Rongai Route

This is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, near the Kenyan border. The original trail began right against the Kenyan border, though recently the trail shifted eastwards and now starts at the Tanzanian town of Loitokitok, after which the new trail has been named. Because of its remote position the route offers climbers a quiet wilderness experience where it is possible to see large wildlife like elephant, antelope, and buffalo. For the final push to the summit, climbers on this trail take the Kibo Hut Route, joining it either at the huts themselves or at the 5000m mark just below Hans Meyer Cave. This climb can be completed in five days, though many climbers prefer to add an extra day(s) for acclimatization to make a total of 6 to 8 days climb. The North East side of the mountain gets significantly less moisture than the southern slopes which means that climbers are less likely to encounter rain. Climbers are also more likely to get clear, unclouded views of the mountain.

The name Rongai Route is actually something of a contradiction. It is the name that everybody uses but it is not the correct one. The original of this route used to start at the border village of the same name but was closed several years ago by the authorities who decided that two paths on a side of the mountain that rare climbers visit was unnecessary. Today all climbers who wish to climb Kili from the north follow a different trail, also known as the Loitokitok Route after the village that lies near the start. For more investigation, this is not officially the correct name either, you can see various signs calling this trail the Nalemuru Route or Nalemoru but this name is rarely used by anybody.

  • OVERVIEW
  • 5 DAYS 4 NIGHTS
  • 6 DAYS 5 NIGHTS
  • 7 DAYS 6 NIGHTS
  • 8 DAYS 7 NIGHTS

This route seems absolutely unattractive. The lower slopes at the very beginning of the route have been denuded by farmers and present a bleak landscape, while the forest that follows is little more than a narrow band of woodland which soon gives way to some rather hot and shadeless heathland. The parched character of Kilimanjaro’s northern slopes often means climbing parties have to carry water along the way, do not worry we will supply you with enough porters for this. The drive start from Moshi, the road passes through a rural heartland and giving you the chance to see life Chagga’s village style.

OPTIONS

DAY 1

DAY 2

DAY 3

DAY 4

DAY 5

DAY 6

DAY 7

DAY 8

5 DAYS

(Option 1)

Rongai gate to Rongai 1st cave

Rongai 1st cave to 3rd Cave

3rd Cave to School/Kibo huts

School Hut to Uhuru Peak then to Horombo Hut

Horombo Hut to Marangu gate

-

-


6 DAYS

(Option 2)

Rongai gate to Rongai 1st cave

Rongai 1st cave to Kikelelwa Caves

Kikelelwa Caves to Mawenzi Tarn Camp

Mawenzi Tarn Camp to Kibo Camp

Kibo to Uhuru Peak then to Horombo Hut

Horombo Hut to Marangu gate

-

-

7 DAYS

(Option 3)

Rongai gate to Rongai 1st cave

Rongai 1st cave to 2nd Cave then to Kikelelwa Camp

Kikelelwa Caves to Mawenzi Tarn Camp

Mawenzi Tarn Camp to Mawenzi Ridge then to Mawenzi Tarn Camp

Mawenzi Tarn Camp to Kibo Camp

Kibo to Uhuru Peak then to Horombo Hut

Horombo Hut to Marangu gate

-

8 DAYS

(Option 4)

Rongai gate to Rongai 1st cave

Rongai 1st cave to 2nd Cave

2nd Cave to Kikelelwa Camp

Kikelelwa Caves to Mawenzi Tarn Camp

Mawenzi Tarn Camp to Mawenzi Ridge then to Mawenzi Tarn Camp

Mawenzi Tarn Camp to Kibo Camp

Kibo to Uhuru Peak then to Horombo Hut

Horombo hut to Mara

Day 1: Rongai Start Point (1,950 m) – Rongai First Cave (2,600 m)
Distance Approximation: 8 km
Habitat: Montane Forest
Rongai Route climbers are driven from either Moshi or Arusha to Marangu Gate for registration before being shuttled a further 70,00 meters on poor roads to the Rongai Start Point at 1,950 meters. The climb begins from Nale Moru village and follows a gradual and winding trail that first crosses maize fields before entering the rainforest. The first day’s climbing is easy going and you will arrive at Rongai First Cave around mid-afternoon, where you can freshen up and have dinner.

Day 2: Rongai First Cave (2,600 m) – Rongai Third Cave (3,936 m)
Distance Approximation: 13 km
Habitat: Montane Forest
On day two the climb continues from Rongai First Cave through the rainforest before transitioning into the low alpine moorland where you will notice the vegetation change to shrubs and grasses. You will stop for lunch at Rongai Second Cave before continuing to Rongai Third Cave for your overnight stay.

Day 3: Rongai Third Cave (3,936 m) – Kibo Hut (4,750 m)
Distance Approximation: 7 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Today’s climb will take you just below the Kibo crater wall to the Kibo Huts. At this point, you will merge with the Marangu Route. 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. You should remember to prepare their gear, including headlamp, camera, insulated water and warm weather clothes before they go to sleep.

Day 4: Kibo Hut (4,750 m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) – Horombo Hut (3,720 m)
Distance Approximation: 22 km
Habitat: Arctic and Moorlands
The climb is beginning 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 meters ascent to climb to the summit, Uhuru Peak. 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 climbing upwards of 10-13 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.

Day 5: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) to Marangu Gate (1,860 m)
Distance Approximation: 20 km
Habitat: Rain Forest
The final day from Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate is nearly 20,000 meters, usually only takes 7 hours, you will be back at the Kilimanjaro National Park gate . At Marangu Gate you will be presented with your certificate, either for Gilman’s Point or Uhuru Peak based on how far you managed to climb. You will be greeted by our transfer driver, who will take you back to the hotel and remember to give your guides and porters tips at this point before being driven back to your Hotel/Lodge. The rest of the day is for you to enjoy at leisure, enjoy a long shower, jump in the pool or just relax at the bar.

Day 1: Rongai Start Point (1,950 m) - Rongai First Cave (2,600 m)
Distance Approximation: 8 km
Habitat: Montane Forest
Rongai Route climbers are driven from either Moshi or Arusha to Marangu Gate for registration before being shuttled a further 70,00 meters on poor roads to the Rongai Start Point at 1,950 meters. The climb begins from Nale Moru village and follows a gradual and winding trail that first crosses maize fields before entering the rainforest. The first day’s climbing is easy going and you will arrive at Rongai First Cave around mid-afternoon, where you can freshen up and have dinner.

Day 2: Rongai First Cave (2,600 m) - Kikelewa Camp (3,600 m)
Distance Approximation: 12km
Habitat: Moorlands
This day the climb continues from Rongai First Cave through the rainforest before transitioning into the low alpine moorland habitat where you will notice the vegetation change to shrubs and grasses. You will stop for lunch at Rongai Second Cave (3,450 meters), 6,100 meters from the First Cave Camp, before turning east to Kikelewa Camp for your overnight stay.

Day 3: Kikelewa Camp (3,600 m) - Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m)
Distance Approximation: 5 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
This is the short day, but steep climb from Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn 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 acclimatization.

Day 4: Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m) - Kibo Hut (4,750 m)
Distance Approximation: 8 km
It is a long day but gradual climbing from Mawenzi Tarn heading west through the Saddle which is formed between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi, and up to Kibo Hut. 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. Climbers should remember to prepare their gear, including headlamp, camera, insulated water and warm weather clothes before they go to sleep.

Day 5: Kibo Hut (4,750 m) - Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) - Horombo Hut (3,720 m)
Distance Approximation: 22 km
Habitat: Arctic and Moorlands
The climb is beginning 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 meters ascent to climb to the summit, Uhuru Peak. Dig deep to find the reserves and mental stamina to push yourself up to 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 climbing upwards of 10-13 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.

Day 6: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) to Marangu Gate (1,860 m)
Distance Approximation: 20 km
Habitat: Rain Forest
The final day from Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate is nearly 20,000 meters, usually only takes 7 hours, you will be back at the gate. At Marangu Gate you will be presented with your certificate, either for Gilman’s Point or Uhuru Peak based on how far you managed to climb. You will be greeted by our transfer driver, who will take you back to the hotel and remember to give your guides and porters tips at this point before being driven back to your Hotel/Lodge. The rest of the day is for you to enjoy at leisure, enjoy a long shower, jump in the pool or just relax at the bar.

Day 1: Rongai Start Point (1,950 m) - Rongai First Cave (2,600 m)
Distance Approximation: 8 km
Habitat: Montane Forest
Rongai Route climbers are driven from either Moshi or Arusha to Marangu Gate for registration before being shuttled a further 70,00 meters on poor roads to the Rongai Start Point at 1,950 meters. The climb begins from Nale Moru village and follows a gradual and winding trail that first crosses maize fields before entering the rainforest. The first day’s climbing is easy going and you will arrive at Rongai First Cave around mid-afternoon, where you can freshen up and have dinner.

Day 2: Rongai Cave (2,600 m) - Kikelewa Camp (3,600 m)
Distance Approximation: 12km
Habitat: Moorlands
This day the climb continues from Rongai First Cave through the rainforest before transitioning into the low alpine moorland habitat where you will notice the vegetation change to shrubs and grasses. You will stop for lunch at Rongai Second Cave (3,450 meters), 6,100 meters from the First Cave Camp, before turning east to Kikelewa Camp for your overnight stay.

Day 3: Kikelewa Camp (3,600 m) - Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m)
Distance Approximation: 5 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
This is the short day, but steep climb from Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 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 acclimatization.

Day 4: Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m) - Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m)
Distance Approximation: None
Habitat: Alpine Desert
This is an extra day meant for acclimatization, we will spend a full day to explore the area. There will be plenty to do, and our crew will help arrange short walking trip. We advise to climb a little higher this day before returning in the afternoon. Many climbers prefer to walk to Mawenzi Ridge (4,389m) approximation of walking 2 to 4 hours going and return. The unique landscape of Mawenzi Ridge offers motivating views of Kibo and Mawenzi. After spending a few moments exploring the area we head back to Mawenzi Tarn for camp.

Day 5: Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m) - Kibo Hut (4,750 m)
Distance Approximation: 8 km
Habitat: Arctic
It is a long day but gradual climbing from Mawenzi Tarn heading west through the Saddle which is formed between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi, and up to Kibo Hut. 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. Climbers should remember to prepare their gear, including headlamp, camera, insulated water and warm weather clothes before they go to sleep.

Day 6: Kibo Hut (4,750 m) - Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) - Horombo Hut (3,720 m)
Distance Approximation: 22 km
Habitat: Arctic and Moorlands
The climb is beginning at midnight, after being awoken with tea and biscuits you will begin your ascent in the dark across a rocky path to the first checkpoint, 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 meters ascent to climb to the summit, Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters). Dig deep to find the reserves and mental stamina to push yourself up to 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 climbing upwards of 10-13 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.

Day 7: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) to Marangu Gate (1,860 m)
Distance Approximation: 20 km
Habitat: Rain Forest
The final day from Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate is nearly 20,000 meters, usually only takes 7 hours, you will be back at the Kilimanjaro National Park gate. At Marangu Gate, you will be presented with your certificate, either for Gilman’s Point or Uhuru Peak based on how far you managed to climb. You will be greeted by our transfer driver, who will take you back to the hotel and remember to give your guides and porters tips at this point before being driven back to your Hotel/Lodge. The rest of the day is for you to enjoy at leisure, enjoy a long shower, jump in the pool or just relax at the bar.

Day 1: Rongai Start Point (1,950 m) - Rongai First Cave (2,600 m)
Distance Approximation: 8 km
Habitat: Montane Forest
Rongai Route climbers are driven from either Moshi or Arusha to Marangu Gate for registration before being shuttled a further 70,00 meters on poor roads to the Rongai Start Point at 1,950 meters. The climb begins from Nale Moru village and follows a gradual and winding trail that first crosses maize fields before entering the rainforest. The first day’s climbing is easy going and you will arrive at Rongai First Cave around mid-afternoon, where you can freshen up and have dinner.

Day 2: Rongai First Cave (2,600 m) - Rongai Second Cave (3,450 m)
Distance Approximation: 6 km
Habitat: Moorlands
This day the climb continues from Rongai First Cave through the rainforest before transitioning into the low alpine moorland where you will notice the vegetation change to shrubs and grasses. You will stop for lunch at Rongai Second Cave6,100 meters from the First Cave Camp before reaching Second Cave for your overnight stay.

Day 3: Rongai Second Cave (3,450 m) - Kikelewa Camp (3,600 m)
Distance Approximation: 6 km
Habitat: Moorlands
It is the short day climb like the second day climb. Today our goal is to reach Kikelewa Camp 3 to 4 hours from Rongai Second Cave. After 1 to 2 hours climbing the views start to open up and you begin to feel you are 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.

Day 4: Kikelewa Camp (3,600 m) - Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m)
Distance Approximation: 5 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
This is the short day, but steep climb from Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn 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 acclimatization.

Day 5: Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m) - Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m)
Distance Approximation: None
This is an extra day meant for acclimatization, we will spend a full day to explore the area. There will be plenty to do, and our crew will help arrange short walking trip. We advise to climb a little higher this day before returning in the afternoon. Many climbers prefer to walk to Mawenzi Ridge (4,389m) approximation of walking 2 to 4 hours going and return. The unique landscape of Mawenzi Ridge offers motivating views of Kibo and Mawenzi. After spending a few moments exploring the area we head back to Mawenzi Tarn for camp.

Day 6: Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m) - Kibo Hut (4,750 m)
Distance Approximation: 8 km
Habitat: Arctic
It is a long day but gradual climbing from Mawenzi Tarn heading west through the Saddle which is formed between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi, and up to Kibo Hut. 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. Climbers should remember to prepare their gear, including headlamp, camera, insulated water and warm weather clothes before they go to sleep.

Day 7: Kibo Hut (4,750 m) - Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) - Horombo Hut (3,720 m)
Distance Approximation: 22 km
Habitat: Arctic and Moorlands
The climb is beginning 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 meters ascent to climb to the summit, Uhuru Peak. Dig deep to find the reserves and mental stamina to push yourself up to 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 climbing upwards of 10-13 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.

Day 8: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) to Marangu Gate (1,860 m)
Distance Approximation: 20 km
Habitat: Rain Forest
The final day from Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate is nearly 20,000 meters, usually only takes 7 hours, you will be back at the Kilimanjaro National Park gate. At Marangu Gate you will be presented with your certificate, either for Gilman’s Point or Uhuru Peak based on how far you managed to climb. You will be greeted by our transfer driver, who will take you back to the hotel and remember to give your guides and porters tips at this point before being driven back to your Hotel/Lodges. The rest of the day is for you to enjoy at leisure, enjoy a long shower, jump in the pool or just relax at the bar.

Tour Package Includes:

🗸 Airport and Mt. transfer fees.
🗸 2 Night Hotel accommodation in Arusha or Moshi.
🗸 Quality, Waterproof, four-season private mountain sleeping tent.
🗸 Quality Mess tents with table and chairs.
🗸 Free Arusha/Moshi City walking tour.
🗸 Certified, experienced, English speaking mountain guides
🗸 All Tanzanian National Park Fees including Rescue Fees, Taxes and Permits.
🗸 Baggage Storage for excess unused staffs
🗸 All hot Meals prepared by our cook.
🗸 Clean, purified Drinking water during climbing..
🗸 Salaries for the mountain crew above KIATO payment requirement.
🗸 Personal Summit Certificate signed by the National Park and your Guide.

Tour Package Excludes:

🗙 International and local airfares.
🗙 Tips for guides, porters and cook and gratuities (high recommended).
🗙 Laundry services.
🗙 Tanzania Entry visa and other permits.
🗙 Travel insurance.
🗙 Meals and drinks not specified
🗙 Private mountain gears.
🗙 Other Items of a personal nature and unspecified services.

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