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The remote Rongai route begins on the side of the mountain close to the Kenyan border, running
on the dry northeast side of Kilimanjaro. It takes a long drive to get to the starting point. It is the
only route that approaches from the north and can be drier than most routes if you hike during
the rainy season. The acclimatization profile is fair.

Rongai  route is less crowded, moderately steep, crosses a beautiful alpine desert zone and allows
for good views towards Kenya and the Kibo summit. On this route, you return via the Marangu


Day 1

Arusha to Rongai

With a private vehicle from Arusha to Rongai Gate (or Nalemuru) in 5h-6h. Stretch out and scan
the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle.
Rongai Gate (or Nalemuru) – Simba Camp
8km, ↑ 635m, or 2083ft
Follow a small path through farmland from the village of Nalemuru (1990m, or 6529ft). Travel
through pine forest mostly in the montane forest habitat, with a gentle but consistent incline.
Keep a look out for the Black and White Colobus monkeys of the area with their long white hair
that looks like a cape.
Camp for the night at the edge of the moorland zone (2625m, or 8612ft), from here the forest
thins considerably and there’s a great, wide view of the plains of Kenya.

Day 2

Simba Camp to Kikelelwa Camp

10km, ↑ 1005m, or 3297ft
Continue ascending with superb views of the eastern ice fields.
Leave from Simba Camp in the morning with a steady ascent. Arrive at the second cave around
lunchtime and take in the views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields. After lunch, hike for 3-5 hours
across the moorland off the main trail heading towards the peaks of Mawenzi. Camp for the
night in the sheltered valley of the Kikelewa Camp (3630m, or 11909ft).

Day 3

Kikelelwa Camp to Mawenzi Camp

5km, ↑ 680m, or 2231ft
Ascend through grassy slopes up to an area with majestic views. Climb the steep trail towards
the Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4310m, or 14140ft) through the wilder- ness and semi-desert habitat.
The view behind is superb so make sure you enjoy it. Exit the vegetation zone shortly before
reaching camp in the afternoon. Take a rest or explore the area around camp to help acclimatize.

Day 4

Mawenzi Turn Camp to Kibo hut Camp

8-9km, ↑ 390m, or 1280ft
Hike slowly through the famous ‘Saddle’ between the Mawenzi and Kibo peaks.
Cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo Hut (4700m, or 15420ft) at the
bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Spend the remainder of the day resting in preparation for the final
ascent before a very early start.

Day 5

Kibo Hut Camp to Horombo

28km, ↑ 1195m, or 3920ft
↓ 2195m, or 7201ft
Night hike to the Summit via Gillman ‘s Point. Appreciate the beautiful sunrise before descending
to Horombo Hut Camp.
Kibo Huts Camp ─ Summit
13km, ↑ 1195m, or 3920ft
Start the final and, by far, the steepest and most demanding part of the climb by torch- light
around 00:00. Go very slowly in the darkness on a switchback trail through loo- se volcanic scree
to reach the crater rim at Gillman’s Point (5681m, or 18638ft). Rest there for a short time to
enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. If you are still feeling strong, make the two hours
round trip to Uhuru Peak (5895m, or 19341ft)), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice
cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area.

Summit (Uhuru) – Horombo Huts

15km, ↓ 2195m, or 7201 ft
Descend to Kibo Huts (4700m, or 15420ft), which is surprisingly fast, and after some
refreshment take a quick moment to enjoy the view and celebrate a successful climb before
starting the descent to our final campsite at Horombo (3700m, or 121394ft). Enjoy a
well-deserved rest during the last night on the mountain.

Day 6

Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate

20km, ↓ 1840m, or 6037ft
Continue down through moorland to Mandara Hut (2700m, or 8858ft), the first stopping place
on the Marangu route, passing by the Mandara escarpment on the way. Descend through lovely
lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu (1860m, or 6102ft). Enjoy
the easier descent and hikers who successfully reached Uhuru Peak will receive a summit

Transfer from Marangu to hotel in Arusha will take 3 hours for a well-deserved night in relative
comfort. Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort and private vehicle.

  • 6 Days Rongai-Route Kilimanjaro Climb Itinerary
  • waterproof mountain sleeping tents
  • experienced,
  • mountain guides
  • All Park fees and Rescue fees
  • All meals
    Arrival and Departure transfers
  • 2 nights at hotel with half board (before & after climb)
  • Transfer from hotel to Gate and back to hotel after climb
    Guides, Porters, cook salaries
    Mess tents with table and chairs
    Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food
  • Flying Doctor
  • Travel Insurance 

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How long is the Rongai route? The total distance is 72 kilometers with the longest day being summit day at 21 kms.

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.

The Rongai Route is the only trail that starts from the Northern, or Kenyan side of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

You can only climb Kilimanjaro with a registered guide/trekking agency. A good climb operator will supply guides, a cook, porters, food, water, and camping equipment if you are camping. There is no need, indeed no opportunity, for you to worry about the details.