The Rongai Route approaches Kilimanjaro from the north and retains a sense of untouched wilderness lost on the crowded Marangu and Machame trails. The easiest of all the routes, it has a relatively gentle gradient and short daily stages as it winds its way from the starting point just south of the Kenya-Tanzania border. It passes through farmland and forest, past Alpine moorland to the beautiful summit cone. There are magnificent views throughout, with possibilities for wildlife viewing, and an extra day to aid acclimatization as the trails climbs beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The final ascent is arduous and made in darkness, but the reward is a spectacular dawn view of the glaciers and ice cliffs of the summit, and across the East African plains far below. Descending through lush forest, there is time to relax and recover before the flight home.
The Nale Moru (Rongai) route offers the advantage of attempting the climb in relative seclusion compared to the more crowded Marangu and Machame routes. On Kilimanjaro, we have built a number of standards into our mountain services. All cooking is on gas or kerosene stoves (rather than firewood) and all rubbish is carried off the mountain. Hot washing water in bowls is provided to avoid polluting the streams. Porter welfare is another important part of our staff policy.