Rongai Route is the route found in the North-Eastern side of Mt Kilimanjaro bordering Tanzania and Kenya. This is one of the Kilimanjaro hiking routes that have unspoiled wilderness approaching the mountain from the North. The route starts from the remote village of Nale Morufound in the lower farming slopes of the mountain before the vegetation cover zoning changes to a pine forest.
Rongai Route trail was the most unused and quite trail with low success rates due to limited chances of the acclimatization session by the hiker as the mode of the trail is hike high and sleep low. It was mostly used by Kenyans who have only Rongai Route to access and hike Africa’s Highest Mountain. Rongai Route is a 73-kilometers trail to the Uhuru peak but with a little hard challenge to hike hence making it one of the longest but most successful routes besides the Lemosho route. The trail is easy to climb as it goes steadily ad gradually to the top. Its more like Marangu with little difference in that the route is less crowded as few hikers pass through this remote route.
The route is one of the few routes where wildlife can be viewed during your hiking to the mountain of the first two days of the trip. The route can take a minimum of 6 days to complete for the experienced hikers while those who are not very fit we consider 7 days for a successful hike to Uhuru peak. The Rongai Route trail passes through the remote unspoiled rainforest that attracts more wildlife especially Forest Elephants.
The Rongai Route is best for the new hikers who may not very fit for the tough challenges during hiking. The route is also good for some guests who don’t want to be in overcrowded destinations since the tourist traffic is low and isolated in the trail. Its also considered the best route during rainy season simply because the Northern part receives less precipitation. The farmlands and pine forest get fewer rains annually that make it easy for one to negotiate even in the wet season than the Southern part where the rainforest receives much rainfall during the rainy season.
The route has no permanent huts found en route during your hike to the Uhuru peak but camping site are found where you always pitch the tents and set up your accommodation for a night. The route does not need much acclimatization since the weather favors very much as we observe the woodlands for several days that give you scenic view of Kilimanjaro looming ahead. The acclimatization is done after reaching Mawenzi Tarn as we cross to Kibo camp next day which is the last camp to the summit passing through Hans Meyer Cave.
The concluding day of the hike is rewarding with snow view and sunrise that makes your dream come true.
Rongai Route/Itinerary – 6 Days Climb, 2 Nights at a Hotel/Lodge: This is another of the routes of Mount Kilimanjaro that can lead you to the summit. On this safari, you will have an experience of a lifetime as you hike the mountain.
Day 1: Moshi (890 m/2,920 ft): When clients arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport or Dar es Salaam International Airport, you will be met at the airport by our representatives and transferred to the hotel or clients preferred residential home for Overnight. You can start your trek any day, any month of the year!
Day 2: After breakfast around 7:00 am at the Lodge / Hotel, you will be transferred to the Rongai Route Gate (Its approximately 3 – 4hrs drive from Moshi to Rongai Gate). The climb begins from the attractive wooden village of Nale Moru (1,950 m.) its 6 Km distance walking, on a small path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering a 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 whitetail. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone (2,600 m.) with extensive views over the Kenyan plains. Most clients like to stay at SIMBA Campsite and others like 1ST CAVE Campsite. [3-4 hours walking]
Day 3: On this day of the Rongai Route, the morning walk is a steady ascent up to the ‘Second Cave’ (3,450 m.), its 5Kms walking, with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields 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 campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant scenarios – to 2nd CAVES or Kikelewa Campsite, where you will overnight. (3.600 m.) [3-5 hours walking]
Day 4: A short but steep climb, it’s about 5kms up, grassy slopes is rewarded by superb all-round views and a tangible sense of wilderness. We leave vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m.), spectacularly situated in a cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatization. Overnight 3rd Cave Campsite or MAWENZI Turn Hut Campsite [3-4 hours walking]
Day 5: We cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach KIBO Campsite (4,750 m.), it’s about 7kms, 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! [3-4 hours walking]
Day 6: On this Day of the Rongai Route, 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 hours 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 Kibo (4,700 m.) is surprisingly fast and, after some refreshment, we continue the descent to reach our final campsite at Horombo (Horombo Campsite) (3,720 m.). [10-11 hours of walking]. Total distance walking from KIBO Hut to Summit is approximately 10 – 11kms and Summit (Uhuru to Horombo approximately. 8kms)
Day 7: 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 Kilimanjaro National Park gate at Marangu (1,830 m.). [6 – 7 hours walking]. This is a long-distance of approximately 18kms from Horombo to Mandara then continue to Marangu Gate. You will meet our driver and be transferred to the hotel or lodge for overnight.
Day 8: Departing day – You will be provided with the transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport.
- Pickup and Transfers from Airport to Hotel and Return
- Accommodation at the Hotel on Half Board for two nights
- Government taxes
- Kilimanjaro climbing, entry fees, and All Camping equipment and utensils
- Porters to carry luggage,
- Guides and assistants Guides,
- Transport from base hotel to a starting point of starting the climbing and return pick up. Transfer, are all-inclusive in the climbing tour costs.
- Salaries for Porters, Guides, Office operations costs
- All meals on the mountain Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
- Staff Tips-Driver/guides, Personal Gears for climbing the mountain like warm jackets, walking sticks and warm gloves
- Hotel staff, international flights from abroad to Tanzania and return.
- Any personal of nature expenses, outings, sodas, laundry and ironing, pedicure, manicure, massage service.