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.
The topography of the route does not allow for the application of the climb high and sleep low principle and hikers generally suffer more from altitude sickness on the Rongai route compared to other routes (an additional acclimatization day is highly recommended on this route). The Rongai route uses the scree summiting path from Kibo hut to Gilman’s point and descends via the Marangu route.
The main itinerary difference between the Rongai 6 day and 7-day routes is the additional acclimatization day at Mwenzi Tarn.
Arrive at Kilimanjaro international airport meet and greet by our representative transfer to Venus Premium Hotel for the overnight booked on bed and breakfast basis
Depart from Moshi town and drive 45 Minutes to the Marangu park gate for registration. From Marangu park gate we travel to Naro Moru, northeast 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 small winding path crosses maize fields before entering the pine forest and then climbs gently through a forest. The trail is not at all steep but is rather a gentle hike through beautiful countryside. The first night’s camp is at Simba Camp (2 626m). The camp facilities include a public toilet and a wooden table with benches, but no hut.
We hike from Simba camp up towards Kibo till 3 482m for lunch at First Caves, a distance of 5.8km. After lunch, we continue trekking until reaching Kikelewa Camp at about 3679 meters. The views start to open up and you begin to feel you’re on a really big mountain! Water can be found in an 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.
A short but steep climb up grassy slopes offers superb views of this wilderness area. The vegetation zone ends shortly before you reach your next camp at Mawenzi Tarn spectacularly situated beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. Spend the afternoon acclimatizing and exploring the area.
After breakfast, we head west and continue ascending on the east side of Kibo crossing the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo taking 4 to 5 hours to reach Kibo Hut. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent, which begins around midnight. Overnight at Kibo hut.
You will rise around 23h20, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night, and this is where the going gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gillman’s point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort. This is probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly. From Gillmans Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa.
Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend, taking photographs, before the 3 hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest at Kibo hot, you gather all your gear you left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) for your overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office) on the mountain and a well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.
After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. Click here for more info on tips. At Marangu gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Gillman’s Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive gold certificates.
You now drive back to Arusha for a long overdue hot shower, dinner descent bed and celebrations!!
Accommodation: Hotel for the overnight booked on bed and breakfast basis
The best time to climb Kilimanjaro is during the dry season, i.e., from June to early November and from December to end of March. However with changing weather patterns, the chances of getting a clear sky during your climb in November and April is rare.
The climb to Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb. No mountaineering equipment is require to summit Kilimanjaro. Anyone in good physical condition can reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Yes we do have a kit list of all the items you will require for your climb. You can rent sleeping bags, parkas, gaiters, trekking poles, etc. Just e-mail us your list of needs, and we will reserve these items for provide you upon your arrival.
Anybody who are able to run for at least half an hour without feeling shortness of breath. You should also be able to walk for at least 2 hours in hilly terrains without feeling overly exhausted. No one with a sore throat, cold of breathing problems should go beyond 3000m. However, anybody with heart or lung problems should consult his/her physician before attempting to climb Mt Kilimanjaro.
No, you are not required to bring filtering systems or purification tablets, our climbing staff will provide you with plenty of purified drinking water during your trek.
Our mountain crews are in constant radio communication with us via ICOM radios so if anything goes wrong on your trekking we are informed. Also, the cell reception on the mountain has improved so we can effectively communicate with our teams using mobile phones.
The symptoms of altitude sickness can appear while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, in all climbers irrespective of their age and/or fitness level. Due to which, most climbers choose to use Diamox (Acetazolamide), a medication that diminishes headache, tiredness, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath which occur when climbing to high altitudes. Side effects include a tingling sensation in fingertips and on the face, and frequent urination.
Yes. The price also contains the salary of a porter, who is assigned to carry the oxygen tanks during your summit attempt.