6 Days Kilimanjaro Machame Route Challenge

The Rongai Route is the only route that appraoches Kilimanjaro from the north, near the Kenyan border. Rongai’s ascent profile is very similar to that of Marangu. It is one of Kilimanjaro’s easier routes. The climb to the top is gradual and steady. However, unlike Marangu, this route has low crowds and passes through remote wilderness areas. It is probably the only route where seeing wildlife in the first days is possible.

 

DAY 1
Rongai Gate to Rongai Cave
Elevation: 6,398 ft to 9,300 ft
Distance: 8 km
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

We drive from Arusha to Marangu Gate for permits before taking a short transfer to the Rongai Gate trailhead. The path winds through corn and potato fields and then climbs gently through the forest which is home to a variety of wildlife, including the black and white colobus monkey.

 

DAY 2
Rongai Cave to to Second Cave
Elevation: 9,300 ft to 11,300 ft
Distance: 6 km
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Heath

Second Cave to Kikelewa Cave
Elevation: 11,300 ft to 11,811 ft
Distance: 6 km
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Heath

We begin this morning with a steady incline up to Second Cave. We continue trekking though moorland, leaving the main trail for a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi, before finally arriving at Kikelewa Cave for the night.

 

DAY 3
Kikelewa Cave to Mawenzi Tarn
Elevation: 11,811 ft to 14,160 ft
Distance: 5 km
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

The hike today is short and steep up a grassy slope. Views of the wilderness area are stunning. As we exit the heath zone and emerge into the Alpine Desert zone, the landscape changes dramatically. Our camp is situated beneath the jagged spires of Mawenzi, at Mawenzi Tarn. The remainder of the day can be spent relaxing or exploring the area.

 

DAY 4
Mawenzi Tarn to Mawenzi Ridge
Elevation (ft): 14,160 ft -14,400 ft
Distance: 2 km
Hiking Time: 1-2 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

Mawenzi Ridge to Mawenzi Tarn
Elevation (ft): 14,400 ft -14,160 ft
Distance: 2 km
Hiking Time: 1-2 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

This is an extra day meant for acclimatization and can be spent day hiking on Mawenzi Ridge. The unique landscape offers motivating views of Kibo and Mawenzi. After spending a few moments exploring the area we head back to Mawenzi Tarn for camp.

 

DAY 5
Marwenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut
Elevation (ft): 14,160 ft to 15,430 ft
Distance: 8 km
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We climb gradually, then cross the lunar desert of the “Saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo. Our camp, Kibo Hut, sits at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Once here we rest, enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day.

 

DAY 6
Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak
Elevation (ft): 15,430 ft to 19,341 ft
Distance: 6 km
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Habitat: Arctic

Uhuru Peak to Horombo Hut
Elevation (ft): 19,341 ft to 12,250 ft
Distance: 16 km
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Heath

Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. At Gilman’s point (18,600 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

After spending a few moments taking in the plains of Africa and your accomplishment, we descend to Horombo Hut. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

 

DAY 7
Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate
Elevation (ft): 12,205 ft to 6,046 ft
Distance: 20 km
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

On our last day, we have a long trek mostly downhill through the tropical rainforest. Once at the park headquarters at Marangu gate, we collect our summit certificates. A vehicle will meet us here and drive us back to the hotel in Arusha

 

Cost Includes:

  • All transport by private vehicle to and from the mountain
  • Accommodation as detailed on the itinerary.
  • Services of a private mountain guide, cook and adequate porters to carry both trip provisions and client’s private bags.
  • National Park entrance, accommodation and camping fees.
  • All food and catering equipment – breakfasts, lunches (packed when necessary) and evening meals prepared by our own cook. .Special dietary requirements are catered for with prior arrangements at no extra cost.
  • Certificate of Achievement /appreciation from us.
  • Free storage of excess baggage not required on the mountain hike.
  • Crisis management apparatus – VHF 2-way radio/mobile phone, basic first aid kit and an on call vehicle.

 

Cost excludes:

  • Travel and personal accident insurance.
  • Visa, passport, vaccinations, medicines.
  • Personal Mountain equipment.
  • Tips.
  • Expenditure on alcoholic drinks, souvenirs and other personal items.
  • Optional excursions not detailed in the itinerary.
  • Additional optional accommodation added at the base hotel or extra days on the mountain added.
  • Treated drinking water other than boiled.
  • Extra costs incurred in case of own intentional chan
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