8 days Rongai Route

About Rongai Route

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.The six day variation does not have an acclimatization day on day four at Mawenzi Tarn.



  • Guides
  • Park Fees
  • Tax
  • Gate Transifer
  • Crew Wages
  • Food

  • 7-Breakfast
  • 8-Lunches
  • 7-Dinners
  • Drinking Water
  • Accommodation

  • Campsite
  • Other

  • Cook
  • Porters
  • Not-Included

  • Flights
  • Tipping the crew
  • Visas
  • Click below to see Itinerary
  • Day 1

    Rongai Gate / Nalemoru (1950m) to Simba Camp (2650m) (First Cave Camp)

    We take a ride to Marangu to complete the necessary registration formalities, before transferring by SUV to Rongai. The climb begins from Nale Moru (6,400 ft) on a small path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering a pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently, but gently through an attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife, including the Colobus monkey. These monkeys are black with a long ‘cape’ of white hair and a flowing white tail. The forest begins to thin out at the edge of the moorland zone. Then, we take in the expansive views over the Kenyan plains as we arrive at our first campsite at Rongai One Camp (8,500 ft).

    Meals: Lunch & Dinner
    Distance Covered: 4.3 miles

    Day 2

    Simba Camp (2650m) to Second Caves Camp 3150m

    The morning walk is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave(11,300 ft) with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern Icefields on the crater rim. After lunch, we leave the main trail and strike out and head southeast across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. Our campsite is in a sheltered valley, decorated with giant senecios near Kikelewa Caves (11,800 ft).

    Meals: Breakast, Lunch & Dinner
    Distance Covered: 5.7 miles(6-7 hours)

    Day 3

    Second caves Camp (3150m) to Kikelewa Caves (3600m)

    A short but steep climb is rewarded by superb all-around views and a tangible sense of wilderness. We leave vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn(14,200 ft), spectacularly situated in a cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatization.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
    Distance Covered: 2.3 miles( 3-4 hours)

    Day 4

    Kikelewa Caves (3600m) to Mawenzi Tarn (4330m)

    We have an additional day to acclimatize. The day will be spent exploring the area with a walk up onto the Saddle towards Camel’s Back. Afterwards, we will return to camp at Mawenzi Tarn (14,200 ft)

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
    Time Taken: 2-3 hrs

    Day 5

    Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut (4700m)

    We cross the lunar desert of the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo Hut (15,400 ft) at the bottom of the crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for an early morning final ascent.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and dinner
    Distance Covered: 5.5 (5-6 hours)

    Day 6

    Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak (5895m) to Horombo Hut (3700m))

    At 1 am we will begin the most demanding part of the climb by headlamp. First, we will plod very slowly in the darkness on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman’s Point (18,600 ft). Here we will rest here for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the three-hour round trip to Uhuru Peak (19,345 ft). You will pass close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Kibo Hut (15,400 ft) is surprisingly fast and, after some refreshments, we continue the descent to Horombo Huts (12,200 ft).

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and dinner
    Distance Covered: 12.3 miles(11- 15 hours)

    Day 7

    Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate (1800m) to Moshi

    A steady descent takes us down through moorland to Mandara Huts (8,900 ft). We then continue descending through a lovely lush forest on a good path to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate at Marangu (6,000 ft), where we are transferred back to your lodge in Moshi.

    Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
    Distance Covered: 12.4(5-6 hours)

    Day 8

    Hotel to Airport

    After breakfast, we can arrange for a private transfer or taxi to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and dinner
    Drive Time: 45 mins