RONGAI ROUTE 6 DAYS
The Rongai route is the only one that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north. It is remote and wild, as much lesser traffic compared to Machame and Marangu trails, and also offers steady acclimatization due to its slow and steady initial climb.
The Rongai route offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, including the Maasai Mara plains, Mount Kilimanjaro, and other neighboring peaks.
In the first 2 days Rongai route passes through areas that are rich in wildlife, giving hikers an opportunity to spot animals like elephants, giraffes, buffalos, and more.
Due to its position on the northern leeward side of the mountain, Rongai trail receives less rains than other routes. Chose this route in the smaller rainy season.
Rongai is a less crowded alternative to the more popular Machame and Marangu routes, making it ideal for those seeking a more private and intimate Kilimanjaro experience.
The Rongai route is known for its gradual ascent, making it ideal for those who want to acclimate to the altitude gradually.
Is Rongai Route for Me?
Although the scenery is not as varied as the western routes, Rongai makes up for this by passing through true wilderness areas for days before joining the Marangu route at Kibo camp. It is a moderately difficult trail, but easier as compared to the routes. It is preferred by those looking for an alternative to the crowded Marangu & Machame routes, with a more remote hike, and for those who are climbing during the rainy season (the north side receives less precipitation).
Rongai Route Prices
We do no compromise on safety and quality, so our prices are not the cheapest. However, they are also not unreasonably high like some other companies. We take a lot of pride in the value for money we provide to each and every client.
We have guided more than 10,000 climbers on Kilimanjaro since 2011. The following 4 aspects are the most important for anyone wanting to climb Kili. And we guarantee uncompromising quality for all and more.
#1 Highly Experienced Guides
Popote's guides know the ins and outs of Kilimanjaro, are trained in emergency procedures and can provide vital support in case of any unexpected situations. They also bring a wealth of knowledge about the local culture, flora, and fauna, which will make your climb even more enriching. Besides, they also play a crucial role in making the climb fun and enjoyable. It can be through singing along the way, narating anecdotes from the past, or by bringing a sense of camaraderie to your team. As as you will see, they offer every encouragement and support you will ever need.
#2 Reliable Porters
Porters carry equipment and supplies, allowing climbers to focus on the climb without carrying heavy loads. They setup your camps each day, and dismantle them when its time to move on. Without their support climbing Kilimanjaro will be next to impossible for most of us. At Popote, we value our porters highly because of the part they play in making each climb, week after week, a success.
#3 Lip-Smacking Meals
Our chefs will serve large, healthy meals to keep you happy and well-fed on your Kilimanjaro climb. You’ll have hot meals at breakfast and dinner, freshly prepared with locally-sourced ingredients. We prepare all our food to strict hygiene standards, ensuring it’s delicious and safe to eat. Our menus are designed to be nutritionally-dense, with plenty of variety to cater to the energy demands of the trek.
#4 Top Quality Equipment
We only use Mountain Hardwear’s rugged, 4-season tents, designed specifically for mountain conditions. Built to accommodate three people, we only ever have two people in a tent. These tents are manufactured to withstand high winds, heavy rain and snow cover, making them ideal for the environment on Kilimanjaro.
Rongai Route Itinerary
The itinerary below describes the 6 nights/7 day Kilimanjaro climb via the Rongai route. To shorten the below itinerary to six days you skip the night in the 3rd Cave and instead walk straight from the Mawenzi Turn Hut in one day.
Day 0: Arrival in Tanzania
You will be picked up at the Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to your arranged hotel in Moshi town. You will meet your guide who will brief you on your upcoming trek and do an equipment check to make sure you have all the necessary mountain gear. Gear which is missing can be rented on this day.
Driving distance: 55 km
Driving Time: 1 hour
DAY 1: NALEMORU GATE – SIMBA CAMP
This morning we will drive to the village of NaleMoru for the starting point of the Rongai route. The first stage of the trek is through farmland and pine forests. You may have chance to see the beautiful Colobus monkeys or if you’re lucky enough, elephants or buffalos en route. Our first camp will be the Simba Camp located at the edge of the moorland zone at 2625m.
Hiking Time: 4-6hours,
Elevation: 6,398 ft to 9,300 ft
Habitat: Rain Forest.
DAY 2: SIMBA CAMP – SECOND CAVE CAMP – KIKELELWA CAVE CAMP
The morning hike is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave Camp located in the moorland zone with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. After lunch we will continue with our hike to Kikelelwa camp.
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours,
Elevation: 9,300 ft to 11,811 ft
DAY 3: KIKELELWA CAVE CAMP – MAWENZI TURN HUT CAMP
After the breakfast, we start a short and steep grassy slope hike to Mawenzi Turn hut camp, with stunning view of wilderness area. The landscape will be changing dramatically as exit the Heath zone to Alpine desert zone. You will overnight at mawenzi turn camp situated at jagged spires of Mawenzi.
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours,
Elevation: 11,811 ft to 14,160 ft
Habitat: Alpine Desert
DAY 4: MAWENZI TURN HUT CAMP
Today is acclimatization day of which we spent as few hours hike to Mawenzi Ridge and return to original camp for relaxation. Here you there is unique landscape which offers a motivating view of Kibo and mawenzi. After spending few moments of exploring the area we head back to the camp
Hiking Time: 1-2 hours,
Elevation: 14,160 ft to 14,400 ft
Habitat: Alpine Desert
DAY 5: MAWENZI TURN HUT CAMP – KIBO CAMP
We leave our campsite and cross the lunar desert of the ‘saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo After a couple hours trekking, reach this spectacular place, with the summit of Kilimanjaro in the background and our trail to the high camp stretched out before our eyes. Upon reaching our camp the remainder of the day will be spent resting in preparation of the final ascent after a very early night!
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours,
Elevation: 14,160 ft to 15,430 ft
Habitat: Alpine Desert
DAY 6: KIBO CAMP – UHURU PEAK – HOROMBO CAMP
Today is “The Big Day” - the summit stage. You will begin your final ascent around midnight which will be long and strenuous. Passing the Hans Meyer Cave at 5220m, the climb slowly but surely goes upwards. At sunrise, you will reach Gillman’s Point (5681m) – the crater rim of Kilimanjaro – where the sun will slowly start to warm up the land. You will have soon forgotten the cold of the night and after a further hike of 1 - 2 hours, you will reach Uhuru Peak at 5895m. On your return to Kibo Hut, a warm meal awaits you followed by a 1 - 2-hour break before proceeding back down to Horombo Hut.
Distance: 6km/4miles and 16km/10miles
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours & 4-5 hours
Elevation:15,430 ft to 19,341 to 12,250 ft.
Habitat: Arctic and Heath
DAY 7: HOROMBO CAMP – MARANGU GATE
The last stage passes through the heath and moor zone to the Mandara Hut (2700m) where a warm lunch is waiting for you. Soon, you will once again pass the tropical rainforest and after a total time of 6 hours trekking, you will be back at the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (1860m). After saying goodbye to your mountain guides, a short transfer follows to take you back to your hotel in Moshi. Once there, you can take a warm and relaxing shower and celebrate your success in reaching the summit of the Kilimanjaro.
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Elevation:12,205 ft to 6,046
Habitat: Rain Forest
Day 8 – Departure
Whether you go on a safari with us, or fly to Zanzibar or any other destination, out vehicle will be ready for your transfer at a time of your choosing.
THE CLIMB COST INCLUDES
Return transfer from Kilimanjaro International Airport to accommodation in Moshi
Return transfer from accommodation in Moshi to the entry gate into Kilimanjaro National Park
Park Fees: all park fees collected by Kilimanjaro National Park (conservation fees, camping fees, crew fees, vehicle fee, rescue fee and all others).
Accommodation at hotel in Moshi.
Tented accommodation on Mount Kilimanjaro (modern comfortable 4-season North Face VE-25 tents)
Please note: by default, you will share a room and a tent with your travel companion. If you travel solo on a group expedition, we will room you with a same-sex participant. Single supplement is available upon request.
Breakfast in the hotel before and after the hike
All meals on the hike. You will find delicious energy-rich meals on our mountain menus. Our professional chefs will prepare assorted soups, garnishes, several types of fish and meat, fresh fruit and vegetables. Vegetarian/gluten-free/halal options are available at no extra cost
All drinks on the hike (coffee, tea, hot chocolate and water)
Hiking and safety equipment:
4-inch (10-cm) thick and comfortable sleeping mats;
All group equipment (dining tent, table, chairs, crockery and cutlery)
If you choose extra comfort package you additionally will have walk-in tents, sleeping cots, hot water bottles for the night as well as portable toilets included
Oxygen cylinders and oximeters
Complete medical kits including Diamox.
Professional guides licensed by Kilimanjaro National Park. All guides are holder of Wilderness First Responder certification. All of them have 7+years of successful experience
Dedicated support crew (assistant guides, camp master, porters, cooks, etc.)
18% VAT, 1% TDL and 0.3% Service Levy. We have honest and responsible tour operator working in full compliance with the tax law of the United Republic of Tanzania.
THE CLIMB COST EXCLUDES
Tips (250-300 USD per climber for the whole mountain crew)
Visa fee (100 USD for American citizens and 50 USD for all others)
Personal gear rentals
Lunch and dinner at the hotel (before and after the climb)
Portable toilets (if required - 250 USD per unit, one can be shared between 3 people)
Mountaineering insurance. You'll need special insurance for climbing Kilimanjaro that covers high-altitude trekking up to 6000 m
FAQs for Rongai Route
HOW DIFFICULT IS THE RONGAI ROUTE?
The Rongai Route on Kilimanjaro is considered a moderately easy. It has a gentle gradient, and the 7 day itinerary provides ample time to acclimatize. However, it does not have a great "climb high, sleep low" profile which makes Machame and Lemosho such good routes.
HOW LONG IS THE RONGAI ROUTE?
The Rongai Route on Kilimanjaro is approximately 79 kilometers (49 miles) long and typically takes 6-7 days to complete. The average daily altitude gain is about 660 m. On the summit night you will climb 1100m from Kibo hut to Uhuru peak.
WHAT IS RONGAI ROUTE'S 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.
HOW IS THE SCENERY ON THE RONGAI 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 rainforest you ascend through moorlands and then up into the high alpine zones before reaching the glacial zone.