7 Days Rongai Route


The Rongai Route is particularly popular among experienced climbers.It is the only route to the summit of Kilimanjaro that begins on the northern part, near the Kenyan border. It’s windier and drier on the northern side of the mountain. Therefore, it has less vegetation here and you can often see far – overlooking the beautiful Kenyan landscape.

The descent is via the Marangu Route (south) so you get to see both sides of Kilimanjaro . The entire ascent (including descent) via the Rongai Route takes 6 days. If you want to, you can add an additional day of trekking. This is even highly recommended! An extra day gives your body more time to get used to the altitude and increases the chance for you to reach the top of Kilimanjaro without experiencing any altitude sickness.

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African History Expeditions offers first class service during the entire trekking tour:

Climbing Kilimanjaro is the ultimate challenge! You will be accompanied by professional guides, porters, and a cook as you ascend the Rongai route. Mountaineering is a relatively primitive sport. You will sleep in simple tents during the ascent, but they are of highqaulity. Our crew will look after you and will do a health check every morning and evening to make sure everything is in order. In addition, the accompanying cook will serve you delicious food during the trekking tour. The quality of the food is one of our priorities as you depend on good food during this strenuous climb.

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Kilimanjaro airport

Upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, our guide will take you to the hotel. Here you can recover from the flight and get used to the African environment. An acclimatization day in the hotel on day two is recommended, but you can also start the climb the next day.

Day 2: Rongai Gate (1,800m/ 5,905 ft) - First Cave Camp (2,600m/ 8,350 ft)

Elevation gain: 800 m/ 2,624 ft | Distance: 8 km | Walking time: 3-4 hours | Difficulty: easy | Environment: rainforest

This is the beginning of your Kilimanjaro climb! This morning you drive about 2 hours to the Rongai Gate, near the Kenyan border. After registering at the gate, your ascent begins to the mighty roof of Africa! On the first day you hike through beautiful lush forests where you can hear lots of animal noises and maybe spot the rare colobus monkey. You will take a lunch break before you continue to the first camp. Rongai route runs through the less forested north side of the mountain. It is one of the quietest routes on Kilimanjaro and is considered by many to be the best route for viewing lots of wildlife.

Day 3: First Cave Camp (2,600m/ 8,530 ft) - Kikelewa Camp (3,600m/ 11,811 ft)

Elevation gain: 1000 m/ 3,281 ft | Distance: 10 km | Walking time: 5-6 hours | Difficulty: medium | Environment: heather

On the second day you will reach the Kilimanjaro heath. During the day you can already see the first mountain peak of Kilimanjaro, called Mawenzi, in the distance. In the morning the climb becomes very steep and you will start to feel the altitude. After a while you will arrive at the first cave where you can stop for a while to rest or to explore the cave and the surrounding area. Lunch is often taken in the second cave. The afternoon is a little quieter and the climc is less steep. You will then hike towards the camp in a sheltered valley near Kikelewa or towards the third cave. Today you hike for about 5-6 hours.

Day 4: Kikelewa Camp (3,600m/ 11,811 ft) - Mawenzi Tarn (4,330m/ 14,206 ft)

Elevation gain: 730 m/ 3,280 ft | Distance: 6 km | Walking time: 4-5 hours | Difficulty: medium | Environment: heather

Today you will take a brisk hike in the morning in order to have time to rest in the afternoon and evening. This gives your body a chance to get used to the altitude. Today’s hike is relatively short, but very steep. Fortunately, the climb is well worth it as you will be rewarded with lots of breathtaking views and a great feeling as you gaze out at the wilderness of Tanzania. The hike continues to Mawenzi Tarn, where you will also spend the night. The Mawenzi Tarn is located below the Mawenzi summit. From here you have a wonderful view of the two famous mountain peaks of Kilimanjaro, Mawenzi and Kibo.

Day 5: Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,330m/ 14,206 ft) - Kibo Camp (4,700m/ 15,419 ft)

Elevation gain: 370 m/ 1,213 ft | Distance: 9 km | Walking time: 5-6 hours | Difficulty: medium | Environment: alpine desert

A beautiful lunar landscape is crossed today, after which the ascent to the higher camp is continued. The Kibo Camp is located directly below Kibo summit, from where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Kenyan plain. Here you can also see Mawanzi and the path very well. After lunch you can rest and regain your strength because the next day you will do the summit push to the peak of Kilimanjaro!

Day 6: Kibo Camp (4,700m/ 15,419 ft) - Uhuru Peak (5,895m/ 19,340 ft) - Horombo Hut (3,720m/ 12,204 ft)

Elevation gain: 1195 m/ 3,921 ft | Elevation loss: 2175 m/ 7,136 ft | Distance: 16 km | Walking time: 9-12 hours | Difficulty: difficult | Environment: arctic

At midnight you start the summit push to the so-called Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa! You will use your flashlight until sunrise. The biggest challenge lies in the first part of this climb. For every 2 climbers there is 1 personal guide. He will keep a close eye on the physical and mental condition of the climbers. After a steep climb you will reach Gilman’s Point. From here, Uhuru Peak is not far and relatively easy to reach. Once at the top you can enjoy a beautiful sunrise, which is very impressive at this height! After a small party at the summit, you return to the Kibo huts before having dinner and then you continue your descent to Horombo huts for your overnight stay. In total, you’ll be hiking for around 12 hours today, so prepare yourself for a tough day! When descending, be careful where you are stepping to avoid injury.

Day 7: Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,204 ft ) - Marangu Gate (1,830m/ 6000 ft) - hotel

Elevation loss: 1890 m/ 6,201 ft | Distance: 18 km | Walking time: 5-6 hours | Difficulty: medium | Environment: rainforest

Today you continue your descend to the exit of Kilimanjaro National Park, the Marangu Gate. This is a delightful five to six hour walk through the beautiful forests of Kilimanjaro. After the descent, the whole group comes together to congratulate each other and your driver will bring you back to your hotel, where you can recover from the rigors of the climb.

Extend your Tanzanian vacation with African History Expeditions on safari, beach holidays or other adventures.

rongai 4
rongai route

Trip Include

  • Professional, English speaking guide
  • Personal porter $ Cook
  • Kilimanjaro Trekking Tour according to the travel plan description
  • Transfers to and from the Kilimanjaro Airport
  • Return transfer from Hotel to the National Park Gate
  • Overnight stays in mountain huts
  • All national park fees
  • Porter 
  • Oxygen
  • fair wages to guides/Assistant guides & porters
  • camping equipment guide
  • Pre & post climb accommodation.

Trip EXclude

  • Flights
  • Optional activities
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Visa fees
  • Tips
  • Personal spending money for souvenirs etc
  • Travel insurance