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Kilimanjaro – Rongai Route Tanzania

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    The Mountains

    First climbed in 1889 by the German Geography Professor Hans Meyer and Austrian Mountaineer Ludwig Purtscheller and located just 200 miles south of the equator in Tanzania, Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain in the world and the highest mountain on the African continent.

    Rising to 5895m above sea level and roughly 4900m above its base, Kilimanjaro is iconic and rightly deserves its place on many people’s bucket list. The mountain itself is a dormant stratovolcano with three separate cones or summits: Mawenzi, Shira and the highest, Kibo.

    Climbing Kilimanjaro is truly memorable, not only does it provide you with awesome views from the roof of Africa, the journey to get there is also rightly special, taking you through various climatic zones from lush green rainforest on the lower slopes up through alpine desert and into the arctic towards the summit.

    The Route

    The Rongai route is considered by many to be one of the easiest routes on Kilimanjaro and it is the only route that approaches from the North. It is less popular than the other routes and as a result much quieter. Our 6-day Rongai route is a good choice if you have limited time and are looking for a quieter trek. Day 2 is a big day in terms of height gain but most people cope fairly well.

    Best Time To Go

    Kilimanjaro has two rainy seasons when it’s not great for climbing, these are March through to May, and November through to February. The long rainy season from March to May is definitely not the best time to climb. Outside of the rainy seasons from June to October and December through to February are therefore good months to climb Kilimanjaro.

    From our perspective, we think June is a great time to climb. It tends to be cooler, there’s not much chance of snow and it’s generally not as busy.

    The busiest months are August and September. October is also a great month to climb Kilimanjaro with conditions similar to June. That said, Christmas and New Year are also popular times to climb Kilimanjaro, especially if you are wanting to experience maximum snow on the summit!

    Touch down at Kilimanjaro International airport in Tanzania and after passing through immigration and customs you will be met by one of Monkey Mountaineering’s local representatives with a board bearing your name. Private transfer to your hotel in Moshi (approximately 40 minutes).

    We collect you from your hotel after breakfast and transfer you to the Nalemoru Gate, near the Kenyan border, via the Marangu Gate where you will get your permit etc. The journey takes about 5 hours. From the trailhead, this first day is a gradual ascent through the rain forest to Simba Camp.

    Elevation: 1950m to 2570m. Habitat: Rain Forest

    Leaving Simba Camp, you take another steady climb up to the ‘Second Cave’ (alt.3450m) where you will be treated to breathtaking views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the Crater rim. We provide you with lunch on the way and then after we leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. Your campsite for the night is in a sheltered valley with giant Seneciois near Kikelelwa Cave.

    Elevation: 2570m to 3800m. Habitat: Moorland

    From Kikelelwa camp there is a short steep climb which will reward you with stunning views and give you a real sense of wilderness. The route takes you across the arid semi-desert toward the cirque beneath Mawenzi for your next camp. You can use your time in the afternoon to rest or explore the surrounding areas as an aid to acclimatisation.

    Elevation: 3800m to 4330m. Habitat: Semi Desert.

    Leaving Mawenzi Tarn our route now takes us across what must appear like the surface of the moon to the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo and then onto the Kibo Hut which sits at the bottom of the Kibo Crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent.

    We give you a wakeup call at about mid-night for a 1am departure. This is summit day. The route is steep at first, zigzagging up scree to reach the crater rim and Gilman’s Point at 5685m. This is the most demanding part of the trek; however we take it very steady. After a short rest to watch the sunrise over Mawenzi we continue past the spectacular glaciers and on to the summit. After time to take photos and savour the summit views and before getting too cold, we start our descent back down to Kibo Hut for refreshments before continuing down to the campsite by the Horombo Huts.

    Elevation: 4750m to 5895m (and down to 3700m). Habitat: Alpine Desert/Arctic.

    After a good night’s sleep and breakfast, you will set off on a steady descent that takes you down through moorland to Mandara Hut (alt. 2752m) and then down into lush forest on a good path that leads you to the National Park gate at Marangu. Before transferring you back to your hotel you will get the opportunity to experience a celebration of your success with your guides, porters and mountain crew.

    Elevation: 3700m to 1840m. Habitat: Moorland & Forest.

    Depending on your time of departure, you will be collected from your hotel and transferred to the Airport for your flight back to the UK.

    From To Price Availability  
    27/01/2024 04/02/2024 £2250 8 Spaces Available Enquire Now
    27/01/2024 04/02/2024 £2250 8 Spaces Available Enquire Now
    25/05/2024 02/06/2024 £2250 8 Spaces Available Enquire Now
    22/06/2024 30/06/2024 £2250 8 Spaces Available Enquire Now
    28/07/2024 04/08/2024 £2250 8 Spaces Available Enquire Now
    25/08/2024 01/09/2024 £2250 8 Spaces Available Enquire Now
    28/09/2024 06/10/2024 £2250 8 Spaces Available Enquire Now

    Included in the price of this trip

    • Arrival and departure transfers to and from Kilimanjaro International Airport.
    • Pre & Post climb accommodation in Moshi on bed & Breakfast basis.
    • Transport to the trailhead and back to Moshi after the climb.
    • A fully supported camping trek which includes 4 seasons Mountain hardware tents and sleeping mats, kitchen tent, dining tent with table and chairs, toilet tent with chemical toilet.
    • Professional guiding and support team including porters, chef and kitchen staff.
    • Emergency equipment such as medical oxygen and emergency evacuation services.
    • Three meals per day whilst on the mountain.
    • Purified drinking water provided as required.
    • All fees (Park entrance fees, camping fees, rescue fees).
    • Portage of 20 kg per client

    Not included

    • International Flights from/to the UK.
    • Personal clothing and equipment (see our clothing and equipment section for guidance about what to bring).
    • Additional accommodation in Moshi before or after the climb (one-night pre climb and one night post climb is included).
    • Tips for your mountain crew (see https://kiliporters.org/get-involved/tipping-recommendations/ for guidance on tipping whilst on Kilimanjaro).
    • Personal travel insurance (to cover you for cancellation, accident, health, emergency evacuation and loss, theft of or damage to baggage and personal effects etc. You must ensure you have cover for trekking up to 6000m for this trip).
    • Lunch, dinner, and drinks etc. whilst in Moshi (hotel accommodation is B&B).
    • Additional expenses incurred should there be a need to curtail your climb early and transfer you from the mountain back to a medical facility or hotel (it is essential that you have personal travel insurance that includes cover for trekking up to 6000m).

    Essential Clothing & Equipment

    • Boots

      A good pair of light-weight GoreTex lined walking boots which provide ankle support and are well broken-in. Boots are essential - Please do not bring trail shoes.

    • Buff

      Essential for helping to keep the sun off your neck at lower altitudes, protecting from dust and wind and as neck/face protection higher up.

    • Dry Bags

      A selection of rucksack liners and dry bags as required to keep your clothing, sleeping bag and equipment dry and organised.

    • Duffle Bag

      This should be big enough to carry all the clothing and equipment you have with you. It will be carried by a porter, so a soft duffle type bag is best – suitcases are not suitable.

    • Fleece or Soft Shell Layer

      This can be a fleece jumper or fleece jacket or a soft shell jacket.

    • Gloves

      A lightweight windproof pair of gloves for wearing on a daily basis as required.

    • Head Torch

      With spare batteries or the means to recharge.

    • Hiking Socks

      We recommend a good pair of proper hiking/trekking socks. A minimum of three pairs but ideally you should have a pair for each day.

    • Insulated Jacket

      Can be down or synthetic.

    • Lightweight Walking Trousers

      To wear on a daily basis if not wearing shorts and for evening wear. Jeans or tracksuit bottoms are not suitable.

    • Long-Sleeved Thermal Top

      Essential base layer for colder days and nights. Pack at least 2 of these.

    • Pee Bottle

      A 1lt Nalgene bottle works well so long as it is clearly marked as a ‘pee bottle’, saves time and energy by removing the need to leave your tent in the middle of the night. Females may wish to purchase a ‘Shewee’ or similar.

    • Personal First Aid Kit

      This should include suncream, lip balm, blister plasters (compeed), plasters, painkillers and any prescription medicines, insect repellant etc.

    • Rucksack 30lt

      A small rucksack, around 30lt will be ideal.

    • Shorts

      These are optional but the weather is often good enough for shorts.

    • Sleeping Bag - 3 Seasons

      This should be a minimum of three seasons and able to keep you warm down to at least minus 5 (we recommend taking as warm a sleeping bag as possible).

    • Sleeping Matt

      Good ground insulation is crucial as is a comfy surface to sleep on that softens the hardness of the ground. A full length inflatable sleeping mat is recommended.

    • Sports Bra

      Ladies only, take 2. Should be a technical fabric, avoid cotton.

    • Sports Sandals/Flip Flops/Crocks

      Or something similar for river crossings/around campwhen not wearing your boots/in the tea houses etc.

    • Sun Hat

      To keep the sun off your head!

    • Sunglasses

      For general eye protection, wearing whilst trekking or on glaciers if applicable to your trip – for wearing on glaciers sunglasses need to be Category 4 and be close fitting or have side protection.

    • Tee-shirt

      For wearing on a daily basis whilst trekking. Should be a technical fabric – avoid cotton as it is slow to dry. You will need 2 or 3 of these.

    • Toiletries and Travel Towel

      Include wet wipes, hand sanitizer and toilet tissues as well as nappy sacks or dog poo bags (to bag your toilet paper and keep rubbish under control).

    • Underwear

      Ideally these will be quick drying and moisture wicking. Take 3 pairs as a minimum.

    • Water Bladder

      It is essential that you have the means to carry at least 2 litres of drinking water. The best solution is a bladder type water carrier such as a camelbak as this then allows you to drink whilst walking with no need to stop to get out a water bottle.

    • Water Bottle

      At higher altitudes your Camelbak may freeze and so it is a good idea to have a 1 litre Nalgene type bottle. Also great for events like the Cuillin ridge Traverse.

    • Waterproof Jacket

      Hard shell jacket ideally this will be waterproof and breathable (GoreTex or equivalent) and it will have a hood.

    • Waterproof Trousers

      Ideally they should be windproof and breathable (Gore Tex or equivalent) and with full or ¾ length side zips.

    • Woolly hat

      To keep your head warm - Ideally a hat that will cover your ears too and fit under a climbing helmet.

    Optional Clothing & Equipment

    • Camera

      Make sure you have spare batteries or the means to re-charge.

    • Ear Plugs

      To help with sleeping.

    • Long Sleeved Shirt

      For covering up during the day or wearing in the evening.

    • Mobile Phone

      You may want to use you phone as a camera. On our overseas trips signal is often limited or non-existent so making calls or sending texts may not be possible - see FAQs for trip specific info.

    • Travel clothing

      Clothing that you will not wear whilst on the trek. This can be packed in a small bag and left at your accommodation for collection on your return.

    • Walking poles

      Not essential but extremely useful when carrying a load, descending and for any river crossings.


    • Booking Confirmation

      This will be sent to you aproximately 10 days before departure

    • Immunization Papers

      Check requirement - see specific country information at https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

    • Insurance Documents

      It is crucial that you have comprehensive travel insurance that includes emergency medical treatment and rescue apropriate for your trip. You must ensure you take your insurance documents with you and that the 24 hour emergency contact number for your insurance is clearly identifiable.

    • Passport and Visa

      Your passport should have at least 6 months validity beyond your last day of travel. It is worth making a photocopy of your passport and bringing this with you too just in case. See https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for information about Visa requirements. See also our FAQs for Visa information.

    Carbon Footprint

    We are yet to determine the average CO2 emissions per person for our Rongai Route climb but we reckon it will be somewhere around 250kg.

    What are we doing about it

    Trekking and mountaineering trips such as this are low carbon in comparison to other forms of travel and activities. That said though, we are working hard to understand exactly what the carbon emissions are for all our products. By the end of 2024 we hope to have measured everything we do and have a good understanding of all the individual carbon footprints. This will then act as a starting point for us to take action to reduce our emissions to as low as reasonably practicable and drive towards net zero.


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