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 Simba Camp (2635 m)
Following breakfast, you will have a briefing from your guide. Then, at 8 am, our staff will drive you from your hotel in Moshi to the wooded village of Nale Muru. The drive past villages and many coffee plantations will take 4-5 hours. When you arrive, your guides and porters will prepare your equipment and supplies during your complete registration with the Kilimanjaro Park Office.
You will begin your trek through fields of maise and potatoes before you enter the pine forest. Your ascent begins in the forest occupied by various wildlife. The forest trees become sparser as you reach the Simba Camp, which is near the First Cave. You will camp at the edge of the moorland zone with spectacular views of the plains of Kenya. When you arrive, you will find your Camp and tent is already set up by the porters who ran ahead. They will bring you boiled drinking water and washing water in preparation for dinner.
Day 3: Simba Camp (2635 m) to Second Cave (3450 m) - Kikelewa Cave (3600 m)
After breakfast, you pack up for the day’s trek, which will consist of moorland terrain. The trek to Second Cave is pretty consistent concerning grade and ascent. Along the way, you will catch some terrific views of Kibo and get your first glimpse of the ice fields on the Eastern crater rim. The small shrubs of the moorland became thinner as you approve the Second Cave. This is where you will stop for a short rest and have your lunch.
At this point, you will break off of the beaten path and head east across the moorland on a less-travelled path toward Mawenzi. After trekking 10km, you will enter a cosy valley filled with the giant Senecios plants and the nearby Kikelewa Cave. It is here at the Kikelewa Camp where you will settle in for the night.
Day 4: Kikelewa Cave (3600 m) to Mawenzi Tarn (4315 m)
After breakfast and packing, you begin your relatively short hiking day ascending steep, grassy slopes. Atop the slopes, you are gifted with a beautiful 360 panoramic view. Continuing, you leave behind all traces of vegetation as you enter into the semi-desert terrain. It doesn’t take long now to reach the Mawenzi Tarn, which sits beneath the soaring peaks of Mawenzi. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring this exciting range.
Day 5: Mawenzi Tarn (4315 m) to Mawenzi Ridge (4390 m) - Mawenzi Tarn (4315 m)
This is your extra day on Kilimanjaro, referred to as acclimatisation day, but you won’t just sit around at Camp. The secret to the higher success rate of the 7-day itinerary is in today’s acclimatisation hike. You will begin your day like any other on the mountain and then start a short walk towards Mawenzi.
Depending on how you feel and your pace, you will ascend for 2-3 hours before returning to Camp. Roundtrip typically takes 3-5 hours. You will spend another night here at Mawenzi Tarn before continuing your journey to Uhuru Peak.
Day 6: Mawenzi Tarn (4315 m) to Kibo Huts (4730 m)
After an early breakfast and packing your daypack, you begin your hike by crossing the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo. The terrain here resembles that of a lunar desert. You will begin your hike early in the morning to ensure you reach the next Camp in time to rest before your summit bid. Today’s hike will take you just below the Kibo crater wall, where you will camp in the Kibo Huts.
At this point, you will join up with the Marangu Route, which you will use to hike to the summit. You will prepare your clothing and equipment (replace batteries for headlamp and camera) before you go to bed by 7 am and try to catch a few hours of shut-eye before your summit attempt!
Day 7: Kibo Hut (4730 m) to Uhuru Peak (5895 m) - Horombo Hut (3720 m)
Wake for breakfast at midnight and prepare for your summit ascent. Depart at 1 am to reach a peak near the same time as sunrise. Your trek will be full of switchbacks, winding you up the steep scree before reaching Gilman’s Point on the rim of the crater (18,640 ft/5,861 m) between 5 and 7 am. Here, you are greeted by the snow-filled hole and its icecaps. Hiking along the crater rim, you will reach Uhuru Peak around 9 am.
Congratulations, you are now standing on the roof of Africa! You will have time to take pictures with the world-famous Uhuru Peak sign, but it is essential to begin your descent soon to allow yourself enough time to rest at the Kibo Huts. Upon reaching back to Kibo, have lunch, grab some much-needed rest, pack up, and return to the Horombo Huts. Enjoy some dinner and some well-deserved sleep.
Day 8: Horombo Huts (3,720 m) to Marangu Gate (1844 m)
As usual, wake up for breakfast, pack, and descend back through the moorland to the Mandara Huts for lunch. Continue your descent through the rainforest, reaching the park gate around 2 or 3 pm. A 45-minute drive and you will be back at the hotel in Moshi. It’s time to celebrate!
Day 9: 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 2,366 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