This route offers climbers a quiet wilderness experience where it is possible to see large wildlife like elephant, antelope, and buffalo. For the final push to the summit, climbers on this trail take the Kibo Hut Route, joining it either at the huts themselves or at the 5000m mark just below Hans Meyer Cave.
This climb can be completed in five days and four nights, though climber usually take an alternative route to the campsite beneath Mawenzi peak for acclimatization.
Day 1: Rongai Start Point (1,950 m) - Rongai First Cave (2,600 m)
Distance Approximation: 8 km
Climbing time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
Rongai Route climbers are driven from either Moshi or Arusha to Marangu Gate for registration before being shuttled a further 70,00 meters on poor roads to the Rongai Start Point at 1,950 meters. The climb begins from Nale Moru village and follows a gradual and winding trail that first crosses maize fields before entering the rainforest. The first day’s climbing is easy going and you will arrive at Rongai First Cave around mid-afternoon, where you can freshen up and have dinner.
Day 2: Rongai Cave (2,600 m) - Kikelewa Camp (3,600 m)
Distance Approximation: 12km
Climbing time: 6-8 hours
This day the climb continues from Rongai First Cave through the rainforest before transitioning into the low alpine moorland habitat where you will notice the vegetation change to shrubs and grasses. You will stop for lunch at Rongai Second Cave (3,450 meters), 6,100 meters from the First Cave Camp, before turning east to Kikelewa Camp for your overnight stay.
Day 3: Kikelewa Camp (3,600 m) - Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m)
Distance Approximation: 5 km
Climbing time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
This is the short day, but steep climb from Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 meters) which sits in the shadow of the magnificent Mawenzi Peak. You will arrive at Mawenzi Tarn in time for lunch and then have the whole afternoon to explore the surrounding area and acclimatization.
Day 4: Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m) - Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m)
Distance Approximation: None
Climbing time: None
This is an extra day meant for acclimatization, we will spend a full day to explore the area. There will be plenty to do, and our crew will help arrange short walking trip. We advise to climb a little higher this day before returning in the afternoon. Many climbers prefer to walk to Mawenzi Ridge (4,389m) approximation of walking 2 to 4 hours going and return. The unique landscape of Mawenzi Ridge offers motivating views of Kibo and Mawenzi. After spending a few moments exploring the area we head back to Mawenzi Tarn for camp.
Day 5: Mawenzi Tarn (4,330 m) - Kibo Hut (4,750 m)
Distance Approximation: 8 km
Climbing time: 5-6 hours
It is a long day but gradual climbing from Mawenzi Tarn heading west through the Saddle which is formed between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi, and up to Kibo Hut. The route is dry, barren and rather inhospitable, but provides spectacular views of Kibo. At Kibo Hut you will get served dinner and will go to bed early as you will be awoken around 23:30 to begin your summit attempt. Climbers should remember to prepare their gear, including headlamp, camera, insulated water and warm weather clothes before they go to sleep.
Day 6: Kibo Hut (4,750 m) - Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) - Horombo Hut (3,720 m)
Distance Approximation: 22 km
Climbing time: 10-13 hours
Habitat: Arctic and Moorlands
The climb is beginning at midnight, after being awoken with tea and biscuits you will begin your ascent in the dark across a rocky path to the first checkpoint, Hans Meyer Cave at 5,150 meters. You should have a break here and refuel on an energy bar. The path then zigzags and increases in steepness as you approach Gilman’s Point 2-3 hours later at 5,681 meters. You are now on Kibo’s crater rim, a huge achievement! But you still have a 200 meters ascent to climb to the summit, Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters). Dig deep to find the reserves and mental stamina to push yourself up to the final slopes. At Uhuru Peak, you will be able to stay briefly before descending back to Kibo Hut and on to Horombo Hut. In total, you will be climbing upwards of 10-13 hours. It will be one of the longest days of your life but well worth it. Here’s the good news, beers can be bought at Horombo Hut.
Day 7: Horombo Hut (3,720 m) to Marangu Gate (1,860 m)
Distance Approximation: 20 km
Climbing time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest
The final day from Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate is nearly 20,000 meters, usually only takes 7 hours, you will be back at the Kilimanjaro National Park gate. At Marangu Gate, you will be presented with your certificate, either for Gilman’s Point or Uhuru Peak based on how far you managed to climb. You will be greeted by our transfer driver, who will take you back to the hotel and remember to give your guides and porters tips at this point before being driven back to your Sal Salinero Hotel. The rest of the day is for you to enjoy at leisure, enjoy a long shower, jump in the pool or just relax at the bar.
There are hotels in Arusha or Kilimanjaro Area.
On this route, there are designated Campsites.
JRO Airport and Mt. transfer fees.
2 Nights Moshi accommodation at the Sal Salinero Hotel (3 Stars).
Quality climbing gears including Sleeping bag and walking poles.
Free Local Moshi City walking tour.
Professional mountain guide.
All national park fees (Campsites, Permits and Rescue fees).
Storage for excess unused staffs.
Fair Mountain crew Salaries.
3 Meals and purified mineral water.
International and local airfares.
Meals and drinks not specified.
Entry visa in Tanzania.
Private mountain gears.
Tips for guides, porters and cook and gratuities (high recommended).
Portable toilet with a toilet tent is available for extra charges $70
Other Items of a personal nature and unspecified services.
All our hiking services start and end in Arusha / Moshi. The Kilimanjaro International Airport is about 40 miles from Arusha and receives daily KLM flights from Europe via Amsterdam and Nairobi in Kenya.
Please contact our booking team for more information, we will be very happy to hear from you.