Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route 8 days Trek

The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, this route still experiences low crowds. Rongai has a more gradual slope than the mountain’s other routes. It is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the popular 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). Rongai is a moderately difficult route, and is highly recommended, especially for those with less backpacking experience.

Although the scenery is not as varied as the western routes, Rongai makes up for this by passing through true wilderness areas for nearly the entire way. Descent is made via the Marangu route.

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Day 1 
After you’re transported from the Kilimanjaro International Airport to your hotel, you’ll gather in the evening with the rest of the group for a quick equipment check and briefing before your adventure begins!

Day 2 
(3-4 hours walking)
After completing the required registration procedures at the gate of the Marangu National Park, we drive to the beginning of the Rongai trail – Nale Moru – located at 1,950 m. altitude. The trail gently ascends through a lush rainforest terrain and takes us to our first camp – Rongai one, located at the edge of the Moorland Zone at 2,600 m. altitude.

Day 3
(6-7 hours walking)
After a delicious breakfast, we’ll continue uphill on a scenic trail showcasing stunning views of Mount Kibo and the Eastern Ice Field until we reach the “Second Cave” – located at 3,450 m. altitude where we’ll stop for lunch. Afterwards, we’ll veer off the main trail and continue across the Moorland on a smaller, less traveled trail that will lead us to one of Kilimanjaro’s 3 volcanic cones – Mount Mawenzi. We’ll camp for the night in a secluded valley sheltered by the Kikelewa Caves at 3,600 m. altitude.

Day 4 
(3-4 hours walking)
While hiking at a steady pace to ensure proper adjustment to the high altitudes, we’ll trek up the steep trails to arrive at Camp Mawenzi Tarn – located at 4,330 m. altitude in a scenic valley sheltered by the jagged peaks of Mount Mawenzi. We’ll enjoy a relaxing afternoon where you’ll be able to explore the beautiful surroundings and continue acclimatizing to the high altitudes.

Day 5 
We’ll enjoy an easy day to rest and acclimatize by enjoying a brief walk up the “Saddle” towards Camel’s Back. We’ll camp for the night at Mawenzi Tarn – located at 4,300 m. altitude.

Day 6
(5-6 hours walking)
We’ll continue across the lunar desert of the “Saddle” between Mount. Kibo and Mount Mawenzi to reach the “Kibo” camp – located at 4,700 m. altitude at the base of Mount Kibo’s crater wall. We’ll turn in early for the night to rest and recuperate before the final arduous day of hiking that is to follow.

Day 7 
(11-15 hours walking)
Our ascent to the peak will begin at 1 am in order to reach the Crater rim by sunrise. Using torches to light our way, we’ll begin the steep, steady hike across loose volcanic gravel up to Gillman’s Point – located at 5,685 m. altitude. After enjoying the spectacular panoramic sunrise views over Mount Mawnzi for a short rest interval, we’ll continue along the crater rim to reach Uhuru Peak – located at 19,345 ft. altitude. We will be standing on the peak of the highest freestanding mountain in the world!
The ensuing descent to Kibo – located at 4,700 m. altitude – is a welcomed reprieve, and after enjoying lunch we’ll continue descending to arrive at the Horombo camp where we’ll rest for the night at 3,720 m. altitude.

Day 8
(5-6 hours walking)
This easy downhill trek will take us through the moorland down to Mandara Hut – located at 2,700 m. where we’ll stop for lunch before continuing to descend through lush forest to Marangu’s National Park’s gate at 5,400 ft. altitude. We’ll continue through banana trees and coffee bean farms to the Mweka village where we will board a vehicle that will take us to the lodge to relax and unwind!

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