Route Summary

The Rongai Route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north close to the Kenyan border. It is a very secluded, scenic and relatively untouched route compared to the others. We recommend this route to our novice clients that are new to backpacking and to those that desire a quieter and more peaceful climb. It has a more gradual slope, however it has a longer trek on summit day compared to the other routes. Most climbers choose this route as an alternative to the very popular Marangu Route.You will descend on the same route as Marangu. This route is also preferred during the rainy season.


Arrive in Kilimanjaro | 1400 m/4,593ft

Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport you will be driven to your hotel where you will relax and recuperate after your long journey to Tanzania.

Rongai Gate to Simba Camp | 2626 m/8,615ft

After your restful night at the hotel you will be picked up for your 2-3 hours drive to the Marangu park gate for registration. From there you will travel to Naro Muru, north-east of Kilimanjaro, a further 68 km/42.25 miles and approximately 1.5 hours to the Rongai start point (1996 m/6,54ft) where you begin your Hike. The trail is not steep, it is rather a beautiful scenic walk surrounded by lovely flora, gorgeous hidden rivers and rustic small bridges leading you to your first camp of your trek (Simba Camp) The camp facilities include a public toilet, a wooden table with benches, but no hut. Your porters would have already set up your tent and stored your belongings inside. Dinner will be served in the dining tent as you take in the quietness of the evening.
Hiking for the day: 3-4 hours, 7 km/4.35 miles, elevation gained 638 m/ 2,093ft

Simba Camp to Simba Cave Camp | 3450 m/11,642ft

  • Wake up to dew on the grass and the white necked ravens waiting patiently to scavenge your campsite after you leave. You will be served a well balanced breakfast as your guide briefs you on the walk ahead. After your morning health check you will begin your hike to Simba Cave Camp. You will walk past a sunning stream with smooth rocks and hanging green vegetation floating above. As you continue your trek the views start to open up, you begin to feel you are really on Mt Kilimanjaro! Wide open spaces, view of the mountain peaks in the distance, and no one around but you, your team and guides. You will walk by a cave. Be sure to go inside and have your guide take a picture from the outside as you pop your head out of a hole in the cave. Very trippy!
    Hiking for the day:3 hours, 8km/4.97miles, elevation gained 824m/2,703ft 3450 m/11,642ft

    Second Cave to Third Cave | 3800m/12,467ft

    You will be woken up by your server with a cup of coffee or tea and clean water for personal use. You will step out of your tent to the view of the majestic Kilimanjaro, the peak appears to be close but yet still so far away. The morning light bathing it in yellow will forever be stuck in your mind. After breakfast your porters will hurriedly pack up camp and rush ahead of you to Third camp. Your hike will take you through the mooreland which is surrounded by large plants and unique vegetation. Third Camp is located at the foot of the mountain alongside a massive dried up riverbed. Take time to explore this camp, walk to the other side of the riverhead and see giant volcanic rocks, marvel at the many mini caves and watch the sunset over the mountain. You will be able to see the milky way on a clear night at this camp.
    Hiking for the day: 3-4 hours, 4 km/2.5, elevation gained 350 m/1,148ft, at 3800m/12,467ft

    Third Cave Camp to Kibo Hut | 4720 m/15,419

  • Be prepared this will seem like a long walk when in reality it is only a 5km walk. Walking at high altitude can play tricks with your mind. After breakfast you will make your way to Kibo hut where you will rest for the long summit night ahead.
    Hiking for the day: 4-5 hours, 5km/3.11mi 920m/3,018ft, altitude gained 920m/3018ft

    Kibo Hut to The Summit and onto Horombo Hut | 5895 m/19,340ft

    Your server will be giving you a wakeup call around midnight. After tea and light snacks you will fasten your head lamp, stuff your hands in your warm mittens, say a prayer to the universe and begin your very steep climb to Uhuru Peak. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150 m/16,896ft) which provides a good resting spot. You will then make your way on a zigzag steep incline of sandy rocks, wind in your face while stepping over volcanic rocks to ascend at Gilman’s Point (5 681m/18638ft). At this point you may have exerted a tremendous amount of mental and physical energy. Your reward will be the most spectacular sunrise of beautiful colors decorating the sky as you sit above the clouds with a greater appreciation for life. You will discover a new found energy as you plow along to the summit. Poli poli is the name of the game! Total exhilaration and satisfaction, you made it! congratulations!!! Don’t forget to take lots of pictures to share with your family and friends back home. After the celebration you will start your descent to Kibo Hut. It will take you roughly 3 hours of careful walking. You will get a short reprieve before heading back to Horombo Hut for the night. The total time spent walking on this day will be around 14 hours.
    Hiking for the day: Kibo – Uhuru: 6-8 hours, 6 km/3.72miles , elevation gained 1180 m/3871ft; 5895 m/19,340ft
    Uhuru – Horombo Hut: 5-6 hours, 16 km/9.9 miles

    Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate

    Today you descend the same way you ascended, pass Mandara Hut, through the rainforest and onto the gate. Once at the gate you will be fed a hearty meal before heading back to your hotel where you will receive a bonafide certificate of your achievement.


    Ground transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport and departure or on to your safari and cultural adventures with us.