Mount Kilimanjaro: The Rongai Route

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Starting from the northeastern side of the mountain near the Kenyan border, the Rongai Route rises above the Amboseli plains and approach the summit of Kilimanjaro west of the Mawenzi peak

Start: Moshi Town

Finish: Moshi Town

At 5,895m (19,340 ft), Mt Kilimanjaro is Africa's highest peak and one of the most spectacular free-standing summit treks in the world.

Starting from the northeastern side of the mountain near the Kenyan border, the Rongai Route rises above the Amboseli plains and approach the summit of Kilimanjaro west of the Mawenzi peak. It is an unfrequented route and is also the easiest camping approach to Uhuru Peak. Due to its remote location, this trek will offer you will relatively unspoilt wilderness experiences and if you're lucky, you may have a chance to see the beautiful Colobus monkeys, elephants and buffalos en route. The descent normally uses the Marangu Route, however, there are two variations to this route. You can choose to attempt the summit via Mawenzi Tarn Hut or via School Hut which is also referred to as the Outward Bound Hut. The former is longer and more popular.

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Tanzania:

You will be picked up at the Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to your hotel in Moshi town where you will meet your guide. Here your guide will brief you on your upcoming trek and conduct the final equipment checks to make sure you have all the necessary mountain gear.

Gear which is missing can be rented on this day.

Meals: Dinner Included

Day 2

Nalemoru Gate (1990m) to Simba Camp (2625m):

This morning we will drive to the village of Nale Moru; the starting point of the Rongai route. The first stage of the trek is through farmland and pine forests. Due to its remote location, this trek will offer you will relatively unspoilt wilderness experiences and if you're lucky, you may have a chance to see the beautiful Colobus monkeys, elephants and buffalos en route.

Our first camp will be the Simba Camp located at the edge of the moorland zone at 2625m.

Distance covered: 8km / 5mi

Approx. time taken: 4 - 5 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 3

Simba Camp (2625m) to Second Cave Camp (3480m):

Today's early morning hike is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave Camp located in the moorland zone. The Second cave camp boats superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim.

Distance covered: 5km / 3.1mi

Approx. time taken: 3 - 4 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 4

2nd Cave Camp (3480m) to Kikelewa Camp (3630m):

Leaving the pine forest behind we carry on with a steady ascent walking though moorland. There are superb views of the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim of Kibo; the highest of the three volcanoes which form the mountain.

We will leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi, the second of Kilimanjaro's volcanoes. We will set up camp today in the sheltered valley near Kikelewa caves at 3630m

Distance covered: 5km / 3.1mi

Approx. time taken: 3 - 4 hrs

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 5

Kikelewa Camp (3630m) to Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4310m):

This morning we have a short but steep ascent up grassy slopes which is rewarded by a superb view of the Kenyan plains to the north. We leave vegetation behind shortly before reaching our next camp at Mawenzi Tarn Hut directly below the towering cliffs of Mawenzi. This afternoon you have the chance to rest or explore the surrounding area to aid acclimatization.

Distance covered: 8km / 5mi

Approx. time taken: 4 - 5 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 6

Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4310m) to Kibo Hut (4700m):

We leave our campsite and cross the lunar desert of the ‘saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo. After a couple of hours trekking, we will reach one of the most spectacular sections of the whole trip.

As the summit of Kilimanjaro towers high above us, this final stretch up to the Kibo camp will literally take your breath away (excuse the pun). Upon reaching our camp, we will spend the remainder of our day resting in preparation of the final ascent after a very early night!

Distance covered: 8km / 5mi

Approx. time taken: 5 - 6 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 7

Kibo Hut (4700m) to UHURU PEAK (5895m) & down to Horombo Hut (3700m):

Today is “The Big Day” - the summit stage. You will begin your final ascent around midnight which will be long and strenuous. Passing the Hans Meyer Cave at 5220m, the climb slowly gets steeper and steeper.

At sunrise, you will reach Gillman’s Point (5681m) – the crater rim of Kilimanjaro – where the sun will slowly start to warm up the land. You will have soon forgotten the cold of the night and after a further hike of 1 - 2 hours, you will reach Uhuru Peak at 5895m.

On your return to Kibo Hut, a warm meal awaits you followed by a 1 - 2 hour break before proceeding back down to Horombo Hut.

Distance covered: 22km / 13.7mi

Approx. time taken: 12 – 15 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 8

Horombo Hut (3700m) to Marangu Gate (1860m):

The last stage passes through the heath and moor zone to the Mandara Hut (2700m) where a warm lunch is waiting for you. Soon, you will once again pass the tropical rainforest and after a total of 6 hours trekking, you will be back at the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (1860m).

After saying goodbye to your mountain guides, a short transfer follows where you will be taken back to your hotel in Moshi. Once there, you can take a warm and relaxing shower and celebrate your success in reaching the summit of the Kilimanjaro.

Distance covered: 20.8km / 12.9mi

Approx. time taken: 8 hours

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Day 9

Depart Tanzania:

The day is left free to wind down after the trek before your flight home. Depending on flight times you could go and explore Moshi town and grab some souvenirs before heading to the airport.

Accommodation

Included

  • All national park fees
  • Rescue fees
  • Camping/Hut fees
  • All meals and water on the mountain
  • A nice and comfortable mattress {camping routes}
  • Tents {personal sleeping tent, mess tent for our guests to have their meals, kitchen tent as cooking place and to store our food, as well as shelter tent for the porters use}
  • All Transport
  • Hotel staying in Moshi with bed and breakfast for two days (1 day before and 1 day after your climb)
  • Professional and experienced Mountain Guides, amazing chef and trusted porters to make your adventure with us in Tanzania the most successful one.
  • Portable chemical toilet
  • Emergency Oxygen
  • Pulse Oximeter

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal drinks and snacks
  • Tips for the climbing team
  • Personal equipment (listed below)

Essential Information

Let's begin with Ecological Zones:

It all begins at the base of the mountain as we embark on our climb, allowing us to pass through lush rain-forests, proceeding through heath, moorland, alpine desert and finally entering the arctic zone. Climbers need to be prepared for the wide range of temperatures as we pass through all the different zones, especially the extreme cold on entering the arctic zone. Climbers also need to be aware that the forest sections can often be quite slippery, as moorland can get very wet due to poor weather conditions. Additionally, the final ascent through the arctic zone is almost entirely of scree and lose rock, so watch your step. Although this section can be tricky, there are no technical climbing skills needed.

What is Altitude Sickness & Will I Get It?

Altitude sickness symptoms occur when the rate of ascent into higher altitudes is too quickly that the body doesn’t get time to acclimatise. Altitude sickness generally develops at elevations higher than 2,400 meters above sea level. The most common cause of altitude sickness is ascending too quickly, therefore, the main way to avoid altitude sickness is allowing the body to get used to the altitude slowly (Acclimatisation). Remember, this is not a race - look up and smell the roses!

Our professional guides will be monitoring you constantly throughout the trip, therefore, symptom checks will be a regular occurrence. It is important to be aware of the normal altitude symptoms that you may encounter, so please familiarise yourself with signs and symptoms before you depart and be very vocal about your own health during your trek. We will send you a full need to knows list at the time of booking!

If you are feeling nauseous, dizzy or experience other symptoms, please be sure to let your local guide know immediately so that we can monitor your condition.

[Click here to learn more about altitude sickness and how to avoid it] (http://)

How Fit Do I Need To Be & Do I Need To Train?

The short answer is: a basic level of fitness and good health is needed and training is highly recommended. However, you do not need to be a professional athlete or a marathon runner. What is going to get you to the end of your challenge is a mental and emotional commitment to the cause. As long as you set time aside to prepare for the challenge ahead, success will be on your side!

Check out our full fitness breakdown here

Weather:

Weather conditions and temperature on Kilimanjaro varies depending on season and altitude, cold temperatures and precipitation are the main weather concerns while climbing the mountain. The warmer, drier months are the best times to climb Kilimanjaro, climbs during January, February and September are all very good, while climbs in June, July and August equally have good it’s possible the temperature will be a little cooler. Times to try and avoid climbing the mountain are during the rainy season which falls in the months of March, April, May and November although climbers can still experience rain during the dry season, the weather on the mountain is unpredictable. Please note that this is a challenging and tough trek, which reaches an altitude of 5895m. It is possible to find this climb very difficult even if you consider yourself to be relatively fit, it mostly depends on how well your body acclimatizes to high altitude.

Visa:

It is possible to obtain a tourist visa for a single entry at any one of the following main entry points to Tanzania, subject to the fulfilment of all immigration and health requirements for approximately USD$50 in cash:

  • Dar es Salaam International Airport
  • Zanzibar International Airport
  • Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA)
  • Namanga Entry Point (Tanzania-Kenya border point)
  • Kasumulu Border crossing
  • Isebania Border crossing
  • Alternatively, you will need to purchase your visa in advance at any Diplomatic or Consulate Mission of the United Republic of Tanzania abroad.

The cost is approximately USD100 depending on nationality and should take one business day. At the present time, you do not require a multi-entry visa to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda due to an agreement between the three countries (i.e. if you exit Kenya to Tanzania you can re-enter Kenya on the same visa).

However, if your trip visits Tanzania twice after a visit to a country other than those listed above, you may need to purchase two visas.

For the most up to date information on visa requirements, we recommend you contact the Tanzania embassy in your country or visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tanzania/entry-requirements

Vaccinations:

It may be required to show a Yellow Fever certificate upon entering the country. Please check in with your local consulate and health expert for advice on Yellow Fever and other inoculations required for this area.

Travel Insurance:

Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate in any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your Tour leader/ local representative, who will take note of your insurance details and emergency contact number. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability of luggage, cancellation, curtailment and loss and personal effects, alongside covid-19 cover.

If you would like to obtain cover for your trip please feel free to contact specialist Insurance Brokers, Campbell Irvine Direct for a quote. GoKo Travels is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Campbell Irvine Ltd who are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority .

Click here to apply for travel insurance ONLINE

Covid-19:

Please click here to learn more about what we do to keep you safe while on a GoKo run tour.

For more up to date information regarding the current travel restrictions within Tanzania, please click here

Additionally, you can email: info@gokotravels.com and a GoKo Travel Manager will get back to you as soon possible with all the relevant information.

Travel With Confidence:

Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the safety and wellbeing of all of our travellers, leaders, suppliers and staff remains our top priority. Not only have we updated our booking policies so you can flexibly amend booking arrangements before departure and get the most out of your holidays while away, we have also introduced new measures and safety guidelines so you can travel with GoKo Travels safely and securely.

What does this new booking policy mean for me?:

Fully Flexible bookings for peace of mind - We understand that sometimes plans change. That’s why GoKo Travels have updated our booking policies, so you now have full flexibility to change your travel plans if needed.

Our flexible booking policy includes:

(a) Free date changes up to 45days prior to departure - with no interest or added fees

(b) Full refund giving if you have to cancel the trip due to any COVID-19 related issues or international restrictions.

(c) You can now lock in your trip with a small refundable deposit and then pay the rest in instalments whenever you like, with no interest or fees.

Booking Terms:

Please note: This trip must receive a minimum of three reservations forty-five days prior to the departure date. In the unlikely event that we do not receive three or more bookings for each departure, you will have two options:

  • You will be able to change dates at no additional cost to you (flexibility up to 3 years)

  • Full refund will be given.

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Contact Details

Choose Your Tour Type

Join a Group Tailor a Tour
Group Tours

Choose Your Preferred Tour Date

Private Tour

Create the unique tour you've always dreamed of. A personal travel consultant will contact you directly to help you every step of the way.

Tour Availability

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Book with Confidence

  • Full Flexibility

    Free date changes and cancellations up to 45 days before departure on the majority of our holidays.

  • Your Money is Safe

    Full financial Protection on all of our bookings so you can travel with piece of mind.

  • COVID-19 Commitment

    Full refund given if you have to cancel the trip due to any COVID-19 related issues or international restrictions.

  • Travelling Safely

    When you travel with us you can be confident that all of our holidays meet COVID-19 safety regulations.

Giving Back

As part of our commitment to preserving planet earth, we donate 3% of our profits to GoKo Travel's registered non-for-profit, "The GoKo Earth Preservation".

The GoKo Earth Preservation has been set up to protect and preserve the natural habitats of our planet and to conserve and enhance the biodiversity of threatened environments and endangered species around the globe. This is achieved through rewilding, reforestation and marine conservation projects, alongside local community support.

Rainforest canopy viewed from above with river in the centre

Securing A Rainforest Reserve

Support the purchase of our very own GoKo Rainforest reserve - preserving biodiversity and protecting endangered species in the world's most important habitat.

Giant sea turtle swimming under water

Assisting Marine Conservation

With your help, we can buy boats to support marine conservation; securing the future for our fragile oceans and the wonderful beings that inhabit them.

Jaguar big cat looking at the camera

Creating New National Parks

By helping with the creation of new parks, we can support local economies, empower native communities and put healthy landscapes into permanent protection.

Carbon Offsetting as Standard

Although all of our GoKo holidays promise to warm your hearts, we don’t want it to contribute to warming the planet.

For every trip booked with us, we support a 3-step carbon offset scheme to calculate and neutralise your holiday footprint, allowing you to travel conscious free, for no added cost. This covers every step of the journey where you travel with us, from international flights to hotel heating, transport, food and more.

The GoKo Carbon Offsetting scheme does not focus on just planting trees, but rather the purchasing, persevering and protecting standing forests from deforestation and degradation - helping revive forests back to full health and avoiding the release of stored carbon. This also enables the regeneration of degraded habitats, which gradually re-absorb atmospheric CO2.

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