Rongai Route

Rongai Route is the only itinerary, still rarely frequented, that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, near the Kenya border.

Although it is getting more popular over time among climbers, this route is still uncrowded. Rongai Route has a more gradual slope than the other mountain routes and it is therefore recommended for those with less experience with backpacking. It is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the famous routes Marangu and Machame, for those who want a more remote excursion and for those who climb during the rainy season from march till june (the north side is less exposed to rainfall during this season).

Although the scenery is not as varied as the western ones, Rongai can count on fascinating wild areas for almost the entire route and an exciting descent made through the Marangu Route.

For any further information, please check our guide.

Rongai Route: day by day program

Rongai route trekking map

Day 1 – Pick up at Kilimanjaro

Upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro airport, one of our guides will welcome you and bring you to the Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel in Moshi. The rest of the day is free time till the evening when you will attend the trekking briefing during which the guide will check your equipment and give you all the necessary information to undertake this incredible adventure.

Day 2 – Moshi – Rongai Gate (1,950 m) – First Cave (2,620 m)

Hiking time: 3-4 hours.

In the morning you will leave for the Marangu gate. After completing the administrative formalities, you will head, for a couple of hours by jeep, towards the wooden village of Nale Moru, starting point of our path.

The trail winds its way through fields of corn and potatoes, then start going gently up the mountain through a forest which hosts a large variety of wild animals, including the Colobus.

Day 3 – First Cave (2,620 m) – Kikelewa Camp (3,630 m)

Hiking time: 6-8 hours.

Today’s trekking route crosses the moorland areas and will allow you to enjoy the view of Mawenzi and the vast kenyan steppes: magnificent, at the very least. You will have lunch at Second Cave Camp (3,450 m) and after a short break, you will climb to Kikelewa Camp which boasts an incredible view.

Day 4 – Kikelewa Camp (3,630 m) – Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4,310 m)

Hiking time: 3-4 hours.

The scenery will become rather bare with random rock formations. In good weather you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi and the grasslands of the Kenyan savannah. After passing some other rock formations, you will get to Mawenzi Tarn Hut. According to many climbers, this is the most suggestive Camp of the mountain.

Day 5 (optional day) – Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4,310 m)

Hiking time: 3-4 hours.

Acclimatization day. You will hike along a mountain ridge with fantastic views on both sides; the landscape is rough and rocky. After spending some time exploring Mawenzi Ridge, you will return Mawenzi Tarn for resting and getting our body accustomed to an altitude of over 4,000 meters above sea level.

Day 6 – Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4,310 m) – Kibo Hut (4,700 m)

Hiking time: 4-6 hours.

The path gradually climbs through the rocky lunar landscape crossing the “Sella” between Mawenzi and Kibo. The rest of the day will be devoted for resting and getting ready for the final climb.

Day 7 – Kibo Hut (4,700 m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) – Horombo Hut (3,700 m)

Hiking time: 12-14 hours.

Today is the Big Day. The starting time is really in the middle of the night when the lava ash is still frozen and it is easier to walk. Passing first through the Hans Meyer cave (5,220 m), and climbing slowly, at dawn, you will reach the Gilman point (5,681 m) on the edge of the crater. After couple of hours, you will reach Uhuru Peak, the “roof of Africa”. The descent follows the same path and the lava ash has now thawed and will allow a rapid descent. In Kibo Hut you will get a hot meal and some rest to recover strength. After the break, you will get to Horombo Hut and this very long and exciting day is ended.

Day 8 – Horombo Hut (3,700 m) – Marangu Gate (1,860 m) – Arusha

Hiking time: 6-7 hours.

The last stage passes through the heath to Mandara Hut where you will have lunch. You will be back soon to the lush tropical rainforest and after about 6-7 hours of trekking, you will reach the gate of the Kilimanjaro National Park. Once got to the park entrance, we will carry on with a private vehicle with final destination the Tulia Boutique Hotel & Spa in Arusha.

Day 9 – Arusha – Kilimanjaro

After breakfast, transfer to Kilimanjaro airport. Alternatively, you can extend your trip with a safari or a relaxing beach holiday.

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