 12kg. Please do not bring a suitcase or trolley bag, as this type of luggage cannot be carried by the porters.
  • Day backpack with rain protection.
  • High quality sleeping bag for harsh conditions (at night temperatures can drop to -20°C).
  • Different layers of clothing including thermal base layers, fleece clothing, trekking pants, warm jacket and water-resistant top layers as well as a warm headgear.
  • Water-resistant and comfortable hiking boots and a variety of trekking socks.
  • Please note that the above list is not complete and these are just a few things that you will have to bring with you. Once we have confirmed your booking, you will receive a more detailed list.
  • Citizens of all nationalities need to contact the embassies of their travel destination to check the visa regulations.
  • In general, European citizens can apply for a Tanzanian Tourism Visa upon arrival in Tanzania.
  • It is the sole responsibility of every traveller to be in possession of the required documents and visa that allows them to enter their holiday destination.
  • The trekking tour starts and ends in Tanzania, a yellow fever region, which is why we recommend a yellow fever vaccination.
  • Although there are no mosquitoes at high altitude, Tanzania is within a malaria region. It is up to you if you wish to take medication, but we suggest that you speak to your doctor or travel clinic about the different prophylaxis and their effects and side effects.
  • Although Tanzania does not require proof of immunization against tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A and B, we nevertheless recommend those vaccinations.

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