The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Though gaining popularity amongst climbers, Rongai has low traffic. It is the preferred route for those looking for an alternative to the crowded Marangu route, for those who would like a more remote hike, and for those who are climbing during the rainy season (the north side receives less precipitation).
Arrive anytime at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) or from a Nairobi shuttle transfer, there will be transferred to your hotel in Moshi for your overnight.
The best months for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Normally April and May are the months with long rains and should be avoided.
November is usually short rains but it is not often rains all day.
The best time for climbing mount Kilimanjaro is January to February and September.
July to August can be colder and November to December can be wetter.
January to March is the warmest months, almost clear of clouds each evening and morning.
The success rates with our guides are outstanding compared to the overall success rates for all climbers who attempt to reach the top.
We will gather in the evening at 5:30 pm for a pre-climb briefing and an equipment check. We will also confirm you have the appropriate mandatory medical coverage and travel insurance
After crossing the border to Tanzania, we transfer the short distance to Rongai by Land rover. The climb begins from the attractive wooden village of Nale Moru (1,950 m.) on a small path that wind through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently, but gently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife, including the beautiful Kilimanjaro Colobus monkey. These monkeys are black with a long ‘cape’ of white hair and a flowing white tail. The forest begins to thin out and Rongai One Camp is at the edge of the moorland zone (2,600 m.) with extensive views over the Kenyan plains. [3-4 hours walking]
The morning walk is a steady ascent up to the ‘Second Cave’ (3,450 m.) with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern icefields on the crater rim. After lunch, we leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. Our “Upper Kikelewa” campsite is on a small plateau above a sheltered valley with giant senecios past Kikelewa Caves (3,750 m.) [7-8 hours walking]
A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb allround views and a tangible sense of wilderness. We leave vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at “Mawenzi” (4,300 m.), spectacularly situated beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatisation. [3-4 hours walking]
We cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach “School Hut” campsite (4,750 m.) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night! [5-6 hours walking]
We will start the final, and by far the steepest and most demanding, part of the climb by torchlight around 1 a.m. We plod very slowly in the darkness on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman’s Point (5,685 m.) We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the three hour round trip to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m.), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to School (4,700 m.) is surprisingly fast and, after some refreshment, we continue the descent to reach our final campsite at Horombo (3,720 m.). [11-15 hours walking].
Day 7: Horrombo Hut Down to Marangu Gate
A steady descent takes us down through moorland to Mandara Hut (2,700m.), the first stopping place at the Marangu route. We then continue descending through lovely lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu (1,830 m.). [5-6 hours walking].
Depart from Horrombo Hut to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) or other destinations in Tanzania or Kenya.