Real Life Adventure Travel

Climbing Adventures

Mt. Kilimanjaro Itinerary: Rongai Route Trek

Six Days to the Throne of Africa : Mt. Kilimanjaro Rongai Route Trek

Highlights include:

  • 6 days trekking on Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on the African continent
  • Time before the trek to prepare, acclimatize and explore the cultures at the base of this magical mountain.
  • A team of highly experienced climbing guides and mountain crew escorting you up the mountain

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is for many a travel dream; something for the bucket list! We love the Rongai route, which ascends Kilimanjaro from the northeastern side of the mountain, along the border between Tanzania and Kenya. Rongai is much less trafficked than other routes up the mountain. The trek begins alongside colobus monkeys and journeys through juniper and olive trees. The easiest of all the routes, Rongai has a relatively gentle gradient and short daily stages as it winds its way from the starting point, through farmland and forest, past Alpine moorland to the beautiful summit cone.

Day 1: Moshi After arrival into Kilimanjaro airport in the evening, head to your hotel for overnight in Moshi.

Day 2: Marangu Village After a leisurely morning and brief orientation, including equipment check, spend the day exploring the history and culture of the Chagga tribe, Tanzania’s third largest ethnic group.  Visit a local market and the Chagga cultural museum. Enjoy sundowners overlooking the stunning waterfall in Marangu and overnight at the Kilimanjaro Mountain Resort.

Day 3: Simba Camp (2600m) Today starts your journey to the throne of Africa! After breakfast drive to the village of Nale Moru (1950m/ 6398ft), the basecamp and starting point for treks up the mountain. Sign in and meet your team of porters. Then in the afternoon begin your trek on a wide path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering the pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently, but gently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone with extensive views over the Kenyan plains. Hiking time today is 5 hours.

Day 4: Kikelewa Camp (3600m) This morning begin a steady ascent up to the Second Cave (3450m/11,319ft) with superb views of Kibo, Kilimanjaro’s iconic peak, and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. After lunch, leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi, Kilimanjaro’s second major peak rising to slightly less than 17,000 feet. Today’s camp, the second on the journey up the mountain, lies just before the saddle that connects Mawenzi to Kibo and Uhuru peaks. The campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant Senecios, one of the largest species of flowering plants. Hiking time today is 6-7 hours.

Day 5: Mawenzi Tarn (4330m) This morning a short but steep climb leaves the vegetation behind and brings you to Mawenzi Tarn Hut. This location not only allows you to savour some thrilling views across to Kibo, but offers a chance to rest and further acclimatize before continuing on to higher points on the mountain.

Day 6: Kibo Camp (4750m) Cross the lunar desert of the “saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo, a favorite part of the mountain for many, to reach Kibo campsite at the bottom of the crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night!

Day 7: Uhuru Peak (5895m) /Horombo Hut (3700m) Today will be the most physically and emotionally demanding day of the entire trek. Leaving camp at 1:00am, begin trekking the steep scree trail to Gilman’s Pt (5685m). Here rest and enjoy the views at the crater rim, soaking in what will be one of the most spectacular sunrises of your life. Begin the ascent to Uhuru Peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro at 19,340 feet. Reaching this point around 8am will give you the most spectacular views, before the clouds set in. After a well-deserved celebration at the top of Africa, descend straight down to Kibo Hut for lunch then on to Horombo Hut for overnight.

Day 8: Moshi This morning enjoy a leisurely hike of 5-6 hours through lovely lush rainforest to the trailhead at Marangu Gate. At the gate bid farewell to the crew of guides and porters that took such good care of you on the mountain. After a picnic lunch head back to your hotel for a warm shower and celebration dinner. Overnight Bristol Cottages. 

Day 9: Transfer to the airport for your international departure, or continue the Africa adventure by heading to Zanzibar or off on safari.