Route: rongai
Price 2790pp


Rongai route ascends Mount Kilimanjaro from the north-eastern side of the mountain, along the border between Tanzania and Kenya. The Rongai route retains a sense of unspoiled wilderness.

The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north. Rongai route is truly one of the more remote and wild trails on the entire mountain. Despite that, however, this route offers trekkers plenty of advantages, making it a very appealing option for those looking for a unique experience on Africa’s tallest peak.

Due to its remote nature, the Rongai Route is among the least visited of all of the trails on Mount Kilimanjaro. Those who choose this path will experience peace and quiet for much of the trek, encountering few other climbers prior to reaching the Kibo Camp, at which point the trail merges with the Marangu Route for the final push to the summit.

Before that happens, however, travelers will often have the path completely to themselves for hours or even days at a time, making this a good choice for those looking for solitude in a unique wilderness setting.

Rongai route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro with a slow, steady climb, giving hikers a chance to acclimatize at a steady rate. This not only makes it one of the easier routes up the mountain, it also increases the success rate substantially.

There are few major obstacles to overcome along this trail and the final day before summit day is a short one, giving trekkers a chance to rest, recuperate, and prepare for their climb to the top of Uhuru Peak.

Because the Rongai Route starts on the north side of the mountain, not far from the border with Kenya, it is also the driest route on Kilimanjaro as well.

This makes it a good choice for a trek all year round, but especially during the rainy season in April and May. Most of the rain storms tend to stay on the southern side of the mountain, allowing Rongai hikers to stay drier and warmer than those on some of the other, more popular, trails.

Other advantages of choosing the Rongai Route include the potential to spot wildlife, including Colobus Monkeys, in the first few days of the climb. The campsites are also nicely staggered out across the route, ensuring that hikers spend a similar amount of time on the trail each day. And since the trail goes up the north side and down the south side, travelers get a sense of what Kilimanjaro looks like from different perspectives.

If there is one criticism of the Rongai Route it is that it may not be as scenic as some of the other routes up Mt. Kilimanjaro. While it is true that the scenery isn’t as varied and dramatic as some of the other trails, there is still plenty to see and enjoy on this path too. And because you’ll encounter so few people, you’ll have an easier time soaking it all in.

Climbing Kilimanjaro offers Rongai as a 7 day climb or a 6 or 7 private climb. The six-day variation does not have an acclimatization day on day four at Mawenzi Tarn.


Arrive in Arusha

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport where you are met after passing through customs. Transfer toNgare Sero Mountain Lodge and have a comprehensive briefing and equipment check with your climbing manager and your guide. Overnight at Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge

Accommodations: Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge

Meals Included: Dinner


Mount Meru Day trip

Acclimatize during a day at Arusha National Park the foothills of Mount Meru ( Second highest peak in Tanzania ). Spot wildlife on foot as you warm up for your climb accompanied by an armed ranger.

Overnight: Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge


Arusha to Rongai Gate to Simba Camp

6,398 ft to 9,300 ft, 5 miles, approx. 4 hours

After breakfast in your hotel, you will be given an overall briefing from your guide. At 9 am you will be met by the rest of our guides and porters and then we will drive you to the Kilimanjaro National Park. While officially registering for your climb at Marangu Park Gate, our staff will do a final cross-check of equipment and supplies and pack the vehicles. After the registration, you will be shuttled a further 70 kilometers on poor roads to the Rongai Start Point at 1.950 meters. The trek begins from Nale Moru village and follows a gradual and winding trail that first crosses maize and potato fields before entering the rainforest which is occupied by various wildlife. After 4-5 hours of trekking, you will be welcomed with boiled washing water and some snacks before dinner is served in the mess-tent.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Simba Camp to 2nd Cave Camp

9,300 ft to 11,300 ft, 4 miles, approx. 3-4 hours

You will be woken up after your first night on the mountain with a nice cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate at 06:30 am in your tent. After breakfast, you start your climb on a trail continuing up towards Kibo. For most of the day, you will be walking up slopes flanked with heather and erica with a nice view of the twin peaks of Kilimanjaro – Mawenzi and Kibo and your first glimpse of the ice fields on the Eastern crater rim. Once we approach the second cave our cook will welcome you to the camp with boiled drinking water and hot washing water. You can put your feet up with some snacks and a hot lunch. After lunch, there is plenty of time to relax and enjoy the spirit of the camp and to take pictures.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


2nd Camp to Kikelewa Camp

11,300 ft to 11,811 ft, 4 miles, approx. 3-4 hours

From Second Cave the path takes an abrupt south-easterly turn directly towards the jagged peak of Mawenzi. Traversing open moorland you stumble into Kikelewa Camp, situated by a couple of caves by the Kikelewa River with giant groundsels and lobelias flourishing nearby. The views start to open up and from Kikelewa Camp and you will see for yourself how huge Mt. Kilimanjaro is

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn Hut

11,811 ft to 14,160 ft, 3 miles, 4 hours

Though this stage to Mawenzi Tarn is relatively short at less than 4-5km and it is usually completed in the morning. The climb is also steep as you gain 660m, the path shedding the moorland vegetation as it climbs steadily. The Mawenzi Tarn Hut is situated in one of the most spectacular settings, in a cirque beneath the jagged teeth of Mawenzi. In the afternoon we offer you another walk up the ridge in the west for better acclimatization. If you are lucky and the sky is clear, you will enjoy fantastic views of Kibo.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Mawenzi Tarn Hut to Kibo hut

14,160 ft to 15,430 ft, 5 miles, 5-6 hours

This lovely day begins with a slight retracing of your steps before you strike out westwards, crossing the ridge and dropping down the slope to tiptoe along the beautiful barren Saddle’s northern edge. With views like screensavers to the east and west, this day is the most favored day on the mountain. Our destination for today will be Kibo Campsite, which offers you again a spectacular view of the Kibo.

We will arrive at the camp very early and you get served hot lunch. In the afternoon our guides will give you a final briefing to prepare you for the summit day. Time to relax, cross-check, and prepare your equipment and clothing. Dinner will be served very early to give you ample time to rest and sleep. Good food, lots of water, and sleep are the keys to a successful summit. We advise you to be to bed before 7 pm to be rested for your wake-up hot drink at 11:30 pm.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Kibo Hut to Gilman’s Point to Uhuru Peak – Horombo Hut

15,430 ft to 19,341 ft to 12,205 ft, 4 miles ascent, 10 miles descent, 6-8 hours ascent, 4-5 hours descent

The wake-up tea will be served at 11:30 pm with the departure at midnight. After a hot drink and some biscuits, we will start the challenge for the summit. Our initial 6-hour climb begins in the dark with only our headlamps and guides to show us the way. Just remember the golden rule ‘pole, pole’, which means slowly, slowly. There are a number of landmarks on the way: William’s Point at 5.131m, Hans Meyer Cave at 5.259m that act as milestones that break up the journey and provide you with some measure of your progress.

At Gilman’s Point (5.681m) you will see what might be the most magnify-cent sunrise in your life so far. After taking some pictures at the sign and enjoying a fantastic view of Mawenzi, we continue our climb on a part of the Marangu Route for 1-2 more hours to reach your ultimate goal – the summit – the highest peak of Africa – Uhuru Peak at 5.985m. Congratulations! You are now standing on ‘the roof of Africa’.Our guides will take pictures of you and post it on Facebook for your family and friends at home.

After a few minutes spent at the summit, due to the altitude and the cold, it is important to start our descent. After the descent, the rest of our team will congratulate you and welcome you with a hot lunch at Kibo Camp. You will have the chance for a break before we start the next descent to Horombo Hut. After this long day, you can enjoy your dinner and your last night on the mountain.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate to Arusha

12,205 ft to 6,046 ft, 12 miles, 5-7 hours

Once again you will be woken for your final celebratory breakfast where our team will thank and congratulate you in their unique, special way! This is also the opportunity for you to say thank you for their support and encouragement and show your appreciation by giving a tip. We continue our descent by passing Mandara Hut down to Marangu Gate. There you will get the chance to have a celebratory beer while the equipment is loaded in the van and then it is off to a restaurant in Moshi for lunch where you will be presented with your certificate of achievement. After lunch, you will drop off at your hotel, where you can relax under a long, well-deserved hot shower.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner



If your time in Africa ends today our transfer team will drive you back to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) for your departure. If you have booked with us a safari or a few days to dissolve into the pristine sandy beaches and tropical waters of Zanzibar, we will be there to help you comfortably transition from your climb into your next Tanzanian adventure.

Included in this Trek :

  1. Quality, waterproof, four-season private mountain sleeping tents:
  2. Professional, experienced, mountain guides:
  3. All Park fees Airport transfers Rescue fees
  4. All meals while on the Mountain
  5. Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
  6. Quality Mess tents with table and chairs
  7. Large portions of fresh, healthy nutritious food
  8. Clean, purified drinking water
  9. Oximeter
  10. Medical Kit
  11. Emergency oxygen
  12. Crisis management and safety procedures
  13. Fair and ethical treatment of porters
  14. Accommodation in Arusha
  15. Portable toilet

Items not included:

  1. Flights
  2. Alcoholic and soft drinks
  3. Visa fees
  4. Tips Personal spending monies for souvenirs etc.
  5. Travel insurance

Rongai Route Frequently asked questions

The questions and answers below are specific to the Rongai route.

Is Rongai Route the easiest route up Kilimanjaro?

The Rongai route is considered to be the easiest route up Mount Kilimanjaro. The trek is both gradual and steady. However, the Rongai Route does not have a great climb high sleep low profile which makes it arguably more difficult than the Machame or Lemosho routes. The 7-day trek option is highly recommended as it allows for better acclimatization. No technical climbing is required however level of fitness is required. You can read more on training to climb Kilimanjaro and our Kilimanjaro training program page to help you prepare

What is the distance of the Rongai Route and how many days does it take?

The exact trekking distance for the Rongai Route is 79km or 49 miles. The shortest number of days required for the Rongai Route is 6 days, but by the time you have added on arrival and departure days, it is 9 or 10. However, as it’s considered the easiest route on the mountain it is actually best done over 7 days to increase your chances of success.

What is the Rongai Route Route Summit Success Rate?

The summit success rates for the Rongai Route are greatly increased with the longer trek option. Whilst there are no official statistics, the average success rate across all operators is 80% for the 7-day trek and a 65% success rate for the 6-day trek. However, We have a 95% summit success rate for both Rongai route treks. Read more about how many days it takes to climb Kilimanjaro to know why we recommend longer treks.

What is the Scenery like on the Rongai Route Route?

The Rongai Route is the only route that approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the north, near the Kenyan border. The Rongai route has low crowds and passes through remote wilderness areas.

It is probably the only route where seeing wildlife in the first days is possible. After passing through the rainforest you ascend through moorlands and then up into the high alpine zones before reaching the glacial zone.

When is the best time to Trek Rongai Route Route Route?

July-September is the best months to climb Kilimanjaro as the weather is most stable during this period and encountering rain is less likely. That said, since it is close to the equator it is possible to climb the mountain at any time of the year.

April and May is the rainy season so this period is best avoided. Because Rongai Route is on the northern side of Kilimanjaro is in a rain shadow, the month of May and November is a good time to do the trek as well.

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