Rongai Route

The Rongai route is one of the least frequented trekking routes to reach the “Roof of Africa”. The ascent route does not involve any technical climb; however, the trail is gradual and steady, which requires a good level of physical fitness. If you want to avoid to climb the Barranco wall, then this route is a better option for you. However, in terms of acclimatization the route does not have a “walk high, sleep low” profile.

This is the only route that approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the northern side – close to the Kenyan border. The northern side lies in the rain shadow and receives therewith less rain than the other routes – a great alternative if you have to trek during the rainy season (April, May and November). As your ascent and descent on the opposite sides of the mountain, you have the great chance to experience the incredible landscape variety that the mountain has to offer. And there is a higher chance of seeing wildlife on this route.

Tour Duration

7 days, 6 nights (start: day of your choice)

Overnight

camping at designated campsite
includes camping and dinning tent
shared bathroom facilities

Ascent & Descent

ascent via Rongai / descent via Marangu

People Traffic

low

Acclimatization

medium

Interested? Talk to an expert!

Sandra

As an adventurous European travel is in my blood! Tanzania is a fascinating country with so much to explore! It’s a pleasure to share my insider knowledge and offer first-hand advise. I take the time to listen to your ideas and create a unique safari adventure out of these – tailored to your indivudal requirements and designed just for you!

Not sure if this itinerary is suitable for you? You have questions or missing a particular activity? Don’t worry we are here to assist!

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Phone/Whats App +255 788 391 600

Not sure – Talk to an expert

Michael

Let me show you my stunning home country and discover the true Tanzania – authentic and first-hand with a native at your side! As a Tanzanian myself, I am intimately familiar with the local conditions. With my experience in the bush and my passioan for wildlife, I will happily design an itinerary based on your travel interests.

You have any questions or are unsure if Tanzania is the right travel destination for you? Get in touch for a first chat to discuss your requirements!

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Phone/Whats App +255 787 298 159

Detailed Itinerary

Arrival Day

Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). After you have passed the passport control, you will be met by your professional safari guide outside the terminal and transferred to your accommodation in Moshi (driving distance depending on your overnight choice between 45 minutes to 1 hour). Mountain briefing, equipment check and welcome dinner with a relaxing evening before starting your Mount Kilimanjaro adventure on the next morning.

Day 1: Start Trek – Nalemuru Gate to First Cave (Simba) Camp

Start: Nalemuru Gate (1,990 m)
Finish: First Cave Camp (Simba) (2,625 m)
Distance: 8 km
Walking Time: 4 to 6 hours
Climate Zone: montane forest
Highest altitude: 2,625 m

Transfer from your hotel on a picturesque drive through rural Chagga villages to Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. After the park formalities are completed at Nalemuru gate (often also referred to as Rongai gate), you will start your trek through the forest zone. The forest might not be as memorable as those on the southern and western slopes, but you will see that on your way back. You soon reach the edge of the moorland zone with overnight on the shared campsite First Cave.

Day 2: First Cave Camp (Simba) – Second Cave – Kikelewa Camp

Start: First Cave Camp (Simba) (2,625 m)
Finish: Kikelewa Camp (3,630 m)
Distance: 12 km
Walking Time: 6 to 8 hours
Climate Zone: heather and moorland
Highest altitude: 3,630 m

After breakfast you follow an increasingly steep trail through the moorland and heather zone. You will reach the Second Cave in time for lunch. We follow a smaller, but physically more demanding path with a few rocky sections. However, it is a quite enjoyable trek with splendid views towards the peaks Mawenzi and Kibo as well as the ice fields on the Eastern crater rim. Proceed your journey to the shared campsite Kikelewa.

Day 3: Kikelewa Camp – Mawenzi Tarn

Start: Kikelewa Camp (3,630 m)
Finish: Mawenzi Tarn (4,310 m)
Distance: 5 km
Walking Time: 3 to 4 hours
Climate Zone: alpine desert
Highest altitude: 4,310 m

Today you follow a short but steep trail to the shared campsite of Mawenzi Tarn. As you leave the heather and moorland zone and emerge into the alpine desert zone, the landscape is changing dramatically. Arrival at the camp in time for lunch. The Mawenzi Tarn campsite is located right underneath the sharp peak of Mawenzi. The rest of the day is dedicated to relaxation or if you like you can explore the area on a short walk.

Day 4: Acclimatization Day at Mawenzi Tarn

Start: Mawenzi Tarn (4,310 m)
Finish: Mawenzi Tarn (4,310 m)
Distance: 4 km
Walking Time: 3 to 4 hours
Highest altitude: 4,390 m

Today’s day is designated as acclimatization day and a must for us! Several paths lead up towards Mawenzi Ridge and you will be rewarded with splendid views onto Kibo peak. Return to your campsite for lunch and time to rest.

Day 5: Mawenzi Tarn – Kibo Camp

Start: Mawenzi Tarn (4,310 m)
Finish: Kibo Camp (4,700 m)
Distance: 9 km
Walking Time: 4 to 6 hours
Climate Zone: alpine desert
Highest altitude: 4,700 m

After breakfast you gradually proceed your trek across the “Saddle”. The saddle is a lunar-like volcanic desert between the peaks Mawenzi and Kibo. The landscape of the saddle is like nothing you have ever seen before and you might grasp a look onto some everlasting flowers. Shortly before you reach Kibo Camp you will be joining the path with climbers from the Marangu route. You will have an early dinner and head to bed afterwards for your summit attempt at midnight.

Day 6: Kibo Camp – Summit to Uhuru Peak – Horombo Camp

Start: Kibo Camp (4,700 m)
Finish: Horombo Camp (3,700 m)
Distance: 21 km
Walking Time: 14 to 16 hours
Climate Zone: arctic (stone scree and ice-capped summit)
Highest altitude: 5,895 m

Around midnight you start your trek to the summit. Reaching the summit is the hardest part of your trek – both mentally and physically. The weather at this height can be extreme. Our motto remains “Pole, Pole” – one tiny little step after the other! The route takes you on a rock terrain to Hans Meyer Point at 5,250 m and then zigzags towards Gilman’s Point at 5,681 m. From here it is another 200 m in height to Uhuru Peak.

If you feel strong enough to continue, it is a three-hour round trip along the crater rim to the highest point of Africa. Finally, you reach Uhuru Peak at 5,895 m. Congratulations – there are no words to describe the feeling of reaching the top of Mount Kiliamanjaro! After a few moments, you will descent via Kibo Camp down to Horombo Camp for dinner and overnight. To avoid injury on your way down, pay close attention to where you put your feet.

Day 7: Horombo Camp – Marangu Gate - Moshi/Arusha

Start: Horombo Camp (3,700 m)
Finish: Marangu Gate (1,860 m)
Distance: 17 km
Walking Time: 5 to 7 hours
Climate Zone: montane forest

This is your final day on the mountain. After breakfast you continue your descent onto Marangu Gate. Your driver/guide will transfer you back to your lodge for a well-earned shower and rest.