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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in Tanzania

Conquer Mount Kilimanjaro on the Rongai Route

Along the way, you’ll pass through the mountain’s diverse landscape zones to the arctic heights of Uhuru peak…

By John Chitanda
Kilimanjaro Mountain Guide

Summit mighty Mount Kilimanjaro on this popular, eight-day trek. Along the way, you’ll pass through the mountain’s diverse landscape zones, from savannah bushland to lush montane rainforest and moorland, alpine desert and the arctic heights of the summit. I’d recommend Rongai for new trekkers because it’s a relatively gentle, scenic route up the mountain with plenty of time to acclimatise. The only difficult section is summit night.

Days start early with steaming hot drinks as you emerge from your tent. Being on Kilimanjaro is a chance to leave your fast-paced normal life behind and slow down – your only task every day is to place one foot in front of the other. You’ll trek between four and 14 hours a day, ascending thousands of metres in altitude, becoming completely immersed in the beauty of nature along the way.

Trekkers love the different landscapes, the flower-filled moorlands and clean, pure air in the rainforests where you might spot monkeys and baboons. At Mawenzi Tarn, you’re set beneath the spires of Mawenzi, where you’ll see multi-coloured rock formations. Many people love being on the rim of the crater but for me, since Kilimanjaro is the only place in Tanzania where you can see glaciers, this is my favourite part of the trek.

As well as a guide, you’ll be accompanied by our team of friendly local porters who’ll carry our gear from camp to camp. We’ll prepare hearty meals of potatoes, rice and pasta, with eggs and vegetables – the menu can be tailored to your tastes. Rather than use the public toilets available, I’d suggest hiring a private portable toilet, which is much more comfortable. Trekkers love interacting with the porters, they often tell me that meeting them is one of the highlights of their trek.

On summit night, we bundle up in lots of layers and leave before dawn. We go very poli poli – slowly – up the steep slopes, which have a gradient of over 35 degrees. It’s a very challenging climb but worth it when you zigzag up to Gilman’s Point on the crater rim to watch the sunrise. When guests finally reach the summit of Uhuru, it’s an emotional moment. The view is spectacular in the early-morning light, with Africa spread below as you sit high above the clouds.


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Alfred & John Chitanda

John Chitanda is an experienced mountain guide who has been leading treks on Mount Kilimanjaro since 2002. He is proud to have summited the mountain over 500 times and feels lucky to work in such a beautiful environment. John enjoys meeting trekkers from all over the world and helping them achieve their dream of summiting Africa's highest peak.
John Chitanda, Mount Kilimanjaro hiking guide

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Gemma, who's travelled extensively in Tanzania. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it on their own. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the rangers who'll ensure you'll spot the best wildlife, the village chiefs who'll give you a genuine insight into local life and the camp managers who can recommend the very best spot to enjoy your sundowner.

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