Detailed Itinerary Rongai – 7 Days With Second Cave
As soon as we are done with the necessary registration formalities at Marangu National Park gate, we head through to Rongai. It all begins from Nale Moru (1,950 m) on a small path that leads through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. After which we will climb through the attractive forest that is a home to a variety of wildlife including the beautiful Kilimanjaro Columbus monkey which are normally black with a long cape of white hair and a flowing white tail. We will then make our first camp at Rongai One which is at the edge of the moorland zone (2,600m) with a wide view over the Kenyan Plains. (3-4 hrs walking
The day starts in the morning as we walk up to the composite at Second Cave (3,450 m) with stunning views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. The rest of the afternoon could be spent enjoying the view over the Kenyan Plains or doing a short acclimatization walk towards the third cave. (3-4 hrs)
We row leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. Our campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant senesces near Kikelewa Caves (3,600 m) after lunch, there is time to explore the valley or to rest [3-4 hours walking].
A short but steep climb is rewarded by superb all-round views and a tangible sense of wilderness. We leave vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m), spectacularly situated in a cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatization. [3-4 hours walking].
We transverse the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo campsite (4,700 m) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remains of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a extremely early on [5-6 hours walking].
We will begin the concluding, and by far the steepest and most demanding, part of the climb by torchlight around 1 a.m. We walk very slowly in the darkness on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman’s Point (5,685 m) we will rest there for a start time to take pleasure in the stunning sunrise over Mawenzi. The strong can make the three hour round trip to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Kibo (4,700 m) is surprisingly fast and, after some refreshment, we continue the descent to reach our final campsite at Horombo (3,720 m) [11-15 hours working]
A secure slope down takes us down through moorland to Mandara Hut (2,700m), the first stopping place at the Marangu route. We then carry on going down through the lovely lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu (1,830 m) [5 – 6 hours walking]