Kili- Rongai

The Rongai Trailhead is Kilimanjaro’s only route beginning from the north side, and is used by few trekkers. It joins with the Marangu (Coca-Cola) Route on the final ascent to the summit on the fifth day, but otherwise few others are seen along the way. This route affords the opportunity to witness the Mawenzi volcano, the second highest peak of Kilimanjaro, and the magnificent saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo Peak. Due to the rugged terrain and the very limited acclimatization time, fitness plays a huge role in the enjoyment and success of this trek. Each day you see many changes of vegetation and scenery, due to the rising terrain and decrease in precipitation. There are no huts on this route; the accommodation is in mountain tents and dining is in our mess tents.

Itinerary And Activities Of This Tour

RONGAI GATE (6,550ft/ 2,000m) ~ RONGAI 1 CAVES CAMP (9,285ft/ 2,830m)

Departure from Arusha at 8am, about 5 hours drive (2 on rough roads) to the Rongai gate. After completion of administrative formalities and meeting with porters and guides, begin the 3 to 4 hour walk to the first camp. The walk is at a leisurely pace through fields and then into the rain forest. Arrive at your camp set in the heather, to your mess tent and a hot meal.

RONGAI 1 CAVES CAMP ~ RONGAI 3 CAVES CAMP (12,415ft/ 3,952m)

About 6-8 hours trek through the heather and moorland will bring you to third caves. If the weather is clear, Mawenzi will be in plain view; a stunning sight.


Trek from the moorland and eventually into the stark highland desert of the great saddle between Kibo and Mawenzi. The temperatures turn cold as you near the foot of Kibo, at Outward Bound Hut, after 5-7 hours of trekking. Prepare all your gear for the night ahead, and turn in early to rest.

OUTWARD BOUND CAMP ~ UHURU PEAK (19,340ft/ 5,895m) ~ HOROMBO CAMP (10,200 ft/ 3,110m)

You are awoken at midnight, and depart the camp at about 1am. From your camp to the rim of the crater (Gillman’s Point (18,750ft/ 5,712m)) to Uhuru Peak, the trekking time is about 7 - 8 hours. The following descent to Mweka Camp is about 5 – 6 hours. Total trekking time is 12 – 14 hours. Upon your 1am departure, the temperatures will be between -0 to -10° C, and then from 4am to 6am (just before sunrise), you can expect temperatures from -10° to -20° C. The slope is steep, with switchbacks, over loose rock and scree with some boulders as you near Gilman’s Point. You will stop at Hans Meyer cave on the way, the famous place where Kilimanjaro’s first western climber described in his journals. Once you arrive at Gilman’s Point (after about 5 - 6 hours) at the edge of the crater, the trail to the summit is less demanding, and is reached after a further 1½-2 hours along the snowy crater rim (depending on the season). After 3 hours of descending to Kibo hut, there is a pause for rest & food, then another 3 to 4 hours to reach Horombo Camp.

HOROMBO CAMP ~ MARANGU GATE (5,900ft/ 1,800m)

Descend straight to the gate (5 - 6 hours), where you’ll have lunch and will be awarded climbing certificates. Transfer back to Arusha for a much-welcomed shower!