Rongai Route 7 Days

Route Description

The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, this route still experiences low crowds. Rongai has a more gradual slope than the mountain’s other routes.

It is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the popular 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). Rongai is a moderately difficult route, and is highly recommended, especially for those with less backpacking experience.

Although the scenery is not as varied as the western routes, Rongai makes up for this by passing through true wilderness areas for nearly the entire way. Descent is made via the Marangu route.

Wabantu Trekking we offers Rongai as a seven-day group climb or a six or seven private climb. The six-day variation does not have an acclimatization day on day four at Mawenzi Tarn.


    DAY 1

    • Rongai Gate to Simba Camp
    • Elevation:2364m to 2600m  (ft.) 6,398.ft to 9,300.ft
    • Distance: 7 km/ 4.6 miles
    • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
    • Habitat: Rain Forest

    We drive from Moshi to Rongai Gate for permits before trekking. The path winds through corn and potato fields and then climbs gently through the forest which is home to a variety of wildlife, including the black and white colobus monkey.

    DAY 2

    • Simba Camp to Second Cave
    • Elevation: 2600m to 3450m (ft.)9,300.ft to 11,300.ft
    • Distance: 6 km/4 miles
    • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
    • Habitat: Heath

    • Second Cave to Kikelewa Cave
    • Elevation: 3450m to 3600m (ft.) 11,30.ft to 11,811.ft
    • Distance: 6 km/4 miles
    • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
    • Habitat: Heath

    We begin this morning with a steady incline up to Second Cave. We continue trekking though moorland, leaving the main trail for a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi, before finally arriving at Kikelewa Cave for the night.

    DAY 3

    • Kikelewa Cave to Mawenzi Tarn
    • Elevation: 3600m to 4330m (ft.)11,811.ft to 14,160.ft
    • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
    • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
    • Habitat: Alpine Desert

    The hike today is short and steep up a grassy slope. Views of the wilderness area are stunning. As we exit the heath zone and emerge into the Alpine Desert zone, the landscape changes dramatically. Our camp is situated beneath the jagged spires of Mawenzi, at Mawenzi Tarn. The remainder of the day can be spent relaxing or exploring the area.

    DAY 4

    • Mawenzi Tarn to Mawenzi Ridge
    • Elevation: 4330m to 4420m (ft.) 14,160.ft -14,400.ft
    • Distance: 2 km/1 mile
    • Hiking Time: 1-2 hours
    • Habitat: Alpine Desert

    • Mawenzi Ridge to Mawenzi Tarn
    • Elevation (ft.): 14,400.ft -14,160.ft
    • Distance: 2 km/1 mile
    • Hiking Time: 1-2 hours
    • Habitat: Alpine Desert

    This is an extra day meant for acclimatization and can be spent day hiking on Mawenzi Ridge. The unique landscape offers motivating views of Kibo and Mawenzi. After spending a few moments exploring the area we head back to Mawenzi Tarn for camp.

    DAY 5

    • Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut
    • Elevation: 4330m to 4720m (ft.) 14,160.ft to 15,430.ft
    • Distance: 8 km/5 miles
    • Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
    • Habitat: Alpine Desert

    We climb gradually, then cross the lunar desert of the “Saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo. Our camp, Kibo Hut, sits at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Once here we rest, enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day.

    DAY 6

    • Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak
    • Elevation: 4720m to 5895m (ft.) 15,430.ft to 19,341.ft
    • Distance: 6 km/4 miles
    • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
    • Habitat: Arctic

    • Uhuru Peak to Horombo Hut
    • Elevation: 5895m to 3700m (ft.) 19,341.ft to 12,250.ft
    • Distance: 16 km/10 miles
    • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
    • Habitat: Heath

    Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. At Gilman’s point (18,600 ft.), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

    After spending a few moments taking in the plains of Africa and your accomplishment, we descend to Horombo Hut. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

    DAY 7

    • Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate
    • Elevation: 3700m to 1980m (ft.) 12,205.ft to 6,046.ft
    • Distance: 19 km/12 miles
    • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
    • Habitat: Rain ForestOn last day, You have a long trek mostly downhill through the tropical rainforest. Once at the park headquarters at Marangu gate, we collect our summit certificates. A vehicle will meet you here and drive us back to the hotel in Moshi or Arusha.

    Items included:

    • Meeting at Kilimanjaro International Airport;
    • Transfer to the hotel  to Moshi or Arusha
    • Accommodation prior to the climb (including breakfast; sharing a twin room);
    • Transfer to the starting point.
    • Professional mountain crew. All guides have “Wilderness First Responder” and “Wilderness First Aid” certificates, along with over 10 years of experience in climbing. Each participant will be provided with a porter (who can carry up to 15 kg of personal baggage)
    • Kilimanjaro National Park rescue fees;
    • Camping/hut fees;
    • 3 square meals daily. The menu includes different soups, garnishes, several types of fish and meat, fresh fruit and vegetables; vegetarian options are available upon request;
    • Oxygen systems and pulse oximeters;
    • First aid kit;
    • Group equipment (dining tent, table, chairs, crockery and cutlery);
    • Meeting the group at the National Park exit and transfer to the hotel;
    • Accommodation after the climb (including breakfast; sharing a twin room);
    • Comfortable sleeping pads.
    • Return transfer to Kilimanjaro airport.

    * Basic tour package price includes sharing a twin room. If you need a single bed accommodation only, you should inform us before the tour.

    ** During the climb you will share a tent with 1-2 other climbers, depending on the number of participants. If you need an individual tent, please, contact us. Single accommodation at sleeping huts on Marangu is impossible.

    Items excluded:

    • Airline tickets;
    • Visa fee;
    • Lunch and dinner at the hotel
    • Personal gears
    • Tips for the mountain crew and Safari Driver.
    • Travel insurance.