6 Days Rongai Route

Rongai is the only one route over on the north eastern side of the mountain. This lesser known track may not be quite as spectacular as the western routes, but it does usually have far lower traffic than the other five night routes. This route retains a sense of un-spoilt wilderness and offers a different perspective on Kilimanjaro by approaching it from the north. Rongai Route is one of the least crowded routes on Kilimanjaro because of the long drive to the gate. The Rongai trail is thought to have the best chance of viewing wildlife. Rongai is the best route for people who are looking for a decent quality experience.

This tour starts near the Kenyan border and leads across the quieter, dryer northeast flank of the mountain. The partly barren landscape, the views into the African savannah and the rugged Mawenzi hold their own special appeal whilst at the Mawenzi Tarn Camp you will pass the only mountain lake on Kilimanjaro. Due to the drier climate, the route is also suitable for ascents during the rainy season. You descend on the Marangu route. Overnight in tents.

We recommend the Rongai route as a 7 day tour. For very fit mountain hikers, the 6 day tour is also suitable. The second day of the 6 day tour walks directly from the Simba Camp to the Kikelewa Camp, as the intermediate stage over the Second Cave Camp is omitted.


DAY 1: Rongai Gate (1950m) - Rongai Cave Camp (2830m)
Depart Moshi in the morning and drive to Marangu Gate for registration. We transfer by road to Nalemoru (1,950m) to begin our climb on this unspoilt wilderness route. The first day is only a half-day walk on a small path that winds through farmland and pine plantations. It is a consistent but gentle climb through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. We reach our first overnight stop by late afternoon at the edge of the moorland zone.
Walking Distance: 4 hrs, 7 km
Meals: Lunch & Dinner Included

DAY 2: Rongai Cave (2830m) – 2nd Cave (3450m) – Kikelelwa Cave (3600m)
The trail continues up towards Kibo, passing Second Cave (3450m) en-route, and reaching Kikelwa Cave at about 3600 metres. The views start to open up and you begin to feel you're on a really big mountain! Water is in the obvious stream below the cave, although you might have to wander downhill a way to find some.
Walking distance: 6-8 hrs, 11 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

DAY 3: Kikelewa Cave (3600) - Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4330m)
A short but steep climb up grassy slopes offers superb views of this wilderness area. The vegetation zone ends shortly before you reach your next camp at Mawenzi Tarn spectacularly situated beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. Spend the afternoon acclimatizing and exploring the area.
Walking Distance: 4-5 hrs, 6 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

DAY 4: Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4330m) - Kibo Hut (4703m)
Continue ascending on the east side of Kibo crossing the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo taking 4 to 5 hours to reach Kibo Hut. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent, which begins around midnight.
Walking Distance: 4-5 hrs, 6 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

DAY 5: (Summit Attempt) Kibo Hut (4700m) - Uhuru Peak (5895m) - Horombo Hut (3720m)
You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. This is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gillman's point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort. This is probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly. From Gillman's Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction - you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you can spend, taking photographs, before the 3-hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest you gather all your gear for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) where you will overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office) on the mountain and well earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.
Walking distance: 6 kms ascent, 21 kms descent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

DAY 6: Horombo Hut (at 3720m) to Marangu Gate (at 1980m)
After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. View more Mt Kilimanjaro tips. At Marangu gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Gillman's Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. You now are driven back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!!
Walking distance: 5-7 hrs, 20 km

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Services included: 

  • Kilimanjaro trekking according to the itinerary
  • Professional, experienced, English-speaking mountain guide(s), assistant guides, porters and professional cooks
  • Mountain crew (cook & porters)
  • Quality mountain mobile tents, sleeping mats, camping tables ,camping chairs and Mess/Dining Tent.(Not applicable on the Marangu route as accommodation is in A-frame huts)
  • Camping equipment (tents, sleeping mats, tables, chairs, etc.)
  • All meals according to the itinerary; - We provide fresh food on the mountain: Breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as hot drinks on the mountain.
  • Drinking water, tea & coffee: - 3-4 liters of mineral/treated water (per Climber) provided daily during the climb
  • Kilimanjaro National Park certificate for your successful summit attempt
  • Supplementary Portable Oxygen and Complete First Aid Kit (used in case of emergency only)
  • Pulse oxy-meter carried by all chief guides
  • All national park fees
  • Hut fees [ Marangu route }
  • Rescue fees (Kilimanjaro Park rescue team fees)
  • Transfer from the hotel to the National Park gate and back
  • All Government taxes including 18% VAT.

N:B ***Portable toilet available at an additional cost (There are public toilets on the mountain)

Not included services:

  • Alcohol and soft drinks
  • Sleeping bag
  • Snacks, personal medicine
  • Flights
  • Visa fees
  • Tips
  • Personal spending money for souvenirs etc.

Travel insurance


Overnight stays in tents




Nalemoru Gate (1990m) - Simba Camp (2625m)




Simba Camp (2625m) - Second Cave Camp (3450m)




Second Cave Camp (3450m) - Kikelewa Camp (3600m)




Kikelewa Camp (3650m) - Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4330m) 



Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4330m) -  Kibo Hut (4700m)




Kibo Hut (4700m) - Uhuru Peak (5895m) -  Horombo Hut (3700m)




Horombo Hut (3700m) - Marangu Gate (1860m)




Trip Map

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