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Mt Kilimanjaro - Rongai Route

7 Days/6 Nights

The Rongai route ascends Kilimanjaro from the northeastern side of the mountain, from the village of Nalemoru, just east of Rongai village on the border of Tanzania and Kenya. The route is considered technically easy and retains a sense of untouched wilderness that is lost on the more crowded routes of Marangu and Machame.

Rongai is a popular choice for hikers in the rainy season as the north side of Kilimanjaro always experiences much less rain. It is the easiest of all the Kilimanjaro trekking routes as it has a gentle gradient. The trek winds through farmland, forest and Alpine moorland on its way to the summit and trekkers will experience a more intimate wilderness experience and greater chances for wildlife sightings.

You will marvel at the magnificent views throughout your trek. The day to summit is arduous and made in darkness to ensure that you will summit at sunrise. The reward for your hard work is nothing short of spectacular as you gaze out across the glaciers and ice cliffs of the summit and across the East African plains far below.

Budget Standard Luxury Campsite Permanent Campsite Lodge Hotel

Safari Highlights

  • Only northern approach route to Mount Kilimanjaro's summit
  • Considered the easiest of all the routes
  • Offers a true wilderness experience on the early stages of the climb
  • Very tough final summit night
  • Less natural acclimatisation with no opportunities to "walk high, sleep low"
  • Fully catered camping
  • Very beautiful route and very gentle ascent
  • Drier, more open, allowing for better view
  • Available emergency evacuation service (Flying Doctor - Air Ambulance 24Hrs)
  • Wildlife sightings common
  • Easy climb, high success rates
  • Remote and unspoilt - very few climbers

Safari at a Glance

1Arrival in Moshi
2Rongai Gate (1950m) to First Cave Camp (2600m)First Cave Campsite
3First Cave Campsite (2600m) to Kikelewa Cave (3600m)Kikelewa Cave Camp
4Kikelewa Cave (3600m) to Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4330m)Mawenzi Tarn Camp
5Mawenzi Tarn Camp ( 4330m) to Kibo Hut (4700m)Kibo Hut
6Kibo Hut (4700m) to Uhuru Peak (5895m) to Horombo Hut (3720m)Horombo Hut
7Horombo Hut (3720m) to Marangu Gate (1980m)
The Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Moshi

Meals: None

Jambo, welcome to Tanzania. You will be transferred to your accommodation in Moshi where you will attend a pre-departure meeting with your Kilimanjaro guide to go over last minute details of your upcoming trek.

Day 2: Rongai Gate (1950m) to First Cave Camp (2600m)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The Rongai trek begins from the village of Nalemoru(1950m). After signing in and preparing the porters your trek begins on a small path that winds through farmers fields of maize and potatoes before making way to pine forest. A variety of wildlife, including the Kilimanjaro Colobus Monkey may be spotted in the pine forest and rainforest zones. Pitch your tent at First Cave Campsite.

Trekking time: 3-4hrs

Day 3: First Cave Campsite (2600m) to Kikelewa Cave (3600m)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The morning walk is a steady ascent up to the Kikelewe Cave Camp enroute you will enjoy spectacular views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. After lunch, leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi.

Hiking Time: 3-5 hrs

Day 4: Kikelewa Cave (3600m) to Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4330m)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb views and a real sense of remote wilderness. The eastern ice fields on the crater rim continue to draw you upwards. Trek beyond the limits of vegetation and enjoy a free afternoon to explore the surrounding area and acclimatize. You will spend you evening at the Mawenzi Tarn Camp, at 4330m.

Hiking Time: 4 hrs

Day 5: Mawenzi Tarn Camp ( 4330m) to Kibo Hut (4700m)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today you will be trekking through alpine desert. Cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach School campsite (4750m) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final early morning ascent. This is where you join the popular Marangu route. Swap tales with fellow trekkers at Kibo Hut, where you will prepare for your ascent to the summit.

Hiking Time: 5 hrs

Day 6: Kibo Hut (4700m) to Uhuru Peak (5895m) to Horombo Hut (3720m)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today is summit day. It is a long and very demanding day. You will start out in darkness and a head torch is a great item to use at this time. You will trek over frozen scree as we pass Williams Point and Hans Meyer Cave. After the  cave the gradient gets steeper and the walk becomes very difficult. After 5-6hours you will reach Gilman’s Point. From here you can see down into the snow filled crater, across to the spectacular stepped cliffs of the Eastern Icefields back down to The Saddle. From Gilman’s to Uhuru Peak takes a further 2 1/2 hours. Once you have reached the peak you will have an  opportunity to enjoy the views and take photos before starting your descent. The trek down is much easier than the trek up. You will make it down to Horombo Hut in 3-4 hours. You will enjoy a hot lunch and rest before you complete your descent tomorrow.

Hiking Time: 12-14hrs

Day 7: Horombo Hut (3720m) to Marangu Gate (1980m)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Today we will retrace our ascent as we make our way down Mount Kilimanjaro. A hot lunch will be enjoyed at Mandara HutYou will arrive at Marangu Gate to receive your certificate. If you made it to Uhuru Peak you will receive a gold certificate, those that make it as far as Gilman’s will receive a green certificate. You will then be transferred to your accommodation of choice or to your starting point for your onward journey. You may choose to add a safari on to this itinerary or one of our optional activities as your next destination.

Hiking Time: 5-7hrs

What's Included?

  • 1 night before and after the climb in Moshi in hotel (BB)
  • Transport to and from Moshi
  • All National Park fees
  • Guide and porter fees
  • Tented accommodation based on twin share
  • All food whilst on the trek

What's Not Included?

  • Airport Transfers $20 each way
  • Single supplements for private tent or room use ($120)
  • Private parties of two persons or less ($300 per trip)
  • Extra Porter $15
  • Bottled water for rescue/emergency use $120
  • Gamow bag, per trip $150
  • Private Toilet per trip $120
  • Sleeping bag rental per trip$40
  • Trekking poles rental per trip $12