• Date
    22 Jan - 03 Feb
    6 Days
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    Overview: Rongai Route, Mt.Kilimanjaro Climbing Tour

    The Rongai route has several variations. It can be done as a five, six or even seven day trek.The extra day is not spent in the same camp as the previous day. The six day Rongai trek usually follows a different trail than the five day version. After day two you make a detour towards Mawenzi Peak. Some operators of six day treks simply ascend slower, making an extra camp instead of the detour. All seven day treks make the detour to Mawenzi.This itinerary describes the six day trek with the detour via Mawenzi Tarn, one of the most scenic campsites on the montain.

    (Note: altitudes and distances are approximations. Different sources will give you different numbers.)

    Starting Point: Nalemoru (about 1950 m/6400 ft)

    Duration: 6 Days

    Rongai Route, Mt.Kilimanjaro Climbing Tour Itinerary

    Day 1: Nalemoru (1950 m/6400 ft) - First Cave Campsite (2650 m/8700 ft)

    Your first day on Kilimanjaro starts with the transfer from your hotel to the village of Nalemoru. Yep, Nalemoru, not Rongai.This route used to start from the border village of Rongai, hence the name Rongai route, which is still widely used. But the start of the route was eventually moved away from the Kenya border, to Nalemoru near Loitokitok. So now you may find any of these names used in descriptions and even on signs of the trail: Rongai route, Loitokitok route or (rarely) Nalemoru route. Rest assured, it's all the same trail.The drive from Moshi or Marangu, around Kilimanjaro, to the Rongai route on the other side, takes two to three hours. It is a picturesque drive through the rural Chagga villages in the foothills.

    Depending on your timing you may have your packed lunch at Nalemoru while you wait for all your gear to be distributed amongst the porters and for everyone to get ready.The first day on the Rongai route leads intially through cypress plantations, then through fairly open country with only two patches of montane forest. Even those forests are nothing like the rainforest on the western and southern slopes. The scenery of the first day may not be that memorable, but the wildlife can be.Birdlife is prolific and you should also see some colobus monkeys. What you may spot beyond that depends on the time of the year and the amount of people on the trail, but Rongai is certainly one of the routes that offers a greater chance of seeing wildlife on Kilimanjaro.

    Walking distance: 6.5 km/4 miles

    Walking time: 3-4 hours

    Altitude gain: 700 m/2300 ft

    Day 2: First Cave Campsite - Kikelewa Caves (3600 m/11810 ft)

    Until lunch time all groups still follow the same path, through moorland covered in heather, on an increasingly steep trail, to the lunch spot known as the Second Cave Camp (3450 m/11320 ft).After lunch the groups on five day treks will split away to head for the Third Cave Campsite at 3875 m/12715 ft, from where they will walk to Kibo Huts (4700 m/15420 ft) the next day.The much nicer six day route, the one that allows for excellent acclimatization, swings south east towards Mawenzi.The path, not so steep any more, ambles through the heathland with the occasional rocky section and a few little ups and downs to keep things interesting. I find this a very enjoyable day, with great views towards Mawenzi, Kibo with its eastern icefields, and, weather permitting, back down the mountain over the Amboseli Plains into the distance.It is, however, a long day. Especially those who start to feel the altitude will be glad to arrive at the next campsite, the Kikelewa Caves Camp, near a group of small caves in a valley below the saddle.

    Walking distance: 9 km/5.6 miles

    Walking time: 6-7 hours

    Altitude gain: 950 m/3110 ft

    Day 3: Kikelewa Caves - Mawenzi Tarn (4330 m/14210 ft)

    Today you wake up to great views of Kibo in the early morning sun. Your day starts as yesterday finished, on an easy path up a gentle slope. But soon the scenery changes and the trail becomes steeper and steeper.There used to be a huge number of the giant senecios lining this section of the way. Unfortunately a fire that swept up this slope destroyed most of them. Only a few of them are slowly coming back to life now.The Mawenzi Tarn Campsite is one of the most spectacular campsites on the mountain, right underneath the jagged peak of Mawenzi, in a protected hollow, next to a tiny lake.Several paths lead up the ridges and towers of Mawenzi, taking you to great views across the saddle towards Kibo. You will be doing some exploring on an acclimatization walk in the afternoon. After a hot lunch and some rest, that is.

    Walking distance: 6 km/3.7 miles

    Walking time: 3-4 hours

    Altitude gain: 730 m/2400 ft

    Afternoon acclimatization walk to about 4500 m/14760 ft

    Day 4: Mawenzi Tarn - Kibo Huts (4700 m/15420 ft)

    Today the direction changes sharply as you start heading back towards Kibo, first climbing over a small ridge, and then wandering on a comfortable path along the northern side of "The Saddle".If the view is clear it will be breathtaking, especially when you get your first peak over that ridge.The saddle is the barren plain of alpine desert between the two main peaks of Kilimanjaro: Mawenzi and Kibo. The only living things left are some hardy grasses and the occasional everlasting flower.You will be looking at Kibo the whole time, and you will be having a good view of the challenge that lies ahead for you tonight.

    Just before you get to the Kibo Huts you will be joining the wide beaten path of the Marangu route, and you will realize just how remote the last days have been.The Kibo Huts themselves are not exceptionally scenic, but you will likely be camping a little below them, with good views back over the saddle.Have an early dinner and early night, and hopefully get some sleep. This is the big night...

    Walking distance: 9 km/5.6 miles

    Walking time: 4-5 hours

    Altitude gain: 370 m/1215 ft

    Day 5: Summit attempt via Gilman's Point (5700 m/18700 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5895 m/19340 ft) and descent to Horombo Huts (3700 m/12200 ft)

    You will be setting out on your trek to the summit some time around midnight. The way to the rim is an endless succession of switchbacks on a steep scree slope but you won't be seeing any of it. You'll just see the little circle of light from your head torch, your feet, and the feet of the person in front of you. Until the break of dawn, that is Some people manage to make it to Uhuru Peak in time for the sunrise, but you can see the sunrise from any point on the crater rim or even on the way up. No need to rush.This is what a sunrise on Kilimanjaro looks like if you view it from Gilman's Point, the point where you will be reaching the crater rim, and this is what two happy climbers at Gilman's Point look like, squinting into the rising sun

    Walking distance: 5 km/3.1 miles ascent + 15 km/9.3 miles descent

    Walking time: 5-6 hrs + 1-2 hours up, 5-6 hours down (the overall walking time may vary from 10 - 16 hours)

    Altitude gain: 1000 m/ 3280 ft (Gilman's Point) or 1195 m/3920 ft (Uhuru Peak)

    Descent: 2195 m/7200 ft

    Day 6: Horombo Huts - Marangu Gate

    This is the way back down to the Kibo Huts, seen from Gilman's Point. The summit path is so steep, you can't even see it any more.But I hope you won't think about turning back now!

    To continue to Uhuru Peak from here allow another one and a half to two hours, three hours for the round trip, For many people the walk along the Kilimanjaro crater rim is the best part of the whole experience, and this is the part where you will be passing what's left of Kilimanjaro's glaciers.

    Walking distance: 20 km/12.5 miles

    Walking time: 5 hours

    Descent: 1840 m/6040 ft

    Altitude gain: 1072 m/ 3511 ft (Stella Point) or 1215 m/3980 ft (Uhuru Peak)


    1 6800 Single
    2 8800 1 Double
    3 10800 1 Triple
    4 12800 2 Double
    5 14800 1 Double & 1 Triple
    6 16800 3 Double or 2 Triple


    1 5800 Single
    2 7800 1 Double
    3 9800 1 Triple
    4 11800 2 Double
    5 13800 1 Double & 1 Triple
    6 15800 3 Double or 2 Triple


    1 5800 Single
    2 7800 1 Double
    3 9800 1 Triple
    4 11800 2 Double
    5 13800 1 Double & 1 Triple
    6 15800 3 Double or 2 Triple
    • Park fees, camping fees & rescue fees
    • 18% VAT on tour fees & services
    • Accommodation in wooden cabins on the mountain
    • -29C Extreme Limit Sleeping Bags
    • Double layered Sleeping Mats
    • Transportation to & from the mountain gate
    • Professional mountain guides, cooks and porters
    • 3 meals daily while on the mountain>
    • Katadyn filtered water throughout the trek
    • Pre & Post Trek accommodation at the Weru Weru River Lodge (or alternative) on Bed & Breakfast Basis
    • Fair wages for the mountain crew as approved by the Kilimanjaro Association of Tour Operators (KIATO)
    • 10% discount on meals at selected restaurants in Moshi Town
    • Tree donation in support of our environmental conservation projects
    • 2- way shared airport transfers (for private transfers it costs $20 extra per vehicle.
    Not Include
    • Tips
    • Laundry Services & Items of personal nature
    • Add-on tours & activities

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    Related Routes

    • 6 Days Rongai Route
    • 4 Days Machame Route
    • 8 Days Machame Route
    • 6 Days Machame Route
    • 9 Days Machame Route

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