This is a 7-day Rongai route itinerary variation with an extra day for acclimatization. Gradually sloping towards the summit, Uhuru Peak, the Rongai route begins from the Northern side of Mount Kilimanjaro. Tranquil Kilimanjaro recommends this route for climbers that have no previous climbing experience in higher altitudes and first-timers with little or no mountaineering experience.

In terms of difficulty, the Rongai route can be rated moderate as it is no0t as demanding as other difficult routes since it comes with a gentle slope and an equally gentle approach toward the summit.

The Rongai Route may offer an almost level slope but its main disadvantage is that climbers are more likely to supper for altitude sickness (AMS) because it does not follow the “climb high, sleep low” rule strictly that is needed for acclimatization. In order to combat the high altitude sickness problem, we recommend that you add an extra day for acclimatization when plying this route.

Rongai Route Map

On your way to the summit using the Rongai Route, you will traverse a variety of vegetation and climate zones starting with the rain forests on the lower altitudes, then moorlands, grassy slopes, alpine deserts as you climb higher, and tropical rainforests as you descend the mountain, on your way down towards the Marangu Gate.

There are high chances that you will see some wildlife since the route runs along the Kenya-Tanzania border near the Amboseli national park where wildlife like elephants, giraffes, buffalo, and antelopes roam freely and in abundance.

The Rongai Route is scenic and has less traffic of climbers making it perfect for private Kilimanjaro climbing and intimate groups.

Rongai route distance and other facts

  • Distance: The Rongai route measures72 kilometers (44 miles) long.
  • Location: The Rongai route approaches the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro from the northeastern side, near the border of Kenya & Tanzania.
  • Height: The Rongai route reaches Uhuru Peak, Mount Kilimanjaro’s summit at an elevation of 5,895 meters (19,341 feet).
  • Trail conditions: Mount Kilimanjaro’s northeastern side receives less precipitation and moisture as compared to the southern slopes making the Rongai Route the best route for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro any time of the year.

Seven-day itinerary for the Rongai route

The seven-day Rongai Route for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is the recommended package as it offers an additional day for acclimatization. This additional acclimatization day is very beneficial for a considerably higher summit success rate. Even though it takes from 6 to 7 days to climb Mount Kilimanjaro using the Rongai route, they strongly recommend the 7-day itinerary because of the above-mentioned additional acclimatization day at Mawenzi Tarn.

Normally, for the 7-day Rongai Route itinerary, trekking usually takes a duration of about 6-8 hours a day, gaining altitudes of in between 900m to 1km and 1.1km to 1.2km each day. This, therefore, requires you to be at your best form to achieve these high altitudes and on difficult terrain.

Sometimes in the event of extremely harsh weather and high altitudes some climbing equipment like crampons and ice axes may be recommended for use. All in all, apart from the physical fitness, you will need mental preparedness and both physical and mental stamina to climb Mount Kilimanjaro using this 7-day Rongai Route package.

 

A typical itinerary for the Rongai route

DAY START ALTITUDE (M/FT) FINISH ALTITUDE (M/FT) TIME (HRS) DISTANCE (KM/MI)
1 Rongai Gate 1,950m/ 6,398ft Simba Camp/Rongai Cave 2,830m/ 9,300ft 4 7km/ 4mi
2 Rongai Cave 2,830m/ 9,300ft Second Cave 3,450m/ 11,300ft 3-4 6km/ 4mi
Second Cave 3,450m/ 11,300ft Kikelewa Cave 3,600m/ 11,811ft 3-4 3km/ 2mi
3 Kikelewa Cave 3,600m/ 11,811ft Mawenzi Tarn 4,315m/ 14,160ft 4 6km/ 6mi
4 Mawenzi Tarn 4,315m/ 14,160ft Mawenzi Ridge 4,389m/ 14,400ft 1-2 2km/ 1mi
Mawenzi Ridge 4,389m/ 14,400ft Mawenzi Tarn 4,315m/ 14,160ft 1-2 2km/ 1mi
5 Mawenzi Tarn 4,315m/ 14,160ft Kibo Hut 4,703m/ 15,430ft 5-6 9km/ 6mi
6 Kibo Hut 4,703m/ 15,430ft Uhuru Peak 5,895m/ 19,341ft 6-8 6km/ 4mi
Uhuru Peak 5,895m/ 19,341ft Horombo Hut 3,720m/ 12,205ft 4-5 16km/ 10mi
7 Horombo Hut 3,720m/ 12,205ft Marangu Gate 1,843m/ 6,046ft 5-7 20km/ 12mi

 7-Day Rongai route summit success rate

The summit success rate for the seven-day Rongai route is a high 80%. The success rate is considerably high as compared to the 6-day Rongai route because the 7-day route variation offers an additional day for acclimatization. The six-day Rongai route has a lower summit success rate of a mere 65%.

 Tips for trekkers on the 7-Day Rongai route

  • Carry enough supply of wet wipes as you might go for some days without taking a bath.
  • Maintain a positive attitude even when the trail conditions become too demanding.
  • To ease on the stress that comes along with the long and tiresome treks, consider bringing along your favorite pocket music player or iPod with a playlist of your favorite and inspiring songs to keep you company.
  • Altitude sickness is real and it can happen to anybody, be mentally prepared to accept and find ways to combat AMS..
  • To mentally prepare for the Rongai route, try to spend a few weekends camping to get familiar with using limited facilities, and to overcome any small barriers you might encounter.
  • Ensure you try out your hiking boots before embarking on your 7-day Rongai route tour on Mount Kilimanjaro to make sure you are comfortable wearing them and they fit you perfectly. This is to avoid blisters and discomfort with eventually lead to trekking cancellation on your way to the summit.
  • Remember, always climb at a slow and steady pace, Mount Kilimanjaro is like a marathon, not a 100m dash. This will help your heart rate and make sure your heart and lungs do not overwork.
  • Drink as much water as possible, if possible more than 4 liters a day! Water helps in acclimatizing and avoiding or minimizing altitude sickness.

Additional information

DifficultyChallenging

Arrive in Arusha

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport or similar to begin your 7-day Rongai Route trek, where you will be met by Tranquil Kilimanjaro representatives. Transfer to Chanya Lodge and meet with your climbing manager and guide for a thorough briefing and equipment check. Chanya Lodge or other recommended accommodation options is where you’ll spend the night.

Accommodations: Chanya Lodge or similar

Meals Included: Dinner

Day 1

Rongai Gate to First Cave/Simba Camp

Elevation: 6,398 ft to 9,300 ft

Distance: 8 km/5 miles

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Rain Forest

To begin your 7-day Rongai Route trek, we drive from Moshi to Marangu Gate after a sumptuous breakfast to obtain permits before transferring to the Rongai Gate trailhead. The trail passes past maize and potato fields before slowly ascending through the woodland, home to a variety of species including the black and white colobus monkey. Overnight in a tent at 9,300 feet altitude in the First Cave Camp (Simba Camp). Simba Camp is adjacent to First Cave and offers a spectacular view of Kenya’s plains.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping – First Cave/Simba Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2

Rongai Cave to to Second Cave

Elevation: 9,300 ft to 11,300 ft

Distance: 6 km/4 miles

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Heath


Second Cave to Kikelewa Cave

Elevation: 11,300 ft to 11,811 ft

Distance: 6 km/4 miles

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Heath

This morning, we start with a steady ascent to Second Cave. We continue walking over moorland, abandoning the main track for a narrower road that leads to Mawenzi’s jagged peaks, before spending the night at Kikelewa Cave.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping – Kikelelwa Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Kikelewa Cave to Mawenzi Tarn

Elevation: 11,811 ft to 14,160 ft

Distance: 5 km/3 miles

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 3 of the 7 day Rongai trek is a short but hard ascent up a grassy slope. The views of the wilderness region are just breathtaking. The terrain changes considerably when we leave the heath zone and enter the Alpine Desert zone. At Mawenzi Tarn, our camp is nestled under the jagged spires of Mawenzi. You may spend the rest of the day resting or exploring the neighborhood.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping – Mawenzi Tarn Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Mawenzi Tarn to Mawenzi Ridge

Elevation (ft): 14,160 ft -14,400 ft

Distance: 2 km/1 mile

Hiking Time: 1-2 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert


Mawenzi Ridge to Mawenzi Tarn

Elevation (ft): 14,400 ft -14,160 ft

Distance: 2 km/1 mile

Hiking Time: 1-2 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

This is an additional acclimatization day that may be spent trekking on Mawenzi Ridge. The inspiring vistas of Kibo and Mawenzi are part of the distinctive scenery. After a brief exploration of the region, we return to Mawenzi Tarn for camp.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping – Mawenzi Tarn Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Marwenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut

Elevation (ft): 14,160 ft to 15,430 ft

Distance: 8 km/5 miles

Hiking Time: 5-6 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Between Mawenzi and Kibo, we steadily rise and finally pass the lunar desert of the “Saddle.” Kibo Hut, our camp, is located at the base of the Kibo crater wall. Once we arrive, we will rest and eat an early dinner in order to prepare for the summit day.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping – Kibo Hut Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak

Elevation (ft): 15,430 ft to 19,341 ft

Distance: 6 km/4 miles

Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

Habitat: Arctic


Uhuru Peak to Horombo Hut

Elevation (ft): 19,341 ft to 12,250 ft

Distance: 16 km/10 miles

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Heath

We start our ascent to the peak quite early in the morning (about midnight). This is the trek’s most psychologically and physically demanding section. At this elevation and time of day, the wind and cold may be brutal. We climb for many hours in the dark, taking frequent but brief stops. You’ll be rewarded with the most spectacular dawn you’ll ever see rising over Mawenzi Peak from Gilman’s point (18,600 feet). Finally, we reach Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the African continent.

We descend to Horombo Hut after a few moments of taking in the African plains and your success. Later that evening, we have our final meal on the mountain and a well-deserved rest.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping – Horombo Hut Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate

Elevation (ft): 12,205 ft to 6,046 ft

Distance: 20 km/12 miles

Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

Habitat: Rain Forest

We start our ascent to the peak quite early in the morning (about midnight). This is the trek’s most psychologically and physically demanding section. At this elevation and time of day, the wind and cold may be brutal. We climb for many hours in the dark, taking frequent but brief stops. You’ll be rewarded with the most spectacular dawn you’ll ever see rising over Mawenzi Peak from Gilman’s point (18,600 feet). Finally, we reach Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the African continent.

We descend to Horombo Hut after a few moments of taking in the African plains and your success. Later that evening, we have our final meal on the mountain and a well-deserved rest.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping – Horombo Hut Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Departure

You may opt for a Tanzania safari extension before you depart. You have a dayroom today to pack, freshen up, and prepare for your journey back home or a much-needed relaxation in Zanzibar.

The cost of  climbing Kilimanjaro via the Rongai route is as follows.

1 Person: $2,490

A group of 2 people: $2,070 per person

A group of 3 people: $1,925 per person

A group of 4 people: $1,855 per person

A group of 5 people: $1,815 per person

A group of 6 People: $1,785 per person

A group of 7 people: $1,750 per person

A group of 8 people: $1,720 per person

A group of 9 people: $1,700 per person

A group of 10 people: $1,675 per person

7 Days Rongai Route Price includes

All transfers to the mountain and back to your Arusha hotel

Professional, experienced, mountain guides

Guides, Porters, Cook salaries and park fees

Quality, waterproof, four-season mountain sleeping tents

Sleeping Mattress

All meals while on the Mountain

Quality Mess tents with table and chairs

Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food

Clean, purified drinking water

Conservation fees (part of park fees)

Camping or Hut fees (part of park fees)

Rescue fees (part of park fees)

VAT (18% charged by the Government)

Surcharge for online payment of deposit (5%)

Price Excludes

Airport transfers

Accommodation in Arusha

Tanzania Visa

Gratuity

Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)

Meals not listed above

Optional Tours (short safari after your climb etc)

What should I do to get ready for the Rongai route?

Any physical exercise you can undertake before to your climb will make it more fun. Whether you’re going for the Uhuru Peak or a shorter trek, how hard you train will be determined by your goals.

When is the best time to climb the Rongai route?

The Rongai trail is accessible all year, however, it may be rainy and chilly, necessitating the use of waterproof clothing. Consider climbing during the months of January and March and June and October. The rainiest months are April, May, and November.

What should I bring with me and what equipment do I require?

While some trekking trip providers may provide some equipment, there are a few must-haves, such as waterproof clothing, a headlamp, sunglasses, proper hiking boots, personal medication, a non-disposable water bottle, and a cap or beanie, to name a few.

What is the best way to get to the Rongai route?

Before embarking on your hike to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, you’ll need to figure out how to get there and which kind of transportation is appropriate for your itinerary or trip. Travelers arriving from the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, or Canada, as well as other regions of the world, have a few alternatives to choose.

What climbing skills are required for the Rongai route?

Mount Kilimanjaro welcomes hikers of all fitness levels and abilities, but if you want to reach the summit, you’ll need to prepare ahead and train hard. To minimize altitude sickness and to enjoy your experience climbing Kilimanjaro, consider adding extra time to your plan. Find out more.

Do I require any permits?

To assist administer the national park, each visitor will be forced to pay a conservation charge per person, per day. Most excursions, on the other hand, include the permits and admission fees in the price.

What is the length of the Rongai route?

The Rongai Route is 72 kilometers long (44 miles) in length.

What is the quickest way to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro?

The Rongai path is the most straightforward ascent of Kilimanjaro. It’s known for being an isolated forest route. The only way to reach Kilimanjaro from the north is via Rongai.

How much time does it take?

However, sleeping low and climbing high becomes more challenging. This trip takes six to eight days to complete.

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