The Rongai Route is the only route on Kilimanjaro that starts in the north near the border to Kenya, the furthest away from an airport of all Kilimanjaro National Park gates. This makes it much less visited than other routes, providing for a true wilderness experience during your summit approach.
Descending along the Marangu Route in the south east, is furthermore offers a cross-over experience with views of the north, east and south of Mount Kilimanjaro and its surroundings.
While the Rongai Route can be completed through a short and direct approach of the summit in only 5 days, we recommend this 7-day itinerary with a detour to Mawenzi in the east of Kibo. This allows more time to acclimatize to the thin air and improves your summit success chance.
The Rongai Route also is a good choice during rainy season as the northern slopes tend to attract less rain than the southern slopes. However, there is no guarantee. You might be lucky and have a mostly dry climb, or it might still rain a lot even on the northern slopes. There’s really no way to predict the amount of rain at the time of your booking.
If solitude is what attracts you to the Rongai Route, and you are open to consider a longer climb of 8 days or more, then we recommend you to also consider the 8-day Grand Traverse or 8-day Northern Circuit for a more varied scenery and beneficial altitude profile.
- Pre-climb briefing
Your guide or local Tour Operator staff will meet you at your accommodation for your pre-climb briefing and gear check, usually in the late afternoon or evening prior to the start of your climb. Your Tour Operator will advice the exact time of the briefing once they know your arrival time (as well as the arrival times of any other climbers in your group).
Please make sure to arrive at least by mid-afternoon on the day before your climb to leave enough time for your briefing. If you only arrive in the evening or overnight, your Tour Operator will make every effort to arrange the briefing early the next morning for you.
- Transfer to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate
- Moshi (831m) → Rongai Gate (1,945m)
- Maize fields and pine forest
- Rongai Gate (1,945m) → Simba Camp (2,671m)
- A long day in heathland with stunning Kibo views
- Simba Camp (2,671m) → Kikelewa Camp (3,600m)
- Welcome to alpine desert at the base of Mawenzi
- Kikelewa Camp (3,600m) → Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,315m)
- Acclimatization day at leisure
- Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,315m)
- Across the saddle and into thin air
- Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,315m) → Kibo Hut (4,720m)
- Half way down into thicker air
- Uhuru Peak (5,895m) → Horombo Hut (3,720m)
- All the way back down through the forest
- Horombo Hut (3,720m) → Marangu Gate (1,879m)
- Transfer to your hotel
- Marangu Gate (1,879m) → Moshi (831m)