Rongai Route and Safari Description
The Rongai route is remote and less frequently used route is the second easiest route to Kilimanjaro. The approach to the mountain is from the less-forested north side and the descent is by the Marangu Route. There are several variations, the one described below is a longer route taking in Mawenzi Tarn. The ascent to Uhuru Peak is almost the same as for the Marangu Route from the Kibo Hut.
Accommodation on the Rongai route is in tents (even on descent) which the porters will pitch for you. You will need a sleeping bag, warm clothes and walking poles. This is a steep, tough trek within the limits of a fit individual used to walking in mountain areas.
The trek is followed by a 3 day safari that includes visits to Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro crater and Tarangire Parks. Accommodation is in Highview hotel.
Itinerary of Rongai Route and Safari
- Day 1 – Arrive Springlands hotel (B&B).
- Day 2 – Drive round Kilimanjaro to the Rongai Gate (3-4h, 2100m.). Walk through the rain forest to Camp 1 (4h, 2800m).
- Day 3 – Walk up through giant heathers and moorlands to Camp 2 – near Kikelewa Cave (6h, 3600m).
- Day 4 – Walk towards the jagged pinnacles of Mawenzi and camp by the Mawenzi Tarn Hut, the last section is fairly steep, (4-5h, 4330m).
- Day 5 – Gain The Saddle and walk across this desert of scree to a camp not far from Kibo hut (3-4h, 4730m).
- Day 6 – Very early start for the summit on steep scree up to Gillman’s Point (5h, 5681m) on the crater rim. Continue around the rim to Uhuru Peak (1h30min, 5895m). Descend to our camp for brunch and a rest and then walk down to Horombo Hut. Total walking time about 12h.
- Day 7 – Descend to Marangu gate, 5h. Drive back to the hotel (B&B).
- Day 8 – Breakfast. Drive to Lake Manyara. Picnic lunch. Afternoon game drive. Dinner and overnight Highview hotel
- Day 9 – Game drive in Ngorongoro Crater. Picnic lunch en-route. Dinner and overnight Highview hotel.
- Day 10 – Drive to Tarangire park for game drive. Picnic lunch. Return to airport late afternoon/early evening for your flight home. Alternatively we can make arrangements for you to stay at the Springlands hotel on this evening and transfer to the airport the following day.
Rongai Route and Safari Prices
6 DAY RONGAI + 3 DAY SAFARI
COST – $3062 per person
Minimum group size – 2 people
The package cost for 6 day Rongai trek + 3 day Safari is $2679 per person. Single travellers have a surcharge of $250 for use of single accommodation throughout.
PLEASE NOTE THAT PACKAGES REQUIRE A MINIMUM NUMBER OF 2 PEOPLE IN ORDER TO TAKE PLACE. MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE IS 16 PEOPLE. THE PACKAGE OFFERS ARE NOT PRIVATE TRIPS. YOU WILL BE JOINED WITH OTHERS WHENEVER POSSIBLE.
To see what is included/not included in the cost and for Tipping guidelines please see check our PDF
General Information: Rongai & Safari
For more information about: what to take on your trip, health and safety information and our packing lists.
ZARA, one of the top three operators in Northern Tanzania. Begun in 1986 by Zainab Ansell as an international travel agency and in 1987 was appointed as an IATA agency. Safari trips, Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru climbs commenced in 1987.
Many years of experience in running these trips have now been accumulated and in some years Zara has been the top provider. Zara is mentioned in many publications eg “Kilimanjaro & Mount Kenya” by Cameron M Burns, also on several websites that also provide references to Zara services.
We now have a large fleet of 4x4WD vehicles and over 80 guides working with us. 28 mountain guides are registered to Zara. All of our drivers and guides are experienced and speak English. In addition Zara now own and run two hotels – Springlands hotel in Moshi and the Highview hotel in Ngorongoro conservation area along with the safari Wildcamps in Ikoma, Serengeti and Ngorongoro. This allows Zara to be in complete control of your trek or safari from start to finish, ensuring that you receive the best possible service throughout. Check on Trip Advisor for recent reviews of Zara.
LISTED BELOW ARE SOME OF THE MANY THINGS THAT ZARA HAVE DONE TO IMPROVE THE CONDITIONS FOR BOTH ZARA STAFF AND THE LOCAL PEOPLE:
Mount Kilimanjaro porters society (MKPS)
ZARA tours are proud of the work they do in using tourism to create better livelihoods for their employees, partners and communities. As such Director, Zainab Ansell, set up the Mount Kilimanjaro porters society (MKPS) in 2004 with the purpose of improving living and working condition for the porters (and their families) who climb Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru. This includes:
- Providing free training during the low season, in areas such as health, financial management and investment skills, mountain sickness training skills, environmental conservation education and English courses.
- Assisting porters to open bank accounts. Currently almost 90% of the members of MKPS have their own bank account and card. Wages are paid directly in to their account and this is helping them handle more safely and manage more effectively their money. This has helped porters to pursue their own businesses, afford to build their own houses, pay their bills and take care of their families as well as cover their basic needs of food, shelter, clothes and education.
- Helping provide employment opportunities to porters during the low season, for example environmental initiatives have led to several tree planting projects around Moshi and Karatu.
- Establishing tipping sheets for fairness and transparency to ensure that porters get their tips as agreed by clients. This sheet is signed by clients when the tip is paid and signed by porters when they receive their tips and is monitored by the office.
- MKPS through their sponsors Zara Tanzania adventures and colleagues pay higher wage rates than that which has been proposed by KINAPA and TANAPA.·
- Where required, members are loaned (free of charge) hiking equipment such as sleeping bags, tents, raincoats, waterproof trouser, jackets socks, gloves and shoes for the duration of their trek. The MKPS members have membership ID cards which help identify them and support their equipment requirements. It also helps with monitoring the whereabouts of the equipment at any one time.
- Ensuring that porters carry loads that respond to set standards of a maximum of 20kg per person, MKPS members have their luggage weighed at the base hotel. This means that luggage that is over this maximum may be left behind at the hotel. Therefore, when the porters from the ZARA organised trips arrive at the Kilimanjaro National Park gate to have the luggage weight double-checked before the climb, they will not be over the weight limit.
- MKPS porters and other staff are given 3 meals a day whilst on trek and each MKPS member has been given a bicycle.
For more information on the projects that Zara are currently involved with check the website www.zaracharitytanzania.org