THE ONLY TRAIL TO START ON THE NORTH SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN.
Though previously quiet, there has been an increase in trekkers on the Rongai Route over the last couple of years and we expect this trend to continue. The only trail to start on the North side of the mountain, it is a lovely ascent of 26.8km if taking the direct route or 37.65km if taking the more beautiful diversion via Mawenzi Tarn followed by a 36.75km descent via the Marangu Route.
Though it can be done in as little as five days, as always we believe this is entirely too fast and neither recommend nor will we arrange such a brief trek for our clients, we fully invest our time into acclimatising you properly and giving you the best chance of reaching the summit!
DAY 1: RONGAI GATE TO SIMBA CAMPSITE
It might not look like the most exciting start to a trek as your guide takes you through pine plantations followed by fields of potato and maize but don't fret, it's only about an hour before we turn right and escape into the lush green forest of Kilimanjaro's lower slopes. The forest, though narrow, is teeming with wildlife so make sure to keep your eyes peeled!
The trail slowly steepens as you leave the forest behind, you will cross a stream and a few minutes later will reach the first campsite on this route. Known as the Simba Campsite and approximately 2635 metres above sea level, you will be surrounded by heathers, with creatures snuffling around the tent at night. You will be encompassed in a pleasingly wild, yet isolated ambiance.
DAY 2: SIMBA CAMPSITE TO KIKELELWA CAMPSITE
Today you will climb 11.5km in a surprisingly westward direction. Ensure you look back occasionally to see a number of villages on the Kenyan side of the border.
Continuing upwards, the path steepens further and the terrain becomes rocky and bumpy. You will round a few minor cliffs and hills before the trail eventually flattens out and you arrive at a small, waterless cave - the First Cave. Though it will be another 20 minutes before we reach or lunch stop known as the Second Cave.
By the time you reach Kikelelwa Campsite, you will feel rather drained despite only a 200 metre increase in altitude. The continuous climbs and falls of the days walk will leave you exhausted.
DAY 3: ACCLIMATISATION DAY
Although do-able, a five day trek is never recommended as it does not give your body sufficient time to acclimatise. This means that you are less likely to reach the summit - and are endangering your health too. For this reason, we do not arrange five day treks.
Most people complete this trek in 7 days and your acclimatisation day can occur on any of the seven. Full itinerary will be provided upon booking.
DAY 4: KIKELELWA CAMP TO MAWENZI TARN HUT CAMPSITE
At less than 4km, this day is relatively short it however also rather steep as you gain over 600 metres. Usually completed in the morning, we allow time today for a brief acclimatisation trek for those who feel up to it and hopefully catch glimpses of Kibo through the clouds that roll across the Saddle in the afternoon.
Reaching Mawenzi Tarn Hut Campsite is surreal as it is situated in one of the most spectacular settings, beneath the jagged teeth of Mawenzi.
DAY 5: MAWENZI TARN HUT CAMPSITE TO KIBO HUTS
We begin with a slight retracing of our steps before crossing the ridge and dropping down the slope to tiptoe along the beautifully barren Saddle desert's northern edge. With outstanding views, it is incredibly rare for trekkers to not rate this day as their favourite on the mountain! The Kibo Huts are our destination for today, which lie on the lower slopes of Kibo and are just a few hours walk away.
DAY 6: KIBO HUTS TO SUMMIT AND DESCEND TO HOROMBO HUTS
Rising at around midnight, we begin our slow march up to Gilmans Point at 5719 metres above sea level, on the edge of the Kibo Crater. It's a steep, slow and chilly climb and will truly test your endurance whilst also taking you past such features as Hans Meyer Cave.
You will be grateful for you extra acclimatisation days, as assuming you have avoided altitude sickness there is no reason why you should not make it up to Gilman's. However your work is not yet over! It is still another hour and a half before we reach our ultimate destination, Uhuru Peak.
The gradient on this last section is relatively, especially in comparison to earlier that morning. With glaciers and snowfields on one side and views of Kibo Crater on the other you have now reached the highest point in Africa, Uhuru Peak! If we're on time, we will catch both the early morning sunrise and our breaths before beginning the descent back down to Kibo Huts.
A much quicker walk than on the way up, you will find breakfast waiting for you before we continue marching down the mountain, through the Saddle and stopping once again back at Horombo Huts. Assuming all goes to plan, we should reach the huts by about 4pm and after a 16km day, you will be exhausted but if you made it to the top it will definitely have been worth it!
DAY 7: HOROMBO HUTS TO MARANGU GATE
Now on the last day of our trek, we will return to the jungle on the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro and down to Marangu Gate. Here, those who at least made it to Gilman's Point will collect their certificates before being driven back to your hotel. The adventure of a lifetime is at an end and your safari can begin!
Spectacular settings under the jagged teeth of Mawenzi
Extra days for acclimatisation
Hans Meyer Cave on the way to the summit
Reach Uhuru Peak
Copy of a best-selling climb Mt Kilimanjaro
guidebook to help you prepare before you arrive in
Transfers to and from Kilimanjaro International
Two nights stay in a B&B style hotel (one before &
one after the trek)
Transfers to and from the mountain
All park fees, camping fees, rescue fees and permits while on the mountain
All food and drink on the mountain
Wages of trek crew (guides, assistant guides, cooks
and porters) at KPAP rates.
Financial failure protection
Personal service and advice every step of the wayleading up to your trek, provided directly from
Kilimanjaro’s leading expert – Henry Stedman.
Flights – however we can assist in this area
Hire of clothing, trekking poles, head torches &
Food and drink away from the mountain (other
than those included at your hotel stay)
Tips / gratuities for your mountain crew (you can
refer to the guidebook prior to arrival for details)
*Price shown is per person for 1 to 2 trekkers, in $USD joining a 7 day public trek. Additional trekkers reduce cost per person. Our policy towards the welfare of porters and the dedication to a high standard of service means that our prices will never be rock bottom. Nevertheless, a brief internet search will hopefully convince you that our prices are the best value on the mountain.