Wildlife Encounters

7 days Rongai Route hike

7 days Rongai Route hike : The Rongai route trail ascends Mount Kilimanjaro from the northern slope close to the Kenyan border. It is the driest route compared to the other routes as it receives low precipitation. For trekkers who don’t like crowds, Rongai is the perfect route. The 7-day Rongai route hike includes an extra day of acclimatization to increase trekkers’ chances of making it to the summit, you will enjoy a moderately difficult climb with steady progress.

The hike starts from Rongai gate, goes through the Kikelewa cave and Mawenzi tarn, and descends via the Marangu route from Kibo hut to the Horombo hut and lastly to Marangu gate. This trail also provides a remote hiking experience and traverses through the true wilderness.

The distance covered during the 7-day Rongai hike is about 81 kilometers and the hike has a success rate of about 90% given its gradual elevation.

Highlights

Day 1: Rongai Gate to First Cave (Simba Camp)

Day 2: First Cave to Second Cave to Third Cave (Kikelewa)

Day 3: Third Cave to Mawenzi Tarn Hut

Day 4: Acclimatization at Mawenzi Tarn Hut

Day 5: Mawenzi Tarn Hut to Kibo Hut

Day 6: Kibo hut to Uhuru peak to Horombo Hut

Day 7: Horombo Hut to Marangu gate

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1: Rongai Gate to First Cave

Elevation: 1950 m to 2830 m

Hiking time: 3 to 4 hours

Distance: 8 km

Habitat: Rainforest

After breakfast, you will be transferred from Moshi to the Marangu gate for registration and later embark on another short transfer to the Rongai trailhead in Nale Moru village where the adventure begins. The small path winds through the coffee plantations, maize fields and then gently climbs to the First cave through the rainforest where you will encounter wildlife species such as black and white colobus monkeys on this day. Overnight at the first Cave (Simba Camp) at about 2830 meters.

Day 2: First Cave to Second Cave to Third Cave (Kikelewa)

Elevation: 2830 m to 3450 m to 3600 m

Hiking time: 3 to 4 hours (First Cave to Second Cave), 3 to 4 hours (Second cave to Third cave)

Distance: 6 km (First Cave to Second cave), 6 km (Second cave to Third Cave)

Habitat: Heath

This day begins with a steady hike up to the Second Cave. Continue the trek to the Third Cave through a stretch of moorland and a stony path with wildflowers. Enjoy the views of Kibo and Crater Rim glaciers as you hike.  Arrive at the Third Cave where you will spend the night.

Day 3: Third Cave to Mawenzi Tarn Hut

Elevation: 3600 m to 4315 m

Hiking time: 3 to 4 hours

Distance: 5 km

Habitat: Alpine desert

We will have breakfast and start the hike from Third Cave to Mawenzi Tarn Hut for about 3 to 4 hours passing through a steep slope that leads into the Alpine desert zone. We continue to the Mawenzi Tarn Hut where we relax for the rest of the evening and spend the night.

Day 4: Acclimatization at Mawenzi Tarn Hut

Elevation: 4315 m

Distance: 4 km

Habitat: Alpine desert

7 days Rongai Route hike
Mawenzi Tarn Hut

This is an extra day entirely for acclimatization to reduce the risk of suffering from altitude sickness and increase your chances of reaching the summit. The day can be spent hiking and exploring the Mawenzi Ridge while offering an opportunity to relax and enjoy the magnificent views of the Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. Later return to Mawenzi Tarn for dinner and overnight.

Day 5: Mawenzi Tarn Hut to Kibo Hut

Elevation: 4315 m to 4703 m

Hiking time: 5 to 6 hours

Distance: 8 km

Habitat: Alpine desert

After having breakfast, you will hike from Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo hut for about 5 to 6 hours across the saddle which is located between Kibo and Mawenzi. You will continue to the bottom of the Kibo crater wall where the camp is located and you will spend the night there.

Day 6: Kibo hut to Uhuru peak to Horombo Hut

Elevation: 4703 m to 5895 m to 3720 m

Hiking time: 6 to 8 hours (Kibo hut to Uhuru peak), 4 to 5 hours (Uhuru peak to Horombo hut)

Distance: 6 km (Kibo hut to Uhuru peak), 16 km (Uhuru peak to Horombo hut)

Habitat: Arctic and Heath

Your hike will begin from Kibo hut as you engage in the summit hike for about 6 to 8 hours with short breaks along the way. You will enjoy views of the sunrise from Gilman’s Point during this day as you continue to the Uhuru peak (5895 m).

After getting to the summit, you will enjoy taking photos and the views around the mountain before starting the descent to Horombo hut for about 4 to 5 hours and you will spend the night at the Horombo hut.

Day 7: Horombo Hut to Marangu Gate

Elevation: 3720 m to 1843 m

Hiking time: 5 to 7 hours

Distance: 8 km

Habitat: Rainforest

Your last day hike will start from Horombo hut to Marangu gate through the rainforest and you will proceed to the Marangu gate to receive your certificates and be transferred your hotel in Moshi or to the drop-off point of your preference.

End of hike

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