Kilimanjaro Rongai Route 6 Days Itinerary

Trip Introduction

This itinerary covers the Rongai Route 6 Days trek. It also contains alternate routes and variations in acclimatization days. This varies the route to be taken in either 6 or 7 days. The route is the only one on the Northern face of Mount Kilimanjaro. Climbers have to drive all the way to the Northern foot of the mountain to start the climb at the Kenyan border.

The profile of ascent is just like the Marangu Route making it gradual and steady. The ascend is more or less secluded and remote. There are no permanent huts therefore accommodation is in mountain tents. The ascent also promises opportunity of seeing wildlife which includes Elephant, Buffalo, Lions and Leopards among others.

The route has less precipitation and is therefore more ideal during the rainy seasons. There is less variation in the scenic vistas than the routes on the southern side of the mount Kilimanjaro. The route can be done in six days but ideally it should take seven days to allow for acclimatization.

The descent takes the Marangu route but there is also an option of taking the steeper Mweka route down to the gate. This is a great route for those who want to avoid the crowds as well as those who want to take a route that is easier on the physical self. Because of its remote starting location, this route may cost more than the other routes of similar length on the south.

Kilimanjaro Rongai Route 6 Days

Day 01: Rongai Gate (1,996m / 6,549ft) to Simba Camp (2,626m / 8,615ft)

Time: 4 – 5 hours

Climbers depart early in the morning from Moshi town and head to the Marangu gate to register. From Marangu we then head to Nale Moru on the North Eastern side of the mountain then a further two hours to the Rongai gate. After all the necessary housekeeping of weighing luggage and assignment of porters and guides we begin our hike from the Nale Moru village.

We take the narrow path across the agricultural fields and into the pine forest. The trail through this section is generally gentle pleasant. You will also have opportunities of encountering a wide array of wildlife on your trek. We then end the day at Simba Camp which has no huts but has permanent toilet facilities. Overnight in a wilderness camp.

Included meals: Lunch Dinner

Day 02: Simba Camp to Kikelewa Camp (3,679m / 12,070ft)

Time: 6 – 7 hours

We begin our hike up the slopes to have lunch at First Cave (3,482m) about 5.8km up the trail. After lunch we continue on to Kikelewa Camp. This day affords better views of the surrounding plains of Tsavo in Kenya and the opportunity to see wildlife if your are observant or lucky enough. We arrive at camp in the afternoon and settle in for much deserved rest, refreshments and finally dinner. Overnight at the Wilderness camp.

Note: There is an alternate route which takes climbers to First Cave, Second Cave and Third Cave onto Kibo Hut instead of the one outlined here. The days are the same but it is just an alternate route which can be explored by climbers doing this route for the second time.

Included meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 03: Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn camp (4,303m / 14,117ft)

Time: 3 – 4 hours

Today as we climb higher on the steeper slopes today offers far more superb views of the wilderness area and surrounding plains. The vegetation zone ends shortly before we get to Mawenzi Tarn which is situated just beneath the Mawenzi peak. The rest of the day is spent acclamaizing and exploring the surroundings.

Note: For those on the seven day itinerary we will spend an extra day at this camp acclamatizing and exploring the surroundings.

Included meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 04: Mawenzi Tarn camp to Kibo Hut (4,730m / 15,518ft)

Time: 5 – 6 hours

Today we carry on moving up the mountain towards Kibo hut across the saddle between mawenzi and Kibo. This is an alpine desert zone with little to no vegetation growing. Here you continue to enjoy great vistas of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. We get to camp for much needed rest and refreshments. Today we sleep early in readiness to waking up at 11.30pm to make the summit push. Overnight at a mountain hut.

Included meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 05: Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak (5,895m / 19,341 ft) then descend to Horombo Hut (3,705m / 12,156 ft)

Time: 13 – 16 hours

This leg of the trip takes Trekkers through the Glacial zone to the Uhuru peak (the Summit) through Hans Meyer Cave (5,150m), Gilman’s Point (5,681m) and Stellar point (5,739 meters). The route is slow, steep and rocky up to the summit but quick down all the preceding zones. Trekkers will be woken up at 11:30pm for hot tea and biscuits. After a quick gear check, the trek in the dark starts off at midnight. There are sporadic freezing winds and not much to see until dawn when the sun begins to rise over Mawenzi and the Tsavo plains in Kenya.

It takes about seven to eight hours to reach the summit. After a brief rest at Stellar point, you then have another 156 meters of altitude to gain as you walk around the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters).

From the summit there is another seven to eight hours of trekking to Horombo Hut with a quick stop over at Kibo Hut to pick up your stuff and have a quick breakfast. This is where you will notice the richness of oxygen and moisture in the air as well as increase in warmth.

Included meals: Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Day 06: Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate (1,860m / 6,102 ft)

Time: 5 – 6 hours

Today’s trek takes you down the rainforest through Mandara Hut down to the gate. The walk is easy but with potential stress on ankles and knees as you descend as well as effects of descending on the previous day from the summit. Upon reaching the gate and signing out there will be the subsequent presentation of climbing certificates for those who reached either Gilman’s Point, Stellar Point or Uhuru Peak.

It is then customary to give out gratuities to the guides and porters before bidding them farewell and being transported to the respective hotels in Moshi and Arusha. Depending on your onward travel arrangements, you will be transferred to the airport at the appropriate day and time or transferred by road to Nairobi as your final destination or to catch your onward flight back home.

Included meals: Breakfast

Total distance covered is 71.3 Km /44.3 miles

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