Rongai Route 6 Days Kilimanjaro Climb


The Rongai route 6 days is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, the Rongai route still experiences low traffic. 6 days Rongai route is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the crowded 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).

The minimum number of days required for Rongai route is 6 days, and 7 days are recommended. Although the scenery is not as varied as the western routes, Rongai makes up for this by passing through true wilderness areas for days before joining the Marangu route at Kibo camp. This route descends down the Marangu route. Rongai route is a moderately difficult route, and is highly recommended, especially for those with less backpacking experience.


Day 0: Pre-trek Briefing

If you have chosen the optional airport transfer, we will pick you up from Kilimanjaro Airport or Arusha Airport and transfer you to Panama hotel in Moshi or similar hotel. Pre-trek briefing at the Moshi hotel. You should plan to arrive at least one day before the tour starts. We will spend today with a pre-excursion briefing. We review your equipment and rent the necessary equipment.

Day 1: Hotel to Simba Camp

Travel to the attractive wooden village of Nale Moru (approx. 2 hours including obtaining permits in Marangu). After checking in and preparing the porters, we start the tour on a wide path that winds through corn and potato fields before entering the pine forest. The track then climbs steadily but gently through attractive woodland that harbors a variety of wildlife. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is on the edge of the marshland with a sweeping view of the Kenyan plains.

  • Elevation: 2000m/6560ft-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 climb to the second cave, which offers great views of Kibo and the eastern ice fields on the crater rim.

  • Elevation: 2650m/8700ft-3450m/11300ft
  • Distance: 6km/4mi
  • Walking time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 3: Second Cave to Third Cave

Today we continue our tour from the second cave to the third cave.

  • Elevation Gain: 3,450 m/11,300 ft – 3,880 m/12,700 ft
  • Distance: 9km/5mi
  • Walking time: 2-3 hours
  • Habitat: semi-desert
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4: Third Cave to Kibo Hut

Hike to Kibo Hut at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent and a very early day!

  • Elevation: 3880m/12,700ft to 4750m/15,600ft
  • Distance: 5km/3mi
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5: 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/12,200f
  • 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 6: 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).

Our vehicle will be waiting for you at the Marangu gate to take you back to your hotel in Moshi (approx. 60 minutes).

  • Elevation: 3700m/12,200ft to 1700m/5500ft
  • Distance: 20km/12.5mi
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Meals: Breakfast



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