6 Days Rongai Route

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6 Days Kilimanjaro Rongai Route

Taking the 6 days Rongai Route up Mount Kilimanjaro is a great choice because you are actually using the second easiest route after Marangu route. Start hiking from the East side of the Mountain. Close to the Tanzania Kenya bolder. It is very scenic and offers great views of Mawenzi peak and Kibo peak. Finish the hike at Marangu gate. The advantage of this trail is less tourists, super view of Kenyan side and Tanzania side. High percentage of reaching at the summit. You can hike 5-7 days depends on your time.


The path is less popular due to its remote location, but it offers trekkers a unique wilderness experience, including the chance to see large animals such as antelope, elephants, and buffalo. Because there is less rainfall on this side of the mountain, you are less likely to get wet and have better views of the peak. It is recommended that additional days be set aside for acclimatization because it is flatter and does not have the option of hiking high and sleeping low.

The Rongai way is one of the more straightforward routes up Kilimanjaro. The only route to ascend Kilimanjaro from the north is by the Rongai Route, and the only way to descend is via the Marangu Route.

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Start: Nalemoru Gate (1990m) Finish: Simba camp (2625m) + -
  • Total distance: 7km
  • Hiking Time (approx.): 2 hours

Although many still call this starting point the Rongai gate it is now officially named after the nearby Nalemoru village, after the original path (starting from Rongai village) was closed.  The starting point is about a 2 hour drive from Moshi town around the eastern side of the mountain. This is a beautiful drive giving you a good insight into local ‘Chagga’ life as you pass through villages, gazing out at the mud huts and banana plantations.   After signing up at the gate you’ll start you walk along a track through fields of potato and maize, and the odd pine plantation.  After about 1 hour you will pass through a small strip of forest- home to black and white colobus monkeys, before entering into heathland.  Following a short uphill walk you will arrive at Simba Camp, where you will be welcomed with a hearty warm dinner.

Day 2: Start: Simba Camp (2625m) Finish: Kikelelwa Camp (3675m) + -
  • Total distance: 11.8km
  • Hiking Time (approx.): 6- 8 hours

This is a long and challenging day, with the first half along a dusty path and not too much to see besides the heathers and Erica of the moorland.  You climb more than 1000m today, with your guide regularly checking in on you for symptoms of altitude sickness.  If it seems tough just think you are already half way up to the top (and enjoy views down across into Kenya)!  You will have a pit-stop for lunch at Second Caves before continuing up on an undulating path (plenty of acclimatisation opportunity) before reaching Kikelelwa Camp, with a great view up to the ragged peak of Mawenzi (Kilimanjaro’s second highest peak).

Day 3: Start: Kikelelwa Camp (3675m) Finish: Mawenzi Tarn Huts (4302m) + -
  • Total distance: 3.75km
  • Hiking Time (approx.): 2-3 hours

Yes, you read it right – only just under 4km today! Don’t be too fooled, you do gain over 600m in this shorter morning walk as you climb steadily to reach one of our favourite huts on the mountain.  The Mawenzi Tarn Huts are in a spectacular location, situated just underneath Mawenzi peak.  In the afternoon you can take an (optional but recommended!) acclimatization walk along the ridge where, provided it is a clear day, you will be rewarded with a wonderful view across to Kibo Peak.  Today is a bit of a treat with both a hot lunch, and a delicious dinner cooked up at the huts!

Day 4: Start: Mawenzi Tarn Huts (4302m) Finish: Kibo Huts (4715m) + -
  • Total distance: 9km
  • Hiking Time (approx.): 4-5 hrs

Start your morning descending down a ridge, to then walk across the Northern edge of the saddle which passes between Kibo and Mawenzi peaks.  The landscape is lunar-like up here, although Eland (Africa’s largest antelope) have been spotted here.  Have your camera handy to take some fantastic panoramas of the spectacular views off to the east and west.  As you cross the saddle you will also be able to see your path for summit night laid out ahead of you up to Gillman’s point.  Kibo Huts are nestled just under the peak for which they are named.  You’ll arrive here for a late lunch and then rest up in preparation for your summit.

Day 5: Summit Night: Kibo Huts (4715m) to Uhuru Peak (5895m) back to Kibo Huts + -
  • Total distance: 6.25km
  • Hiking Time (approx.) 6 hours
Start: Kibo Huts (4715m) to Horombo Huts (7720m) + -
  • Total distance: 9km
  • Hiking Time (approx.): 3-4 hours

Depending on how you have fared with the altitude in the days before, you will be woken at 11pm-12am to start your ascent up to Uhuru Peak.  Have some tea and biscuits to warm you up before starting on the hardest part of your trek.  You will make your way up to Gillman’s point by flashlight, zig-zagging your way along the soft ground.  This is definitely one of the steeper and more challenging ascents, but there is no such thing as going too slowly – make sure to take your time.  Upon reaching Gillman’s point you will stop for a well-deserved short rest.  You will have earned your certificate here, but don’t let that stop you from going on up to Uhuru peak – the hard work is over.  Now you can enjoy the magnificent views of glaciers to the left, and Reusch’s crater to the right.  Most trekkers will make it to the peak after approx. 6 hours, in time to watch what will be one of (if not the) favourite sunrise(s) of your life.  Heading back down to Kibo will be surprisingly quick, some like to use their walking poles to ‘ski’ down the soft scree!  Have some warm food here, rest up, before continuing your descent down to Horombo Huts.

Day 6: Start: Horombo Huts (3720m) to Marangu Gate (1905m) + -
  • Total distance: 20.75km
  • Hiking time: 7-8 hours

A long last day, which will no doubt feel like a walk in the park after yesterday’s efforts.  Make sure to enjoy this final day of the mountain… that beer will still be cold, and the shower still hot when you get down!  If you are not in a rush, your guide can take you down via the Marangu ‘Nature Trail’ – a much less used path (be prepared to hop over a few fallen trees) before reaching a beautiful water fall.  Enjoy time monkey and bird-spotting in the forest before emerging out at Marangu Gate where you will sign out of the National Park.  There is a great little souvenir spot here, with maps, books and postcards to buy (handy tools when bragging to all your friends back home!).  From the gate, our car will pick you up and transfer you back to your hotel for a well-deserved rest (massages available on request)!

This trek approaches the mountain from the Northern side, taking in some very different scenery on a more secluded route.

  • Suitable for: Moderate fitness with previous trekking experience ideal
  • Pros: A great choice for those that enjoy remoteness.  With less rainfall on the Northern side this is a good route to trek during rainy season.
  • Cons: Approaches the summit from the steeper route via Kibo Hut therefore we advise to opt with the 7 day route to ensure you are well acclimatised.
  • Trekking Days required: 6 or 7

We always recommend you have at least 1 day in town before starting your trek. This gives you time to rest, relax and prepare. On this day we make sure you meet your guide(s) so that they are able to check all your gear, we can rent anything else that you require and you have the opportunity to ask them any questions you may have!

This route is for those really wanting to do something different and experience unspoilt wilderness on the mountain. Although previously you may have felt like you were the only ones on the mountain, it has become more popular in recent years. This route is the only one to approach Kilimanjaro from its northern side, starting close to the border between Kenya and Tanzania. With its close proximity to Amboseli national park it is known for having some of the best wildlife encounters on the mountain, only rivalled by the western routes (e.g. Lemosho). Some people would say that this route isn’t as scenic as others– probably because the first couple of days are spent in a drier zone. This does mean that there isn’t much rainforest to marvel at on your first day but you descend via the Marangu route with a solid day trekking through rainforest on your final day – and you get to see both sides of the mountain! The Rongai route can be made into seven days by adding an extra acclimatisation day at the Mawenzi Tarn Huts. There is also a more ‘direct’ route taking just 5 days but we have chosen to focus on the ‘Kikelelwa’ route as it is much more scenic, and gives you a better chance of making it to the top.

Lemosho Route Map

NB: There is also a Rongai 7 Day route going via the Mawenzi Tarn huts which we can also organise – just ask! 

  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Moshi/Arusha (before/after the climb)
  • Transport to and from Moshi/Arusha to the trail head
  • Kilimanjaro National Park permits, camping /huts fees, rescue fee, and Value Added Tax (VAT)
  • Expert guide, assistant guides, cook and porters
  • Bottled oxygen for emergency rescue only
  • Camping tents 
  • Sleeping pads
  • Mess tents, tables, chairs, and lanterns
  • Fresh and nutritious meals on the mountain  
  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Airfare and visa fees at airports  
  • Lunch or dinner at hotel  
  • Beverages at the hotel  
  • Personal gears and equipment  
  • Tipping

Best Time for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

The best time to climb Kilimanjaro is between the warm and dry months of January through early-March and June through October. When the skies are clear and warm comfortable hiking conditions

How Much Does Climbing Kilimanjaro Cost?

Cost for safaris in Tanzania depends with the number of people, number of days visiting Tanzania and the type of accommodation on the safari (luxury, midrange and budget options ). Read more