The "desert route" has its own very special charm.



ROUTE OVERVIEW

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 north side receives less precipitation).

The minimum number of days required for this route is six 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.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive in Tanzania

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: no meal Included

 

Day 2: Nalemoru Gate (1990m) to Simba Camp (2625m)

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 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

 

Day 3: Simba camp (2626m) – Kikelewa Camp (3679m)

Approx. time taken: 6 – 7 hours

Distance: Approximately 11.8 km

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 continue 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 a 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.

 

Day 4: Kikelewa Cave (3679m) – Mawenzi Tarn camp (4303m)

Distance covered: 8km / 5mi

Approx. time taken: 4 – 5 hours

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.

 

Day 5: Mawenzi Tarn camp (4303m) – Kibo hut (4730m)

Distance covered: 8km / 5mi

Approx. time taken: 5 – 6 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.

 

Day 6 – Kibo hut (4730m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo hut (3705m)

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

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 scree, 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 Gillmans 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.

 

Day 7: Horombo hut (3705m) – Marangu Gate (1860m)

Hiking time: 6 hours

Distance: Approximately 29 km

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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!!

 

Day 8: Depart Tanzania

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 and other add-on are available if you wish to continue exploring Tanzania

Meals: Breakfast Included

 

Pricing for the Kilimanjaro Rongai Route 6 days (per person)

1 Person

2-3 Persons

4-5 Persons

6-9 Persons

10 Persons and more

1860 USD

1710 USD

1560 USD

1520 USD

1470 USD

See what's included / not included in the price