The scenically attractive Rongai route approaches Kibo from the unfrequented and drier north-eastern side of Kilimanjaro. The tour departs close to the Kenyan border and offers stunning and impressive views over the African savannah and rugged Mawenzi. Just after Mawenzi Tarn Camp, climbers will pass the only mountain lake in Kilimanjaro National Park. The trails are well developed and pass through fir forest, rain forest, and alpine desert. Although the Rongai route can generally be thought of as an easy route, the rockier stages in the summit area are sometimes a little more demanding. The descent follows the Marangu route and traverses the lush and green rainforest on good paths. Climbers will overnight in mountain tents during the entire climb.
Starting from the northeastern side of the mountain near the Kenyan border, the Rongai Route rises above the Amboseli plains and approach the summit of Kilimanjaro west of the Mawenzi peak. It is an unfrequented route and is also the easiest camping approach to Uhuru Peak. The descent normally uses the Marangu Route. Rongai route is best option during the rainy season, due to its location, which receive little rain.
Day 1: Arrive to Moshi
Day 2: Moshi to Marangu gate to Rongai gate to 1st cave camp
Day 3: 1st Cave camp to Kikelewa cave
Day 4: Kikelewa cave to Mawenzi Tarn huts
Day 5: Mawenzi Tarn huts to Kibo huts
Day 6: Kibo huts to summit to Horombo huts
Day 7: Horombo huts to Marangu gate to hotel
Day 8: International departures or proceed to safari
Our Kilimanjaro adventure starts the Moment you land at Kilimanjaro international Airport, You will be met by our staff at the airport and transferred to our partner lodge in Moshi in the peaceful surrounds of our comfortable pre and post trek accommodation in Honey Badger, or Q wine hotel. Guide will perform a gear check for you after dinner so that next morning you will be ready for your tour start.
Hiking time: 5 hours
Distance: Approximately 8 kilometers
Habitat: Montane Forest
After an early breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked up from Arusha (1400m) and driven to the Marangu Gate (1980m). At the gate, the porters will organize and pack the belongings for the hike while you and your guide register with the Tanzania National Park (TANAPA). You will then be transferred by vehicle to the Rongai trailhead, which is 2.5 hours away from the Managu Gate. The trail begins in the tall cornfields then leads into the pine forest. This trail has a gradual ascent and allows hikers to enjoy their surroundings. About halfway up the trail you will have a lunch break and you will reach the 1st Caves Camp (2600m) in the late afternoon or early evening. The porters and chef, who move very fast up the mountain, will reach camp before you and set up your tents, boil drinking water, and prepare snacks for your arrival. After washing up, a hot dinner will be served. For overnight, mountain temperatures may drop to freezing so be prepared!
Hiking time: 6-7 hours
Following a hot breakfast, hikers will continue their ascent to Kikelewa Cave (3600m). The trail passes Second Cave (3450m) and this is a good spot to take a lunch break. Similar to the first night, your tents will be set up prior to arriving at camp and the porters will prepare drinking and washing water for you. You will enjoy evening snacks then dinner prepared by our chef. Be prepared for a cold night as temperatures drop below freezing at this exposed camp.
Hiking time: 3-4 hours
On this day, hikers will enjoy a short, yet steep trail to Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4330m). In the moorland, you will spot exotic plants, including giant lobelia and groundsel. At camp, hikers will enjoy spectacular views and allow their bodies to acclimate. Hot dinner and washing water will be prepared for hikers as they enjoy the magnificent sunset.
Hiking time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine desert
After breakfast, hikers will continue ascending east for a half-day hike to Kibo Hut. Kibo is located in the “Saddle,” which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo in an alpine desert. There is no water at this camp, but hikers can buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. An early dinner will be served so hikers can rest before attempting the summit the same night. Your guide will brief you in detail on how to prepare for summit night. Get to sleep by 19:00!
Hiking time: 8 hours to Uhuru and 6 hours to Horombo
Habitat: Stone scree / ice-cap summit
Distance: Approximately 6 kilometers ascent and 21 kilometers descent
Your guide will wake you around 23:30 for tea and biscuits. You will then begin your summit attempt. The trail is rocky up to Hans Meyer Cave (5150m). You continue your ascent to Gillman’s point (5681m). Reaching this section is an impressive achievement as the trail is steep, rocky, and at high altitude. Gillman’s is located on the crater rim. From this point, you will usually experience a snow covered trail until you reach the summit, Uhuru Peak (5895m). Reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro is a lifetime accomplishment! You will be able to spend a short time on the summit taking photographs and drinking tea before the descent to Barafu begins. The hike down to Kibo Hut takes about 3 hours.
At Kibo Hut, you will rest and enjoy a hot lunch in the sun. After eating, you will continue descending down to Horombo Hut (3720m). You will have a dinner, wash, and rest soundly at the hut after a strenuous day.
Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: Approximately 27 kilometers
Following a well-deserved breakfast, your staff will have a big celebration full of dancing and singing. It is here on the mountain that you will present your tips to the guide, assistant guides, chef(s), and porters. After celebrating, you will descend for 6 hours back to Marangu Gate (1980m). The National Park requires all hikers to sign their names to receive certificates of completion. Hikers who reached Gillman’s Point (5681m) receive green certificates and hikers who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. After receiving certificates, you will drive back to Moshi for long overdue showers and more celebrations.
Included in the price:
- Meeting at Kilimanjaro International Airport
- Transfer to our partner lodge Honey Badger - Moshi, Ameg lodge – Moshi or Vijiji Center - Arusha
- Accommodation prior to the climb (including breakfast; sharing a twin room)
- Transfer to the trail head gate on hiking start day
- Highly trained mountain guides. Our guides have “Wilderness First Responder” and “Wilderness First Aid” certificates because safety is of our priority.
- Friendly and really helpful porters. Each participant will be provided with a porter. Kindly note that the maximum weight porter can carry is 10kgs per person.
- Kilimanjaro National Park permits;
- Kilimanjaro National Park rescue fees;
- Camping/hut fees;
- 3 square meals daily. The menu includes different soups, garnishes, several types of fish and meat, fresh fruit and vegetables; vegetarian options are available upon request
- Modern quality tents
- Regular check of your body oxygen level while on the mountain
- First aid kit
- Warm and comfortable sleeping pads (2 inches thick);
- Group equipment (dining tent, table, chairs, crockery and cutlery);
- Pick up from the gate to the lodge.
- Accommodation after the climb (including breakfast; sharing a twin room)
- Air evacuation if booking made three months before tour start date
- Return transfer to Kilimanjaro airport.
- This package price includes sharing a twin or triple room. If you need a single bed accommodation only, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com two weeks prior to the start of the tour.
- During the climb you will share a tent with 1-2 other climbers, depending on the number of participants. If you need your own tent, please email us thru firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
- two weeks prior to the start of the tour.
Not included in price:
- Airline tickets
- Visa fee
- Lunch and dinner at the hotel (before and after the ascent)
- Personal gear rentals
- Tips for the mountain crew (200–250 USD per participant)
Food on the trail is rich in carbohydrates and protein since you’ll be burning calories like a champ. Breakfast may include crepes/pancakes, toast, eggs, sausage/bacon, fruit, tea, hot cocoa, and coffee. Lunch may include fried chicken, puff pastry with either spinach or meat/carrots/peas, candy/biscuit, a banana, and hard-boiled eggs. Dinner may include soup, pasta or rice, chicken, beef or fish, avocado/green pepper salad, and fruit.
Oreta Adventures is able to accommodate most allergies and dietary preferences. Please email your food preference to firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
We recommend any vegan travelers bring extra protein bars.
The highest elevation you will reach on your trek is 19,341ft. Trekking at high altitudes can become a concern above 10,000 ft. Some travelers choose to use prescriptions such as Diamox to treat altitude sickness. We recommend talking to your doctor about the use of any prescription medicine. We always advise hiking at your own pace, drinking plenty of water, and the importance of self-care on the trail.
Regardless of the size of your expedition, we recommend budgeting around $250 – $350 for the trekking portion of your expedition. If you’re also doing the camping safari, we recommend budgeting around $50 – $100.
There will be time on the final day of the mountain when you descend from Horombo Hut back down to the entrance gates to tip your staff. We suggest tipping the cooks and porters before arriving back to the entrance gates because there can be a lot of distractions (souvenir vendors, etc.) once you complete the trek. You can then individually tip your guides either on the last day or once you descend down to the entrance gates.
You can tip in Tanzania Shillings (TZS) or US Dollars but for simplicity-sake, we suggest tipping in USD. Be sure to bring small bills.
If you want to know the number of crew, Ask one of your guides! They are happy to provide you with information on the total number of porters and cooks.
Most porters do not assist on the final summit but depending on the group size and pace, a few porters may join to help. It is common to tip these porters an additional ~$20 total from the group when tipping them.
Due to the high altitude and length of daily travel, you will carry a daypack and a porter will carry your duffle bag up to 10 Kgs. Your daypack should contain any clothes needed for that day and any personal belongings like your camera or passport.
We generally cap our group departure dates at around 10, though some may be slightly larger depending on the expedition. We guarantee all group departure dates whether there are 1 or 10 travelers signed up. We recommend asking our team how many people are in your group when you sign up for a departure date. Keep in mind, travelers may join or cancel at the last minute! If you are the only one in your group, we are happy to work with you on changing your travel dates if no deposits have been made.
Daily mileage can range from 5-13 miles and 5-16 trekking hours per day. This expedition requires excellent physical fitness. Treks include longer days, greater elevation gain, and more challenging terrain at higher altitude. Participants should expect high levels of physical exertion at times. We always recommend that travelers break in their hiking boots before the expedition. Taking training hikes that mimic the mileage and amount of time you will be trekking in Tanzania is highly recommended.
Yes! you will be staying at the same hotel before and after your trek in Moshi. Leaving an extra bag at either hotel during your trek is free of charge.
Talk to your physician and follow recommended CDC guidelines for Tanzania.
Some travelers choose to use prescriptions such as Diamox to treat altitude sickness. We recommend talking to your doctor about the use of any prescription medicine.
Yellow Fever Vaccination Cards are required for some travelers depending on their travel itinerary. The government of Tanzania requires proof of yellow fever vaccination upon arrival if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever (this does not include the US). If you’re traveling from any of the countries listed in this link, a yellow fever vaccine is required.
Question on vaccines? Call your local Travel Medicine Clinic or Yellow Fever Vaccination Clinic
Safe drinking water will be provided to you along the trail. When in Moshi or Arusha, be sure to only drink bottled water and do not use tap water to brush your teeth.
We always ask that you stay safe on the trail by drinking plenty of water, eating well, and communicating openly with your guide about any issues that arise. Be sure to take care of your belongings, be respectful of your travel companions, practice your Swahili with the people you meet along the way, and respect the natural landscape that you’re exploring.