The Rongai Route is one of the least traveled and quieter routes. It is the only route starting on the north side of the mountain, just south of the Kenyan border. The ascent and descent are on opposite sides, so you can see Mount Kilimanjaro from different viewpoints. Although the route is not as scenic as the western routes, it offers a true remote wilderness experience with the chance to see buffaloes, antelopes and elephants. The Rongai Route has a lower change of summit success than Lemosho and Machame but higher than the Marangu route. This climb up Kilimanjaro is more expensive as you need extra transport to reach the other side of the mountain.

DAY 1: Rongai Gate (1950m/6,397ft) – Rongai Cave (2750m/9,022ft)

We drive from Moshi to Nala Muru Village where the Rongai Route begins. The trail starts through farm fields and a forest of pine trees and ascents gently. If you are lucky you can see the black-and-white colobus monkey in the forest. Slowly the vegetation becomes less as we arrive at the Rongai Cave. In this camp we stay the first night.

DAY 2: Rongai Cave (2750m/9,022ft) – Kikelewa Camp (3600m/11,811ft)

In the morning we start with a steady incline up to Second Cave where we stop for lunch. We leave the main trail and continue hiking through moorland towards Mawenzi Peak, before we arrive at Kikelewa Camp. This camp is located near the Kikelewa Cave and Kikelewa River, in a valley with flourishing giant groundsels and lobelias.

DAY 3: Kikelewa Camp (3600m/11,811ft) – Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4330m/14,206ft)

The path to Mawenzi Tarn is short but steep. As we climb steadily we leave the moorland vegetation behind and enter the unfertile alpine desert zone. At the top we have amazing views of Mawenzi and Kibo Peak. Mawenzi Tarn Hut is situated in a valley beneath the towering Mawenzi Peak. Spend the afternoon relaxing in camp, exploring the area around Mawenzi or go on an acclimatization climb up the ridge to the west.

DAY 4: Mawenzi Tarn Hut (acclimatization day)

This is an extra day on the mountain at Mawenzi Tarn Hut. We hike up towards Mawenzi for a wonderful acclimatization hike. Enjoy spectacular views and allow your body to acclimate. Hot dinner and washing water will be prepared at the camp while we witness the magnificent sunset.

DAY 5: Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4330m/14,206ft) – Kibo Hut (4695m/15,403ft)

After breakfast we hike for a half day through the alpine desert to Kibo Hut. Kibo is situated in the ‘Saddle’, the area between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. The afternoon is for resting and preparing for the climb to the summit, the same night. We go to bed early in the evening.

DAY 6: Kibo Hut (4695m/15,403ft) – Uhuru Peak – Horombo Hut (3700m/12,139ft)

Around midnight, we rise and prepare for the final ascent to Uhuru Peak. The path is rocky and zigzags to Gillman’s Point (5,681 m) on the crater rim. This is a challenging five hour hike, with a rest stop at William’s Point (5,000 m). The 2 hour hike from Gilman’s to Uhuru Peak (highest point of Africa) is a gradual climb but very tiring cause of the altitude. If you reach the summit on time, you can see the most beautiful sunrise ever. Enjoy the overwhelming sense of achievement. It’s time for a short celebration and to take awesome pictures. From the summit, we make our descent to Horombo Hut, where we arrive in the afternoon. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very challenging day.

DAY 7: Horombo Huts Camp (3700m/12,139ft) – Marangu Gate (1700m/5,577ft)

Today’s descent is a trek mostly downhill, through the tropical forest, to Marangu Gate. The path can be slippery so watch your steps during the descent. At the foot of the mountain, you can collect your summit certificate. Your driver will be waiting at the Marangu Gate and brings you back to Moshi/Arusha.

For more information or questions, just contact us.

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