The Rongai route approaches at the northern sides of Kilimanjaro near Kenya border. This route retains a sense of unspoilt wilderness and offers a different perspective on Kilimanjaro by approaching it from the north.The topography of the route does not allow for the application of the climb high and sleep low principle and hikers generally suffer more from altitude sickness on the Rongai route compared to other routes (an additional acclimatization day is highly recommended on this route). The Rongai route use the scree summiting path from Kibo hut to Gilman’s point and descend via the Marangu route.
Day 1: Arusha to Rongai gate (1950m) to 1st Cave Camp (2600m)
Climate: Rainforest climate
Distance: about 8 kilometers
Hiking time: barely 5 hours
After delicious hot breakfast at your hotel, take a road heading to Rongai gate for registration and trekking urgent procedures. At the gate, the porters will organize and pack the belongings for the hike while you and your guide register with the Tanzania National Park (TANAPA). About halfway up the trail you will have a lunch break and you will reach the 1st Caves Camp (2600m) in the late afternoon or early evening. The porters and chef, who move very fast up the mountain, will reach camp before you and set up your tents, boil drinking water, and prepare snacks for your arrival. After washing up, a hot dinner will be served.
Day 2: 1st Cave Camp (2600m) to Kikelewa Cave (3600m)
Distance: About 5.5 kilometers
Hiking time: barely 4 hours
Wake up early in the morning at Kilimanjaro, after delicious hot breakfast prepared by Chef, you will depart through the moorland climate heading to Kikelewa cave. The trail passes Second Cave and this is a good spot to take a lunch break. Similar to the first night, your tents will be set up prior to arriving at camp and the porters will prepare drinking and washing water for you. You will enjoy evening snacks then dinner prepared by our chef. Be prepared for a cold night as temperatures drop below freezing at this exposed camp.
Day 3: Kikelewa Cave (3600m) to Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4330m)
Distance: About 7 kilometers
Hiking time: 4 hours
Rise early in the morning, after breakfast at Kikelewa cave, continue ascending to Mawenzi Tarn Camp through the moorland climate. In the moorland, you will spot exotic plants, including giant lobelia and groundsel. At camp, hikers will enjoy spectacular views and allow their bodies to acclimate. Hot dinner and washing water will be prepared for hikers as they enjoy the magnificent sunset.
Day 4: Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4330m) to Kibo Hut (4700m)
Climate: Low Alpine zone
Distance: About 8 kilometers
Hiking time: barely 5 hours
Continue ascending early in the morning after hot breakfast at Mawenzi tarn camp, guide and porters will lead your way to Kibo hut, where you will stay preparing for summit attempts next day. Here is no water at this camp, but hikers can buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. An early dinner will be served so hikers can rest before attempting the summit the same night. Your guide will brief you in detail on how to prepare for summit night. Get to sleep by 19:00.
Day 5: Summit day, Kibo hut (4700m) to Uhuru peak (5895m)Horombo hut (3720m)
Climate: Glacial and Zone
Distance: about 6 kilometers ascending and 20 kilometers descend
Hiking time: barely 5 hours ascend and 11 hours descend
You will wake up around 23:30 for tea and biscuits. Then begin your summit attempt. The trail is rocky up to Hans Meyer Cave. You continue your ascent to Gillman’s point. From this point, you will usually experience a snow covered trail until you reach the summit, Uhuru Peak. Reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro is a lifetime accomplishment! You will be able to spend a short time on the summit taking photographs and drinking tea before the descent to Barafu begins. The hike down to Kibo Hut takes about 3 hours. At Kibo Hut, you will rest and enjoy a hot lunch in the sun. After eating, you will continue descending down to Horombo Hut. You will have a dinner, wash, and rest soundly at the hut after a strenuous day.
Day 6: Horombo hut (3720m) to Marangu gate (1980m)
Climate: Moorland to Montane Forest
Distance: about 27 kilometers
Hiking time: barely 6 hours
Today, you will start to descend early in the morning after hot breakfast at Horombo hut heading to Mandara hut to Marangu gate. Hikers who reached Gillman’s Point (5681m) receive green certificates and hikers who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates.