Rongai Route Kilimanjaro Climbing - 5 Days

Kilimanjaro rongai-route

The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, this route still experiences low crowds. Rongai has a more gradual slope than the mountain’s other routes. It is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the popular Marangu route, for those who would like a more remote hike, and for those who are climbing during the rainy season (the north side receives less precipitation). Rongai is a moderately difficult route, and is highly recommended, especially for those with less backpacking experience.

Although the scenery is not as varied as the western routes, Rongai makes up for this by passing through true wilderness areas for nearly the entire way.

Day 1
Rongai Gate to Rongai Cave

We drive from Moshi to Marangu Gate for permits before taking a short transfer to the Rongai Gate trailhead. The path winds through corn and potato fields and then climbs gently through the forest which is home to a variety of wildlife, including the black and white colobus monkey

Rongai Gate to Rongai Cave

Elevation: 6,398 ft to 9,300 ft

Distance: 8 km/5 miles

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Rain Forest

Day 2
Rongai Cave to Second Cave

We begin this morning with a steady incline up to Second Cave. We continue trekking though moorland, leaving the main trail for a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi, before finally arriving at Kikelewa Cave for the night.

Second Cave to Kikelewa Cave

Elevation: 11,300 ft to 11,811 ft

Distance: 6 km/4 miles

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Heath

Day 3
Kikelewa Cave to Mawenzi Tarn

The hike today is short and steep up a grassy slope. Views of the wilderness area are stunning. As we exit the heath zone and emerge into the Alpine Desert zone, the landscape changes dramatically. Our camp is situated beneath the jagged spires of Mawenzi, at Mawenzi Tarn. The remainder of the day can be spent relaxing or exploring the area.

Kikelewa Cave to Mawenzi Tarn

Elevation: 11,811 ft to 14,160 ft

Distance: 5 km/3 miles

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 4
Mawenzi Tarn to Mawenzi Ridge

This is an extra day meant for acclimatization and can be spent day hiking on Mawenzi Ridge. The unique landscape offers motivating views of Kibo and Mawenzi. After spending a few moments exploring the area we head back to Mawenzi Tarn for camp.

Mawenzi Tarn to Mawenzi Ridge

Elevation (ft): 14,160 ft -14,400 ft

Distance: 2 km/1 mile

Hiking Time: 1-2 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 5
Marwenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut

We climb gradually, then cross the lunar desert of the “Saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo. Our camp, Kibo Hut, sits at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Once here we rest, enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day.

Marwenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut

Elevation (ft): 14,160 ft to 15,430 ft

Distance: 8 km/5 miles

Hiking Time: 5-6 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 6
Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak 

Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. At Gilman’s point (18,600 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

After spending a few moments taking in the plains of Africa and your accomplishment, we descend to Horombo Hut. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak

Elevation (ft): 15,430 ft to 19,341 ft

Distance: 6 km/4 miles

Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

Habitat: Arctic

Uhuru Peak to Horombo Hut

Elevation (ft): 19,341 ft to 12,250 ft

Distance: 16 km/10 miles

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Heath

Day 7
Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate

On our last day, we have a long trek mostly downhill through the tropical rainforest. Once at the park headquarters at Marangu gate, we collect our summit certificates. A vehicle will meet us here and drive us back to the hotel in Moshi.

Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate

Elevation (ft): 12,205 ft to 6,046 ft

Distance: 20 km/12 miles

Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

Habitat: Rain Forest

PRICE INCLUDES

  • Transport from arrival point to Moshi
  • Accommodation before climb bed and breakfast basis
  • 2 person sharing tent/huts on the mountain
  • All Park fees on Kilimanjaro
  • Rescue fees on the mountain (by car)
  • 3 meals daily on the mountain
  • Sleeping and dinning tents (all camping gears)
  • Guide and porters
  • Cooks and waiters
  • First aid kit
  • Service of mountain guide
  • Transportation to the mountain
  • All government taxes

FAQ

What can I expect in terms of group size and nationality?

Group sizes range anywhere between 2 and 7 people per vehicle and travelers come from all over the world.

Is there an age limit?

There is no set age limit, however, we discourage parents with children under the age of 8 to join such a safari due to the lengthy drives and the fact that nights are spent on unfenced campsites. If parents are nevertheless convinced that their child / children are unfazed by the long driving distances and the travel time that goes with it, children are welcome to join the safari. But please keep in mind that the responsibility for each child lies with you as a parent at all times.

Where will I spend the night?

Nights are spent on basic campsites inside the national parks or on the outskirts thereof. Clients are provided with spacious two-man dome tents (2.1 x 2.1 m) that are equipped with mosquito nets and comfortable 5 cm thick sleeping mats.

Are there ablution facilities at the campsites?

Yes, communal ablution facilities can be found on all campsites. Most of them are very basic and hot water is few and far between.

What kind of vehicles are used?

We make use of reconstructed 4×4 safari vehicles (i.e. Toyota Landcruisers), that have been designed to conquer the ever demanding road conditions in East Africa. All vehicles have pop-up roofs that can be opened during game drives and a window seat is guaranteed for each guest

What meals does the price include and what kind of food can I expect?

What meals does the price include and what kind of food can I expect?

The tour is run on a full-board basis and meals are included as indicated in the itinerary. Mineral water is also provided, whereas all other beverages (soft drinks & alcohol) are excluded and on your own account.
Breakfast can include eggs, sausages or bacon and toast and jam. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate are also provided.
Lunch-boxes are provided for lunch and are enjoyed en-route at a picnic spot. These usually contain sandwiches, boiled eggs and fruits or grilled chicken thighs.
Dinner is freshly cooked and meals consist of meat or fish and some sort of starch (pasta, rice, mashed potatoes etc.) and vegetables.
Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements or food allergies and we will do our outmost to cater for them (only possible with advanced notification).

What do I need to bring along?

We will provide you with a detailed packing list at the time of booking – (please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or wish to hire a sleeping bag).

What are the luggage restrictions?

Luggage is restricted to one large bag / rucksack weighing no more than 15 kg. Furthermore,every traveller is allowed one piece of hand luggage.
Due to the limited space in the vehicle, we kindly ask guests to refrain from travelling with suitcases as storing them in the vehicle could prove a problem. Please also do not forget to check the baggage allowances of your respective airlines.

Should I bring some extra cash with me?

Yes, we suggest that you bring some spending money for drinks, snacks, souvenirs and tips.
Please only bring USD bills that have been printed after 2004 as earlier dated bills will not be accepted.

Are tips included?

Tips are not included in the price and we recommend 15-20 USD per group per day for the guide and 10-15 USD per group per day for the cook.

Is a visa required for this trip?

Most nationalities can apply for a visa upon arrival in Tanzania but all travelers need to contact their respective embassies to check the latest visa regulations. Furthermore, it is the sole responsibility of each traveller to be in possession of the required documents.

Do I need to get myself vaccinated and is malaria a concern?

We do recommend that you get a yellow fever vaccination as Tanzania finds itself in a yellow fever region.
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio, Hepatitis A & B vaccinations are not required, but nevertheless recommend by us.
Malaria is also present and we hence suggest some precautions for this as well. Please contact a travel clinic or your health care practitioner for further information on prophylaxis and the effects and side effects that come with it.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Rongai Route Kilimanjaro Climbing
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