Kilimanjaro Climb, Rongai 6 days 5 Nights


The name Rongai Route is actually something of a misnomer. Sure, it’s the name that everybody uses but, strictly speaking, it’s not the correct one. The real, original Rongai Route used to start at the border village of the same name but was closed several years ago by the authorities who decided that two trails on a side of the mountain that few trekkers visit was unnecessary.

You will still see this route marked on many maps, but today all trekkers who wish to climb Kili from the north now follow a different trail, also known as the Loitokitok Route after the village that lies near the start. (Just to confuse the issue still further, this isn’t officially the correct name either, for along the trail you’ll see various signs calling this trail the Nalemuru Route – or, occasionally, Nalemoru – though this name is rarely used by anybody.)

Day - 1

  • Walking distance: 6.5 km/4 miles
  • Walking time:: 3-4 hours
  • Altitude gain: 700 m/2300 ft

After breakfast at your hotel you will be collected by your head guide and driven to Kilimanjaro National Park for registration and to begin the climb. Form here you travel by vehicle onto the village of NaleMoru at around 1,950 meters. Today’s walk is around 3 to 4 hours, beginning on a small path that winds its way through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. You will gradually ascend trough attractive forest to the edge of the moorland zone. Extensive views over the Kenyan plains will be the highlight of today. Note that it can be wet in the rainforest and it is recommended to carry your waterproofs with you should you need them. Dinner and overnight at Simba campsite (2,650m).

Day - 2

  • Walking distance: 9 km/5.6 miles
  • Walking time:: 6-7 hours
  • Altitude gain: 950 m/3110 ft

After breakfast at camp you set off to the Kikelelwa Caves. On this day you will walk around 5-6 hours from the campsite, with a steady ascent up to Second Cave at 3,450 meters. Here you are rewarded (weather permitting) with superb views of Kibo (the summit) and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. Tonight we have dinner and camp overnight near Kikelelwa caves at 3,800m.

Day - 3

  • Walking distance: 6 km/3.7 miles
  • Walking time:: 3-4 hours
  • Altitude gain: 730 m/2400 ft
  • Afternoon acclimatization walk to about 4500 m/14760 ft

Today’s trek is shorter, being around 3 - 4 hours but involves some steeper sections. Leaving camp at a short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by a real sense of wilderness and stunning all round views. The vegetation zone is left behind. Dinner and overnight at Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4,330m).

Day- 4

  • Walking distance: 9 km/5.6 miles
  • Walking time:: 4-5 hours
  • Altitude gain: 370 m/1215 ft

On this day you will walk for 4 to 5 hours as we cross the lunar desert of the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo (Kilimanjaro’s two highest peaks). Early dinner and overnight at Kibo Hut (4,700M)

Day - 5

  • Walking distance: 5 km/3.1 miles ascent + 15 km/9.3 miles descent
  • Walking time:: 5-6 hrs + 1-2 hours up, 5-6 hours down (the overall walking time may vary from 10 - 16 hours)
  • Altitude gain: 1000 m/ 3280 ft (Gilman's Point) or 1195 m/3920 ft (Uhuru Peak) Descent: 2195 m/7200 ft

You will be woken early (around 1am) for a hot drink and snack before beginning the summit attempt. We will trek very slowly by torchlight to reach the crater rim at Gilman’s point at 5,685 meters. We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi peak. We then continue on to Uhuru (freedom) peak at 5,895 meters, the roof of Africa! We descend to Kibo hut, at 4700m to rest and have brunch before we continue down to camp at Horombo hut (3,720m).

Day - 6

  • Walking distance: 20 km/12.5 miles
  • Walking time:: 5 hours
  • Altitude gain: 1840 m/6040 ft

The final day is a descent of around 5 -7 hours to Marangu Park gate (1,700m) where you will sign out of the mountain. The walk is through lush forest on good paths. You will be met by a driver and transferred to your hotel in Moshi or Arusha.