7 Days Mt Kilimanjaro, Rongai Route
Kilimanjaro 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). Book your Kilimanjaro Rongai Route with Us
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.
Day 1 : Drive to Rongai Gate (Nale Moru), Hike to Simba Camp – 2000m/6560ft to 2650m/8700ft
Drive to the attractive wooden village of Nale Moru. After signing in and preparing the porters, you will begin the hike on a wide path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. The track 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 with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.
Day 2 : Hike Simba Camp to Second Cave – 2650m/8700ft to 3450m/11,300ft
The morning hike is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim.
Day 3 : Hike Second Cave to Kikelewa Camp – 3450m/11,300ft to 3600m/11,800ft
Head out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. The campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant Senecios nearby.
Day 4 : Hike Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn – 3600m/11,800ft to 4330m/14,200ft
A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb views. Leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn, spectacularly situated in a cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatization.
If you are spending an extra day on the mountain, you will camp for two nights here. You can hike up and around Mawenzi for your acclimatization hike.
Day 5 : Hike Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut – 4330m/14,200ft to 4750m/15,600ft
Cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo campsite at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent very early.
Day 6 : Kibo Camp to Summit and Horombo Hut – 4700m/15,500ft to 5895m/19,340ft
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am), commence the climb to the summit on steep and heavy scree or snow up to Gilman’s Point located on the crater rim (elev 5700m/18,700ft). Continuing, we now ascend to Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point in Africa. There are unbelievable views at every turn. Have your picture taken at the summit to show your friends and family. From here we descend, stopping for lunch and a rest at Kibo before continuing on to the Horombo encampment.
The beginning of this climb is done in the dark and requires headlamps or flashlights. It will be very cold until you start descending, so you will need all of your warm layers. This is by far the most difficult part of the trek with many switchbacks. Going slowly “pole pole” and an optimistic attitude will get you there!
Day 7 : Hike Horombo Hut to trail head, drive to Moshi – 3700m/12,200ft to 1700m/5500ft
After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to the Mandara Hut. Continue descending through lush forest path to the National Park gate at Marangu. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).
A vehicle will meet you at Marangu village to drive you back to your hotel in Arusha/Moshi. End of climbing mount Kilimanjaro