6 Days Hiking Rongai Route
The Rongai route reaches Kibo from Kilimanjaro’s less traveled and drier north-eastern flank. The journey departs near the Kenyan border and provides breathtaking views of the African savannah and craggy Mawenzi. Climbers will reach the only mountain lake in Kilimanjaro National Park shortly after leaving Mawenzi Tarn Camp. The routes are well-maintained and go through a rain forest and an alpine desert. Although the Rongai path is typically believed to be easy, the rockier parts around the summit region can be a little more difficult at times. Climbers will spend the night in tents during the whole ascent.
Day by Day Itinerary
RONGAI GATE (1,800M/5,900FT) TO FIRST CAVE CAMP (2,600M/8,400FT)
After breakfast, you will be driven to the Machame gate where registration formalities will be completed. From there, we proceed to the Umbwe Gate (1641m), passing through villages with coffee and banana plantations. The air is thick with moisture and the path is usually muddy. The route initially follows a forestry track winding up through the natural rain forest. It then narrows and steepens to climb the ridge between the Lonzo and Umbwe rivers, with huge trees surrounding you. The path offers some spectacular views of deep gorges and if you are lucky, glimpse of Kilimanjaro towering above you in the distance. The camp is perched between huge trees and thick undergrowth.
Accommodation: Umbwe Cave Camp
1st Caves Camp (2600m) – Kikelewa Cave (3600m)
Following a hot breakfast, hikers will continue their ascent to Kikelewa Cave 3600 m. The trail passes Second Cave 3450 m and this is a good spot to take a lunch break. Similar to the first night, your tents will be set up prior to arriving at camp and the porters will prepare drinking and washing water for you. You will enjoy evening snacks then dinner prepared by our chef. Be prepared for a cold night as temperatures drop below freezing at this exposed camp.
Kikelewa Cave 3600 to Mawenzi Tarn Camp 4330 m
On this day, hikers will enjoy a short, yet steep trail to Mawenzi Tarn Camp 4330 m. In the moorland, you will spot exotic plants, including giant lobelia and groundswell. At camp, hikers will enjoy spectacular views and allow their bodies to acclimate. Hot dinner and washing water will be prepared for hikers as they enjoy the magnificent sunset.
Mawenzi Tarn Camp 4330 m to Kibo Hut 4700 m
After breakfast, hikers will continue ascending east for a half-day hike to Kibo Hut. Kibo is located in the "Saddle," which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo in an alpine desert. There is no water at this camp, but hikers can buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. An early dinner will be served so hikers can rest before attempting the summit the same night. Your guide will brief you in detail on how to prepare for summit night.
Summit Attempt- Mweka
Your guide will take you around 23:30 for tea and biscuits. You will then begin your summit attempt. The trail is rocky up to Hans Meyer Cave 5150 m. You continue your ascent to Gillman's point 5681 m. Reaching this section is an impressive achievement as the trail is steep, rocky, and at high altitude. Gillman's is located on the crater rim. From this point, you will usually experience a snow-covered trail until you reach the summit, Uhuru Peak 5895 m. Reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro is a lifetime accomplishment! You will be able to spend a short time on the summit taking photographs and drinking tea before the descent to Barafu begins. The hike down to Kibo Hut takes about 3 hours. At Kibo Hut, you will rest and enjoy a hot lunch in the sun. After eating, you will continue descending down to Horombo Hut 3720 m. You will have dinner, wash, and rest soundly at the hut after a strenuous day.
Horombo Hut 3720 m to Marangu Gate 1980 m
Following a well-deserved breakfast, your staff will have a big celebration full of dancing and singing. It is here on the mountain that you will present your tips to the guide, assistant guides, chefs, and porters. After celebrating, you will descend for 6 hours back to Marangu Gate 1980 m. The National Park requires all hikers to sign their names to receive certificates of completion. Hikers who reached Gillman's Point (5681 m) receive green certificates and hikers who reached Uhuru Peak 5895 m receive gold certificates. After receiving certificates, you will drive back to Arusha for long overdue showers and more celebrations which will be the end of your Kilimanjaro Trek Rongai.
- Accommodation as per the itinerary
- Professional Mountain guide
- Professional mountain cook
- Transfer to and from the mountain gate
- All Park entrance fees
- Rescue fees
- Porter’s allowance
- All Meals (as specified in the day-by-day section)
- Drinking water on all days
- International flights (from/to home)
- Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
- Personal items (souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
- Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees
- Alcohol drinks
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