The Rongai Route is considered as one of the easiest routes with high success rate. The route starts on the north side of Mt. Kilimanjaro 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, giving the climbers an opportunity to see the mountain from many view points.
The drive to the trail head from Arusha town takes about 4 hours, it passed through many villages and coffee plantations, including a stop to register climbing permits at Marangu gate.
Day 1: Arrive Tanzania at Kilimanjaro Airport
Arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport in the evening, where you will be a representative of Big Expeditions carrying a board bearing your name. Enjoy a short private transfer from the airport to your hotel in Arusha where you spend the night. There will be orientation by your head guide, who will also check your Kilimanjaro climb equipment. Anything missing can be rented from Big Expeditions.Overnight at Hotel
Day 2: Arusha – Rongai Gate
After breakfast, you will depart your lodge in Arusha and drive to Marangu Gate for permit, afterwards drive further to Nalemoru gate, near the Kenyan border,where you start your Mt. Kilimanjaro trek. Your first day’s walk is a gradual ascent through the rain forest. As you walk, watch out for elephants and cats covering portions of the trail. The trek is about 3 to 4 hours and it bring you to your first camp, Simba Camp (alt.2570m)
Day 3: Kilimanjaro
During your Kilimanjaro climb today, you will experience a steady ascent up to the ‘Second Cave’ (alt.3450m) where you will be treated to breath taking views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the Crater rim. You will have lunch on your way and thereafter, leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. Your campsite for tonight is in a sheltered valley with giant Seneciois near Kikelelwa Cave. You will have about 7 hrs of trekking today. Overnight at Kikelelwa Camp (alt.3800m)
Day 4: Kilimanjaro
Today prepare yourself for a short but steep climb, that will take you up grassy slopes where you will be rewarded by stunning all round views and a tangible sense of wilderness.As you leave the vegetation behind, you will in a short while reach the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn (alt. 4330m).It is spectacularly located in a cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi.You have free time in the afternoon, that you can either use to rest or to explore the surrounding areas as an aid to acclimatization. Overnight at Mawenzi Turn hut (alt. 4330m)
Day 5: Kilimanjaro
After breakfast in your camp, you will cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo Hut (alt. 4750m) at the bottom of the Kibo Crater wall. You will spend remainder of the day resting in preparation for the final ascent. Trekking time5hrs.Overnight Kibo Hut (alt. 4750m)
Day 6: Kilimanjaro
You begin the final part of your climb at 1 a.m. This part is considered steepest and most demanding.You walk very slowly in the darkness on a switchback trail through loose scree to reach the crater rim at Gilman’s Point (alt. 5685).where you will rest for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. Afterwards, you continue further to Uhuru Peak (alt. 5896m), you will be passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. Your to Kibo (alt. 4740) is surprisingly fast and, after some refreshment, you trek further down to reach the final Campsite at Horombo. Trekking for 11hrs.Overnight Horombo Hut (alt. 3700m)
Day 7:Kilimanjaro – Arusha
After Breakfast, you will have a steady descent that takes you down through moor land to Mandara Hut (alt. 2752m), the first stop when using Marangu route. Continue with your trek down through lovely lush forest on a good path that leads you to the National Park gate at Marangu, where you will be rewarded for your success with a certificate. Celebrate your success with your crew, Big Expeditions style, join your porters to test your dancing skills as they showcase how success is celebrated African Way!
Afterwards you will be transferred back to Arusha where a day room to freshen up will be provided till evening when you will be collected by your driver and transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport where you will board your homebound flight. However an African Holiday is not complete without a Wildlife safari, you can spend the night in Arusha and go on Tanzania wildlife safari the following day!