Rongai Route Overview:
Rongai is the only route commencing and ascends on the northern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, nearing the Kenyan border. The route has some more gradual ascents favouring excellent acclimatisation and offers the closest to a wilderness experience. However, the route attracts fewer climbers; thus, we recommend it to those who prefer quieter trail and secluded trekking experiences.
The route Beginning from the Rongai gate, crosses several diverse climate zones, passing through Mawenzi tarn and summiting the highest peak from Kibo hut. The descent is made via the Marangu route.
Six and seven-day itineraries are offered, though the extended option is highly recommended to improve acclimatisation.
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Day 1: Kilimanjaro International Airport to Moshi Town
Upon your arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be welcomed by our representative and driver, and you will be taken to a hotel in Moshi Town. In the evening, you will enjoy a quick briefing conducted by our professional Mountain Guide about your trekking and ensure you are ready for climbing. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 2: Rongai Gate (1950 m) to 1st Caves Camp (2600 m)
After an early breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the Marangu Gate (1980 m). The porters will organise and pack the belongings for the hike at the gate while you and your guide register with the Tanzania National Park (TANAPA). You will then be transferred by vehicle to the Rongai trailhead, which is 2.5 hours away from the Marangu Gate.
The trail begins in the tall cornfields then leads into the pine forest. This trail has a gradual ascent and allows hikers to enjoy their surroundings. About halfway up the trail, you will have a lunch break, and you will reach the 1st Caves Camp (2600 m) in the late afternoon or early evening. The porters and chef, who move very fast up the mountain, will reach camp before you, set up your tents, boil drinking water, and prepare snacks for your arrival. After washing up, a hot dinner will be served. For overnight, mountain temperatures may drop to freezing, so be prepared!
Day 3: 1st Cave Camp (2600 m) to Second Cave (3450 m) - Kikelewa Cave (3600 m)
Following a hot breakfast, hikers will continue their ascent to Kikelewa Cave (3600 m). The trail passes Second Cave (3450 m), and this is an excellent spot to take a lunch break. Similar to the first night, your tents will be set up before arriving at camp, and the porters will prepare drinking and washing water for you. You will enjoy evening snacks then dinner prepared by our chef. Be prepared for a cold night as temperatures drop below freezing at this exposed camp.
Day 4: Kikelewa Cave (3600 m) to Mawenzi Tarn (4315 m)
On this day, hikers will enjoy a short yet steep trail to Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4330 m). In the moorland, you will spot exotic plants, including giant lobelia and groundsel. At camp, hikers will enjoy spectacular views and allow their bodies to acclimate. Hot dinner and washing water will be prepared for hikers as they enjoy the magnificent sunset.
Day 5: Mawenzi Tarn (4315 m) to Kibo Huts (4730 m)
After breakfast, hikers will continue ascending east for a half-day hike to Kibo Hut. Kibo, located in the “Saddle,” refers to an area between peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo in an alpine desert. There is no water at this camp, but hikers can buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. An early dinner will be served so hikers can rest before attempting the summit the same night. Your guide will brief you in detail on how to prepare for summit night. Get to sleep by 19:00!
Day 6: Kibo Hut (4730 m) to Uhuru Peak (5895 m) - Horombo Hut (3720 m)
Your guide will wake you around midnight for tea and biscuits. You will then begin your summit attempt. The trail is rocky up to Hans Meyer Cave (5150 m). You continue your ascent to Gillman’s point (5681 m). Reaching this section is an impressive achievement as the trail is steep, rocky, and high altitude. Gillman’s located on the crater rim. From this point, you will usually experience a snow-covered trail until you reach the summit, Uhuru Peak (5895 m).
Reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro is a lifetime accomplishment! You will be able to spend a short time on the summit taking photographs and drinking tea before the descent to Barafu begins. The hike down to Kibo Hut takes about 3 hours. At Kibo Hut, you will rest and enjoy a hot lunch in the sun. After eating, you will continue descending to Horombo Hut (3720 m). You will have dinner, wash, and rest soundly at the hut after a strenuous day.
Day 7: Horombo Huts (3720 m) - Marangu Gate (1844 m)
Following a well-deserved breakfast, your staff will have a big celebration full of dancing and singing. Here on the mountain, you will present your tips to the guide, assistant guides, chef(s), and porters. After celebrating, you will descend 6 hours back to Marangu Gate (1980 m). The National Park requires all hikers to sign their names to receive certificates of completion. Hikers who reached Gillman’s Point (5681 m) receive green certificates, and hikers who reached Uhuru Peak (5895 m) receive gold certificates. After receiving the certificate, you will drive back to the hotel for long overdue showers and more celebrations.
Day 8: Moshi Town - Kilimanjaro Airport
After getting some rest and refreshment at the hotel, your driver-guide will take you to the Kilimanjaro International Airport, ready for your flight back home. Alternatively, you can extend your trip to Tanzania and go on a wildlife encounter safari or relax at the tropical islands and turquoise water of the Indian Ocean.
USD 2,220 Per Person Sharing
- Two nights bed and breakfast accommodation in Moshi Town
- Full board accommodation on the mountain
- All park fees
- Camping equipment (tents, sleeping mats, chairs, tables)
- Oxygen cylinder - only for emergency
- English speaking guide
- Mountain crew (cook and porters)
- First aid kit and pulse oximeter
- Bottled drinking water
- Mentioned transfers
- Sleeping bags
- Travel insurance
- Visa fees
- International Flights
- All meals and drinks in Moshi town