If climbing in peace and quite no matter what time of season and it sound like the thing for you, then you should consider climbing Mount Kilimanjaro via the Rongai Route. Approaching Kibo from the north, this is the least climbed of all routes on Mount Kilimanjaro but not it is in any way inferior, it’s just that most folks get excited about the big routes like Machame and Lemosho and Rongai tends to be forgotten about. Climbing the Rongai route lets you see a whole side of the mountain that few do and the best bit is that though you climb from the north, you get to descend via the southern Marangu Route, seeing both sides of the mountain on a single climb.
Rongai Route: Overview
For those who choose to climb Mount Kilimanjaro by the Rongai Route, you’re about to discover the mountain’s best-kept secret. So few people climb this route each year that you are unlikely to see anyone an your entire ascent. Because most of the rain on Mount Kilimanjaro falls on the southwest slopes, there is little rain forest to climb through, rather you will find that the heather and moorland stretches further down the Rongai Route compared to others. In saying that what forest you do walk through is impressive for its animal like, due to the fact that the Rongai Route is so quiet and cover provided by the trees is scarce. You will see monkeys on your first day and it is not too unusual to see some of the bigger African animals such a buffalo and even elephant.
Our Rongai Route itinerary will take you to the little-visited Mawenzi Tarn campsite at the foot of Mawenzi, Kibo’s sister peak, to aid your acclimatization. The views that you get of Both Kibo and Mawenzi are truly breathtaking and without a doubt the best on the entire mountain. Leaving Mawenzi, you cross the Saddle, a wide strip of wind-swept land that connects Kibo and Mawenzi. Seasoned climbers of Mount Kilimanjaro often pick this section as their favourite part of any climb. On the Rongai Route you reach the crater rim from Gillman’s point, slightly east of the summit point for Machame, Shira, Lemosho and Umbwe and arguably slightly easier.
All in all this is an excellent route and if you enjoy some solitude on your adventures and a sense that you truly are the only person for miles around, this is the route for you.