Day 1: Rongai Gate (1950m) – 1st Caves camp (2600m)
Register at the Marangu park gate with a transfer (approximately 2 ½ hours) to the Rongai trailhead. Meet your guide and porters before you begin your hike from the Nale Moru village. The small winding path crosses maize fields before entering pine forest, and then climbs gently through a forest. The trail is not at all steep, but is rather a gentle hike through beautiful country. The first night’s camp is at First Cave, at about 2,600 meters. There is a toilet and a wooden table with benches, but no hut. Water can be found just down the trail below First Cave. the trek takes around 5hrs through montane forest.
Day 2: 1st Cave (2600m) – Kikelewa Cave (3600m)
The trail continues up towards Kibo, passing Second Cave (3450m) en-route, and reaching Kikelwa Cave at about 3600 meters. The views start to open up and you begin to feel you’re on a really big mountain! Water is in the obvious stream below the cave, although you might have to wander downhill a way to find some. Overnight at 3rd Cave camp (Kikelewa Caves). the hike takes 6-7 hours through Moorlands.
Day 3: Kikelewa Cave (3600) – Mawenzi Tarn camp (4330m)
A short but steep climb up grassy slopes offers superb views of this wilderness area. The vegetation zone ends shortly before you reach your next camp at Mawenzi Tarn spectacularly situated beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. Spend the afternoon acclimatizing and exploring the area. the trek is through Moorlands and it takes 3-4 hours.
Day 4: Mawenzi Tarn camp (4330m) – Kibo hut (4700m)
Continue ascending on the east side of Kibo crossing the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo taking 4 to 5 hours to reach Kibo Hut. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent, which begins around midnight. Overnight at Kibo Camp. the trek is through Alpine desert and it takes 4-5 hours.
Day 5: SUMMIT ATTEMPT
Kibo hut (4700m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo hut (3720m)
It’s a long hiking that takes 8 hours to reach Uhuru and 6 hours to descend to Horombo through Stone scree and ice-capped summit. You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. This is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gillman’s point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort. Probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly. From Gillman’s Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you can spend, taking photographs, before the 3 hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest you gather all your gear for the descent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) where you will overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office) on the mountain and well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.
Day 6: Horombo hut (3720m) – Marangu Gate (1980m)
After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. It is strongly recommended not to tip your porters until you and all your gear have reached the gate. At Marangu gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Gillman’s Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. You now drive back to Moshi/Arusha for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations.
END OF RONGAI TREK
Note the following:
- The accommodations can be on the basis of Basic Camping (public or private), Permanent Tented Camps, Luxury Mobile Camping, or Lodges (standard to luxury). The accommodations may also vary depending on the locations of good game viewing from season to season. When we know your travel dates we will advise accordingly.
- If you wish to fly from Arusha to Serengeti or Serengeti to Arusha this is possible and we will customize the itinerary accordingly.
- This itinerary can be customized to cover only Ngorongoro and Serengeti or Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Serengeti.
- If you like us to arrange your accommodations for the night (s) before and after safari please let us know.
- If you are arriving at Kilimanjaro/Arusha Airport or in Arusha by shuttle bus let us know so we can arrange meeting you on arrival to make things even smoother.
- We will be happy to know your travel plans so we can customize this itinerary or any other itinerary for you. We are a full service company and we will be able to take care of all accommodations: before safari, on safari and after safari; airport and hotel transfers; and internal/regional flights.
- Click here for packing list. Camping and lodge safari have almost same packing list but in case you have questions let us know.
- This itinerary can also be extended (number of days and/or parks/activities) to cover other parks in the northern circuit, Kilimanjaro trek, Meru trek, Oldongo Lengai trek, Usambara Mountains, Zanzibar/Mafia/Dar beach holiday, Southern parks or western safari parks, or either way depending on your needs.
Its always an adventure!