The Rongai route, close to the Kenyan border is the only route that approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the North. Being a low traffic route, it has gained popularity for those looking for a less crowded path, unlike the Marangu route. If you are not experienced in backpacking, this route is recommended. The itinerary below is for a six day Rongai Route trek. Seven and eight day trekkers usually spend an additional day at Mawenzi Tarn (4,300 meters) to acclimatize. Eight day trekkers also stop on day two at Rongai Second Cave (3,450 meters) before proceeding to Kikelewa Camp (3,600 meters).
- Difficulty: Medium
- Scenery: Good
- Traffic: Low
-Arrival and departure Kilimanjaro airport transfers
– Accommodation in Town
-Scheduled Riverside bus shuttle transfer Nairobi-Arusha-Nairobi if arriving/departing from Nairobi.
-Transport from the hotel to the mountain and back to the hotel
-Accommodation as indicated
-Sleeping tent and mattresses on the mountain
-Dining tent on the mountain
-Meals as indicated above (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
-All park fees, including mountain rescue fees, government taxes and all applicable fees and taxes.
-Services of a Professional Leading Guide who is medically trained, certified, licensed and English speaking.
-Services of English-speaking assistant guide (s) and enough number of porters for your luggage, food, and water, and a skilled cook.
-Transport from your hotel to the mountain, and back to your hotel.
-Group average of 4~6 climbers, maximum of 15.
-Oxygen bottle and pulse oximeter
-Items of a personal nature such as passport, and visa,
-Climbing gears (can be rented on arrival)
-Tips (recommended in USD, Cash)
-Medical Equipment which can be rented well in advance for the following costs: $250/group for hyperbaric chamber, and $140/group for a stretcher. Please note these prices include a porter to carry the equipment.
-The pack that the porters carry is limited to 35 pounds (i.e. 15kgs)
-Overweight or extra luggage will require an extra porter at $10/day
You can leave extra luggage in Hotel in Arusha (if you leave any valuable items like cash, jewelry, etc) make sure you get a receipt for that.
*If you add that day, instead of just staying at the hotel, we can offer a day trip to the nearby Arusha National Park for game drives for $180pp inclusive of 1to 2 hours hiking on mount Meru. Starting from 4 pax in a group.
Day 1 – Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport,
Met upon Arrival and transfer to hotel in Arusha,
Accommodation & Meals: Arusha Gold Crest Hotel, B, B.
Day 2 – Rongai Start Point (1,950 meters) to Simba Camp (2,620 meters)
On day one Rongai Route trekkers are driven from either Moshi or Arusha to Marangu Gate for registration before being shuttled a further 70 kilometers on poor roads to the Rongai Start Point at 1,950 meters. The trek begins from Nalemoru village and follows a gradual and winding trail that first crosses maize fields before entering the rainforest. The first day’s hiking is easy going and you will arrive at Rongai First Cave (2,620 meters) around mid-afternoon, where you can freshen up and have dinner.
Estimated Trekking distance: 6.5km / 3.5 miles
Estimated Trekking time: 3-4 hours
Zone: Rainforest zone
Accommodation & Meals: Simba Camp (2,620 meters). B, L, D.
Day 3 – Rongai Cave (2,620 meters) to Kikelewa Camp (3,600 meters)
On day two the hike continues from Rongai First Cave through the rainforest before transitioning into the low alpine moorland zone where you will notice the vegetation change to shrubs and grasses. You will stop for lunch at Rongai Second Cave (3,450 meters), 6km from the First Cave Camp, before turning east to Kikelewa Camp (3,600 meters) for your overnight stay. Depending on your tour operator, eight day trekkers might stop at Rongai Second Caves for the night before proceeding to Kikelewa Camp.
Estimated Trekking distance: 12km / 6.5 miles
Estimated Trekking time: 6-8 hours
Zone: Rainforest zone/ Low Alpine Zone
Accommodation & Meals: Kikelewa Camp (3,600 meters). B, L, D.
Day 4 – Kikelewa Camp (3,600 meters) to Mawenzi Tarn (4,300 meters)
Day three on the Rongai Route is a short, but steep climb from Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn (4,300 meters) which sits in the shadow of the magnificent Mawenzi Peak. You will arrive at Mawenzi Tarn in time for lunch and then have the whole afternoon to explore the surrounding area and acclimatize.
Estimated Trekking distance: 4km / 2.5 miles
Estimated Trekking time: 3-4 hours
Zone: Low alpine zone / High alpine zone
Accommodation & Meals: Mawenzi Tarn (4,300 meters). B, L, D.
Day 5 – Mawenzi Tarn (4,300 meters) to Kibo Hut (4,700 meters)
Day four is a long but gradual hike from Mawenzi Tarn heading west through the Saddle which is formed between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi, and up to Kibo Hut (4,700 meters). The route is dry, barren and rather inhospitable, but provides spectacular views of Kibo. At Kibo Hut you will get served dinner and will go to bed early as you will be awoken around 23:30 to begin your summit attempt. Trekkers should remember to prepare their gear, including headlamp, camera, insulated water and warm weather clothes before they go to sleep.
Note: Seven and Eight day trekkers typically hike from Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut and back on day four. They then trek to Kibo Hut again on day five before continuing to Uhuru peak on day six / seven.
Estimated Trekking distance: 9km / 5.5 miles
Estimated Trekking time: 8-10 hours
Zone: High alpine zone
Accommodation & Meals: Kibo Hut (4,700 meters). B, L, D.
Day 6 – Kibo Hut (4,700 meters) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters) and then Horombo Hut (3,720 meters)
Day five begins at midnight, after being awoken with tea and biscuits you will begin your ascent in the dark across a rocky path to the first check point, Hans Meyer Cave at 5,150 meters. You should have a break here and refuel on an energy bar. The path then zigzags and increases in steepness as you approach Gilman’s Point 2-3 hours later at 5,681 meters. You are now on Kibo’s crater rim, a huge achievement! But you still have a 200 meter ascent to trek to the summit, Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters). Dig deep to find the reserves and mental stamina to push yourself up the final slopes. At Uhuru Peak you will be able to stay briefly before descending back to Kibo Hut and on to Horombo Hut. In total you will be trekking upwards of 12-16 hours. It will be one of the longest days of your life but well worth it! Here’s the good news, beers can be bought at Horombo Hut!
Estimated Trekking distance: 5.5km / 3 miles ascent and then 15km / 8 mile descent
Estimated Trekking time: 6-8 hours to the summit and then 5-8 hours to Horombo Hut
Zone: Glacial zone, high alpine zone and low alpine zone
Accommodation & Meals: Horombo Hut (3,720 meters). B, L, D.
Day 7 – Horombo Hut (3,720 meters) to Marangu Gate (1,870 meters)
The final day from Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate (1,870 meters) is a long one, approximately 20km! Your knees will be sore from the previous days hike so go slowly and make sure of your footing as you descend, using your trekking poles to limit the impact on your joints. At Marangu Gate, the place where you signed in 6 days ago, you will now sign-out and certificates will be awarded. Those who got as far as Gilman’s Point but no further will be presented with a green certificate. Trekkers who made it all the way to Uhuru Peak will receive a gold certificate. Most trekkers present their trekking team with their hard earned tips at this stage before being driven back to your hotel for a well-deserved hot shower!
Estimated Trekking distance: 20 km / 13 miles
Estimated Trekking time: 6-8 hours
Zone: Low alpine zone and Rainforest zone
Accommodation & Meals: Arusha Gold Crest Hotel, B, L.
Day 8 – Transfer to Kilimanjaro airport for your return flight, B. or Proceed with safari with us.
Accommodation & Meals: B, B.
The input will come soon…