Rongai route on Kilimanjaro

Rongai route Kilimanjaro, More info on the Rongai route with maps, distance, pictures, huts, reviews, success rate, package prices and more.

Rongai route Kilimanjaro
  • The Rongai route begins on the northern side of Kilimanjaro, on the Kenyan border, and is the least-travelled route.
  • The drive to the starting point of your adventure, the Naru Moru Village, is lengthy one and winds through numerous coffee plantations and villages.
  • The route converges with the Marangu Route at Kibo Hut and descends along this route.
  • This route can be completed in six or more days.
  • Accommodation on the Rongai route will be in tents.


Kilimanjaro route map the Rongai route

Important questions and answers about the Rongai route on Kilimanjaro


Why choose the Rongai route?

If you have already done Kilimanjaro in the past, and looking for a fresh different route, then the Rongai is just the route on Kilimanjaro for you.

Why not to consider the Rongai route?

Less senic compared to the Machame route.
Additional transfers cost.
Long driving distance on the first day, to arrive on the norther side of Kilimanjaro.

What is the Rongai route success rate for hiking on Kilimanjaro?

Official statistics are not available from the Kilimanjaro national park, but the success rate will depend on the days that you spend on Kilimanjaro.
The Rongai route can be done in 6 days.
Compared to the Marangu routes, the Rongai route will offer you a high chance or reaching the summit.
No route on Kilimanjaro will guarantee you reaching the summit, but is that not the reason why you want to climb Kilimanjaro? You want to challenge yourself, with the reward being worth so much more at the end.
With Dream World Adventures, through our years of experience and logistical systems in place, we offer our clients a 100% chance of reaching the summit, helping you prepare for your adventure from mental and physical aspect.
Anybody with average fitness levels, the right equipment and armed with knowledge of what lies ahead will stand a good chance of successfully summitting Kilimanjaro and no prior experience is required due to it not being a technical climb at all.
Unfortunately though, altitude affects each person differently, irrespective of age, gender and fitness levels and the fear of ‘will I get sick?” plagues all of us before the time.

What Kilimanjaro tour packages are available?

If traveling from South Africa, we also have some great Kilimanjaro packages from South Africa.

Recommended days to plan for on the Rongai route?

The Rongai route can be done in 6 or 7 days.
We recommend to take 7 days, although 6 days will allow adequate acclimatization.

What is the distance from the park gate to the summit of Kilimanjaro on the Rongai route?

From the Rongai park gate to Uhuru Peak, the top of Kilimanjaro is has been calculated by the Kilimanjaro National park to be 34 km.

Other Kilimanjaro routes that we also recommend

While the Machame route should definitely be consider, other routes on Kilimanjaro we recommend will be the Marangu routeMachame routeUmbwe route or the Lemosho route.

Looking for a comprehensive guide on how to climb Kilimanjaro?

Look no further than our Kilimanjaro online guide.
When booking your Kilimanjaro adventure with Dream World Adventures you also have access to one of our consultants that have years of experience in planning successful and safe Kilimanjaro travel packages.

Rongai route itinerary

Marangu route Kilimanjaro itinerary day 01

Rongai route itinerary day 01
Travel day to Moshi in Tanzania.

The first day of your itinerary, after arriving at Kilimanjaro International Airport, will be to traveling to Moshi in Tanzania.
Your adventure itinerary will start and finish in Moshi.
If you will be traveling by Air your arrival Airport will be at Kilimanjaro International Airport.
After arriving at Kilimanjaro International Airport you will be met by a representative of our Tanzanian counterparts and be transferred to Hotel Springlands in Moshi.
This hotel offers great views of mountain Kilimanjaro on a clear day.
You will overnight at Hotel Springlands.

Rongai route Kilimanjaro itinerary

Rongai route itinerary day 02
Moshi – Rongai Gate – Simba camp.

After a relaxing night stay at Springlands your first day on your Rongai route Kilimanjaro adventure starts.
Depending on what time your arrived at the hotel on the previous day, you would either have had a detailed briefing with your guide.
Important things that needs to be covered are your equipment, if you still need to rent some gear this is the time to get all in place.
Also the meals that will be prepared for you will be covered, if you have specific requirements or needs please remember to communicate this to your guide.

From Moshi it will be on average 90 minutes’ drive to Rongai Gate, the starting point for your hike situated on the northern side of the National park.
After signing yourself in at the gate you begin your hike on a small path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest.

The path then starts to climb consistently, but gently through forest that shelters a variety of wildlife, including the well known Kilimanjaro Colobus monkey.
The forest begins to thin out and Simba camp is at the edge of the moorland zone at around 2 600m with views over the Kenyan plains.
Dinner will be prepared by the head cook, and drinking water collected by the porters.
Have your containers ready to be filled up by the support team (water will be boiled).
While the water has been tested by the Tanzanian National parks board (TANAPA), it will be saver to use the boiled water that is made available.
Using water purification tablets will add extra peace of mind.
Washing water will also be made available.
Your guide will schedule in a briefing with the group either that evening or the next morning, with a test with his pulse oximeter to monitor the blood oxygen levels of each hiker.
After enjoying dinner in the dining tent, you will retire to your tent for a good night rest, to be ready for the following day’s adventure.
Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point, with the Sun normally setting & rising just before 7 o’ clock each day.
A good idea will be to take some reading material or some card games to keep yourself busy in the evening.

Rongai route Kilimanjaro itinerary

Rongai route itinerary day 03
Simba camp – 2nd Cave camp.

After a hearty breakfast we continue with a steady ascent up to the 2nd Cave camp 3 450m. Here you will be treated to lunch with spectacular view of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim.
Spend the rest of the day with a short hike and capturing the views with your camera.
Dinner and over night at the 2nd Cave camp.

Rongai route Kilimanjaro itinerary

Rongai route itinerary day 04
2nd Cave camp – Kikelewa camp.

This morning the path will take us in a south-easterly direction towards Mawenzi, the 3rd highest peak in the Kilimanjaro national park.
A short 3 hours hike later we will reach Kikelewa campsite, in a shelterred valley with giant views near Kikelewa Caves.
Moving closer to your main objective, reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro, you relize the size of this majestic mountain.
Dinner and over night at the Kikelewa camp.

Rongai route Kilimanjaro itinerary

Rongai route itinerary day 05
Kikelewa camp – Mawenzi Tarn Hut.

A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb all around views and a tangible sense of wilderness.
We leave vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn hut, 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.
Dinner and over night at the Mawenzi Tarn Hut.

Rongai route Kilimanjaro itinerary

Rongai route itinerary day 06
Mawenzi Tarn Hut – Kibo Hut.

After leaving the campsite we head west to cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo School campsite at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall.
On arrival and after lunch start to prepare your equipment, ski stick and thermal clothing for your summit attempt.
This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask.
Go to bed before 19h00 to get some precious rest and sleep for the final ascent.

Rongai route Kilimanjaro itinerary

Rongai route itinerary day 07
Kibo Huts – Uhuru peak – Horombo Huts.

Around midnight you will have to start your final ascent to the summit. You will be woken with tea/coffee and biscuits.
This part of your hike will be done at night to be able to reach Gillman’s Point around first light, 5 hours from Kibo huts.
This will be by far the most difficult part of your hike, as you will not only be hiking on a slope of loose gravel, but also be doing so at altitude. Remember to constantly be on the move, and only take short breaks every 2 hours or so to avoid getting cold.
Your equipment that you have on should be able to assist your body to warm itself, and to keep cold wind out, but when not moving this becomes more difficult.
Once arriving at Gillman’s Point, people tend to stay too long and often choose to turn around at this point. Do not spend more than 10 minutes here as you still have the last leg of your trip to complete.
Another 1,5 hour’s hike and you will have reached Uhuru Peak – the highest point in Africa! After this amazing and emotional experience you will return to Kibo Huts via Gillman’s Point.
This will go a lot faster than when you summated. You should arrive back at Kibo Huts just before lunch time for a light lunch and a short break.
After that you will continue down back to the Horombo huts for dinner and a well-earned rest.

Rongai route Kilimanjaro itinerary

Rongai route itinerary day 08
Horombo Huts – Marangu Gate – Moshi.

After Breakfast, you start your final descent to the Marangu Gate.
Enjoy the scenery as you walk thought the rain forest. From Marangu Gate you will be transferred back to Springlands Hotel and you will be served a delicious hot lunch and a well-deserved hot shower.
It is recommended and tips are highly appreciated at the end of your trip. Tips must only be given to the Guide at Springlands Hotel.
This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Gillman’s Point (5 685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates.
Overnight in Springlands hotel.

Rongai route table

Rongai route table day 01
Travel day to Moshi in Tanzania.

Start of day:Kilimanjaro International Airport
End of day:Moshi
Traveling time:60~90 minutes drive


Rongai route table day 02
Day 1 on Rongai route:

Start of day:The Rongai Park gate 2 364m
End of day:Simba camp 2 671m
Terrain:Montane forest
Distance covered:7 km
Hiking time:3 hours


Rongai route table day 03
Day 2 on Rongai route:

Start of day:Simba camp 2 671m
End of day:2nd Cave camp 3 450m
Terrain:Heathland / Moorland
Distance covered:8 km
Hiking time:3 hours


Rongai route table day 04
Day 3 on Rongai route:

Start of day:2nd Cave camp 3 450m
End of day:Kikelewa camp 3 600m
Terrain:Heathland / Moorland
Distance covered:8 km
Hiking time:3 hours


Rongai route table day 05
Day 4 on Rongai route:

Start of day:Kikelewa camp 3 600m
End of day:Mawenzi Tarn Hut 4 330m
Terrain:Alpine Desert
Distance covered:3 km
Hiking time:3 hours


Rongai route table day 06
Day 5 on Rongai route:

Start of day:Mawenzi Tarn Hut 3 600m
End of day:Kibo School campsite 4 750m
Terrain:Alpine Desert
Distance covered:10 km
Hiking time:5 hours


Rongai route table day 07
Day 6 on Rongai route:

Start of day:Kibo School campsite 4 750m
1st point of interest:Gillman’s Point 5 685m
Distance covered:4 km
Hiking time:5 hours
2nd point of interest:Uhuru Peak at 5 895m
Distance covered:2 km
Hiking time:1.5 hours
Descent down to:Horombo Huts 3 720m
Distance covered:15 km
Hiking time:8 hours


Rongai route table day 08
Day 7 on Rongai route:

Start of day:Horombo Huts 3 720
Descent down to:The Marangu Park gate 1 879m
Distance covered:19 km
Terrain:Heathland / Moorland
Hiking time:7 km
End of day:Moshi


Rongai route packages

Rongai Route Kilimanjaro

A less populated stay from the southside

8-day itinerary packages from only


Rongai route fact sheet

Download a pdf copy of our Rongai route fact sheet.

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