The Rongai route ascends Kilimanjaro from the north-eastern side of the mountain, along the border between Tanzania and Kenya. This route retains a sense of unspoiled wilderness and offers a different perspective on Kilimanjaro by approaching it from the north.
Day 1: Rongai Start Point (1996m) » Simba camp (2626m)
Hiking time: 4 hours | Distance: Approximately 6.7 km | Habitat: Forest (Montane)
Depart from Moshi town and drive 45 minutes to the Marangu park gate for registration. From Marangu park gate we travel to Naro Moru, north east Kilimanjaro, a further 68km and approximately 2 ½ hours on bad roads to the Rongai start point (1996m). Meet your guide and porters before you begin your hike from the Nale Moru village. The walk is initially through plantations then rain forest and finally bush country. The first night’s camp is at Simba Camp (2 626m). The camp facilities include a public toilet and a wooden table with benches.
Day 2: Simba camp (2626m) » Kikelewa Camp (3679m)
Hiking time: 6 – 7 hours | Distance: Approximately 11.8 km | Habitat: Moorlands
Hike from Simba camp up towards Kibo till 3,482m for lunch at First Caves, a distance of 5.8km. After lunch, traverse through moorland over several ridges to Kikelewa Camp at about 3679 meters. Water can be found in a obvious stream below the cave, although you might have to wander downhill a way to find a pool or two. Enjoy dinner and overnight at Kikelewa camp.
Day 3: Kikelewa Cave (3679m) » Mawenzi Tarn camp (4303m)
Hiking time: 3 - 3.5 hours | Distance: Approximately 3.7 km | Habitat: Moorlands
A short but steep climb up Moorland then screes to Mawenzi Tarn Hut. Spend the afternoon acclimatizing and exploring the area.
Day 4: Mawenzi Tarn camp (4303m) » Kibo hut (4730m)
Hiking time: 5 hours | Distance: Approximately 9 km | Habitat: Alpine desert
After breakfast take on the easy angled screes slopes leading across the Saddle to Kibo Hut. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent, which begins around midnight. Overnight at Kibo hut.
Day 5: Kibo hut (4730m) » Uhuru Peak (5895m) » Horombo hut (3705m)
Hiking time: 7 to 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 6 to 8 hours to descend to Horombo | Distance: Approximately 5.4km ascent and 15 km descent | Habitat: Stone scree / ice-cap summit
Very early start for the summit on steep scree up to Gillman's Point (5,681m), which is on the crater rim. Continue around the rim to Uhuru Peak (5,895m) the highest point in Africa. Descend to Kibo Hut and then down to the thicker air and relative warmth of Horombo hut.
Day 6: Horombo hut (3705m) » Marangu Gate (1860m)
Hiking time: 6 hours | Distance: Approximately 19.7 km | Habitat: Moorland & Montane Forest
After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate.