7 Days Rongai Route

7 Days Rongai Route

Overview

The Rongai route is basically one long hike with a very gentle gradient and a low difficulty level. It is the only route that approaches from the Northern side of the mountain and is less frequently climbed. Only around 4000 people climb it each year.The Rongai is similar to the Marangu route in terms of its lack of climb high sleep low opportunities. It’s therefore recommended to do the seven-day itinerary rather than the six-day one, giving you an important extra day to adjust to the altitude. It’s generally considered a good alternative to the more crowded routes such as the Marangu, especially for those climbers preferring camping over huts.

Machame Route

Uniqueness

  • The Rongai route is the only route that approaches from the North of the mountain.
  • It is a good Kilimanjaro route choice for those looking to climb during the rainy season, as the North side of the mountain receives less precipitation.
  • We recommend choosing this Kilimanjaro climb route if you want to avoid the crowds and are looking for a more unique experience on Mount Kilimanjaro. 
  • Though there aren’t opportunities to climb high and sleep low, if you opt for the seven-day itinerary over the six-day you have an an acclimatisation day at Mawenzi Tarn Camp.

Success Rate

Whilst there are no official statistics, the average success rate for the seven-day Rongai route across all Kilimanjaro operators is 80%, and 65% for the six-day route. If you compare these statistics with those of routes like the Lemosho route and Northern Circuit route, you’ll see they aren’t particularly good. The reason for this low success rate is the route’s poor acclimatisation profile: it only offers one opportunity to climb high and sleep low. Days when you hike up to a new altitude and then descend to a lower altitude for the night are incredibly helpful for acclimatisation.

Highlights

  • Only route that approaches from the North
  • Possible in the rainy season
  • Usually offers the clearest views of the mountain
  • Panoramic views
  • Quieter than the other routes
  • High chance of seeing wildlife

Tour Details

  • The Rongai route can be over six to eight days.
  • We always recommend the seven-day itinerary as we feel six days is too short for proper acclimatisation.
  • The Rongai route approaches the mountain from the north.
  • You enter the Kilimanjaro National Park at Rongai Gate, which is on the Kenyan side of the mountain

Itinerary

Day
1
Rongai Gate to Simba Camp

First things first, you drive to Rongai Gate where you’re recorded in the Kilimanjaro National Park’s registry. You begin your climb by trekking through rainforest. At points you have breaks in the vegetation that offer magnificent views of cultivated fields down below. You climb for about four hours to reach Simba Camp, where you spend the night.

Day
2
Simba Camp to Second Cave to Kikelewa Cave

Today has two parts to it: the climb to Second Cave, followed by the climb to Kikelelewa Cave.Today you start by trekking through moorland to Second Cave, a popular lunch spot. This takes three to four hours.The second half of today’s trek leads you to Kikelewa Cave, where you stay overnight. This leg takes about three to four hours.

Day
3
Kikelelewa Cave to Mawenzi Tarn Camp

Today you trek through alpine desert to Mawenzi Tarn Camp. The scenery along this part of the journey is quite remarkable, as the closer you get to Mawenzi Tarn the greater the magnitude of Mawenzi Ridge towering above you. You hike for about four hours.

Day
4
Mawenzi Tarn Camp to Mawenzi Ridge to Mawenzi Tarn Camp

Today is the only day of the trek where you climb high and then sleep low. As such, it’s an important acclimatisation day.After breakfast you trek to Mawenzi Ridge, which takes between two and three hours.From Mawnzi Ridge, you head back down to Mawenzi Tarn Camp where you stay another night. This leg of the climb helps you to acclimatise and prepare for your summit attempt on Day 6.

Day
5
Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut

Today you trek for five to six hours through alpine desert to reach Kibo Hut. The trek is a gradual incline that heads west through the Saddle, a ridge of barren land that connects the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi.

Day
6
Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak to Horombo Hut

Today is the day! All going well, you’ll be standing at the tippy top of Africa before lunchtime and glorying in your mega achievement. Summit day is split into two parts: the ascent to Uhuru Peak, followed by a descent of over two vertical kilometres.The first half of today’s journey starts much earlier than on every other day. Your guide wakes you up at midnight. The follow a rocky, moonlit trail to Uhuru Peak. Welcome to the Roof of Africa!Part two of today’s trek sees you make your way down the mountain from Uhuru Peak to Hormobo Hut, which is where you overnight.

Day
7
Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate

Today is the last day of your incredible journey! You do however have a relatively long hike down the mountain ahead of you. You trek for five to seven hours from Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate, where you bid Kilimanjaro farewell.

Map

What's Include

  • Gate Enter fees
  • All meals on the mountain (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks)
  • Purified water throughout the climb
  • Breakfast and dinner at the lodge before and after the climb
  • Beautiful lodging before and after the climb (2 nights, based on double occupancy)
  • Professional, English-speaking, experienced mountain guides
  • Transport to and from trail head
  • Cook and porters
  • Private toilet tent
  • High-quality sleeping bags and insulated pads
  • Tents and all camping gear
  • Emergency oxygen and rescue equipment
  • Daily blood check with pulse oxymeter

What's Exclude

  • Airfare to Tanzania
  • Airport transfers
  • Visa
  • Tips for the crew
  • Personal rental gear you might need

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