If you have the time, this is the best way to to the very scenic Rongai route. Compared to the usual and very strenous 5d/4n version of the same route, you have two additional days to split the ascent into shorter pieces and give you two precious extra days to acclimatize and enjoy the ever changing, dramatic scenery.
Itinerary (7 days / 6 nights on Kili):
Briefing Your guides will meet you at your hotel in Arusha or Moshi for a detailed briefing of the climb. Accommodation: hotel in Arusha or Moshi (D)
Transfer to Loitokitok gate (2000 m) - hike to Rongai 1 Caves camp (2830 m) Departure from Arusha will be at around 7:30 am for Loitokitok gate (ca. 4 hrs transfer), where you will complete the entry formalities and have lunch. You start trekking through fields and dense mountain rain forest to your first camp in the heather. 3-4 hrs trekking.
Accommodation: Rongai 1 Caves camp (B, L, D)
Rongai 1 Caves - Rongai 2 Caves camp (3450 m) About 4-5 hrs trekking through heather and moorland brings you to the second caves where you have lunch. If the weather is clear, Mawenzi will be in plain view - a stunning sight. Enjoy stopping to observe an exoctic heather-zone vegetation along the trail.
Accommodation: Rongai 2 camp (B, L, D)
Rongai 2 - Kikelewa camp (3,600 m) Today is a short trek designed to help you acclimatize. A smaller track leads off the main trail through the moorland and towards Mawenzi's steeply rising slopes. The trekking time is about 3 - 5 hours, arriving in camp for a hot lunch, and a chance to acclimatize while exploring the surrounding landscape of bizarre plants and rock formations and caves.
Accommodation: Kikelewa camp (B, L, D)
Kikelewa camp - Mawenzi Tarn canp (4315 m) Trek from the moorland and eventually into the stark highland desert towards Mawenzi, on trails not frequented by many tourists. From the Tarn Campsite you will enjoy a magnificent view across the saddle towards Kibo. Total trekking time is 5-7 hours.
Accommodation: Mawenzi Tarn camp (B, L, D)
Mawenzi Tarn camp - Outward Bound camp (4,750 m) The trekking time today is 5 - 7 hours, though a relatively easy hike across the wide saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo. The trek takes you across the massive saddle- the crossing is impressive and the landscape spectacularly stark. Prepare all your gear for the night ahead, and turn in early to rest.
Accommodation: Outward Bound camp (B, L, D)
Outward bound camp - Gilman's Point (5712 m) - Uhuru Peak (5895 m) - Horombo camp (3110 m) A hot drink will arrive very early this morning. At about 1 am , you start trekking towards the rim of the crater, which you reach at Gilmans's Point (5,712 m) and from there to Uhuru Peak (7-8 hrs). The following descend to Horombo Camp is about 6-8 hrs. At the start of the trek at 1 am, temperatures usually be between -10 and 0 deg. and seomwhere between -12 deg. C (10 deg. F) to -23 deg. C (-10 F.) on or near the summit just before dawn. The slope is steep, with switchbacks, over loose rock and scree with some boulders as you near Gilman's Point. You will stop at hans Meyer cave on the way, the famous place that Kilimanjaro's first western climber described in jis journals. Once at Gilmans's Point (after ca. 5-6 hrs) at the edge of the crater, the trail becomes less steep and Uhuru Peak is reached after 1.5-2 hrs trekking along the usually snowy crater rim. After descending to Kibo hut, there is a pause for rest and food, then it's another 3-4 hrs to reach Horombo Camp. Total trekking time: 13-16 hrs.
Accommodation: Horombo camp (B, L, D)
Final descend - Transfer to Arusha It's a relaxed 5-6 hours trek straight down to Marango Gate, where you'll have lunch. After receiving your certificates and saying goodby to many of your crew, we'll bring you to the KIA lodge, where you can use day rooms for a shower, change cloths etc. In the afternoon, return to Arusha (or Moshi).
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