Rongai route is one of the quieter Kilimanjaro trekking routes. The starting point for the ascent is on the north eastern side of Kilimanjaro which is almost to the Kenya border. The beginning of the climb is easy and gradual but as the Rongai climb ascent continues the terrain becomes more rugged and the hiking days lenghthen.
Climbers on Rongai route join the Marangu trail at Kibo Hut. After resting at Kibo hut camp begin the summit ascent on a zig-zag path up to Gilman’s Point then onward to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro – Uhuru Peak. The descent from the summit to the gate is on the same route as Marangu climbers and can get busy in high season.
Rongai is a camping only route. Therefore be aware that the huts seen on the descent are pre-paid and occupied by Marangu route climbers and not for the use of Rongai climbers.
The eastern slopes of Kilimanjaro receive less rainfall than on other routes which makes a Kilimanjaro climb on Rongai route a good choice for wet season hiking.
7 climb days.
Check out the Rongai climb program for 6 days below if your time is limited.
Arrive into Kilimanjaro airport and transfer to Moshi and your hotel for overnight. (Transfer and dinner included on request.)
Join the Rongai transfer vehicle for the drive to Marangu gate for registration before rejoining the vehicle. The drive continues east through Chagga tribal villages to reach Rongai gate which is the start of your Kilimanjaro trek. Hiking begins within the montane forest to each the First Camp (1,800 meters) in 2 to 3 hours.
Hike through open moorland to reach the Second Camp (3,480 meters in 3 to 4 hours). An optional gentle evening walk may be offered which will help acclimatization.
The route continues as a gentle grade ascent through the moorland zone. Hike over the ridges to reach Kikelelwa caves and the camp site in 3 to 4 hours (3, 600 meters) before resting while waiting for dinner.
Leave behind the grassy slopes and enter into alpine desert landscape. Enjoy the superb panorama of the Kenyan plains on the way to Mawenzi Tarn and the camp site. (4,330 meters).
Hike across the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo campsite (4,750 meters in 4 to 5 hours). Early evening join the guide for a ‘summit briefing’ and an early dinner. Return to the tent for last minute equipment preparation and to rest before the summit ascent.
Expect a midnight wake up call with a hot drink and energy snack which is the signal for the beginning the most demanding part of the entire climb – the summit ascent. Begin the ascent on a zigzag track on frozen volcanic scree up to Gilman’s Point (5,680 meters in 4 to 5 hours). Rest at Gilman’s Point while enjoying a spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi peak. Some finish their climb here but climbers whose legs and stamina remain strong will continue for another 1 to 2 hours along the crater rim (passing close to ancient glaciers and ice cliffs), to reach Uhuru Peak – the highest point in Africa (5,895 meters). After a short rest on the summit, begin the descent to Kibo Hut for breakfast and another rest before continuing down the trail to camp at Horombo Hut (3,780 meters). Dinner and overnight camping. This is an extremely long trekking day, with between 12 to 16 hours hiking, some at high altitude.
This is a relatively easy final hiking day. Return through the lush forest to reach the National Park gate at Marangu (1830 meters) where a vehicle will be waiting to transfer you back to the hotel (B&B included).
Transfer to Kilimanjaro airport (JRO) for departure (airport transfers priced separately).
6 Rongai climb days.
Arrive into Kilimanjaro airport and transfer to Moshi hotel for overnight. (Transfer and dinner not included.)
Join the trek transfer vehicle for the drive to Marangu gate for registration. Rejoin the vehicle and continue the journey east through Chagga villages to reach Rongai gate, the start of your Kilimanjaro trek. Hiking begins within the montane forest. Reach the First Camp (1,800 meters) in 2 to 3 hours.
Hike through open moorland to reach the Second Camp (3,480 meters in 3 to 4 hours). An optional gentle evening walk will helps acclimatization.
An easy hiking day to reach the Third Camp (3,900 meters). Enjoy an optional acclimatization hike after lunch.
The trail takes you under the towering peaks of Mawenzi and across the Saddle to the camp at Kibo hut (4,750 meters in 4 to 5 hours). After dinner, you will receive a summit briefing from your guide and prepare your equipment before resting.
The summit ascent starts around midnight. It is a steep climb to Gilman’s Point (5,680 meters in 5 to 6 hours) before the route flattens out along the crater rim. A further 1-2 hours should take you to reach your goal – Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters). After a short rest and snack on the top (it’s mighty cold) you begin the descent to Kibo Hut for breakfast and a further rest before joining Marangu route climbers to descend to the camp site at Horombo Hut (3,720 meters).
The return is a fairly easy hike on well made tracks via Marangu route, down to the gate. Join the waiting vehicle for transfer to the hotel in Moshi for overnight (dinner not included).
Transfer to Kilimanjaro airport for departure or on to another activity (priced separately).