The Rongai route starts out on the northern side of Kilimanjaro close to the border with Kenya. It's a relatively quiet route to hike and passes through some impressive scenery particularly at Mawenzi Tarn. The trail skirts the eastern flanks of Kibo joining with the Marangu Trail on route to Kibo huts and finally descending to the finish at Marangu Gate. This trail is can be climbed in 6 days but we prefer the 7 day option that includes an acclimatisation day at Mawenzi Tarn. The additional day significantly ups your chances of bagging that summit.
DAY ONE - RONGAI GATE TO SIMBA CAMP
altitude 1950m - 2650m
time (approx.) 4 hours
On arrival at the Kilimanjaro National Park gate we'll do the registration process and then you'll start the trek toward the highest peak in Africa. This section is a relatively short and easy day. The trail initially passes through cultivated land and pine tree plantations. You may pass small stalls selling snacks and local produce and have a chance to meet some of the local villagers. You'll then pass through a narrow band of montane forest where you might spot colobus monkeys, before reaching the heathland and your camp for the night.
DAY TWO - SIMBA CAMP TO KIKELEWA CAMP
altitude 2650m - 3650m
time (approx.) 5 hours
Todays walk will take you up and out of the heathland and into the next climatic zone- the moorland. Look out for the fairy-tale like giant groundsels and giant lobelias, they're possibly Kilimanjaro's most stunning plants.
DAY THREE - KIKELEWA CAMP TO MAWENZI TARN CAMP
altitude 3650m - 4330m
time (approx.) 4 hours
Your trek today is a bit of a strenuous haul upwards for the most part before levelling out into the high altitude desert and from there a short hop and a skip to Mawenzi Tarn camp. This is a stunning camp based at the foot of the jaggedy peak of Mawenzi. The afternoon is free for you to relax and enjoy the views or stroll around the tarn.
DAY FOUR - ACCLIMATISATION DAY MAWENZI TARN CAMP
altitude 4330m - 4400m - 4330m
time (approx.) 3 hours
Another chance for plenty of r and r today but you should definitely take the acclimatisation walk up the western ridge where you have spectacular views of Kibo looming over the saddle. Also keep an eye out for a buzzard or lammergeyer soaring overhead.
DAY FIVE - MAWENZI TARN CAMP TO KIBO HUT CAMP
altitude 4330m - 4700m
time (approx.) 5-6 hours
Today you'll trek across the boulder strewn saddle that connects Kibo and Mawenzi. You'll also pass some of many parasitc volcanic cones that dot the saddle. After reaching the camp the rest of the day is devoted to preparing for your summit bid - preparing your kit, eating and resting.
DAY SIX - KIBO HUT CAMP TO SUMMIT TO HOROMBO HUT CAMP
altitude 4700m - 5895m UHURU PEAK ! - 3700m
time (approx.) 7-9 hours ascent 6-8 hours descent
This is it, it's the time to start the final ascent to Uhuru Peak ! It's a very, very early start, ok, you'll begin your climb just after midnight. crunching your way up the scree slopes of Kibo. It's a punishing slog but worth all the pain and effort once the, possibly most amazing, sunrise you'll ever see appears on the horizon behind Mawenzi. You'll probably be around Gilman's Point (5685m) at this time so it's time for a much needed breather before walking around the top of the crater rim, passing Stella Point and finally reaching Uhuru. Take some time to enjoy the views of the crater and glaciers then you'll retrace your steps back to Kibo for breakfast and a rest. You'll then descend back down to Horombo hut which will feel oxygen rich after the summit and a long nights
DAY SIX HOROMBO HUTS to MARANGU GATE
altitude 3700m - 1800m
time (approx.) 6 hours
Your last day on the hill. After breakfast and thanking your crew its time to head back down to the forest. You'll stop for lunch at Mandara Hut and then it's on to Marangu gate. Your guide will arrange your certificates and our driver will meet you to whisk you off to your hotel for a long hot shower and an evening of celebration.
AFTER YOUR CLIMB
If you've booked a safari, beach holiday or day trip with us you'll have your confirmed onward travel details before starting your climb.