Safari Overview

The remote Rongai route begins on the side of the mountain close to the Kenyan border, running on the dry northeast side of Kilimanjaro. It takes a long drive to get to the starting point. It is the only route that approaches from the north and can be drier than most routes if you hike during the rainy season. The acclimatisation profile is fair.

The route is less crowded, moderately steep, crosses a beautiful alpine desert zone and allows for good views towards Kenya and the Kibo summit. On this route, you return via the Marangu route.


Day 1

Arusha – Rongai Gate

With a private vehicle from Arusha to Rongai Gate (or Nalemuru) in 5h-6h. Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle.

Rongai Gate (or Nalemuru) – Simba Camp                           

8km, ↑ 635m, or 2083ft

Follow a small path through farmland from the village of Nalemuru (1990m, or 6529ft). Travel through pine forest mostly in the montane forest habitat, with a gentle but consistent incline. Keep a look out for the Black and White Colobus monkeys of the area with their long white hair that looks like a cape.

Camp for the night at the edge of the moorland zone (2625m, or 8612ft), from here the forest thins considerably and there’s a great, wide view of the plains of Kenya.

Day 2

Simba Camp – Kikelelwa Camp                                              

10km, ↑ 1005m, or 3297ft

Continue ascending with superb views of the eastern ice fields.

Leave from Simba Camp in the morning with a steady ascent. Arrive at the second cave around lunchtime and take in the views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields. After lunch, hike for 3-5 hours across the moorland off the main trail heading towards the peaks of Mawenzi. Camp for the night in the sheltered valley of the Kikelewa Camp (3630m, or 11909ft).

Day 3

Kikelelwa Camp – Mawenzi Tarn Camp                    

5km, ↑ 680m, or 2231ft

Ascend through grassy slopes up to an area with majestic views. Climb the steep trail towards the Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4310m, or 14140ft) through the wilder- ness and semi-desert habitat. The view behind is superb so make sure you enjoy it. Exit the vegetation zone shortly before reaching camp in the afternoon. Take a rest or explore the area around camp to help acclimatize.

Day 4

Mawenzi Tarn Camp – Kibo Huts Camp                             

 8-9km, ↑ 390m, or 1280ft

Hike slowly through the famous ‘Saddle’ between the Mawenzi and Kibo peaks.

Cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo Hut (4700m, or 15420ft) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Spend the remainder of the day resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early start.

Day 5

Kibo Huts Camp – Horombo Huts             

28km, ↑ 1195m, or 3920ft

↓ 2195m, or 7201ft

Night hike to the Summit via Gillman ‘s Point. Appreciate the beautiful sunrise before descending to Horombo Hut Camp.

Kibo Huts Camp ─ Summit                               

13km, ↑ 1195m, or 3920ft

Start the final and, by far, the steepest and most demanding part of the climb by torch- light around 00:00. Go very slowly in the darkness on a switchback trail through loo- se volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman’s Point (5681m, or 18638ft). Rest there for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. If you are still feeling strong, make the two hours round trip to Uhuru Peak (5895m, or 19341ft)), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area.

Summit (Uhuru) – Horombo Huts                    

15km, ↓ 2195m, or 7201 ft

Descend to Kibo Huts (4700m, or 15420ft), which is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshment take a quick moment to enjoy the view and celebrate a successful climb before starting the descent to our final campsite at Horombo (3700m, or 121394ft). Enjoy a well-deserved rest during the last night on the mountain.

Day 6

Horombo Huts – Marangu Gate                                               

20km, ↓ 1840m, or 6037ft

Continue down through moorland to Mandara Hut (2700m, or 8858ft), the first stopping place on the Marangu route, passing by the Mandara escarpment on the way.  Descend through lovely lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu (1860m, or 6102ft). Enjoy the easier descent and hikers who successfully reached Uhuru Peak will receive a summit certificate.

Transfer from Marangu to hotel in Arusha will take 3 hours for a well-deserved night in relative comfort. Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort and private vehicle.

Included Items: 6 Days Rongai-Route Kilimanjaro Climb Itinerary

  • Quality, waterproof mountain sleeping tents
  • Professional, experienced, mountain guides
  • All Park fees and Rescue fees
  • All meals
  • Arrival and Departure transfers
  • 2 nights at hotel with half board (before & after climb)
  • Transfer from hotel to Gate and back to hotel after climb
  • Guides, Porters, cook salaries
  • Mess tents with table and chairs
  • Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food
  • Clean, purified drinking water
  • Fair and ethical treatment of porters