Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, the Rongai route still experiences low traffic. Rongai 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).
After completing the necessary registration formalities at Marangu National Park gate, we transfer to Rongai. The climb begins from Nale Moru (1,950 m) on a small path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently, but gently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife, including the beautiful Kilimanjaro Colobus monkey. These monkeys are black with a long ‘cape’ of white hair and a flowing white tail. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp, Rongai One, is at the edge of the moorland zone (2,600 m) with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.
[3-4 hours walking]
The trail continues up towards Kibo, passing Second Cave en-route, and reaching Kikelewa Cave at 3600 meters. From here the views start to open up affording expansive views of the summit. Spend the night at Kikelewa Cave.
Trekking Time: 6-7 hours | Distance: 9 km | Altitude Gain: 1000 m
A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb all-around views and a tangible sense of wilderness. We leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn (4330 m), spectacularly situated directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi Peak. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatization.
Trekking Time: 4-5 hours | Distance: 7 km | Altitude Gain: 730 m
We will spend an extra day at Mawenzi Tarn to acclimatize. We will be able to trek and explore around Mawenzi Tarn and also rest to ensure readiness to continue our trek up Kilimanjaro tomorrow.
We cross the lunar like desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo Peaks to reach Kibo campsite (4750 m) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Spend the afternoon resting for the final ascent to the summit.
Trekking Time: 5-6 hours | Distance: 8 km | Altitude Gain: 420 m
We will wake around midnight to begin our ascent to Uhuru Peak. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave. We then take on switchbacks up to Gillman’s Point at 5681 m, situated on the crater rim. This section is very steep with much stone scree and is the most demanding section of the route. From Gillman’s Point we hike for another two hours up to Uhuru Peak (5895 m), the highest point in Africa. You made it! We enjoy a short time on the Roof of Africa before beginning our descent.
Trekking Time: 6-8 hours | Distance: 7 km | Altitude Gain: 1145 m
We descend back on the Marangu Route, passing through Kibo Hut and then onto Horombo (3720 m), where we will spend our last night on the mountain. We enjoy our final dinner and a well-earned sleep.
Trekking Time: 5-6 hours | Distance: 12 km | Altitude Loss: 2175 m
After breakfast we continue our descent, passing Mandara Hut down to the Marangu Gate (1842 m) where you will receive your summit certificates courtesy of the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority. You will be met by a vehicle to transfer you back to your hotel in Moshi town.
Trekking Time: 5-7 hours | Distance: 18 km | Altitude Loss: 1878 m
Tour price includes
- Professional English-speaking guide
- Kilimanjaro trekking according to the itinerary
- Mountain crew (cook & porters)
- Meals during the climb
- Drinking water
- Overnight stays in hotels and mountain Huts
- national park fees
- mentioned transfers
- Optional activities
- Alcoholic and soft drinks
- Visa fees
- Personal spending money for souvenirs etc.
- Travel insurance