7 days Rongai route down Marangu
|Kilimanjaro, Rongai RouteThis route is fast gaining in popularity and is considered to be one of the easiest routes up the mountain. It is the only route starting from the north side of the mountain at Rongai a small village close to the Kenya border. The climbing conditions are drier on the northern side of the mountain and there are spectacular sweeping views over the broad flat Maasai lands. Overnights are spent camping in tents. The summit is reached via the east side of Kibo and the descent is via the Marangu route.
Arrive at Arusha ex Shuttle Bus from Nairobi or ex KLM flight in Kilimanjaro airport met and transfer to City Link Hotel where you will spend the night for an early evening pre-climb briefing on the trek, dinner and overnight at City Link Hotel.
Transfer to the Kilimanjaro gate and after registering the climb begins at the village of Nale Moru (1950 mts) through cultivated land before entering the pine forest. Watch out for Kilimanjaro Colobus monkeys in the tree tops with their white fringed 'capes' and tail. Taking 3-4 hours the first camp is on the edge of the moorland zone where the forest begins to thin out at First Cave at 8500 ft / 2600 m. Overnight at 1st Cave Camp.
The morning walk is a steady ascent up to Second Cave at 11300 ft / 3450 m with superb views of Kibo and the eastern ice fields on the crater rim. Pushing on to reach Third Cave taking 3 to 4 hours at 1280 ft / 3800 m for overnight camp. Overnight at 3rd Cave Camp.
(This may not be in your itinerary). A leisurely walk up to the Saddle is a good way to improve acclimatisation by walking high but returning back to camp to sleep lower. It is also possible to spend the night at Mawenzi Tarn.
Continue ascending on the east side of Kibo crossing the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo taking 4 to 5 hours to reach Kibo Hut at 15000 ft / 4700 m. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent,which begins around midnight. Overnight at Kibo Camp
An early start for the summit on steep heavy scree to arrive at Gilman's Point at 18640 ft / 5681 m in time to see the sun rise. Those who want to reach the highest point in Africa can take the approximately three hour excursion to Uhuru Peak 19340 ft / 5896 m passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Kibo is surprisingly fast and after some refreshment, continue the descent to reach the final campsite at Horombo at 12000 ft / 3700 m taking 11 to 15 hours. Overnight at Horombo Camp.
A steady descent down through the moor land to Mandara Hut and then downward through the lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu (1830 m) taking 5 to 7 hours to be met and transferred to City Link Hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Breakfast and later transfer to shuttle bus terminal for connection to Nairobi airport or transfer to Kilimanjaro airport for departure flight out.
Accommodation on the route is in roomy two person tents. The evening stops are referred to as huts, but most of the buildings are decrepit. They are used as shelters for the porters and for cooking. The tents are usually erected for you when you arrive, although if you want a particular position it's worth taking charge. In the mornings, it helps everyone get away early if you lend a hand with taking the tents down.
Acclimatisation is extremely important, both to let you enjoy your ascent but more importantly to avoid any serious complications. The route is planned to optimise the height gain, but you may still get a headache or feel nauseous. There are two important preventative measures: to drink copiously, even when it is really difficult, and to walk very slowly, avoiding as far as possible increased heart and breathing rates.
A drug is available, Diamox, from your GP which is well proven to help with acclimatisation. This is taken as tablets for a few days before and then during your ascent. It is safe and has no serious side effects. It is important to remember that one possible effect of altitude is light-headedness and odd behaviour, which can lead to foolish decisions. The danger here is of someone who is not well insisting on continuing. Watch each other closely.
Food and kitchen equipment will be carried by the porters and cooked by an experienced cook. It will be plentiful and wholesome, but may be limited by the circumstances. Your own supply of chocolate and high energy snacks is a good idea.
Water is available at several points and should be purified before drinking. All water in camp will be boiled and some provided for drinking the next day. A comforting tip is to fill your bottle in the evening with boiled water for the next day, and to use it as a hot water bottle overnight. Check with your guide where the water points are.
Washrooms are available at the huts but not the camps. Some camps have several and so it's worth checking for the cleanest. If you are caught short during the walk, please find a spot as far as possible from the trail and any water. Bury your faeces and paper. It is often easiest to move a large rock and use the indent as a hole. Mark your spot by balancing a couple of stones.
|7days Rongai route down Marangu
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Mountain Cuisine: The menus for all climbs are specially prepared to provide a balanced diet of fresh fruit, vegetables, plenty of protein and carbohydrates. We have tried to choose food items that are easiest to digest at high altitude. Our cooks undergo extensive training and we have ongoing workshops to review menus. The cooks are particularly vigilant in their hygiene practices as contracting stomach bugs is common for visitors to the developing world.
Dinners are typically a main course with vegetable and salad. Chicken and fish are served at some of the days during the climb, with pastas and rice dishes being served in the middle of the climb while up high. Lunches are often on the trail and usually consist of cold cuts and vegetables laid out on a table so you can make your own sandwich. Fresh hot vegetable soups are served at every meal, and packet soup is available on request between meals as is coffee and tea. Breakfast is your choice: granola, toast, fruit, eggs, and sometimes pancakes or French toast. While hiking some people have a favorite snack that they like; it is a good idea to bring this from home.
Fit to trek. The Machame Route is a strenuous, but not technical, climb and no mountain-climbing experience is necessary. But there's no avoiding the steep ascents and high altitudes that make robust physical fitness (and a minimum age of 16 years) a prerequisite for this trip. You'll want to consult your physician before undertaking this unforgettable adventure. Alternative independent itineraries. These include the more remote anddemanding Rongai, Shira, Umbwe and Western Breach routes - ask for details.