This is one of Kilimanjaro’s easiest routes, and it has become an increasingly popular route in recent years. This route is located on the northern side of Mount Kilimanjaro with a variety of spectacular landscapes together with different plants and animal species. The typical duration for this trip is 6 days. However, you can also add an acclimatization day and make it 7 day climb.
The Rongai Route is more scenic than the Marangu Route and easier than other camping route in climbing Kilimanjaro and the success rate on the Rongai Route is very high. Unlike the Marangu Route where you sleep in huts, on the Rongai Route you sleep in tents, the porter will have your tent pitched and waiting for you at the end of each days trek.
This route starts on the north side of the mountain just south of the Kenyan border and is one of the least traveled routes. The route merges with the Marangu Route for the summit climb. The descent follows the Marangu Route on the mountain’s southeast side, so you will able see Kilimanjaro from many view points.
There are two versions of this trek – a direct 6-day itinerary, and a 7-day itinerary that takes a longer route. The 6-day itinerary is described down below and the longer variation is described in the extra day’s section.
Mikio Tours staff will meet and pick you up from JRO (Kilimanjaro International Airport) and transfer you to your hotel in Moshi for overnight B/B.
You will have an early breakfast. Transfer by our vehicles through many villages and coffee plantations for a 2-3 hour drive to Rongai gate (1,950 m/6,398 ft). After signing in and preparing the porters, you will start hiking on a wide path winding through fields of maize and potatoes, and then enter into Montane forest. You will then start to climb gently but consistently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. The forest begins to thin as you arrive at Simba Camp (2,600 m/8,530ft) with fantastic views over the Kenyan plains.
After an early breakfast you will have a steady ascent to the second cave where you will stop for lunch. You leave the direct trail at this point and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path toward Mawenzi side peak to Kikelewa Camp in a sheltered valley. At the Kikelewa Camp you will settle for your dinner and an overnight rest.
After breakfast you will face a short, steep climb up grassy slopes; rewarded by superb all-round views, immersed in the vast surrounding wilderness. Soon after, you leave the vegetation behind and arrive at the Mawenzi Tarn Camp, which is situated in a spectacular cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi Peak. After this hike, you will reach to the Mawenzi turn hut camp where you will also see the amazing undried Lake with no inlet as well as outlet here you will have lunch and rest then have dinner and spend the night at this camp.
This is your extra day on the mountain, and you will spend two nights at Mawenzi Tarn. You will hike up towards Mawenzi for a splendid acclimatization hike. There after you will return to the camp for lunch, dinner and spend the night.
After an early breakfast you will cross the lunar desert of the saddle between Kibo peak and Mawenzi peak to Kibo Huts at the bottom of Kibo’s crater wall. You should spend the remainder of the day resting and preparing for your summit climb.
Wake at midnight to a light breakfast and then prepare for your summit ascent. The goal is to climb before dawn so that you can reach Uhuru Peak shortly before or after sunrise.
Leave to the peak at 12:00 AM, switchback up steep scree or possibly snow, and reach Gilman’s Point on the crater rim at 5,861 m/18,640 ft between 4 and 6 AM. At this point, you will have views of the fabled crater and its icecaps facing you. Then after 2 hours of hiking along the Kibo crater rim near the celebrated snows which take you to Kilimanjaro’s true summit, Uhuru Peak where you will spend some time taking photos but it will depend on how you feel.
After your summit activities are done, descend back to the Kibo Huts, have lunch, rest, collect your equipment, and continue on down, re-crossing the saddle to the Horombo Huts.
You will have dinner and spend the night at Horombo camp.
After a long and enjoyable sleep you will be awaken for breakfast and pack up, start descend through the moorland to Mandara Huts. Here you will have lunch then proceed with your triumphant recessional down through lush forest to Marangu park gate. Here you will sign out there after a vehicle will take you back to the hotel where it is definitely time for certificate presentation and celebration!
Mikio Tours staff will meet and pick you up from Moshi and transfer you back to JRO (Kilimanjaro International Airport) or to Safari or Zanzibar if you have extension because we do organize safaris too. Please, do request for these services. Thank you.