“Much more than just a Kilimajaro climb, this is an adventure of huge achievement, team spirit and of incomparable views from the top of Africa's highest mountain.”
Mount Kilimanjaro | Rongai route | Marangu | Rongai Forest | Kikelewa moorland | Mawenzi | Saddle lunar desert | Gilman's Point | Uhuru Peak | Mandara
Description of Kilimanjaro climb, Rongai route
It’s the world’s highest free-standing mountain and, reaching its 5,895m, Uhuru Peak is one transformative trek, especially taking the world famous Kilimanjaro Rongai route. A ten day small group holiday, trekking with expert guides, this challenging expedition consists of six full days of walking and climbing following the only route up to the summit from the north, close to the Kenyan border.
With full porterage throughout this Kilimanjaro climb, you do need a good fitness level for this tough but extremely rewarding trekking holiday although the Rongai route is, relatively, a more gentle approach than some other routes. The holiday also includes one day for acclimatisation, in the shadow of Mawenzi, one of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic cones.
The adventure starts in the village of Nale Moru where maize filled farmland quickly merges into the Rongai pine forests through which we climb up to the first camp at 2,600m, known aptly as First Cave. The landscapes keep changing from day to day after that, from the open moorlands that lead up to Mawenzi, the second volcanic peak, the moon like desert landscapes known as the'Saddle' between Mawenzi and Kibo cones, and then the ice fields and cliffs around the summit itself.
The final climb starts in the dark, trekking by torchlight to the rim of the crater at Gillman’s Point ideally to arrive for sunrise. Then it’s a snowy trek along the final path to the world famous Uhuru Peak where you will feel on top of the world. The descent uses the Marangu Route on the south east of the mountain and is at a slow, sustained pace.
Staying in hotels for two nights at the beginning and the end of the holiday, the rest of the trek involves five nights of camping in three man tents, with full service and even private toilet tents provided. Definitely the loos with the best views you will ever find.
Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.
Solo travellers welcome. Single rooms available for a £170 surcharge.
All breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners.
Accommodation, transport, tour leader, park fee.
Small group holiday
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.
We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!
Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.
Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.
Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.
“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.
“The accommodation will be basic” Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.
“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.
“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson
Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando
Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.
Accommodation and Meals: For the most part of the trip we will be camping. Spending these 5 nights in non-permanent accommodation creates a minimal impact on the environment by saving energy. Our chefs are local people and enthusiastic about sourcing ingredients locally, which keeps money in the area. Whilst trekking, the emphasis is on a varied and well balanced diet with a greater amount of fresh fruit and soup to maximise the daily intake of fluids. For the remainder of the trip, we will be using small, unique hotels or lodges which otherwise may not benefit from the commerce of tourist groups due to their size.
Activity: Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a trekking trip. It is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem and our trip leaders encourage clients not to stray from paths to minimise this. We work with a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy, meaning we have respect for wildlife and the landscape, separate rubbish and take all burnable waste back to a proper disposal place. We also ask that clients consider using biodegradable toiletries and shower at lodges where electricity or solar power is used for hot water.
UK Office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
A Fair Deal: We are dedicated to providing fair treatment, wages and working conditions for our guides and porters. Despite wages being the biggest expenditure on ground, there is no temptation to pay less than what is deserved and as a result we pay one of the highest wages on Kilimanjaro. Alongside this, we always make sure there is sufficient food, fuel, shelter and medical attention with sick pay if necessary. The care for our local staff is not restricted to the trekking season: In the rainy months when work is restricted, we fund a project to teach English to porters and other staff in order to improve their career prospects. So far, with the support of our clients, the project has reached over 800 people in Arusha, Magangu and Tarekea.
Campaigning for Change: Our dedication to local community is not just for those working for us. In Tanzania, we have funded a project which has managed to install 180 smokeless stoves in 9 villages across Geita and to teach over 90 young people how to build and use them. The benefits of this project have been incredible as the new stoves eliminate the myriad of health issues caused by prolonged exposure to smoke and take far less cooking time. There are also environemntal benefits as much less firewood is required to run the new stoves.
Group Size: This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
Reviews of Kilimanjaro climb, Rongai route
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 31 Aug 2011 by Marleen James
Even the tipping ceremony was wonderful, but the last day of the trek was probably the best. Beautiful surroundings and walking easily down hill with new friends knowing that Kilimanjaro had been achieved.Read full review
Reviewed on 22 Aug 2011 by Jasmin Roman
The entire trip was truly a once in a lifetime adventure - every day was exciting... Fantastic!
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Most memorable will be reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro, not without the expert help from the guides, especially Dae. The team were fantastic, helpful, professional, considerate, and made everything as comfortable as possible, they were brilliant.
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Reviewed on 02 Aug 2010 by Matthew O' Grady
5 star trip... loved every second of it... The staff and guides which made getting to the top of Kili possible. They were fantastic. Very well organised, happy, knowledgeable and we became great friends.
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Reviewed on 05 Mar 2010 by Craig Lewis
It was the hardest thing we have ever done, much mentally tougher than we thought. But reaching the summit was worth all the struggle. A true adventure and a great life experience.Read full review
Actually reaching the very top, Uhuru Peak, of Kilimanjaro was most memorable...Excellent!!Read full review
Reviewed on 07 Oct 2010 by Simon Mitchell
The sense of achievement and team unity when reaching the summit was the most memorable part... Excellent. Well organised with great interaction from all involved designed to give you the best experience.
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It really was a fantastic experience, and I am worried now as I dont know how to top it. I would 100% recommend Kilimanjaro to anyone ... and this recommendation is also extended to all parties involved in organising the tripRead full review
Reviewed on 17 Sep 2009 by Matt Wilkinson
Most memorable was seeing sunset from Gilman's point on the crater rim of Kilimanjaro - it was, however, hard to tell if the breathtaking views were solely down to the unsurpassed natural beauty and grandeur of the mountain, or were a function of a lack of oxygen!Read full review
Reviewed on 11 Aug 2009 by Nicos Kountouris
Exceptional from all aspects. Organisation, leadership, skills, friendliness, supplies, everything! I already miss Africa if that counts for something and what I feel about the experience and the wonderful people involved.Read full review
Reviewed on 13 Feb 2009 by Elizabeth Underwood
Most memorable was reaching Uhuru Peak on Kilimanjaro, the weather was perfect.Read full review
Reviewed on 09 Mar 2009 by Claire Millett
Absolutely fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone. It's hard work, but I'd never climbed any sort of mountain before and I managed it!!Read full review
Reviewed on 09 Jan 2009 by Dawn Piper
Making it to the summit of Kilimanjaro was the most memorable part.Read full review
Reviewed on 19 Sep 2008 by Harvey Maycock
Brilliant! The final ascent to the summit of Kilimanjaro - absolutely gruelling but so worth the exhileration of reaching the top and seeing the views!Read full review
Reviewed on 28 Jul 2008 by Andy Brown
Reaching the summit was truly breathtaking not only because I was totally exhausted but because the scenery was absolutely spectacular! The photos, camaraderie and the sense of achievement was amazing.Read full review
Reviewed on 29 Dec 2008 by Christine Gausden
Reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro on Christmas morning was the most memorable part.Read full review
Reviewed on 05 Mar 2008 by Liz Hoof
Excellent - but don't underestimate the effort involved. A fews days rest afterwards on Zanzibar was well deserved.Read full review
Reviewed on 24 Feb 2007 by Richard Hill
Just got back from a holiday of a lifetime to Kilimanjaro. It was a fantastic experience and met some really nice fellow travellers. Tanzania was certainly an eye opener and was far more poverty stricken than I thought at first, but the people were really nice and friendly.Read full review
Reviewed on 15 Oct 2007 by Mike Cook
The most memorable or exciting part was making it to Uhuru Peak. Fantastic.Read full review
Reviewed on 15 Jul 2006 by Adrian Grinsell
I had a wonderful time on Kilimanjaro. It was literally breathtaking and there were just amazing views everywhere. ***** it was hard to believe the scenery, the guides, their singing to keep our spirits up and the camaraderie of the group.Read full review
Reviewed on 03 Mar 2006 by Jon Secrett
A well run, well organised programme with great people from start to finish. I would recommend this trip to anyone who wants the challenge of high altitude trekking with excellent guiding and service throughout.Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Oct 2006 by Peter Dawson
The most memorable part of my holiday, after climbing from midnight to 9.00am - to actually reach Uhuru Peak, and look out at the world from the very roof of Africa!!
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Reviewed on 23 Sep 2006 by Yolanda Claasen
Our praise and thanks go to the four guides/assistant guides from the local company: Justin, Remi, Gerald and Iningo. They were excellent, experienced, provided support, advice and good humour on the hike.Read full review
Reviewed on 09 Sep 2006 by Stuart Dodds
The briefing at dinner prior to the final assent of the mountain starting at midnight was a moment full of nerves, excitement and anticipation - brilliant. Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Feb 2006 by Susan Shakespeare
The most memorable part of the holiday was walking with the Tanzanian guides.Read full review
Reviewed on 12 Jul 2005 by Zoe Sarah Thompson
The most memorable part of the holiday was standing at the top of Mt Kilimanjaro, watching the glaciers glow in the sunrise and knowing that I had done something amazing.
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