Trek Africa’s highest and most fabled mountain
With its gentle gradient and sense of unspoilt wilderness, the Rongai Route
approaches Kilimanjaro from the north and is less crowded than the most
popular trails. We trek through farmlands, forest and alpine moorlands as we
approach the beautiful summit cone. This route allows an extra day for
acclimatisation under the imposing spires of Mawenzi, before the arduous
final ascent. The final climb begins in darkness but our reward is an
incomparable dawn vista over the sweeping East African plains.
* Exodus takes more clients to the summit of Kilimanjaro than any other UK
* Stand on top of a continent for an unforgettable experience
* Climb the world’s largest freestanding mountain
* The Rongai route is much less crowded than Marangu and Machame routes
* An extra acclimatisation day increasing the chances of summit success
* We use 1 guide for every 2 clients
Day 1 Depart London.
Depart London with brief stopover in Nairobi or Addis Ababa.
Day 2 Arrive Kilimanjaro airport and transfer to Marangu.
There will be a trip briefing this afternoon/evening. Please bring your
passport, insurance details and air ticket details. The briefing will cover
all aspects of your trip and will include the distribution of any hired
equipment you have booked.
Day 3 Begin ascent through Rongai Forest (2600m).
After completing the necessary registration formalities, we transfer by road
to Nale Moru (1,950m) to begin our climb on this unspoilt wilderness route.
The first day is only a half-day walk on a small path that winds through
farmland and pine plantations. It is a consistent but gentle climb through
attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. We reach our first
overnight stop by late afternoon at the edge of the moorland zone (2,600m).
Approx 3-4 hours walking.
Day 4 Climb to Kikelewa moorland (3600m).
The morning walk is a steady ascent up to ‘Second Cave’ (3,450m) with superb
views of the Eastern icefields on the rim of Kibo, the youngest and highest
of the three volcanoes that form the entire mountain. After lunch, we 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. Our
campsite, which we reach in late afternoon, is in a sheltered valley near
Kikelewa Caves (3,600m). Approx 6-7 hours walking.
Day 5 Steady ascent beneath Mawenzi (4330m); afternoon acclimatisation.
A steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb panoramas of the Kenyan
plains to the north. We leave vegetation behind close to Mawenzi Tarn
(4,330m), spectacularly situated in a cirque beneath the towering cliffs of
Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or to explore the surrounding
area as an aid to acclimatisation. Approx 3-4 hours walking.
Day 6 Cross lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ to Kibo, at the bottom of summit cone
We leave our attractive campsite to cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’
between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo campsite (4,700m) at the bottom of the
Kibo Crater wall by early afternoon. The remainder of the day is spent
resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night! Approx
5-6 hours walking.
Day 7 Early start to reach Gillman’s Point in time for sunrise over the crater rim;
on to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa (5895m). Descend to Horombo
We will start the final, and by far the steepest and most demanding part of
the climb by torchlight at around midnight. It will be extremely cold as we
walk very slowly in darkness on a switchback trail through loose volcanic
scree to reach the Crater rim at Gillman’s Point (5,685 m). We will rest
there for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. Those
who are still feeling strong can make the three hour round trip along the
snow-covered rim to the true summit of Uhuru Peak (5,895m), passing close to
the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit
area. The descent to Kibo Hut (4,700m) is surprisingly fast and, after some
refreshments and rest, we continue descending to reach our final campsite at
Horombo (3,720m). This is an extremely long and hard day, with between 11 and
15 hours walking at high altitude.
Day 8 Continue descent to Mandara and Marangu.
A sustained descent with wide views across the moorland takes us into the
lovely forest around Mandara (2,700m), the first stopping place on the
Marangu route. The trail continues through semi-tropical vegetation to the
national park gate at Marangu (1,830m). We leave the local staff to return to
our hotel in Marangu by mid-afternoon for a well-earned rest and a much
needed shower and beer! Approx 5-6 hours walking.
Day 9 Free morning; afternoon depart Kilimanjaro airport.
Depending on the time of your return flight the day can be spent resting in
the hotel garden or exploring the village for souvenirs. There is a highly
recommended but optional village walk that explores Marangu for half a day.
This village is a fascinating mixture of small but fertile coffee and banana
farms, friendly Chagga people, and some beautiful scenery with waterfalls and