Climbing  via Rongai Route Overview

Mount Kilimanjaro Climb via Rongai route, with its three distinct spectacular volcanic cones: Kibo 5,895 m (19,341 ft); Mawenzi 5,149 m (16,893 ft); and Shira 3,962 m (13,000 ft), is the highest mountain in Africa and the world’s highest free-standing mountain at 19,341 feet (5,895 metres) above sea level. Uhuru Peak is the highest summit on Kibo’s crater rim. Two of its three peaks, Mawenzi and Shira, are extinct while Kibo (the highest peak) is dormant and could erupt again. The last major eruption has been dated to 360,000 years ago, while the most recent activity was recorded just 200 years ago. Although it is dormant, Kibo has fumaroles that emit gas in the crater. Scientists concluded in 2003 that molten magma is just 400 m (1,310 ft) below the summit crater. Several collapses and landslides have occurred on Kibo in the past, one creating the area known as the Western Breach.

Climbing  via Rongai Route Details

 Day 1: Rongai Gate (1,800m/5,900ft)

Estimated Distance: 11km

Elevation Change: +1189m
Hiking Time: 6 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest

After breakfast in Arusha/Moshi hotel, depart to the Rongai Gate near the Kenya border. After registering at the gate, begin your climb to Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa. During the first day, hike through forests where you may see and hear wildlife. Eat lunch on the trail before continuing to the first camp. Rongai ascends via the less forested northern side of the mountain. The Rongai Route is one of the least crowded routes on Kilimanjaro because of the long drive to the gate. The Rongai trail is thought to have the best chance of viewing wildlife.

Day 2: First Cave Camp (2,600 m/8,400 ft)

Distance: 6.25km

Elevation Change: +1135m

Hiking Time: 5-6 hours

Habitat: Moorlands                                                                                                                                                     During this day, view Mawenzi Peak ahead while trekking through Kilimanjaro’s moorland. The Rongai route is relatively short and steep, making for shorter hiking times.

Day 3: Kikelewa Camp (3,600m/11,810ft)

Distance: 7km

 Elevation Change: +340m
 Hiking Time: 4 hours

Habitat: Moorlands

This day is an acclimatization day, allowing you to hike in the beginning of the day and rest in the afternoon and evening. The hike is relatively short but steep. The Mawenzi Tarn campsite is situated below Mawenzi Peak and offers stunning views of both Mawenzi and Kibo.

Day 4: Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4,330m/14,200ft)

Distance: 7km

Elevation Change: +400m

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Alpine desert

On this day cross the lunar landscape of the saddle before arrive at the final camp. Kibo Camp is situated directly below the Kibo cone, giving you views of your final destination-Uhuru Peak.

Day 5: Kibo Camp (4,750m/15,580ft) to Uhuru Peak

Distance: 7km ascent; 23km descent

Elevation Change: +1295 m -2795m

Hiking time: 8h to Uhuru, 6h to Horombo

Habitat: Stone scree / ice-cap summit

Wake up around mid-night; begin the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. For the next six hours, hike by the light of your flashlight. The ascent to the crater rim is the most challenging part of the entire trek. The trail is very steep until you reach the crater rim at Gilman’s Point.

The hike from Gilman’s to Uhuru Peak is a gradual climb and, as far as hikes go, not very difficult. The altitude, however, makes the hike long and tiring. The crater rim hike takes approximately two hours. Upon reaching Uhuru, take photos of your guide and group at the peak before beginning the descent to Horombo Hut.

Day 6: Horombo Hut (3,720 m/12,200 ft) to Marangu Gate

Distance: 15 km

Elevation Change: -1270 m

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Distance: Approximately 27 km

Habitat: Montane Forest

After breakfast, finish the trek with a descent to Marangu Gate. Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one, passing through Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest. Watch your step during the descent, as the trail can be slippery. Chelsea Tours vehicles will be waiting at Marangu Gate to take you back to Arusha. You will be able to buy t-shirts and sodas at the gate.