Image by Hu Chen

7 Days Kilimanjaro Climb via Rongai Route

The Rongai route ascends Kilimanjaro from the northeastern side of the mountain, along the border between Tanzania and Kenya. This route retains a sense of unspoilt wilderness and offers a different perspective of 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 use the scree summiting path from Kibo hut to Gilman’s point and descend 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.

DURATION: 7 DAYS

PLACES TO VISIT: MOUNT KILIMANJARO

7 Days Kilimanjaro Climb via Rongai Route itinerary 

Day 0: Pre-trek Briefing

If you have opted for the optional airport transfers, we will pick you up from Kilimanjaro Airport or Arusha airport and transfer you to your hotel in Moshi.

Pre-trek briefing at your Moshi hotel. You should be planning to arrive at least one day before the start of the trek. Today we will spend time having a pre-trek briefing. We will also review your equipment and rent any equipment which is needed.


Day 1: Hotel to Simba Camp

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 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.

Elevation: 2000m/6560ft to 2650m/8700ft
Distance: 6km/4mi
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
Meals: Lunch and Dinner


Day 2: Simba Camp to Second Cave

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.

Elevation: 2650m/8700ft to 3450m/11,300ft
Distance: 6km/4mi
Walking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Moorland
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 3: Second Cave to Kikelewa Camp

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.

Elevation: 3450m/11,300ft to 3600m/11,800ft
Distance: 9km/5mi
Walking Time: 2-3 hours
Habitat: Semi-desert
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner



Day 4: Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn

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.

Elevation: 3600m/11,800ft to 4330m/14,200ft
Distance: 6km/4mi
Walking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Semi-desert
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 5: Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut

Cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach 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.

Elevation: 4330m/14,200ft to 4750m/15,600ft
Distance: 9km/5mi
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 6: Kibo Hut to Summit to Horombo Hut

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

Elevation: 4700m/15,500ft to 5895m/19,340ft
Down to 3700m/12,200ft
Distance: 6km/4mi up / 15km/9mi down
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours up / 6-8 hours down
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Day 7: Horombo Hut to trail head to Moshi hotel

After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to the Mandara Hut. Continue descending through 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).

  • All transfers to the mountain and back to your Moshi hotel

  • Professional, experienced, mountain guides

  • Guides, Porters, Cook salaries and park fees

  • Quality, waterproof, four-season mountain sleeping tents (on twin sharing basis)

  • Sleeping Mattress

  • Emergency Oxygen Cylinder

  • All meals while on the Mountain

  • Quality Mess tents with table and chairs

  • Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food

  • Clean, purified drinking water

  • Conservation fees (part of park fees)

  • Camping or Hut fees (part of park fees)

  • Rescue fees (part of park fees)

  • VAT (18% charged by the Government)

  • Kilimanjaro summit certificate

Let Us Help you Plan this Tour