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  • Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro via the Rongai Route

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro via the Rongai Route


The Rongai Route is more scenic than the Marangu Route, easier than the Machame Route, and the success rate on the Rongai is very high.

Unlike the Marangu Route where you sleep in huts, Rongai you sleep in tents (tents are included), and the porters generally pitch your tent for you.

The Rongai starts on the north side of the mountain just south of the Kenyan border, and is one of the least traveled routes. It joins the Marangu Route for the summit climb, then you descend the Marangu Route on the mountains' southeast side, so you see Kilimanjaro from many view points.

There are two versions of this trek – a direct 6 day itinerary, and a 7 day itinerary that takes a longer route.

The easiest Kilimanjaro route
One of the quieter routes on Kilimanjaro
Approaches the mountain from the driest side, best chances of good weather
Ascent and descent are on opposite sides, you see both sides of Kilimanjaro.

Day 1

Arusha/Moshi to Nale Muru to Simba Camp
From Arusha vehicle travel through many villages and coffee plantations for 4-6 hours to the attractive wooden village of Nale Muru. After registering and preparing the porters, you begin the hike on a wide path winding through fields of maize and potatoes, then enter pine forest. A gentle but consistent climb through the forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. As the forest begins to thin you arrive at Simba Camp (First Cave) at the edge of the moorland zone with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.
Elevation(m): 1387/915m to 1950m to 2750m - Distance: 9km - Hiking Time: 4 hours - Habitat: Montane Forest

Day 2

Simba Camp to Second Cave
Your morning walk is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave. En route, you will enjoy superb views of Kibo and the eastern ice fields on the crater rim.
Elevation(m): 2750m to 3450m - Distance: 7km - Hiking Time: 3-4 hours - Habitat: Moorland

Day 3

Second Cave to Third Cave
Your continuing steady ascent takes you up to the Third Cave. Closer now, the eastern ice fields on the crater rim continue to draw you upwards. On this day, be careful to notice any signs of altitude sickness.
Elevation(m): 3450m to 3870m - Distance: 10km - Hiking Time: 4 hours - Habitat: Semi-Desert

Day 4

Third Cave to Kibo Huts
Hike up to the Kibo Huts at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall, and this is where you join the popular Marangu Route. Plan on doing your hike early in the day, then resting in preparation for your final ascent. Prepare your equipment and warm clothing for your summit climb, then turn in early.
Elevation(m): 3870m to 4695m - Distance: 10km - Hiking Time: 8 hours - Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 5

Summit Day! Kibo Huts to Uhuru Peak , descent to Horombo Huts
Wake and prepare for your summit ascent at about midnight. The goal is to climb before dawn so that you can reach Uhuru Peak shortly after sunrise. Leaving camp, switchback up steep scree or possibly snow, and reach Gilman’s Point on the crater rim at 5861m . Here, views of the fabled crater and its icecaps greet you. Another 2 hours of hiking along the crater rim near the celebrated snows takes you to Kilimanjaro’s true summit, Uhuru Peak. This is Africa’s highest point.

After a brief stop at the summit, descend back to the Kibo Huts, where you rest for a short while, and then re cross the saddle to the Horombo Huts.
Elevation(m ): 4695 m to 5895m descend to 3690m - Distance: 4km up, 14km down - Hiking Time: 10-15 hours - Habitat: Alpine Desert.

Day 6

Horombo Huts to Marangu Gate to Arusha/Moshi
Descend through the moorland to the Mandara Huts for a short rest then continue down through lush forest to the park gate. Generally this is the last time you will see your guides, cooks, and porters, so if you were happy with their hard work please remember to tip them
Elevation(m): 3,690 m to 1,830 m to 1,387/890m - Distance: 18 km Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

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