7 Days Rongai Route – Gentle Ascend

The Rongai approaches Kilimanjaro from the northern side, from the village of Rongai just south of the Kenya-Tanzania border, and from the nearby village of Loitokitok. This route, also known as the Loitokitok or Outward Bound Route, offers one of the gentlest ascents of the mountain. It is also one of the most scenic and remote routes up the mountain. As it is on the other side from Moshi and the popular routes, it is less travelled and you keep the sense of being alone on the mountain.

The route involves camping for two nights and spends a night at School Hut 15 740 feet (4 770m), also known as the Outward Bound Hut, before heading for the summit. Added to this is the possibility of wildlife viewing as you pass from the surrounding farmlands to the Rongai forest and Kikelewa moorlands. The views of the Amboseili plains as well as the views from the summit are fantastic.

Day 1

- Upon arrival you will be met by a African Walking Safaris representative (please look for a board with your name on it), and transferred by your driver/guide to the Arusha/Moshi to your booked hotel where you will stay overnight.

You will be briefed overnight at dinner on your climb and expectations to prepare for!

Day 2

- After breakfast you will be driven to Rongai and the Kilimanjaro National Park gate, where you will register, meet your guides and porters and commence the climb. Your first day takes you through the Rongai forest, home of the Colobus Monkey, to the encampment located on the moorland zone with impressive views of the Kenyan plains at an altitude of 8580 feet (2600 meters). After resting you will enjoy a relaxing dinner.

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest Mountain in Africa and one of the highest volcanoes in the World. It rises to 15000 feet above the surrounding plains and savannah. In climbing it, you will pass from a tropical to an arctic climate in a few days. The surrounding rain forest ensures the fertility of the lush, lower-lying Shamba (country), where the Chagga people cultivate their coffee, maize and bananas.

Overnight: Camping in Rongai Forest on a full board basis.

Day 3

- Leaving the encampment we continue the gentle ascent from the forest past Second Cave 11385 feet (3450 meters) to the Kikelewa moorland at 11880 feet (3600 meters), where you reach the campsite, which is situated in the valley near the Kikelewa Caves, below the jagged peaks of Mawenzi.

Overnight: Camping at Kikelewa Camp on a full board basis.

Day 4

- After a short but steep climb up a grassy slope with superb views, the vegetation zone ends shortly before we reach our next camp at Mawenzi Tarn, 14289 feet (4330 meters), spectacularly situated beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi, Kili's third volcano. Spend the afternoon acclimatizing and exploring the area.

Overnight: Camping at Mawenzi Camp on a full board basis

Day 5

- From the Caves hike up to the saddle between Kibo and Mawenzi to reach the Outward Bound campsite where we spend the night, 15675 feet (4750 meters).

We will have an early evening meal and retire early to prepare for the summit attempt early tomorrow morning.

Overnight: Camping at Outward Bound Camp on a full board basis.

Day 6

- Shortly after midnight commence the climb to the summit on steep and heavy scree up to Gilman's point located on the crater rim at an altitude of 18640 feet (5861 meters). Continue to ascend to Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point in Africa at an altitude of 19340 feet (5895 meters) to watch a spectacular sunrise from the Roof of Africa. After signing the register and taking the obligatory photos, proceed to Gillman's point and descend to Barafu hut and on to Mwenzi hut 9900 feet (3000 meters) where you can celebrate with a beer or soda. Enjoy your evening meal and prepare for the final decent.

Overnight: Camping at Mawenzi Camp on a full board basis.

Day 7

- After breakfast, continue the descent to the gate through the beautiful rain forests of the Marangu until you reach the Park Gate. This is where successful climbers will collect their well-earned certificates. You will be transferred back to Arusha/Moshi to overnight and celebrate your success at your booked hotel