Kilimanjaro Rongai Route Overview
Rongai route begins in the northern side of Kilimanjaro Mountain, 45km from Moshi town or 69km from Arusha. This is one of Kilimanjaro easiest routes, and it has become an increasingly popular route in recent years. This route is located on the northern side of Mt. Kilimanjaro with a variety of spectacular landscapes together with different plants and animal’s species. The typical duration for this trip is 6 days. However, you can also add an acclimatization day and make it 7 day climb. The Rongai route is more scenic than the Marangu route and easier than other camping route in climbing Kilimanjaro and the success rate on the Rongai route is very high. Unlike the Marangu route where you sleep in huts, on the Rongai route you sleep in tents, the porter will have your tent pitched and waiting for you at the end of each day trek.
This route starts on the north side of the mountain just south of the Kenyan border and is one of the least traveled routes. The route merges with the Marangu for the summit climb. The descend follows the Marangu route on the mountain’s southeast side, so you will be able to Kilimanjaro from many points. There are two versions of this trek- a direct 6 day itinerary and a 7 day itinerary that takes a longer route. You can choose to attempt the summit via Mawezi Tarn Hut or via School Hut which is also referred to as the Outward Bound Hut. The former is longer and more popular. Prior acclimatization is suggested in order to attempt the latter successfully.
RONGAI ROUTE 7 DAYS ITENERARY + 2 NIGHTS HOTEL
Day 1: Kilimanjaro Airport to Arusha
No need to arrange transport! Our transfer driver will collect you and all your gear from Kilimanjaro Airport and take you to the hotel in Arusha. Relax after your flight, take a dip in the pool or explore Arusha. Later you will meet the our operation team. They will tell you more about the trip, share tips and safety information and thoroughly check your gear to see if you have everything you need.
Day 2: Arusha to Rongai Gate (Nalemoru) to Simba Camp
Elevation: 2000m to 2650m, Distance: 6km, Hiking Time: 3-4 hours, Habitat: Montane Forest,
Drive to the attractive wooden village of Nalemoru (about 4 hours including a stop to get permits at Marangu). After signing in and preparing the porters, you will begin the hike on a wide 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. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.
Day 3: Simba Camp to Second Cave
Elevation: 2650m to 3450m, Distance: 6km, Walking Time: 3-4 hours, Habitat: Moorland
The morning hike is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave with superb views of Kibo and the eastern ice fields on the crater rim.
Day 4: Second Cave to Kikelewa Camp
Elevation: 3450m to 3600m, Distance: 9km, Walking Time: 2-3 hours, Habitat: Semi-desert,
Head out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. The campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant Senecios nearby.
Day 5: Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Turn Hut
Elevation: 3600m to 4330m, Distance: 6km, Walking Time: 3-4 hours, Habitat: Semi-desert
A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb views. Leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Turn, 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.
If you are spending an extra day on the mountain, you will camp for two nights here. You can hike up and around Mawenzi for your acclimatization hike.
Day 6: Mawenzi Turn hut to Kibo Hut
Elevation: 4330m to 4750m, Distance: 9km, Hiking Time: 4-5 hours, Habitat: Alpine Desert
Cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo campsite at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent very early.
Day 7: Kibo Camp to Summit and Horombo Hut
Elevation: 4700m to 5895m & down to 3700m, Distance: 6km up & 15km down, Hiking Time: 6-8 hours up & 15km down, Habitat: Alpine Desert
Very early in the morning (midnight about 2am), commence the climb to the summit on steep and heavy scree or snow up to Gilman’s Point located on the crater rim (elevation 5700m). Continuing ascend to Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point in Africa. There are unbelievable views at every turn. Have your picture taken at the summit to show your friends and family. From here we descend, stopping for lunch and a rest at Kibo before continuing on to the Horombo encampment.
The beginning of this climb is done in the dark and requires headlamps or flashlights. It will be very cold until you start descending, so you will need all of your warm layers. This is by far the most difficult part of the trek with many switchbacks. Going slowly “pole pole” and an optimistic attitude will get you there!
Day 8: Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate, to Arusha
Elevation: 3700m to 1700m, Distance: 20km, Hiking Time: 4-5 hours, Habitat: Forest
After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to the Mandara Hut. Continue descending through lush forest path to the National Park gate at Marangu. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). Our vehicle will meet you at Marangu gate to drive you back to your Hotel in Arusha.
Day 9: Hotel to Kilimanjaro International Airport
Today you will be transferred to Airport or continue with other plans.