6 Days Rongai Route

Less crowded because of its remote location the route offers trekkers a unique wilderness experience where it is possible to see large wildlife like antelope, elephant and buffalo. As there is typically less moisture on this side of the mountain you are less likely to encounter rain and have more unclouded views of the peak.  While it is flatter, it does not give the climb high sleep low option and therefore recommended to select more days for acclimatization.

Rongai is the only route to approach Kilimanjaro from the north and the descent is via the Marangu Route.

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Route Itinerary

Departing from Moshi a 4-5 hour drive will take you through the coffee plantations and Village of Nale Muru to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. We will patiently wait for our permits to be issued while watching the hustle and bustle of operations as many crews prepare for the journey ahead Enjoy the beautiful wooded scenery, and windy trails while your guide tells you about the local flora and fauna and natural wildlife you are likely to see. Simba camp sits near the first cave at the edge of the moorland zone with spectacular views of the plains of Kenya.

Time: 4hrs 

About 6 km (Rongai to Simba Camp)

A longer day’s trekking today, gaining close to 1000 meters. A steady walk in the morning leads to the Second Cave, where we take lunch in sight of the peak of Kibo and the ice fields on the crater rim. After lunch, we turn off towards the jagged summit of Mawenzi and follow a trail across open moorland to a sheltered valley near Kikelewa Caves. Unusual giant tree-groundsels are the dominant plant species on this part of the route.

Time: 8 hrs to 9 hrs (Simba Camp to Second Cave to Kikelelwa Camp)

About 15km (Simba Camp to Second Cave to Kikelelwa Camp)

You begin the short steep climb up grassy slopes with stunning views shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn. The Mawenzi Tarn is spectacular with its cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as to aid in the acclimatization process. If you are spending an extra day on the mountain, you will camp for two nights at Mawenzi Tarn. You can hike up and around Mawenzi for your acclimatization hike.

Time: 4 hrs to 5 hours (Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Camp)

About 7km (Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Camp)

Another short day of around 5 to 6 hours, as we cross the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo, to reach our overnight halt at the Kibo Hut an altitude of 4720m. This camp is directly beneath the Kibo crater wall. We spend the afternoon resting and have an early night in preparation for the big day tomorrow.

Time: 5 – 6 hrs (Mawenzi Camp to Kibo Camp) 

About 11 km (Mawenzi Camp to Kibo Camp)

A very early start as you set off by the light of our headtorches, on a zigzag trail on rough volcanic scree. It is a tough 5 to 6hrs climb of almost 1000 Meter to the crater rim at Gillman’s Point (5,685m), which is a convenient point to rest and watch the sunrise on Mawenzi. It is a further 2-hour round trip to Uhuru Peak the highest point in Africa. Usually in the early morning, the conditions are clear and there are panoramic views over the crater, to Mawenzi and Mount Meru (4565m), looking very small below us. This part of the route takes us through a moonscape of volcanic rock and remnant glaciers with their impressive ice cliffs. After admiring the summit views and taking the obligatory summit photos we pat ourselves on the back for this awesome Achievement. you then retrace your path around the crater rim you make a rapid descent to the Kibo Hut (4700m). You will have lunch here, before setting off on the long descent to your camp at Horombo (3720m). A long day trekking – but so rewarding.

Time: 11 hrs (Up and Down) 

About 16.5 km (Up and Down)

As you descend from Horombo, you begin to encounter more vegetation and the lower part of the route is through pine forest. We pass the traditional first camping place on the Marangu Route at the Mandara Huts and continue our descent to the Marangu Gate (1800m). You will say fond farewell to our trusty guide, staff and the porters who have helped us during the past week and pick up our certificates of ascent, you will have Lunch with our Mountain Crew before transfer to your hotel.

For the climbers who do have a flight to catch, we will drive back to our office in Moshi for quick shower and short rest before you are transferred to the respective airport for your inbound or outbound flight.

Price Includes

  • Two nights accommodation at your hotel in Moshi.
  • All nights’ accommodation in Huts.
  • Professional & experienced mountain guides.
  • All park fees and rescue fees.
  • All meals while on the mountain.
  • Arrival and departure transfers.
  • Guides, Porters and Cook salaries.
  • Large portions of fresh, healthy and nutritious food.
  • Clean, purified drinking water.
  • Sleeping Mattress.
  • 18% VAT to our entrance fees

Price Excludes

  • Flights
  • Sleeping bag
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Visa fees
  • Tips
  • Personal spending money for souvenirs etc.
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional activities