7 Days 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, Rongai has low traffic. It is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the crowded 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).
The minimum number of days required for this route is six days, and seven days are recommended. Although the scenery is not as varied as the western routes, Rongai makes up for this by passing through true wilderness areas for days before joining the Marangu route at Kibo camp.
This route descends down the Marangu route. Rongai is a moderately difficult route, and is highly recommended, especially for those with less backpacking experience.
Nalemoru Gate (1,800m/5,900ft) to Simba Camp (2,600 m/8,400ft) FB
After an early breakfast in Moshi, you will drive to Marangu National park gate for necessary registration
formalities, then we transfer to rongai (Nalemoru) Gate (1,800m/5,900ft) near the Kenya border. We begin
our climb on this unspoilt wilderness route. The walk then starts to climb consistently, but gently through
attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the
edge of the moorland zone (2600 m.) with extensive views over the Kenyan plains. The first day is only a halfday
walk. Nalemoru Gate to Simba Camp is 3-4 hours walking.
Simba Camp (2,600 m/8,400ft) to Rongai Second Cave (3,450 m) FB
The morning walk is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave, (3,450m) with superb views of Kibo and the
Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. After hot lunch we have a free time to rest at the camp or in the
afternoon we can explore the surrounding area for acclimatisation walk to Third Cave. Simba Camp to Second
Cave is 3-4 hours walking.
Rongai Second Cave (3,450 m) to Kikelelwa Camp (3,600m/11,810ft) FB
Gradual rise through beautiful open moorland towards jagged pinnacles of Mawenzi to Kikelewa Camp
(3679m) we reach in late afternoon at Kikelewa Caves for dinner and overnight at the camp. Second Cave to
Kikelelwa Camp is 3-4 hours walking.
Kikelelwa Camp (3,600m/11,810ft to Mawenzi Turn (4,330m/14,200ft) FB
A Short but steep ascent to Mawenzi Tarn (4330m). Leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the
next camp at Mawenzi Tarn. The afternoon is free to help your acclimatization. Kikelelwa Camp to Mawenzi
Turn is 3-4 hours walking.
Mawenzi Turn hut (4,330m/14,200ft) to Kibo Hut (4,750m/15,580ft) FB
Today we cross the lunar desert of the saddle between Mawenzi and KiboHut (4700m), at the bottom of the
Kibo Crater wall by early afternoon. There is no running water at Kibo Hut. The remainder of the day is spent
relaxing in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night. Mawenzi Turn hut to Kibo Hut is 5-6
Kibo Camp (4,750m/15,580ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895m/19,340ft) to Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft)
Wake up before midnight in the cover of darkness. We begin a steep climb over loose volcanic scree has
some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to rim of the main crater, Gillman’s 5,685
m. We will rest there for few minutes to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling good can
continue slowly to make the three hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru peak 5,895 m.
which is the highest point in Africa. After a few minutes to appreciate your accomplishment we descend to
Kiko Hut is amazingly fast, and we stop at Kibo Hut for some refreshment, we continue to descend to reach
Horrombo Hut. Kibo Hut to Summit to Horombo Hut is 13-15 hours walking.
Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,200ft) to Marangu Gate (1,800m/5,905ft) FB
Today we will descend past Mandara hut to Marangu Gate, successful climbers will receive their summit
certificates. From here you will be transferred to Moshi/Arusha in your hotel for dinner and overnight. (Alternative
transferred to JRO for departure). Horombo hut to Marangu Gate. (6-7 hours walking).
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