Rongai route Kilimanjaro Trek


Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the fourth tallest peak in the world. It is a dormant volcano with three volcanic cones (Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira) and is located in Tanzania. It is part of the Kilimanjaro National Park and is a well-loved climbing and hiking destination. There are several different routes one can take on a Mount Kilimanjaro hike, but today we will focus on the Rongai Route, which is a trail along the northeastern part of Mount Kilimanjaro near the Kenyan border. It only attracts a few climbers as compared to the Marangu and Machame routes, so the wilderness is untouched and preserved in pristine condition. There’s also a higher chance of seeing wildlife on the Rongai trail than on the other routes. The Rongai Route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro through rural heartlands, which means you can get a front-row view of the life of the inhabitants of the village Chagga.

Trip Highlights
  • Achieve the rare feat of topping the Kilimanjaro.
  • Ascent via the Rongai Route and descent along the Marangu Route.
  • Witness unique landscapes and vegetation along the way, such as heath, moor, and rainforests.
  • Enjoy the different routes from the north being dry to the lush and green south.
  • Catch a glimpse of blue monkeys and black and white colobus monkeys.
  • Get beautiful views of the savannah, rainforests, and beautiful sunrises from the top.
  • Trek a total distance of about 70 km to the roof of Africa.

Day 1

Arrival at Kilimanjaro

On arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to Moshi. You can take a tour of Moshi and enjoy the town by visiting its famous coffee factories, coffee auctions and buy some coffee to take home with you. You can also pay short visits to nearby villages.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner.

camping tents on barranco camp on lemosho route on mount kilimanjaro, tanzania

Day 3

Simba Camp (2625m) to Second Cave Camp (3450m)

The route from Simba Camp to Second Cave Camp is made of heath and moor landscapes. You can also get a good view of the savannah, provided there is good weather. We will reach Second Cave Camp by noon. Following lunch, we will take a short hike to the Third Cave to help with acclimatization to the high altitude conditions. We will spend the night at Second Cave Camp.

herd of elephants on grassland with mount kilimanjaro as background, tanzania

Day 4

Second Cave Camp (3450m) to Kikelewa Camp (3650m)

We continue our ascent through heath and moorland landscapes to the Kikelewa Camp, which is located in a protected sink that is surrounded by senecios. We will arrive around noon and explore the surrounding area and enjoy the majestic views.

Day 5

Kikelewa Camp (3650m) to Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4330m)

Once again, the landscape won’t change from the heath and moorland and the senecios. However, it soon turns more barren as we head for the Mawenzi, where we cross some rocky sections over a moraine ridge to the Mawenzi Tarn Hut, which is located at the only mountain lake on Mount Kilimanjaro and is one of the most beautiful camps on the mountain. The Mawenzi protects this camp.

green surrounding in front of snow capped mount kilimanjaro, tanzania

Day 6

Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4330m) to Kibo Hut (4700m)

After breakfast, the Mount Kilimanjaro hike goes steadily uphill. On reaching the mountain ridge, there will be a clear view of the Kibo saddle. We continue the trail over the saddle connecting the Mawenzi to the main summit of Kibo. The landscape is now an alpine desert, with only a few plants surviving in the dry and oxygen-deprived environment. The Kibo Hut is situated at the foot of the Kibo peak, where you will spend the last night and get an early sleep, before embarking on the ascent to the main summit.

Day 7

Kibo Hut (4700m) to Uhuru Peak (5895m) to Horombo Hut (3700m)

We wake up at 11 pm and start the summit at midnight. We will ascent the upward trail to reach the Hans Meyer Cave, the first milestone to the summit, in around two hours. After a steeper climb, we will reach the crater rim at Gilman's Point, just in time for sunrise. Then, we will walk along the crater rim, and pass the Stella Point to the Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa! We will take the trail back to Kibo Hut, for refreshments, and continue to Horombo Hut to retire for the day.

camping tents on mweka camp on machame route while climbing on mount killimanjaro, tanzania

Day 8

Horombo Hut (3700m) to Marangu Gate (1860m) to Transfer to the hotel

Today we will descent to the Mandara Hut, where we will have lunch against the backdrop of the rainforests. After this, we will walk through the tropical rainforest, which is home to blue monkeys and colobus monkeys. We will arrive back at the entrance of the national park in about six hours and bid farewell to your Mount Kilimanjaro hike team and check in to your hotel where you will be presented with your summit certificate. After a shower and some rest, enjoy the rest of the day with some drinks and recounting your adventures.

Day 9

Back home

After a relaxing breakfast, you will be taken to the international airport for your return flight home or to your next destination. Your tour ends here with unmatched memories of a fantastic Mount Kilimanjaro hike.


hikers on shira camp on mount kilimanjaro, tanzania