When you want to climb Kilimanjaro you have a large choice among many itineraries. Most of them are on the south-eastern side of the volcano. Only Rongai takes a different way, and maybe this is the reason why you should decide for this one. Rongai is the route you do not expect, an adventure to discover. It gives you the chance so say: I did it on my own! This is the only itinerary which is not connected to Mweka long route, because Rongai is a walk with its own history and identity. Try it, if you are well trained. But you can do it even if you are not too sporty.
Rongai Route in 8 days
Rongai Route can be done in 6 to 8 days. The latter choice will give you time and way to get used to altitude and see more things, around. The car will take you outside Moshi where a plain land opens, among fields, farms and moorlands. Your first day of walking will not be too hard, so you will admire the view and the animals along the way. The first stop for the night is the camp near Rongai Cave. The next day the real climb will start.
The route of the caves
After visiting Rongai Cave, your trip will lead you to more wonderful grottos. As you get closer to Second Cave you can already admire the glaciers and the main crater of Mt Kibo, not far from here. You will stop in camps and then continue your way towards Mt Mawenzi, the second “son” of Mt Kilimanjaro. The steep paths going up and down the lava deserts will test your strength but you will get to a lovely place, where to sleep at night: Kikelewa Caves.
Rongai, from Mawenzi to the highest top
Your third day will take you to Mt Mawenzi, which is impressive and beautiful but also hard. Its territory is all made of lava deserts. You will admire the Mawenzi Tarn and rest there, to get used to the altitude. The trip goes on and gets to Mt Kibo. Here you will need another afternoon of relax at Kibo Hut before the last and hardest climb. From Mt Kibo, you will then challenge the highest peak, Uhuru. Along the way you will admire: Gilman Point Crater, another lava desert, dawn over the Kilimanjaro’s peaks and then – finally – your goal. A few hours rest and then you will start the descent.
Going down from Uhuru Point will be more relaxing and follow a different path. You will not come back along the whole Rongai Route but reach the road of Marangu. You will get Marangu Gate where the car will come and pick you up for the way back to Arusha and your hotel. Basically Rongai Route is not too difficult, it is a wonderful experience anyone can do. It is the memory of a trip for the life you will never forget.