Rongai Route

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, Rongai has low traffic. It is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the crowded Marangu route, for those who would like a more remote hike, and for those who are climbing during the rainy season The minimum number of days required for this route is 6 days, and seven days are recommended. Although the scenery is not as varied as the western routes, Rongai makes up for this by passing through true wilderness areas for days before joining the Marangu route at Kibo camp. This route descends down the Marangu route. Rongai is a moderately difficult route, and is highly recommended, especially for those with less backpacking experience.

You will be picked up at the Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to your hotel in Moshi town; you will meet your guide who will brief you on your upcoming trek and do an equipment check to make sure you have all the necessary mountain gear. The missing gear can be rented on this day.

● Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

This morning we will drive to the village of Nale Moru for the starting point of the Rongai route. The first stage of the trek is through farmland and pine forests. You may have a chance to see the beautiful Colobus monkeys or if you’re lucky enough, elephants or buffalos en route. Our first camp will be the Simba Camp located at the edge of the moorland zone at 2625m.

Distance covered: 8km / 5mi
Approx. time taken: 4 – 5 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

We hike from Simba camp up towards Kibo till 3 482m for lunch at First Caves, a distance of 5.8km. After lunch we continued trekking until reaching Kikelewa Camp at about 3679 metres. The views start to open up and you begin to feel you’re on a really big mountain! Water can be found in an obvious stream below the cave, although you might have to wander downhill a way to find a pool or two. Enjoy dinner and overnight at Kikelewa camp.

Approx. time taken: 6 – 7 hours
Distance: Approximately 11.8 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

A short but steep climb up grassy slopes offers superb views of this wilderness area. The vegetation zone ends shortly before you reach your next camp at Mawenzi Tarn, spectacularly situated beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. Spend the afternoon acclimatizing and exploring the area.

Distance covered: 8km / 5mi
Approx. time taken: 4 – 5 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

After breakfast we head west and continue ascending on the east side of Kibo crossing the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo taking 4 to 5 hours to reach Kibo Hut. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent, which begins around midnight. Overnight at Kibo hut. Distance covered: 8km / 5mi

Approx. time taken: 5 – 6 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

You will rise around 23h20, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night, and this is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot.

The path then zigzags up to Gillman’s point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone screens, requiring a great physical and mental effort. This is probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly. From Gilman’s Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa.

Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it
Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend, taking photographs, before the 3 hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest at Kibo hot, you gather all your gear you left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) for your overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office) on the mountain and a well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.

Approx. time taken: 7 to 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 6 to 8 hours to descend to Horombo
Distance: Approxim 12 – 15 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely.

At Marangu gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Gillman’s Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive gold certificates.

You now drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, dinner descent bed and celebrations!!

Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: Approximately 29 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

The day is left free to wind down after the trek before your flight home. Depending on flight times you could go and explore Moshi town and grab some gift shops before heading to the airport.

*Safari, Zanzibar and other add-ons are available if you wish to continue exploring Tanzania

Meals: Breakfast Included

You will be picked up at the Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to your hotel in Moshi town; you will meet your guide who will brief you on your upcoming trek and do an equipment check to make sure you have all the necessary mountain gear. The missing gear can be rented on this day.

● Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

This morning we will drive to the village of Nale Moru for the starting point of the Rongai route. The first stage of the trek is through farmland and pine forests. You may have a chance to see the beautiful Colobus monkeys or if you’re lucky enough, elephants or buffalos en route. Our first camp will be the Simba Camp located at the edge of the moorland zone at 2625m.

Distance covered: 8km / 5mi
Approx. time taken: 4 – 5 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

The morning hike is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave Camp located in the moorland zone with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. After lunch we will continue with our hike to Kikelelwa camp.

●  Distance: 12km/8miles,

●  Hiking Time: 6-8 hours,

●  Eleven: 9,300 ft to 11,811 ft

●  Habitat: Heath.

After breakfast, we start a short and steep grassy slope hike to Mawenzi Tarn hut camp, with a stunning view of the wilderness area. The landscape will be changing dramatically as the Heath zone becomes Alpine desert zone. You will overnight at mawenzi tarn camp situated at jagged spires of Mawenzi.

●  Distance: 5km/3miles,

●  Hiking Time: 3-4 hours,

●  Eleven: 11,811 ft to 14,160 ft

●  Habitat: Alpine Desert

Today is acclimatization day of which we spent a few hours hiking to Mawenzi Ridge and returning to the original camp for relaxation. Here there is a unique landscape which offers a motivating view of Kibo and mawenzi. After spending few moments of exploring the area we head back to the camp

●  Distance: 2km/1miles,

●  Hiking Time: 1-2 hours,

●  Eleven: 14,160 ft to 14,400 ft

●  Habitat: Alpine Desert

We leave our campsite and cross the lunar desert of the ‘saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo After a couple hours trekking, reach this spectacular place, with the summit of Kilimanjaro in the background and our trail to the high camp stretched out before our eyes. Upon reaching our camp the remainder of the day will be spent resting in preparation of the final ascent after a very early night!

●  Distance: 8km/5miles,

●  Hiking Time: 5-6 hours,

●  Eleven: 14,160 ft to 15,430 ft

●  Habitat: Alpine Desert

Today is “The Big Day” – the summit stage. You will begin your final ascent around midnight which will be long and strenuous. Passing the Hans Meyer Cave at 5220m, the climb slowly but surely goes upwards. At sunrise, you will reach Gillman’s Point (5681m) – the crater rim of Kilimanjaro – where the sun will slowly start to warm up the land. You will have soon forgotten the cold of the night and after a further hike of 1 – 2 hours, you will reach Uhuru Peak at 5895m. On your return to Kibo Hut, a warm meal awaits you followed by a 1 – 2-hour break before proceeding back down to Horombo Hut.

●  Distance: 6km/4miles and 16km/10miles

●  Hiking Time: 6-8 hours & 4-5 hours

●  Eleven:15,430 ft to 19,341 to 12,250 ft.

●  Habitat: Arctic and Heath

The last stage passes through the heath and moor zone to the Mandara Hut (2700m) where a warm lunch is waiting for you. Soon, you will once again pass the tropical rainforest and after a total time of 6 hours trekking, you will be back at the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (1860m). After saying goodbye to your mountain guides, a short transfer follows to take you back to your hotel in Moshi. Once there, you can take a warm and relaxing shower and celebrate your success in reaching the summit of the Kilimanjaro.

●  Distance: 20km/12miles

●  Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

●  Eleven:12,205 ft to 6,046

●  Habitat: Rain Forest

The day is left free to wind down after the trek before your flight home. Depending on flight times you could go and explore Moshi town and grab some gift shops before heading to the airport.

*Safari, Zanzibar and other add-ons are available if you wish to continue exploring Tanzania

● Meals: Breakfast Included

●  Private transport to & from Kilimanjaro International Airport to your accommodations in Moshi.

●  2 nights of accommodation in Moshi.

●  Transportation to & from the Kilimanjaro gate

●  Park entry fees,

●  Camping fees

●  Crater fee (if any)

●  Team Kilimanjaro Rescue fees

●  18% VAT on tour fees & services

●  4 Season mountain tents

●  Sleeping Mats 4 inches (10cm) thick

●  Friendly and professional mountain guides, cook and porters

●  3 meals daily while on the mountain

●  Enough treated & filtered drinking water throughout the trek

●  Hot water for washing

●  Fair wages for the mountain crew

●  Government taxes

●  Ox meter

●  Emergency first-aid kit

●  Stethoscope

●  Mountain climbing certificates

●  Drinks at your hotel before and after the climb.

●  Portable flush toilet with a toilet and tent

●  Portable oxygen tanks

●  Travel insurance

●  Flights

●  Laundry (Available at the hotel)

●  Personal items and toiletries

●  Tips for guides, porters and cook

From the trekking group (not per climber):

• Guides: $20/day/guide
• Cook: $15/day
• Porter: $10/day/porter

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Hikers at the summit sign of Uhuru Peak, Kibo, Kilimanjaro at 5895m amsl in Tanzania. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa. Sunrise, people in shadow, not recognizable. Photo cross processed.
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