Rongai Route - Climb Kilimanjaro - 7 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 7 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.

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Your Journey Mapped Out

Ready to set out? Your adventure awaits!

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

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. This seven day itinerary gives you plenty of time to acclimatise as well as some easier hiking days to ease you into things.

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.

You’ll begin your hike from the village of Nale Moru, hiking through gently swaying fields of corn before entering a shady pine forest.

Today’s hiking is a gentle ascent through some breathtaking country before you settle down for the evening at Simba Camp.

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DAY TWO - SIMBA CAMP - 2nd CAVE CAMP

Today is a more relaxed day, as you’ll acclimatise to life on the mountain with a pleasant day’s hike towards 2nd Cave Camp.

You’ll arrive in time for a hot lunch and have the afternoon to get some rest.

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DAY THREE - 2nd CAVE CAMP - KIKELEWA CAMP

It is another short day of hiking today, as it takes just 3-4 hours for you to reach your goal at Kikelewa Camp.

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 FOUR - 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 FIVE - 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 SIX - 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 SEVEN - 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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