The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. The trek starts from the Rongai gate and traverses several climatic zones along the way. Each zone has its own distinctive features and provides amazing views and experiences.
The route used for ascending purposes doesn’t require much technical climbing, but requires a standard level of physical fitness as it is strenuous. The advantage of doing the Rongai Route is that there will be fewer climbers on the trail for most of the trek. and the descent is conducted through a more heavily travelled Marangu route which offers views of both sides of the trail. You can basically see everything that this beautiful region has on offer.
During the rainy season, the Rongai route is considered the best route as it is located in the rain shadow of Kilimanjaro and sees substantially less rainfall than its southern counterparts. The route doesn’t provide many acclimatization opportunities and trekkers can’t follow the “climb high, sleep low” principle. An additional day at Mawenzi Tarn hat for acclimatization is hence recommended.
Arrive in Tanzania.
Arrive in Tanzania at Kilimanjaro International. Picked up and transferred to the hotel in Moshi town, where the trek begins in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. The hotel is a short walk from the town’s bustling market and some excellent coffee shops and restaurants. Meet with an experienced Kilimanjaro guide at the hotel for a briefing and equipment inspection to make sure you have all the necessary mountain gear. After the briefing meeting, you will get a chance to explore the town of Moshi. It is possible to rent/hire all the missing gear in Moshi.
Nalemoru Gate (6,565ft/1,990m) – Simba Camp (8,665ft/2,625m)
Environment: Montane forest
Time: 3 to 4 hours.
After an early breakfast at the hotel, then drive to Nalemoru gate arrive there for registration then after registration, the trek begin to tall cornfields and goes through the pine forest area. The trail ascents gradually and allows hikers to enjoy the surrounding. Midway in the trail, lunch will be saved and resume to Simba Camp at 2625 meters, Porters and chefs will move ahead to set up the tents and prepare drinking water along with snacks. A hot dinner will be served after washing up. The temperature in here may drop below freezing point, so be prepared!
Simba Camp (8,665ft/2,625m) – Kikelelwa Camp (11,980ft/3,630m)
Time: 6 to 7 hours
The Trek goes through the heather and moorland zones with views of Mawenzi and the vast Kenyan steppes which are nothing short of picturesque. Enjoy lunch at Second Cave Camp located at 3450 meters. After taking a brief break, then traverse through undulating terrain and reach Kikelelwa Camp. From the camp, enjoy incredible views after a strenuous day’s climb and experience its peaceful ambiance. This camp boasts with incredible views and after a strenuous day’s climb, relaxes and take in its peaceful ambiance.
Kikelelwa Camp (11,980ft/3,630m) – Mawenzi Tarn Hut (14,225ft/4,310m)
The typical Senecio vegetation will soon disappear and the scenery will become more barren with the occasional rock formations. In good weather, enjoy the breath-taking views of the Kibo and Mawenzi summits as well as Kenya’s savannah grasslands. After passing a few more rock formations, arrive at the Mawenzi Hut, many trekker rate this as the most atmospheric camp in Kilimanjaro.
Mawenzi Tarn Hut (14,225ft/4,310m) Acclimatisation
Spend a full day at and around Mawenzi Tarn as part of the acclimatization process. There will be plenty to do, and our crew will help arrange short excursions to explore the area. After a short acclimatisation work, followed by lunch, dinner and overnight at Mawenzi Tarn Hut campsite
Mawenzi Tarn Hut (14,225ft/4,310m) – Kibo Hut (15,510ft/4700m)
Environment: Alpine desert
Time: 4 to 5 hours
On a relatively easy path, today’s leg takes you over the Kibo Saddle. A lack of vegetation is characteristic for the landscape here as only a few types of grass and other plant species can survive in this dry area and thin air. Just before today’s destination is reached, one last rock passage has to be conquered. Finally arrive at the Kibo Hut, relax and mentally prepare for the midnight summit stage.
Kibo Hut (15, 430 ft/4,670m) to (Uhuru Peak 19,341 ft/5,895m)
Distance: 6 km/4 miles
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Uhuru Peak (19,341ft/5,875m) to Horombo Hut (12,205ft/3,695m)
Distance: 16 km/10 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Wake up around mid night for tea and biscuits, then begin summit attempt. The trail is rocky up to Hans Meyer Cave (5150m). Then continue ascent to Gillman’s point (5681m). Reaching this section is an impressive achievement as the trail is steep, rocky, and at high altitude on the crater rim. Continue to the summit, Uhuru Peak (5895m). Reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro is a lifetime accomplishment! Spend a short time on the summit taking photographs before start descent back to Kibo Hut, which takes about 3 hours.
At Kibo Hut, rest the wake up for a branch and continue descending down to Horombo Hut (3720m) for dinner, wash, and overnight.
Horombo Hut (12,205ft/3,695m) to Mandara Hut (8,858ft/2,680m) to Marangu Gate
Distance: 20 km/12 miles
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest
After a well-deserved breakfast, followed with a big celebration from the mountain crew, full of dancing and singing. It is here on the mountain that tips will be presented to the mountain crew (guide, assistant guides, chef(s), and porters). After celebration, descend for 6 hours back to Marangu Gate (1980m) via Mandara hut (8,858ft/2,680m) Arrive at the gate, sign out and receive certificates of completion. Those reached Gillman’s Point (5681m) receive green certificates and those reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. After sign out then drive back to the hotel accommodation in Moshi for long overdue showers and more celebrations.
Day On this day, depending on flight details, go and explore Moshi town by visiting some souvenir shops before heading to the airport for the flight back home. Additional Safaris, Zanzibar, and other extension tours can be booked. Contact us to continue with more tours after the Kilimanjaro Trek.