A favourite among trekkers looking for being a less trafficked route the Rongai route is the classic trek off the beaten track. Approaching the mountain from the north the route gives you a different take off the mountain and the lack of scenery is mitigated by the descent from the southern Marangu side which offers a newer setting to soak in

The evenness and gentle character of the route mean lack of experience shouldn’t be a deterrent. The near absence of showers means you won’t have to wade through wet muddy conditions and deficiencies in your climbing technique wouldn’t be called out.

The 8-day trek sets off making its way through corn and cypress plantations before you know it you have made your way through the forest. Ascending further on the heather moorland you will leave the main trail for a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi, before finally arriving at Kikelewa Cave for the night. A steep hike later you will reach Mawenzi Tarn Huts and the night will be about rest and nursing the symptoms of altitude sickness.

Ascending on through the lunar deserts of the ‘saddle” you will reach the Kibo Hut(4704m). Both Mawenzi and Kibo are renowned for the scintillating vistas they offer. Continuing on; the slow Kili shuffle will get you through loose scree towards Gilman’s point on the crater rim. This is all challenging as it gets and a trek through the snow from Gilman’s point all the way to the top of Uhuru peak will get you to the highest point in Africa

The descent is via Marangu route on the south side

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Day One: Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport.

Arrival at JRO and meet with our staff who will take you at the Hotel at Arusha or Moshi for overnight ( Bed & Breakfast)

Day Two: Rongai Gate 1,950m/6398ft Rongai Cave 2835m/9,300ft

On this day you will be driven from Moshi to Marangu Gate for paperwork and registration formalities before setting off through corn and potato fields to enter the rainforests view the resident wildlife and primates, which include the black and white Colobus monkey.
Rongai Gate to Rongai Cave
Elevation Gain: 885 meters, 2,903 feet
Distance: 8 kilometers

Day Three: Rongai Cave 2835m/9,300ft Second Cave 3,445m/11,300ft, Second Cave 3,445m/11,300ft Kikelewa Cave 3,600m 11,811ft

The day begins with a moderately steep climb up to Second Cave. As you continue ascending through the moorland you will leave the main trail for the smaller southeastern path to the jagged peaks of Mawenzi before arriving at t Kikelewa Cave for the night.
Elevation Gain: 610 meters, 2,000 feet
Distance: 6 kilometers

Second Cave to Kikelewa Cave
Elevation Gain: 150 meters, 508 feet
Distance: 6 kilometers

Day Four: Kikelewa Cave 3,600m 11,811ft Mawenzi Tarn 4,317m/14,160ft

The hike today is steep but a short one from Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn on one of the most impressive sections of the trail. As you ascend ahead, the heather moorlands give way to the dramatic landscapes of the alpine deserts. The camp sits under the magnificent shadows of Mawenzi, at Mawenzi Tarn. Once you are there take a look at the picturesque surroundings and relaxing.
Elevation Gain: 717 meters, 2,352 feet
Distance: 5 kilometers

Day Five: Mawenzi Tarn 4,317m/14,160ft Mawenzi 4,390m/14,400ft

This is a day set aside for acclimatization and you can make the most of it by hiking on the Mawenzi Ridge. Scan the unique wilderness offerings of the alpine landscapes and bask in the captivating views of the twin peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. After that, you hit the bed at the Mawenzi Tarn.
Mawenzi Tarn to Mawenzi Ridge
Elevation gain: 73 meters, 239 feet
Distance: 2 kilometers

Mawenzi Ridge to Mawenzi Tarn
Elevation : 4390 meters 14,400feet to -43170 meters -14,160 feet
Elevation Gain: 787 meters, 240 feet
Distance: 2 kilometers

Day Six: Mawenzi Tarn 4,317m/14,160ft Kibo Hut 4,704m/15,430ft

On this day you will have a gradual hike from Maweni tarn across the alpine saddle between the twin peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo en route to the Kibo Hut perched at the bottom of the crater wall. There you enjoy an early dinner and hit the bed, the sooner the better as the summit push will begin at midnight.
Marwenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut
Elevation Gain: 387 meters, 1,269 feet
Distance: 8 kilometers

Day Seven: Kibo Hut 4,704m/15,430ft Uhuru Peak 5896m/19,341ft, Uhuru Peak 5896m/19,341ft Decent Horombo Hut 3,734m/12,250ft

The push to the summit begins at midnight. Ensure that you are well hydrated and fed as this is going to be a serious challenge with extreme cold and winds further compounding the already arduous trek. The final ascent to the top continues in darkness for several hours with the help of headlamps with frequent short breaks giving some breathing time. After a steep uphill climb, you will reach Gilman’s point (18,600 ft), and enjoy the beautiful sunrise over Mawenzi peak. From Gilman’s point, it’s an hour’s climb to the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

After basking for a few moments in the glory of your accomplishment you will descend to Horombo Hut. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-deserved sleep.

Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak
Elevation Gain: 1,192 meters, 3908 feet
Distance: 6 kilometers

Uhuru Peak to Horombo Hut
Elevation Loss: 2,162 meters, 7,091 feet
Distance: 16 kilometers

Day Eight: Horombo Hut 3,734m/12,250ft Marangu Gate 1,843m/6,046ft

Today is the last day and you will have a steady long descent through the tropical rainforest. Use the trekking poles to support your creaky joints as the long trek comes at the end of a challenging trek to the top. Once you reach the park headquarters at Marangu gate, you will be presented with your summit certificates. From there a vehicle will drive you back to the hotel in Moshi or Arusha.
Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate
Elevation Loss: 1,891 meters, 6,202 feet
Distance: 20 kilometers


  • All Kilimanjaro National Park fees and rescue fees
  • All guides (WFR qualified) and porters
  • All food on the mountain with services of dedicated cook
  • Transfers from Arusha to Mount Kilimanjaro and back to Arusha
  • All safety equipment (including oxygen)
  • All camping equipment
  • All camping and hut fees
  • All communication techniques (mobile phones)
  • Packed lunch on the first day and last day
  • Sleeping mats, stools, a mess tent and hot water for washing are provided on the mountain
  • Bed and breakfast only at Hotel in Arusha on the first day of arrival and the last day


  • All costs associated with obtaining any necessary passports, visas and permits
  • All costs associated with obtaining any necessary immunization, inoculation and medication
  • Any and all meals, items of a personal nature and services not specified above.
  • Tips

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