- Lemosho Crater Route
- Lemosho Route
- Machame Route
- Rongai Route
- Northern Circuit Route with Crater
- Umbwe Route
Starting from the drier north side of Kilimanjaro at the village of Nalemoru near the Kenya border, the Rongai route follows less traveled trails allowing discriminating trekkers to distance themselves from the mountain’s busier routes and offers a great variety of fabulous vistas that most climbers never get to see. The route passes through lush farmland and pine and cypress forests before ascending into the rainforest where you may see troupes of black and white colobus monkeys. In the higher moorland zone we enjoy views of the Kenyan plains rich with game as we make a beeline for Mawenzi Peak with Mawenzi Tarn below. We cross the saddle to Horombo and then gain elevation to School Hut Camp. The final ascent passes the Hans Meyer Cave and reaches the crater rim at Gillman’s Point before following the rim path to the Kibo summit at Uhuru Peak.
per person, double occupancy (single supplement US $400)
• Pass through lush farmland and pine and cypress forest on Day 1 of climb.
• Unique views few climbers see, including close-ups of Mawenzi Tarn and Mawenzi Peak, Kilimanjaro’s remnant volcanic cone.
• Cross the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo Peaks.
• Route can be adjusted to 6-, 7- or 8-day climb.
|Hiking Distance||Hiking Time||Elevation Start||Elevation Finish||Elevation Gain|
Mbahe Farm Cottages.
|2||Village cultural walk, rest, climb preparation.|
Mbahe Farm Cottages.
|3||Hiking day 1.|
Nalemoru Gate to Simba Camp.
|4||Hiking day 2.|
Simba Camp to Kikelewa Camp.
|5||Hiking day 3.|
Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn Camp.
|6||Hiking day 4.|
Mawenzi Tarn Camp to Horombo Camp.
|7||Hiking day 5.|
Horombo Camp to School Hut Camp.
|8||Hiking day 6.|
School Hut Camp to Uhuru Peak to Horombo Camp.
|6-7 hours to Uhuru|
4 hours to Horombo
|9||Hiking day 7.|
Horombo Camp to Marangu Gate.
Mbahe Farm Cottages or hotel in Moshi Town.
|10||Mbahe Village or Moshi Town.|
Moshi Town tour.
Your trip leader will pick you up upon arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport and bring you to Mbahe Village, located in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, approximately 2 hours from the airport. Accommodations are in SENE’s private cottages at Simon Mtuy’s Mbahe Village Farm.
Overnight: Mbahe Farm Cottages.
Day 2: Mbahe Village, Kilimanjaro
You have the morning to rest and relax. Enjoy delicious “homebrew” coffee, grown and roasted on the farm, and meals made with fruits and vegetables from the garden. Your trip leader will provide a climb orientation and equipment check. This is also a day to take a guided tour around Mbahe Village, the Mtuy family farm, and to swim in the river and waterfall running through Simon’s land.
Overnight: Mbahe Farm Cottages.
Day 3: Nalemoru Gate to Simba Camp
After breakfast, we drive in a counterclockwise direction around the eastern flank of Kilimanjaro through Chagga villages that cling to the mountain slope, up to the border with Kenya before turning in to the Nalemoru Gate. Here you will meet your other guides and mountain crew and enter the Kilimanjaro National Park. We begin our climb by walking a few hours through cultivated land and timber farms before entering the cool and verdant montane forest. We soon reach the moorland zone, where our first night’s camp is located.
Overnight: Simba Camp.
Day 4: Simba Camp to Kikelewa Camp
The 3 hour morning climb today takes us through open moorland to the second cave camp, where we will stop for lunch. On the way, you will have spectacular views of both Kibo and Mawenzi peaks as we hike in a southwesterly direction with a dry riverbed on our left and through lizard country of bare rocks and long grasses. We may see many signs of animal life – their tracks, trails, and droppings. Bird life is also abundant and we should be able to spot the white-necked raven, alpine chat, and streaky seed-eater. After lunch we turn directly toward the jagged peak of Mawenzi and into the Kikelewa Valley to our campsite near a set of small grottoes.
Overnight: Kikelewa Camp.
Day 5: Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn Camp
Today’s hike starts gently before rising on a short but steep climb through a forest of senecios and into the highland desert zone. As we ascend we encounter huge boulders and the vegetation noticeably thins as low heathers, groundsel, and the helichrysum flower dominate. We will have the afternoon to explore the spectacular setting of our camp, replete with towers, barrancos (high bluffs), and the tarn (mountain lake) just below Mawenzi, by which our campsite sits.
Overnight: Mawenzi Tarn Camp.
Day 6: Mawenzi Tarn Camp to Horombo Camp
A switchback climb just above the tarn takes us alongside the North Corrie (glaciated valley) and up to the saddle on this moderate acclimatization hike. Crossing toward the south, we get a magnificent close-up view of the spiky and crag-ridden Mawenzi Peak. Once a popular and extremely technical rock climb, Mawenzi is now closed due to the danger of rock falls. Beyond the high ridge of the saddle and after a short descent we reach the Zebra Rocks, followed thereafter by our camp at Horombo. We have dropped more than 2,000 feet in order to gain the rejuvenating benefits of sleeping at lower elevation for a night.
Overnight: Horombo Camp.
We start with a steep climb before crossing the great Maua River, which is just a small mountain stream at this elevation. The vegetation noticeably thins and we ascend to the saddle, the low flat area between Kibo Peak to the west and Mawenzi Peak to the east. The saddle is barren and windswept – a true alpine desert landscape. Our guides keep your spirits up with their expert knowledge of the mountain, good humor, and stories of climbs past; they also continue to encourage you to drink plenty of water and snack heartily to maintain your energy. We bypass the busy Kibo huts and continue northeast for another 45 minutes to the higher School Hut Camp. After an early dinner we have a summit briefing and prepare our equipment before resting. At midnight, ideally under the stars and a brightly shining moon, we begin the final ascent to Uhuru Peak.
Overnight: School Hut Camp.
Day 8: School Hut Camp to Uhuru Peak to Horombo Camp
The summit ascent that began at midnight is a steep 5 to 6 hour climb to Gillman’s Point (18,640 feet) before the route flattens out along the crater rim. We will climb pole pole (meaning “slowly” in Kiswahili) and drink plenty of water and tea, refueling with small snacks, and enjoying this hike. A further 1 to 2 hours takes us to our goal – Uhuru Peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro at 19,340 feet. After a stay of 20 to 30 minutes and plenty of photos, we descend to School Hut for lunch and rest before continuing on the Marangu route to the camp site at Horombo, more than 7,000 feet below the summit! Eat, share your experiences of the climb, and sleep soundly. Congratulations, you touched the Roof of Africa!
Overnight: Horombo Camp.
Day 9: Horombo Camp to Marangu Gate; Mbahe Village, Kilimanjaro
Enjoy the descent through the thick montane forest on Kilimanjaro’s southern flank as we hike 4 hours and drop more than 6,000 feet to the exit at Marangu Gate, encountering legions of climbers beginning their ascent. We will collect our certificates of achievement at the gate and take the final short walk through Chagga farmland back to SENE’s Mbahe Village Farm. Enjoy a hot shower and a celebration meal with the whole team. (Those going on safari tomorrow will overnight at a hotel in Arusha, closer to the wildlife parks.)
Overnight: Mbahe Farm Cottages or hotel in Moshi Town.
Day 10: Mbahe Village or Moshi Town
Rest and relaxation day at the farm or at your hotel in town. Town tour included. Transfer by SENE to the Kilimanjaro Airport.
- All accommodations for 10 days / 9 nights.
- All meals as indicated (B,L,D).
- On climb, filtered water (by Katadyn Expedition® filter) and coffee, teas, cocoa.
- Services of trip leader, climbing guides, and mountain crew.
- Kilimanjaro National Park entrance, camping, and rescue fees.
- All camping and dining equipment (excluding sleeping bag and pad).
- Portable private toilet with bio-degradable waste system (Cleanwaste®) at all camps.
- Gamow bag (portable hyperbaric chamber) and supplemental oxygen for emergency descents.
- Transfers to/from Kilimanjaro International Airport and to/from park entrance/exit gates.
- Guided Mbahe Village walking tour.