Mt. Kilimanjaro Climb – Rongai Route
The Rongai Route is often described as one of the most scenic ways to reach the top of Kilimanjaro and there are several reason for this.
Fristly, it passes through various climatic zones, which means you’ll walk through equatorial rain-forest, moorland areas and the decidedly lunar landscape between Mawenzi, Tarn and Kibo – two of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic craters. The descent is down the Marangu Route on the south side of the mountain, thus you will see both sides!
Keep reading to get more details about the climb using this route!
THE CLIMB AT A GLANCE
Climbing Kilimanjaro does not require any technical skills or special equipment, just some physical fitness and determination.
Day 1 – Arrive at hotel in Marangu
Day 2 – Nale Muru – Simba Camp
Day 3 – Simba Camp – Kikelewa Camp
Day 4 – Kikelewa Camp – Mawenzi Tarn
Day 5 – Mawenzi Tarn – Kibo Camp
Day 6 – Summit Day – Horombo Hut
Day 7 – Horombo Hut – Hotel in Marangu
THE SCENIC CLIMB
The Rongai Route is comparatively easier and the success rate is very high. All climbers sleep in tents (tents are included) and meals are served in dining tents. The route starts on the north side of the mountain just south of the Kenyan border. The descent down is the Marangu Route on the south side of the mountain. Please keep reading below for more details about the climb using the Rongai Route.
THE RONGAI ROUTE OVERVIEW
ARRIVE AT HOTEL IN MARANGU
At 9am, you will be picked up from Arusha for a scenic drive to Marangue, a town located on the lower slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
After lunch you will meet your guide for a briefing and also check all your climbing gear and equipment. You will also have time to discuss the climb in detail with your guide. Enjoy your dinner and take a good night rest, ready for a 6 day adventurous climb of a lifetime.
NALE MURU – SIMBA CAMP
Hiking time: 4-5 hours
After breakfast, you will depart from your hotel and you will be transferred to the attractive wooden village of Nale Muru. This is where you will begin your hike. The first camp is at the edge of the morrland zone with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.
On your arrival, you will find your tents ready and food on the stove. This is what the forwarding party does. Dinner is served during the early evening.
SIMBA CAMP – KIKELEWA CAMP
Hiking Time: 6-7 hours
After breakfast you will hike to Kikelewa Camp. The morning hike is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields.
After lunch, leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. The porters and guides will narrate you the folk stories about the two-peaks. Rest, unpack and have an early dinner.
KIKELEWA CAMP – MAWENZI TARN
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded bu superb all-round views and a tangible sense of wilderness. Leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn.
Mawenzi Tarn is spectacularly situated in a cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding areas as an aid to acclimatization.
MAWENZI TARN – KIBO CAMP
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenai and Kibo to reach Kibo Campsite at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall.
The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night!
KIBO CAMP – UHURU PEAK
Hiking Time: 7 hours
Begin the final, and by far the steepest and most demanding, part of the climb by torchlight around 1am on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman’s Point. Rest there for a short time and enjoy that spectacular sunrise of Mawenz. Those who are still feeling strong can make the three hour round trip to Uhuru Peak, passing close to the glaciers and ice cliffs. The descent to Kibo is surprisingly fast and, after some refreshment, continue the decent to reach the campsite Horombo.
HOROMBO CAMP – BABYLON LODGE
After breakfast you will descend to Mandara Hut. Have lunch and continue on to the park gate where you’ll be transported back to Babylon Lodge. You will be in a mood for a celebration after conquering the roof of Africa!
After breakfast, you will be dropped off either at Arusha to continue with your safari or at Kilimanjaro Int. Airport for you flight back to North America.