Rongai Route - Climb Kilimanjaro - 6 days

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.

The only Kilimanjaro route starting from the mountain’s north, the Rongai Route is one of the least travelled routes up the mountain.

A less steep, less crowded, and drier route due to its north-facing orientation, the Rongai Route is fast gaining in popularity with those wanting a unique climbing experience.

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Your Journey Mapped Out

Ready to set out? Your adventure awaits!

  1. DAY ONE - MOSHI - RONGAI GATE - 1ST CAVES CAMP
  2. DAY TWO - 1st CAVES CAMP - KIKELEWA CAVE
  3. DAY THREE - KIKELEWA CAVE - MAWENZI TARN CAMP
  4. DAY FOUR - MAWENZI TARN CAMP - KIBO HUT
  5. DAY FIVE - KIBO HUT - UHURU PEAK - HOROMBO HUT
  6. DAY SIX - HOROMBO HUT - MARANGU GATE - MOSHI
Nights in total: 5
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DAY ONE - MOSHI - RONGAI GATE - 1ST CAVES CAMP

You’ll be picked up from your Arusha or Moshi hotel after breakfast and make your way to the Marangu gate for the formalities of climber registration.

You’ll then be transferred overland to the Rongai Gate, which is located roughly 2.5 hours drive away.

Your walk takes you through towering fields of corn and lush pine forest on a pleasantly gradual ascent towards 1st Caves Camp.

Arriving in time for a hot dinner, you’ll overnight here.

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DAY TWO - 1st CAVES CAMP - KIKELEWA CAVE

Starting your day with a delicious breakfast, you’ll begin the long ascent towards Kikelewa Cave.

Stopping along the way at 2nd Caves Camp for lunch, you’ll arrive at Kikelewa in time for a hot lunch and some fireside banter.

You’ll really start to appreciate just how high you are up here, as the stars unfold overhead and the Tanzanian landscape unfurls below.

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DAY THREE - KIKELEWA CAVE - MAWENZI TARN CAMP

Today’s hike is short but steep, taking you from 3,600m at Kikelewa to 4,330m at Mawenzi Tarn Camp.

Your landscape today is one of scrubby alpine moorland dotted with plants you’ll have seen nowhere else in Tanzania.

Mawenzi Tarn boasts a spectacular view and ominous towers of stone, making for a unique camping experience.

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DAY FOUR - MAWENZI TARN CAMP - KIBO HUT

You’ll hike for 4-5 hours today towards Kibo Hut in the Kibo Saddle between the Mawenzi and Kibo peaks.

Today’s hiking takes you through true alpine desert – a place of stark beauty.

You’ll overnight at Kibo Hut ahead of your summit attempt.

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DAY FIVE - KIBO HUT - UHURU PEAK - HOROMBO HUT

You’re starting your day early today – just after midnight, in fact!

Your climbing team will wake you with a cup of hot tea and a light snack for energy as you get dressed and prepare your daypack for the adventure ahead.

You’ll be hiking in utter darkness for the next 5-7 hours, so take it slow and you’ll arrive at Stella Point a few hours before dawn. From here, there’s another two hours of intense hiking before you reach your ultimate goal: Uhuru Peak.

 

Standing at 5,985m, you’ll be able to experience a spectacular sunrise and take in the panoramic view. You’ve done it!

You’ll then descend back to Horombo Hut via Kibo Hut. At anywhere between 12 and 16 hours of hiking, this is sure to be one of the longest, most gruelling days of your life!

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DAY SIX - HOROMBO HUT - MARANGU GATE - MOSHI

It’s a day of celebration today, as you’ll enjoy one last breakfast on the mountain before descending to the Marangu Gate.

It’s an almost 20km walk today, but the steady downhill makes it a lot easier than the ascent.

Upon arrival at the gate, you’ll get to celebrate with your porters and guides, provide them with their tips for their hard work, and collect your certificate of completion.

Your driver will then whisk you away to your Moshi or Arusha hotel to get some well-earned rest.

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