7 Days Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route Hike

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Rongai Route Kilimanjaro

This 7- Day Kilimanjaro Hike follows the Rongai Route, the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, this route still experiences low crowds.

This is one of the easiest and least traveled hiking routes up the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. Due to the relative ease of the Rongai Route, your chances of summiting are very high.

This route receives less rainfall and as a result, is a drier route with a sparser rainforest to climb through on the first day. Rongai has a more gradual slope than the mountain’s other routes. It is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the popular Marangu route, for those who would like a more remote hike, and for those who are climbing during the rainy season (the north side receives less precipitation).

Although the scenery is not as varied as the western routes, Rongai makes up for this by passing through true wilderness areas for nearly the entire way. Descent is made via the Marangu route on the south side of the mountain, so climbers see the mountain from many viewpoints.

The trip begins with a transfer from Moshi (a 4-5 hour drive) will take you through the coffee plantations and Village of Nale Muru to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. It includes a stop to register climbing permits at Marangu.

Starting in Nale Moru village, you leave behind the local maize fields and enter the Rongai pine forest to the first camp at First Cave, at 2,600m. Woodland then opens up into wild moorland which, in turn, opens up views to the famous eastern icefields on the rim of the Kibo cone.

With each daily ascent, on this route, you not only gain views of Kilimanjaro but also over the Kenyan plains. Green turns quickly to dusty brown as you approach the spectacular Mawenzi Tarn at 4,330m, with the jagged peaks of Mawenzi cone a majestic presence at this point.

The seven days include a day of acclimatization at Mawenzi Tarn and this is an important addition because the flatter terrain means you can’t ‘climb high, sleep low’ which is a good approach to acclimatization. This extra day helps a lot and means the summit success rate on this route is quite high at over 80%.

The total distance is 72 kilometers with the longest day being summit day at 21 km. This route has an acclimatization day at Mawenzi Tarn which helps with acclimatization but there is less of the ‘climb high, sleep low’ option so we only do this route in seven days, which is the recommended number of days for a climb of this altitude.

Starting from the Kenyan side of the mountain in the north its advantages are a more gradual and easier route in terms of terrain, plus there are excellent clear views of the mountain all through the approach. There is also more opportunity to see wildlife such as buffalo, elephants, and antelope.

The camps on this route are less frequented and a bit more basic than the other routes but they all have toilet facilities and a Ranger’s hut. There are no huts, this is a camping route only.

Safari Itinerary in Summary

Day 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Rongai Gate (Nale Moru), Hike to Simba Camp
Day 2: Hike Simba Camp to Second Cave
Day 3: Hike Second Cave to Kikelewa Camp
Day 4: Hike Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn
Day 5: Hike Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut
Day 6: Kibo Camp to Summit and Horombo Hut
Day 7: Hike Horombo Hut to trailhead, drive to Moshi

Safari Itinerary in Detail

Day 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Rongai Gate (Nale Moru) (2000 M/ 6560 Ft), Hike to Simba Camp (2650 M/ 8700 Ft)

Drive to the attractive wooden village of Nale Moru (about 2 hours including a stop to get permits at Marangu).

After signing in and preparing the porters, you will begin the hike on a wide path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering the pine forest.

The track then starts to climb consistently but gently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.

Hiking distance is 6 Kilometers/ 4 Miles and the hiking time is 3 to 4 hours on Montane Forest

Overnight at Simba Camp
Meal Plan
: {Lunch & Dinner}

Day 2: Hike Simba Camp (2650 Meters/ 8700 Feet) Hike to Second Cave (3450 Meters/ 11,300 Feet)

The morning hike is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim.

The hiking distance is 6 Kilometers/ 4 Miles and the hiking time is 3 to 4 hours on Moorland.

Overnight at Second Cave Camp
Meal Plan:
 {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 3: Hike Second Cave (3450 Meters/ 11,300 Feet) Hike to Kikelewa Camp (3600 Meters/ 11,800 Feet)

Head out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. The campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant senecios nearby.

The hiking distance is 9 Kilometers/ 5 Miles and the hiking time is 2 to 3 hours on Semi-desert.

Overnight at Kikelewa Camp
Meal Plan:
 {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 4: Hike Kikelewa Camp (3600 Meters/ 11,800 Feet) Hike to Mawenzi Tarn (4330 Meters/ 14,200 Feet)

A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb views.

Leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn, spectacularly situated in a cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi.

The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatization. If you are spending an extra day on the mountain, you will camp for two nights here.

You can hike up and around Mawenzi for your acclimatization hike.

The hiking distance is 6 Kilometers/ 4 Miles and the hiking time is 3 to 4 hours on Semi-desert.

Overnight at Mawenzi Tarn Camp
Meal Plan:
 {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 5: Hike Mawenzi Tarn (4330 Meters/ 14,200 Feet) Hike to Kibo Hut (4750 Meters/ 15,600 Feet)

Cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach the Kibo campsite at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall.

The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent very early.

The hiking distance is 9 Kilometers/ 5 Miles and the hiking time is 4 to 5 hours on Alpine Desert.

Overnight at Kibo Hut Camp
Meal Plan:
 {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 6: Kibo Camp (4750 M/ 15,600 Ft) Hike to Summit (5895 M/ 19,340 Ft) and Horombo Hut (3700 M/ 12,200 Ft)

Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), commence the climb to the summit on steep and heavy scree or snow up to Gilman’s Point located on the crater rim (elevation; 5700 meters/18,700 feet).

Continuing, we now ascend to Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point in Africa. There are unbelievable views at every turn.

Have your picture taken at the summit to show your friends and family. From here we descend, stopping for lunch and a rest at Kibo before continuing on to the Horombo encampment.

The beginning of this climb is done in the dark and requires headlamps or flashlights. It will be very cold until you start descending, so you will need all of your warm layers.

This is by far the most difficult part of the trek with many switchbacks. Going slowly “pole pole” and an optimistic attitude will get you there!

The hiking up distance is 6 Kilometers/ 4 Miles and the hiking time is 6 to 8 hours on Alpine Desert.

The hiking down distance is 15 Kilometers/ 9 Miles and the hiking time is 6 to 7 hours on Alpine Desert.

Overnight at Horombo Hut Camp
Meal Plan:
 {Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner}

Day 7: Hike Horombo Hut (3700 Meters/ 12,200 Feet) Hike to the trailhead (1700 Meters/ 5500 Feet), drive to Moshi

After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to the Mandara Hut. Continue descending through a lush forest path to the National Park gate at Marangu.

At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help.

Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). A vehicle will meet you at Marangu village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 1 hour). Don’t forget to tip your guides and porters. It is time for celebration!

The hiking down distance: 20km/ 12.5miles. Hiking Time: 4-5 hours and the Habitat: Forest

Meal Plan: {Breakfast}

7 Days Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route Hike Prices

7 Days Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route Hike Rates Includes:

Oximeters + Hut or camping fees + National Park gate fees + All meals on the mountain + Salaries for all crew members + Rescue fees (as required by the national park) + Certified, experienced, English-speaking guides for all routes + Tents, foam sleeping pads, cooking equipment, and eating utensils & Transport from Moshi to starting point on the mountain and return to Moshi

Dates From Dates To 1 Guest 2-3 Guests Per Person 4-6 Guests Per Person

7+ Guests Per Person

1st Jan 2022

31st Dec 2022 3,045 US Dollars 2,745 US Dollars 2,595 US Dollars 2,445 US Dollars


* Budget for extras: 400 US Dollars to 550 US Dollars person for Gratuity
* The main itinerary difference between the Rongai 6 day and 7-day routes is the additional acclimatization day at Mwenzi Tarn

7 Days Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route Hike Rates Do Not Include:

* Drinks
* Laundry
* Travelers insurance
* Communication charges
* Sleeping bags and personal items
* Accommodation and meals in Moshi
* Tips or gratuity for guides and porters
* Visas, international airfares and airport taxes; meals
* Lunch or dinner in town (option and extra charges direct)
* Sightseeing not included in the package; optional activities
* Personal expenses such as transfers to/ from the airport (supplement airport transfer cost applies for tours starting from the airport)

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