- Safari Tours
The Rongai Route is one of the easiest routes and the success rate is very high. The route starts on the north side of the mountain just south of the Kenyan border, and is one of the least traveled routes. The descent is down the Marangu Route on the south side of the mountain, so climbers see the mountain from many view points.
The drive to the trail head takes about 3 hours from Moshi through many villages and coffee plantations, including a stop to register climbing permits at Marangu.
The Rongai Route can also be accessed from Amboseli National Park in Kenya. Allow 2 hours including border crossing. We will need copies of passports ahead of time.
Drive to the attractive wooden village of Nale Moru (about 2 hours including a stop to get permits at Marangu). After signing in and preparing the porters, you will begin the hike on a wide path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently but gently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.
The morning hike is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim.
Head out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. The campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant Senecios nearby.
A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb views. Leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn, spectacularly situated in a cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatization.
If you are spending an extra day on the mountain, you will camp for two nights here. You can hike up and around Mawenzi for your acclimatization hike.
Cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo campsite at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent very early.
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am), commence the climb to the summit on steep and heavy scree or snow up to Gilman’s Point located on the crater rim (elev 5700m/18,700ft). Continuing, we now ascend to Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point in Africa. There are unbelievable views at every turn. Have your picture taken at the summit to show your friends and family. From here we descend, stopping for lunch and a rest at Kibo before continuing on to the Horombo encampment.
The beginning of this climb is done in the dark and requires headlamps or flashlights. It will be very cold until you start descending, so you will need all of your warm layers. This is by far the most difficult part of the trek with many switchbacks. Going slowly “pole pole” and an optimistic attitude will get you there!
After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to the Mandara Hut. Continue descending through lush forest path to the National Park gate at Marangu. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).
Tanzania Joy Tours vehicle will meet you at Marangu gate to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 1 hour).
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