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Rongai route, Kilimanjaro

Overview

The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, Rongai has low traffic. It 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).

The minimum number of days required for this route is six days, and seven days are recommended. Although the scenery is not as varied as the western routes, Rongai makes up for this by passing through true wilderness areas for days before joining the Marangu route at Kibo camp.

This route descends down the Marangu route. Rongai is a moderately difficult route, and is highly recommended, especially for those with less backpacking experience.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day One: Rongai Gate (1,800 m/5,900 ft) to First Cave Camp (2,600 m/8,400 ft)

Elevation: 760 m (2,000 ft)
Hike Time: 4-6 hours
Distance: ?
Habitat: Arctic

After an early breakfast in Arusha, drive for about 5 hours to the Rongai Gate near the Kenya border. After registering at the gate, begin your climb to Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa. First hike through forests where you may see and hear wildlife. Eat lunch on the trail before continuing to the first campsite. Rongai ascends via the less forested northern side of the mountain.

The Rongai Route is one of the least crowded routes on Kilimanjaro because of the long drive to the gate. The Rongai trail is thought to have the best chance of viewing wildlife.

Day Two: First Cave Camp (2,600 m/8,400 ft) to Kikelewa Camp (3,600 m/11,810 ft)

Elevation: 1,000 m (3,280 ft)
Hike Time: 4-6 hours
Distance: ?
Habitat: Arctic

Hike through Kilimanjaro’s moorland. The Rongai route is relatively short and steep, making for shorter hiking times. During the hike, view Mawenzi Peak ahead.

Day Three: Kikelewa Camp (3,600 m/11,810 ft) to Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,330 m/14,200 ft)

Elevation: 730 m (2,390 ft)
Hike Time: 4-6 hours
Distance: ?
Habitat: Arctic

This more leisurely acclimatization day starts with a morning hike followed by a rest in the afternoon and evening. The hike is relatively short but steep. The Mawenzi Tarn campsite is situated below Mawenzi Peak and offers stunning views of both Mawenzi and Kibo.

Day Four: Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,330 m/14,200 ft) to Kibo Camp (4,750 m/15,580 ft)

Elevation: 420 m (1380 ft)
Hike Time: 4-6 hours
Distance: ?
Habitat: Arctic

Cross the lunar landscape of the saddle before arriving at the final campsite. Kibo Camp is situated directly below the Kibo cone and offers uninterrupted views of your final destination.

Day Five: Kibo Camp (4,750 m/15,580 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m/19,340 ft) to Horombo Hut (3,720 m/12,200 ft)

Elevation: 1,145 m (3,760 ft) up, 2,175 m (7,140 ft) down
Hike Time: 6 hours to the rim, 1.5 hours to Uhuru, 4 hours to Kibo, 4 hours to Horombo
Distance: ?
Habitat: Arctic

Around midnight, begin the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. Hike by the light of your flashlight for the next six hours. The ascent to the crater rim is the most challenging part of the entire trek. The trail is very steep until you reach the crater rim at Gilman’s Point.

The hike from Gilman’s to Uhuru Peak is a gradual climb and, as far as hikes go, not very difficult. The altitude, however, makes the hike long and tiring. The crater rim hike takes about two hours. Upon reaching Uhuru, take photos of your guide and group at the peak before beginning the descent to Horombo Hut.

Day Six: Horombo Hut (3,720 m/12,200 ft) to Marangu Gate (1,800 m/5,905 ft)

Elevation: 1,920 m (6,295 ft) down
Hike Time: 6-8 hours
Distance: ?
Habitat: Arctic

After breakfast, complete your trek with a descent to Marangu Gate. Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one, passing through Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest. Watch your step during the descent as the trail can be slippery.

Our vehicles will be waiting at Marangu Gate to take you back to Hotel in Moshi for Hot shower.

Kilimanjaro Trek

Duration

6 days

Route

Rongai
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Safari at a Glance

  • Day One: Rongai Gate (1,800 m/5,900 ft) to First Cave Camp (2,600 m/8,400 ft)
  • Day Two: First Cave Camp (2,600 m/8,400 ft) to Kikelewa Camp (3,600 m/11,810 ft)
  • Day Three: Kikelewa Camp (3,600 m/11,810 ft) to Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,330 m/14,200 ft)
  • Day Four: Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,330 m/14,200 ft) to Kibo Camp (4,750 m/15,580 ft)
  • Day Five: Kibo Camp (4,750 m/15,580 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m/19,340 ft) to Horombo Hut (3,720 m/12,200 ft)
  • Day Six: Horombo Hut (3,720 m/12,200 ft) to Marangu Gate (1,800 m/5,905 ft)

Start Planning Your Safari Adventure

This is a suggested Tanzania safari itinerary. It can be adapted to suit your own personal needs and preferences, as well as for any seasonal changes or migratory animal movements.
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Kilimanjaro Commercial Complex
(New NSSF Building)
2nd Floor, Room No. 3F
Aga Khan Road
Moshi, Tanzania
P.O. Box 1785
Moshi, Tanzania
+255 755 337 828
info@thepeakofafrica.com
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