Rongai Route - 9 Day Kilimanjaro Climb

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calendar   Jul 29, 2017 - Aug 06, 2017 tag   $2,099 member   8 Book Now
calendar   Aug 01, 2017 - Aug 09, 2017 tag   $2,099 member   5 Book Now
calendar   Aug 13, 2017 - Aug 21, 2017 tag   $2,099 member   8 Book Now
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calendar   Aug 28, 2017 - Sep 05, 2017 tag   $2,099 member   8 Book Now

    What's Included?

  • 9 day adventure, 7 of which include 3 meals a day
  • 2 nights of accommodation in Moshi, breakfast included
  • Airport Pickup from Kilimanjaro Airport
  • All Ground Transfers
  • Accommodation while trekking*
  • National Park Entry Fees
  • Fully-licensed, English-speaking guide
  • Porter service on the trek
  • First aid kit
  • Trip completion certificate
  • Farewell Dinner


*Accommodation while trekking is both camping and in hut facilities.

The Rongai Route is the only approach on the north side of the mountain and makes almost a complete north to south traverse of Kilimanjaro. The route offers plenty of time for acclimatization and climbers enjoy a true wilderness experience during the ascent up the seldom visited northern side of the mountain. It’s also a popular approach during the rainy season as the north side of the mountain is the driest. The first day of the trek brings you through from Rongai gate through the lowland jungles to Rongai Camp. The next few days are good for acclimatization as you gradually climb through the open slopes of the mooreland all the while enjoy excellent views of Kibo and the still distant Eastern Ice Fields on the crater rim. The Rongai Route meets up with the Marangu Route just before Kibo Hut and then continues along the same route to the summit and on the return back down the mountain which means you don't have to backtrack over the same terrain and get to experience the south side of the mountain. You reach Kibo Hut early on the 5th day of trekking and have the afternoon to rest before making the final summit push at midnight. It's a 6 hour slog to the crater rim and another hour of traversing across the rim of the crater to reach Uhuru Peak the final summit and highest point in Africa.

Day 1 - Arusha or Kilimanjaro Airport to Moshi

Pick up from Arusha town or Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to Moshi town which is known as the gateway to Kilimanjaro. Meet your guide and review your equipment in the evening in preparation for the trek the following day.

Day 2 - Rongai Camp

(2850 m/9,300 feet), 7 km/4.5 miles (3 to 4 hours)
After an early breakfast in Moshi your climbing team will drive to the Rongai Gate near the Kenya border. It will take a few hours to process climbing permits at the gate before you can start the half day trek up to the first camp which is located in the transition zone between lowland forests and the Moorland ecosystem.

Day 3 - Rongai Second Cave

(3450 m/11,300 feet), 6 km/4 miles (3 to 4 hours)
We get an early start for what is a steady but gentle climb up the Second Cave. The open slopes offer excellent views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. It's a fairly short day and an acclimatization hike up the Third Cave can be made in the afternoon.

Day 4 - Rongai Kikelelwa Cave

(3600 m/11,800 feet), 3 km/2 miles (3 to 4 hours)
It's another fairly short day of trekking as we gradually ascend through the beautiful open moorlands which are dominated by Giant Heathers and a wide variety of endemic grasses and wildflowers. After lunch we continue towards the jagged pinnacles of Mawenzi to Kikelewa Camp where we will find our campsite set up and enjoy dinner before retiring for the day.

Day 5 - Mawenzi Turn

(4300 m/14,100 feet), 6 km/4 miles (4 hours)
It's a bit longer trek today which includes a short but steep ascent to Mawenzi Tarn (4330m). We exit the Mooreland vegetation zone and enter the alpine zone dominated by almost barren volcanic plains.

Day 6 - Kibo Hut

(4700 m/15,400 feet), 4 km/2 miles (3 hours)
Today we cross the lunar desert of the saddle between Mawenzi and KiboHut. We reach Kibo Hut early in the day and spend the remainder of the day resting in preparation for the final ascent which will begin just before midnight.

Day 7 - Kilimanjaro Summit

(5895 m/19340 ft) 5.5 km/3.5 miles ascent + 15 km/9.5 miles descent (10-16 hours)
Shortly after midnight, we will commence our climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro, since it is easier to climb the scree slope to Gillman's Point (5,861m) on the crater rim when it is frozen and an early start for the six-hour hike improves our chances of reaching the summit in time for sunrise. From Gilman's Point, it is a further two-hour round trip along the crater's edge to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. From the summit, it is downhill all the way to Horombo Hut where we will spend our last night on the mountain.

Day 8 - Horrombo Hut to Moshi

(6 to 7 hours trekking)
Today's descent continues past the Mandara encampment to the bottom of the mountain, where each hiker will receive a well-earned certificate. From here, you will be transferred to your hotel in Moshi. You will enjoy a farewell dinner with your guides.

Day 9 - Departure day

After breakfast, transfer back to Arusha town or Kilimanjaro airport as per your requirement.

    Extra Cost and Exclusions

  • Tanzania entry visa $100 for US Citizen and $50 for all others.
  • All the meals are included on the climb but we only include breakfast while you are in Moshi.
  • We suggest a minimum tip for your climbing staff of $200.


    Climbing Gear

  • We will provide tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad.
  • We will provide a duffel bag that you repack your personal gear into for the porter to carry.
  • You are responsible to bring your own personal gear (Check gear list).


Solo Travelers

We don't charge solo travelers any extra fees. Solo travelers can expect their own hotel room in Moshi and a private tent during the climb.

Discontinued Climbs

Some climbers may actually finish the climb ahead of schedule and others may have problems with altitude or decide to come down earlier for other reasons. If you do get back to Moshi early you are responsible to pay the costs for your extra hotel nights ($35 per/night) and meals. Keep in mind, our costs are the same regardless of when you end the climb. So even if you are climbing fewer days than scheduled keep in mind that we have already paid the staff, purchased, food and rented gear for all the days you were supposed to be on the climb.

Cancellation Policies

We understand things happen and plans change and will refund your deposit minus a $150 cancelation fee. Once we have made arrangements for the climb such as renting gear and buying food the deposit is not refundable. If your travel dates change we can generally reschedule you at no extra charge, but please provide at least 7 days advance notice.
At Trekkinghero, we love to trek!

FAQ

Who can go?
How difficult is climbing Kilimanjaro?

The trek to the Barafu Hut is only moderately difficult with a good trail with the only really steep point being the Barranco Wall. The final push to the the summit ridge takes about 6 hours and is very steep and cold. This last steep section is mostly switchbacks and then some easy rock scrambling near the top. Your guide will set a very slow pace. Most reasonably fit individuals can make it so long as they are not having any difficulty acclimatizing.

Are there any age limits for climbing Kilimanjaro?

The official age limit set by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority for climibing Uhuru Peak is 10 years old, we usually recommend a minimum age of 13 years. If anyone in your group is under 16 years of age please inform us in advance so arrangements can be made.

Why is a guide necessarily? I've trekked/hiked/camped before - can't I guide myself?

Guides are a requirement on Kilimanjaro set by the Tanzania National Park Service

Is previous trekking experience really necessary?

While it’s not technically required it's a good idea. Kilimanjaro is not the easiest trek and its good to have some previous experience and know what you are getting into and what trekking is.

Preparation
What should I pack for my trip?

We have a complete downladable packing list or if you want more details visit our blog post on packing for Kilimanjaro Machame Route.

What's the best time of year to book a trek in Kilimanjaro?

March and April are the rainy months at Kilimanjaro so we recommend that you avoid this time period.

I am landing in Nairobi. How do I get to Kilimanjaro?

We can arrange airport pickup and accommodation in Nairobi as well as make arrangements for transfer to Arusha by shuttle. The charges are as follows per/person - $40 airport pickup, $30 Transfer to Arusha. If you are staying overnight in Nairobi we can arrange accommodation for $50 to $70 at the Comfort Hotel located in the CBD just across the street from where you will catch the shuttle to Arusha in the morning. Flights are also available from Nairobi to Arusha and generally cost $200 one way.

Are any permits required for climbing Kilimanjaro?

Permits are required and included in the cost of the trek. You will get your permit at the Machame gate on the first day of the trek.

What type of insurance should I have? Where can I obtain a policy?

Your park entrance fee includes cost of rescue off the mountain which will be organized by the Tanzanian National Park Service in conjunction with our team. In addition, it is strongly recommended that you have adequate travel insurance. While the park service will provide rescue services your travel insurance will cover any cost related to cancellation charges, unexpected curtailment of your holiday, medical and repatriation expenses including air ambulance, personal accident, delay loss or damage to your personal effects. If you don't have it already we recommend either Cover More or World Nomads.

About the trek
How long does it take to climb Kilimanjaro?

The Machame Route requires 6 days of trekking. Some individuals opt for an extra acclimatization day which is spent at Karanga Camp.

How long do we spend walking each day?

The typical time spent walking is about 5 to 6 hours. On the summit day you will spend 12 to 16 hours trekking. However, you will be given a few hours to rest at Barafu so that this long day of trekking is broken into two parts. We make the summit push and decent all in one day to avoid acclimatization problems.

Room and board
What kinds of accommodations are available on Kilimanjaro?

We offer tented camping on the Machame Route. Your camp crew will set up the tents before you arrive. Tents are on twin sharing and private tents may be available for individuals travelling alone. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag.

Will my mobile phone work? What about internet access?

Your mobile service may work at one or two points on the mountain but don’t count on it. We have tested mobile internet cards from both Vodacom (Tanzania) and Safaricom (Kenya) and were not able to access the internet. If you have a phone call that needs to be made during the trek please speak with your guide and he may be able to arrange something.

Can I charge my phone or camera during the trek?

The Machame Route does not have any charging points available so bring spare batteries.

Where will our drinking water come from?

Drinking water is obtained on the mountain and then boiled before it is provided to you. Disposable plastic water bottles are not allowed on the mountain.

What about showers?

Your guide can provide you with a bucket of hot water both in the evening and the morning for washing.

Where do we eat our meals?

Lunch are packed and eaten on the trail during the day. You will take lunch and dinner in the dinning tents that are set up.

Health and safety
What physical criteria will ensure I'm fit enough to trek?

You should be in good enough shape to walk continuously throughout the day. Good overall fitness, flexibility, and healthy will ensure you trek safely and comfortably. Those with acute or chronic health conditions impacting their stamina, range of motion, coordination, or balance may have difficulty completing the trek. If you are in doubt about your own physical readiness, consult a physician well in advance of booking your trip! General hiking experience and comfort with the idea of multi-day hiking will also ensure you are 100% ready to trek!

How will we deal with altitude acclimation?

The best scenario is to acclimatize slowly. The 6 day trip up Kilimanjaro is a fairly rapid ascent and trekkers should report any problems to their guide. Common symptoms of mountain sickness include headaches and cough.

What do I need to know about sun protection?

It may seem counter-intuitive, but your skin is in more danger of sun damage on the mountains than while at the beach! The sun’s intensity increases dramatically as we rise in altitude, and fresh snow reflects exponentially more UV rays than does the sand. You will need to protect your skin with clothing and sunblock. A sunblock specifically for mountain conditions is recommended. If you wear prescription eyeglasses its recommend that you get your prescription fitted to sunglasses.

What happens if I get sick or injured while trekking?

We take all possible precautions to proactively ensure the safety and wellness of our trekkers, but rest assured that our guides are trained and experienced in dealing with emergencies. Each guide is trained in first aid. In the case of altitude sickness, you will immediately be taken to a lower altitude. If necessary, your guide will utilize the park rescues services for immediate evacuation.

Are solo female travelers safe climbing Kilimanjaro?

Yes, we ensure the travel safety of all our trekking guests, both male and female. We have longstanding, strong relationships with the lodges we frequent, and know them to be safe and reliable. In addition our guides are consistently mindful of all guests' whereabouts while trekking. We travel in small groups, all the better to easily maintain continual contact.

Practical matters
What should I pack?

We will provide you a complete packing list on receipt of your trek. It is possible that you can rent gear once you reach Moshi but it tends to be expensive and the quality is not great. If you need any specific equipment beforehand we may be able to help you with some supplies free of charge.

What sort of footwear is recommended?

A good pair of hiking boots are important for the final climb as they help to keep your feet warm and provide adequate ankle support. Tennis shoes are sufficient on the other days of the trek.

How much can a porter carry?

Porters on Kilimanjaro are allowed to carry 15Kg plus their own personal belongings.

Should I tip my guide? How about my porter?

The following are the suggested minimum tips. Head Guide: $90, Assistant Guide: $60, Cook: $60 Porter $30.

How much money should I bring along?

You should bring enough to cover the tips at the end of the trek. Other than that our treks are all-inclusive. We cover accommodation, food, park fees, permits, and many other costs, as a means of making your adventure as stress-free and convenient as possible. Previously, it was possible to buy snacks and other items on the trek but the park service has eliminated all vendors and once you get on the mountain there are no opportunities to spend any money.

What communication options exist while trekking?

Your guide should be able to arrange a phone call or to get a message relayed in the case of emergency. Don’t expect any communication options although it is possible you will have cell signal in some locations.

What if I end my climb early?

Some climbers may actually finish the climb ahead of schedule and get back to Moshi early. Its also the case that sometimes climbers either have problems with altitude or decide to come down earlier for other reasons. If you do get back to Moshi early you are responsible to pay the costs for your extra hotel nights ($35 per/night) and meals. The reason behind this is that our costs are the same regardless of when you end the climb. So even if you are climbing less days than scheduled keep in mind that we have already paid the staff, purchased, food and rented gear for all the days you were supposed to be on the climb.

What is your cancellation policy? How about other terms and conditions?

Please check our Terms and Conditions page.