Rongai route is less crowded compared to Marangu, it is the easiest route of all the route. It has a relatively gentle gradient and short daily stages as it winds its way from the standing point just south of the Kenya – Tanzania border through attractive farmland and delightful forest to several other climate zone.
Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro airport you will be met by our representative and taken to Keys Hotel. It is a family run hotel located on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, with comfortable accommodation, variety of meals, clean swimming pool and friendly services.
Located only ten minutes walking distance to Moshi town Centre, palatable meal and luxurious accommodation; Keys Hotel is the most spectacular place one will always wish to stay, Keys Hotel - 2700 ft (BB).
Walking distance: 8 km/4,9 miles
Walking time: 3-4 hours
Altitude gain: 850 m/2,791ft
After breakfast you will be transferred by road (approx. 3-4 hours drive) along the eastern side of Kilimanjaro to the Rongai Gate in the north of Kilimanjaro National Park from where your hike starts. A short slow hike will take you through a pine trees plantation that leads up into the thicker rainforest on the foothills of the mountain.
Enjoy time taking in the natural surroundings, take a photo and nibble on your packed lunch that we provide. Spend your first night on the mountain at Simba Camp on the edge of the rainforest.
Dinner and overnight: Simba Campsite (FB)
Walking distance: 6 km/3,7 miles
Walking time: 3-4 hours
Altitude gain: 150m/492 ft
Continue to head out across the Kikelewa moorland towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. From here you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the plains of Kenya below. Spend the night at Kikelewa Camp.
Dinner and overnight: Kikelewa Camp (FB)
Walking distance: 6 km/3.7 miles
Walking time: 4-5 hours
Altitude gain: 720 m/2,363 ft
A steep, but short hike leads you over grassy terrain to the base of Mawenzi Peak. The views from here are spectacular into Kenya’s plains below. The vegetation diminishes as you gain altitude towards the towering spires of Mawenzi Peak. Spend the night at Mawenzi Tarn camp next to a little lake.
Dinner and overnight: Mawenzi Tarn Camp (FB)
Walking distance: 9 km/ 5.5 miles
Walking time: 5-6 hours
Altitude gain: 380 m/1,245 ft
After breakfast, you pass through the lunar desert of Saddle. This is the lava-covered expanse between the two peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. Though the walk is not far, progress is slow due to altitude.
Spend the night at the base of Kibo Crater at Kibo Camp. Set in for an early night, as your final ascent will start around midnight.
Dinner and overnight: Kibo Camp (FB)
Walking distance: 6 km/3.7 miles ascent + 16 km/9.9 miles descent
Walking time: 5-6 hrs + 1-2 hours up, 7-8 hours down (the overall walking time may vary between 10-16 hours)
Altitude gain: 985 m/3,232 ft (Gillman’s Point) or 210 m/689 ft (Uhuru Peak ) Descent: 2,175 m/7,135 ft Horombo Hut
You will have to wake up very early to have a quick bite to eat and something warm to drink before setting out in darkness. The hike to Gillman’s Point is a very slow steep walk on volcanic scree for about 5-6 hours. The headlamps on the trail towards the summit almost look like fireflies in a long row. As you approach the crater rim you will enjoy the most memorable sunrise you may ever experience – the golden sunrise over Africa! Over and over again you will see the curving of the earth at this high altitude and the sunrise on the horizon just accentuates it.
Keep your camera ready at all times, as there are plenty of photographing opportunities along the summit. Once you reach Gillman’s Point on top of the crater rim, you have approximately another hour’s hike to get Uhuru Peak is in sight. Hike along flat terrain for about 1½ hours to reach Uhuru Peak. Spend a few minutes at the top and get photos of your choice next to the sign marking the summit.
Descend from Uhuru Peak in high spirits as you have just achieved your goal. The trail down from Gillman’s Point on the Marangu route is often enjoyed by hikers sliding down the scree slope, which entails skidding down the loose gravel with big steps and some sideways moves. Try it, it is fun! With every step going down your body enjoys having more oxygen to breathe in. Depending on how you feel, you may enjoy a short rest at Kibo Camp before descending down to Horombo Hut where you will spend the night.
Dinner and overnight: Horombo Hut (FB)
Walking distance: About 20 km, 12,4 miles
Walking time: 5-7 hours
Descend: 1,877 m/ 6,159 ft
Enjoy a slow hike through the rainforest to Marangu Gate. Take time to enjoy the lush vegetation with the Old Man’s Beard (tree moss) growing on the giant trees as well as some Giant Ferns towering high over the forest bed.
The path has many steps leading you down to Marangu Gate where you may find a cold beer or soft drink to start celebrating your assault of Kilimanjaro. You will be transferred back to Keys Hotels for hot shower and overnight rest. (BB)