Fast gaining ascendancy among avid mountain trekkers Rongai Route is a trek off the beaten track which assures a genuine wilderness experience.  Approaching the mountain from the northern side along the Kenyan-Tanzanian border, the trek is marked by the absence of swarming herd of trekkers and allows for a peaceful trekking experience.

The flatter and gentler nature of the route makes the trek moderately challenging and amenable for inexperienced trekkers. Another thing going in favour of the route is that the northern side receives less precipitation and is drier. The low threat of showers means the inexperienced trekkers won’t have to wade through wet muddy conditions and the deficiencies in their climbing technique wouldn’t be exposed. On the flip side, the even trajectory of the trek doesn’t yield to the application of climb high/sleep low principles, making acclimatization an issue and altitude sickness a reality. And to beat that we recommend opting for the longer 7-day itinerary.

 

There is a discernible lack of scenery on the route but the remoteness of the route gives you the feeling of the countryside and exposes you to relatively unspoiled wilderness experience-replete with antelopes, elephants and buffalos, birds and colobus monkeys, for a better part of your ascent.

The many caves dotting the Rongai route will be your night accommodation for that real outdoors feeling. The descent will be via Marangu route on the south side so you get a varied perspective and the best of both sides.

Rongai Route

Short Overview

The Rongai Route is the only route on the north-eastern part of the mountain. This route is gaining in popularity, because it is the second easiest after Marangu and it has amazing wilderness conditions. The Rongai Route is recommended for climbers who want to avoid the huge numbers of climbers on other routes. This route can be started from the Tanzanian or the Kenyan side of the mountain and can be achieved in 6 days. The Rongai Route is only used to climb up the mountain and at the final stage it joins up with the Marangu Route, which is also the ascending route. This route has lots of caves, which are partly also used as overnight accommodations

Kilimanjaro Trekking: Rongai Route
Tourcode: KL08LTZINST
From: Arusha
To: Arusha
Min. number to guarantee tour: N/A
Max number of participants: private safari
Departure day: any day of your choice
Price:

From 1650 USD  (4-6 pax)
From 1830 USD  (2-3 pax)

NOTE : The price listed above are per person

When to visit?
  • All year round
Included in the price
  • All meals on the safari.
  • All Park entrance fees.
  • All prices are quoted in US Dollars.
  • Camping equipment if applicable (tents
  • mattresses
  • sleeping bags
  • pillows
  • table and chairs)
  • Flying Doctors rescue insurance for the time of the tour with Shadows of Africa.
Excluded from the price
  • Any sightseeing
  • excursions and optional activities other than those specified
  • Entry visas
  • International flights
  • Laundry
  • Please
  • read our Terms and Conditions
  • Tips and gratuities to safari crew – recommended: 15-20 USD per day to safari driver
  • 10 – 15 USD per day to safari cook
  • Travel insurance
Itinerary Note
  • Note that for transfer from Nairobi Airport we use Impala Shuttle Service with departures daily at 0800 and 1400 or we can arrange private shuttle or a flight from NBO to JRO

Days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai route – Day 1

The Rongai route trek kicks off from the village of Nale Moru (1950 mts) traversing through the cultivated zones at first before entering the pine forests. The forests are home to home different primates, keep your eye out for Colobus monkeys white fringed ‘capes’ and tail.

Days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai route – Day 2

Today we will make a steady ascent on a gradient to the  Second Cave at (11300ft / 3450 m) enjoying the views of Kibo glaciers on the eastern fringes of the mountain. Continuing the ascent to we will reach the Third Cave at 12800ft/3800m for the night.

Days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai route – Day 3

Continuing our ascent on the eastern trails of Kibo we will trek through the saddle which connects the twin peaks of Maweni and Kibo soaking in their sights till we reach Kibo Hut at (15000ft / 4700 m) after 4-5 hours. Pace yourself well and don’t rush through as the next challenge will be a push to the Uhuru Peak. Make sure you get enough rest and sleep before you haul yourself up at midnight

Days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai route – Day 4

Your ascent into darkness begins at midnight and be ready for the tough grind on the steep scree laden trail to reach Gilman’s Point at (18640ft / 5681 m). If you make it in time you can witness the splendid sunrise. If you have some gas left in your tank, you can take another three-hour trek flirting closely with the stunning glaciers and ice cliffs along the way to the Uhuru peak at  (19340 / 5896 m). Spend a few moments reflecting on your achievement and click some photos with your team before embarking on the descent. It will be a fast descent to Kibo and after some refreshments, you will continue descending till you reach Horombo at (12000ft / 3700 m) in 11 to 15 hours.

Overnight Horombo Camp.

Days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai route – Day 5

This is your last day on the mountain and you will continue your steady descent to Mandara Hut making your way through heather moorlands and past the lush montane forests to the National Park gate(1830 m). Here you will collect your certificates from the authorities and after signing on the register to mark the end of your journey, you will head to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

6 Days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route – Day one

On arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport, met and assisted. Transfer to the hotel for an overnight rest on bed and breakfast in readiness for the next day’s hit to Kilimanjaro.

6 Days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route – Day two
Rongai Gate (1950m) – 1st Caves camp (2600m)
Hiking time: 5 hours | Distance: About 8 km’s | Habitat: Montane forest

After you reach the Marangu park gate you will first complete the paperwork and registration formalities before heading to the Rongai trailhead, where you will be briefed by your guide before you start your ascent from Nale Moru village with your porters in tow. You will veer your way through the cultivation zone brimming with maize fields before entering the pine zone. The trail here is steady on a gradient and you will enjoy the beautiful country sights before reaching your destination for the day at First Cave, at about 2,600 meters. Toilets facilities are manageable but there are no huts for accommodation. But water is available just down the trail below First Cave, B,L,D.

6 Days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route – Day three
1st Cave (2600m) – Kikelewa Cave (3600m) thirteen
Hiking time: 6-7 hours  | Habitat: Moorlands

The ascent continues towards Kibo taking the southeastern path to the Kikelwa Cave at  3600 metres soaking in the spellbinding views of Kibo and Mawenzi at the sunset. Kikelewa Caves will be your base for overnight.

6 Days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route – Day four
Kikelewa Cave (3600) – Mawenzi Tarn camp (4330m)
Hiking time: 3-4 hours | Habitat: Moorlands

This short hike on an incline opens up some of the most impressive sights on the trail. As you continue your ascent the heaths give away to barren alpine zones.  The Mawenzi Tarn camp sits below the jagged spires of Mawenzi. This is a high altitude area and effects of altitude sickness will definitely show up. Rest, explore the area and give yourself time to acclimatize.

6 Days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route – Day five
Mawenzi Tarn camp (4330m) – Kibo hut (4700m)
Hiking time: 4 – 5 hours | Habitat: Alpine desert

Continuing our ascent on the eastern trails of Kibo we will trek through the saddle which connects the twin peaks of Maweni and Kibo soaking in their sights till we reach Kibo Hut at (15000ft / 4700 m) after 4-5 hours. Pace yourself well and don’t rush through as the next challenge will be a push to the Uhuru Peak. Make sure you get enough rest and sleep before you haul yourself up at midnight.

6 Days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route – Day six
SUMMIT ATTEMPT, Kibo hut (4700m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo hut (3720m)
Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru, 6 hours to descend to Horombo |Distance: 6 km’s ascent – 21 km’s descent | Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

The ascent to the summit begins at midnight. Today’s trek is by far the toughest challenge you will undertake on the trail. The first part is a steep ascent into darkness negotiating a rocky path to reach  Hans Meyer Cave (5,150 m). Your pre-summit goal of  Gillman’s Point is now just about an hour of a trek away. The trek to the Gilman point is a tricky one as it’s a steep and zigzag ascent negotiating large rocks which are going to test your mental and physical reserves to the last bit. From Gilman’s point, it’s just about an hour and a half to reach the summit at Uhuru peak. The trail to the Uhuru is laden with snow and scree along the crater’s rim. Once you summit at Uhuru pull out your camera to capture the breathtaking vistas that open up to you and also capture photos with your team to mark a personal milestone. Bask in the glory of your achievement for a few moments and then make your descent towards Horombo hut where you will have your dinner and enjoy a couple of beers reflecting on the triumphs of the day. Overnight accommodation will be in the Horombo Hut.

6 Days Trekking / Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route – Day seven
Horombo hut (3720m) – Marangu Gate (1980m)
Hiking time: 6 hours | Distance: About 27 km’s

This is your last day on Kilimanjaro and after a breakfast you will continue your descent(6 hours) from Horombo Hut passing through Mandara hut (2,700 m) all the way to down  reach the Marangu gate; where you will receive your summit certificates(green certificate – Gilman’s Point and gold certificate – Uhuru Peak) from the park office as a recognition of your efforts. After that, you will sign the registration book and mark the end of your climb. You now drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, and celebrations!! Overnight in the Hotel.

Rongai Route
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Itinerary in Brief

Day 1: Rongai gate to 1st Caves camp

Day 2: 1st Caves camp to Kikelewa Cave

Day 3: Kikelewa Cave to Mawenzi Tarn camp

Day 4: Mawenzi Tarn camp to Kibo Hut

Day 5: Summit Attempt: Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak to Horombo Hut

Day 6: Horombo Hut to Marangu gate