RONGAI ROUTE (7day/6nights)        

The Rongai Route approaches Kilimanjaro from the north with its starting point just south of the Kenya-Tanzania border. This route can be done in either 6 or 7 days, but we highly recommend the 7 day climb to allow more time to acclimatize. This route is best during the rainy seasons of April and May when the other trail are experiencing the heavy rains. It passes through farmland and forest, past Alpine moorland to the beautiful summit cone. There are magnificent views throughout, as the trails climb beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The final ascent is arduous and made in darkness, but the reward is a spectacular dawn view of the glaciers and ice cliffs of the summit, and across the East African plains far below.

        We will meet you on your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and transfer you to your overnight hotel which is located near Arusha. 

            Overnight: Ilboru Safari Lodge or similar (Bed & Breakfast)



            This day is designed to give you plenty of time to relax, pack and recoup from the long journey. Your Kilimanjaro climbing team leader and guides will meet you in the late morning for a short pre-climb orientation. During the orientation, you will meet the Trip Leader and the Guides and you will go through the climbing program, discuss about the mountaineering and group expedition ethics, hazards on the mountain, sickness prevention, treatment and evacuation procedures. Our guides will go through our group camping gear and demonstrate the use and operation of all the equipment. They will also show you and demonstrate the use and operation of our safety equipments especially Emergency Supplemental Oxygen Tanks, Pulse Oximeter, Gamow Hyperbaric Chamber and our climbing expedition First Aid Kits. Safety is our first priority on the mountain. The guides will answer any questions you have about the climb. We will do equipment check with each person to be sure that you are fully prepared. 

            Overnight: Ilboru Safari Lodge or similar (Bed & Breakfast)


Day 3: MOORLAND BIVOUAC CAMP (8,500’) (day 1 on the mountain)

            We will leave Arusha very early in the morning and breakfast and start our long drive to Rongai. We will stop at Kilimanjaro Marangu gate for registrations and after registrations we will proceed with our drive to the mountain trailhead in Nale Moru village (6,400’) in Rongai. Our vehicle will drop us at the mountain trailhead where we will start our day’s hike through Banana and Coffee plantation. Trail will enter Pine forest with plenty of flora and fauna with excellent birdlife. It is common to see Black and White Colobus monkeys in this forest zone. We will stop for lunch and after lunch we will proceed with our hike gradually leaving the forest zone and merge into the Moorland zone where we will hike for another hour before we enter our first overnight camp on the mountain. Our hike today will be about 3 to 4 hours long.


Day 4: SECOND CAVE BIVOUAC CAMP (11,350’) (day 2 on the mountain)

            Today we will have a short walk to the next camp for acclimatization reasons. We will leave after leisurely breakfast in mid morning. Our hike today will be steady incline with a very beautiful view of the Eastern Glaciers on the Kibo Massif. We will arrive at our next overnight camp just in time for lunch and a short break. After the break in the afternoon, we will have a short acclimatization hike to the third cave and back to the camp in early evening for a hot drink and snacks while enjoying the view of the Kenyan plains from the camp.


Day 5: KIKELEWA CAVE BIVOUAC CAMP (11,850’) (day 3 on the mountain)

            Today will be another acclimatization day. We will leave the camp in the mid morning after leisurely breakfast and hike across the moorland on a small trail towards the direction of the Mawenzi Peaks. We will arrive at our next overnight camp for lunch and a break. Our overnight camp is tuck in between giant senecios in a valley near the Kikelewa Caves. In the late afternoon, we will have a short acclimatization hike to the nearby valleys.


Day 6: MAWENZI TARN BIVAOUC CAMP (14,200’) (day 4 on the mountain)

            We will leave after breakfast and hike through steep slopes for about 2 hours. We will leave the vegetation zone and enter into the Alpine desert where the immensity of the mountain will start to loom. Our next overnight camp is beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. Normally, you will start to feel the effect of high altitude from this camp. You will spend the rest of the day resting or go for short acclimatization hike exploring the surrounding area.


Day 7: KIBO BIOUVAC CAMP (15,450’) (day 5 on the mountain)

            We will leave after breakfast and hike across the saddle between the Mawenzi and Kibo Massif. Today’s hike will be through the Alpine desert, slightly longer about 4 to 5 hours but through high altitude flat plains with very gentle slopes. It is common to see Elands (the biggest Antelope) in this mountain zone. You will spend the rest of the day resting and preparing for the midnight summit attempt. You will loose your appetite from the effect of altitude; but we will highly encourage you to eat as much as possible in order to create enough energy for the summit attempt. We will help you in the preparations for the midnight summit attempt with packing your day packs and wearing your under layers.


Day 8: SUMMIT (19,340’) & HOROMBO CAMP (12,200’) (day 6 on the mountain)

            We will wake up at mid night dress up warm for the summit hike and go for a hot drink, porridge or a bowl of oat meal. We will start our long ascent by torchlight for about 5 to 6 hours hiking through well graded zigzags all the way uphill. We will hike through stable and loose volcanic scree taking regular rest stops to drink and catch your breath. We will go past Williams Point (16,400’) and Hans Meyer Cave (17,000’) getting to Gilman’s Point (18,850’) just in time to watch the beautiful and spectacular sunrise over the Mawenzi Peaks. We will take a break and have a cup of a hot drink at Gilman’s Point. After the break we will embark on another 2 hours around the crater rim, passing very close to spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy much of the summit area to UHURU PEAK at 19,340’. We will spend few minutes at the summit taking pictures and celebrating your great success. We will start our descent which will present its own kind of difficulties especially to people with knee problems. This is where the use of adjustable hiking poles is necessary. We will descend down to Gilman’s Point and from here you can scree-run if you have energy otherwise you are up for a long and tiring slide down to Kibo Hut. We will stop at Kibo Hut for lunch and a long break. After break we will take off our warm summit layers and start re-park everything again for the descent to low altitudes. We will descend through the Saddle again to our next overnight camp at Horombo Hut (12,200’)


Day 9: MARANGU GATE (5,450’) & DRIVE TO ARUSHA (day 7 on the mountain)

            We will start the hike down through rainy forest to the park gate through steep, slippery downhill. We will check out and receive Kilimanjaro climbing certificate at the park gate office, then eat our lunch and say goodbye to our mountain staff. After lunch we will drive through very beautiful coffee plantations and small villages of the Chagga people back to Arusha, for a nice hot shower or swimming at the lodge and relax, looking forward to go on safari next day.                                              

            Overnight: Ilboru Safari Lodge or similar (Bed & Breakfast)