This is the only route to approach Kibo from the north and the least travelled. Originally the trail began right against the Kenyan border, though recently the trail shifted eastwards and now starts at the Tanzanian town of Loitokitok, after which the new trail has been named (most trekkers refer to this trail as the Rongai Route).
As this is an isolated route less frequented by trekkers, it is likely that you will encounter wildlife, as animals tend to gather where humans don’t. Trekkers will also be rewarded by the vast number of unique plant life that is prevalent in the rainforest, Mooreland and the semi to alpine desert zones.
Arrival – Day 0: Kilimanjaro International Airport – Arusha
After arriving at Kilimanjaro Airport, you will be welcomed by our driver-guide who will transfer you to a hotel in Arusha city. At the hotel you will be introduced to your mountain guide and his assistants who will brief you of your trek/ climb that will be taking off in the next morning. The briefing includes checking your parking list and climbing gears, measuring the weights of your luggage and day-park also a review on few important climbing tips. You are advised to make reference to our recommended climbing gears.
Day-by-day Rongai route Itinerary
Rongai is the only Northern route for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Based on mountain guides review Rongai seems to be amongst easiest route up Kilimanjaro for the fact that it has excellent success rates for non-experienced climbers. Unlike other routes Rongai is dry and accessible in most time of the year except the rain forests that one must embarks in the first two days. Choosing Rongai offers opportunity to explore both northern and southern sides of Kilimanjaro as you ascent from the north and descend through southern –Marangu Route. Climbers get opportunity to camp beside the only lake on the mountain and enjoy spectacular views over Kenya’s Amboseli plains. Approaching the mountain from the north will also present opportunity to spot mountainside animals – monkeys and even sometimes elephants. Rongai Route boasts high success rates of 84 and 94 percent on 6 and 7-day climbs, respectively.
Day 1: Nalemuru Gate – Simba Camp
You will be picked up from the hotel and drive to Kilimanjaro National Park’s northern entrance i.e. Nalemuru Gate (2,020m ASL). After registration formalities the trekking will take off up to Simba Camp (2,625m ASL). It is a moderate trek and you will go through coniferous forest up northern slopes. The hiking distance is approximately 8km that may take 3-4hours.
Day 2: Simba Camp –Second Cave
Early in the morning after breakfast, you will depart from Simba Camp to start trekking towards your second high altitude camp: Second Cave Camp (3,480 m). This route is rather easy and will only take around 3 hours, so when you reach the camp you will still have ample time to rest and explore the surrounding area. After lunch you will have a couple hours to rest, followed by an acclimatization hike in the direction of Kikilewa Camp (3,630 m) on a stretch of the Rongai Route at a short distance with a 100-meter gain in altitude, after which you will hike back down to Second Cave Camp.
NB: The acclimatization hike is an easy trek with a slight gain in altitude done in order to speed up the acclimatization process. You should take the acclimatization hikes very seriously.
Day 3: Second Cave – Kikilewa Camp
Early in the morning after breakfast, you will leave the camp and start trekking towards your second high altitude camp known as Kikilewa Camp (3,630m ASL) where you can see Kibo (highest peak) volcano’s at its finest barring cloudy weather. This will be a relief day with a hiking distance of 5km that may take up to 4hours. Acclimatization trek can be arranged after your lunch at the camp.
Day 4: Kikilewa Camp – Mawenzi Tarn Camp
After early breakfast you will start your trekking to Mawenzi Tarn Camp, which is situated at the base of Mawenzi peak among Kilimanjaro’sthree highest peaks. In the afternoon after eating your hot lunch at the camp you will go for an acclimatization hike towards Mawenzi Volcano with a 200-meter Above Sea Level gain in altitude and hike back down to Mawenzi Tarn Camp, where you will have dinner in the evening. This makes a total of hiking distance to be 8km with an approximation of consuming 6-7hours of your day.
Note: The acclimatization hike helps increase your chances of successfully summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro and save you from the consequences of high altitude sickness.
Day 5:Mawenzi Tarn Camp – School Hut Camp
From the beautiful Mawenzi Tarn Camp you will trek towardsSchool Hut Camp (4,715m ASL). On your way the landscapes will be changing until you reach a rocky semi-desert. The actual trekking is not very difficult; just remember to stick with an appropriate pace to keep up your strength for the trekking to Kilimanjaro’s summit. After reaching the camp, you will need to rest /sleep well to avoid energetic activities, and drink water as much as you can, because it is during the very night you will be ascending to summit the highest peak in Africa (5,895m ASL).It is an approximation of 9km hiking distance that will take up to 6hours.
Day 6: Trekking to Summit Uhuru Peak & Descent to Horombo Camp
Night departure from School Hut Camp (4,715m ASL) and the start of your trekking to Kilimanjaro’s summit –the Uhuru Peak. The trekking will be moderate from a physical standpoint, but the altitude presents a much more challenging exercise. After your successful ascent to Uhuru Peak, you can descend to the nearest glacier if desired. Then you will return to Kibo Camp and after a two-hour rest continue your descent to Horombo Camp (3,720m ASL). From mid-night trek to Horombo camp where you will stay for the rest of the day and overnight is approximately 21km and this takes up to 14 hours to complete.
Note that;POLE POLE a Swahili phrase which means SLOWLY SLOWLYin English is the most effective rule to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Day 7: Horombo Camp – Marangu Gate
After your breakfast, you will start your decent toward exist gate of Marangu (1,860m ASL). Also, here is where you will receive your certificates for summiting the roof of Africa presented to you by Kilimanjaro National Park. The decent route takes up to 6hours covering an estimate of 18km through vegetation and beautiful forests and landscapes. Our vehicle will meet you at Marangu Gate to drive you back to a hotel in Arusha for relaxation and celebration.
- Two nights’ accommodation at the Hotel in Arusha (before and after the climb)
- First night includes Dinner and breakfast
- Last night includes dinner & breakfast
- Transportation from Arusha to/from the starting/finishing points respectively
- Airport transfers
- Qualified guides with mountain crew
- National park fees
- Tents and sleeping mattresses
- Accommodation in the huts (descending route of Marangu)
- Cutlery / Crockery / Eating utensils
- Mess tent (for dining) / Mini camping chairs / Tables / Candles
- Rescue fees
- Pulse oxi-meters
- First aid kit
- Guides, porters, cook, waiter salaries
- Hot water on the mountain
- All meals on the mountain (breakfast, lunch & dinner)
- Guides, porters, waiter, cook accommodation and entry fees on the mountain
- Single room supplement at the Hotel (except on the 1 person rate)
- Guides, Porters, Cook & Waiters tips
- Meals and drinks not specified
- Gear for your climb
- Items of personal nature
- Additional nights beyond the two standard hotel nights included