8 days (not including air travel)
Rongai Route is a remote wilderness trail that is less crowded and therefore better suited for adventurers who want a quiet trek away from the masses. It is also the easiest route up Kilimanjaro compared to Marangu and Machame routes. The Rongai route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the north, close to the Kenyan border. Therefore, our itinerary starts from Kenya with a day of wildlife viewing at Amboseli National Park to give you a taste of the magical African wildlife. The first part of the hike is through open country and you do not realize you are climbing Kilimanjaro until you reach the first camp. The trail is drier as the north receives less rainfall, traverses quintessential wilderness and joins the Marangu route at Kibo Camp.
Day 1: Nairobi-Amboseli
From Nairobi, drive south to Amboseli National Park at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. Game drives in the park to watch elephant, zebra, giraffe, lion, cheetah etc. Overnight at Loitokitok close to the Kenya-Tanzania border.
Day 2: Nalemoru-1st Cave
From Loitokitok, transfer to Nalemoru (2,000m) on the Kenya-Tanzania border where the trail starts. Hike gradually for 4-5 hours, first through farmlands then into the forest and heather. Today’s trek is approx. 8 km and we camp at 1st Cave Campsite (2,640m).
Day 3: Kikelewa Camp
Our trail meanders through heather vegetation till we reach a point where we have a wide view of the surrounding areas. Our climb continues across hills and rocks to our next camp-Kikelelwa Camp (3,600m)
Day 4: Mawenzi Tarn Camp
We head towards the base of Mawenzi peak. Vegetation diminishes giving way to barren rock and scree characteristic of the afro-alpine region. After a 3-4 hour walk we camp at Mawenzi Tarn camp at the base of the Mawenzi peak (4550m)
Day 5: Mawenzi Tarn Camp
Acclimatizing day. We do a short walk up the rocky ridges and return to the camp for lunch. Overnight at Mawenzi Tarn Camp (4550m).
Day 6: Kibo Camp
Our hike on barren rock and scree takes us across the saddle between Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. After a 4 hour trek we reach Kibo Camp (4,700m).
Day 7: Uhuru Peak-Horombo
Today we aim to reach the summit. Leaving shortly after midnight, we follow the winding trail to Gilmans Point. It gets steeper and more difficult as we climb up Gilmans. Your willpower and endurance is practically put to the test. After a well-deserved rest at Gilmans, we skirt the Crater to Uhuru Peak, ‘The Roof of Africa’ (5,896m). It has been tough getting up here but you’ll feel ecstatic that you’ve done it. We descend back to Kibo camp for breakfast and short rest. Our descent continues to Horombo Camp (3720m). This is a very long day of walking (approx. 15 hours).
Day 8: Arusha
Gentle descent to Marangu Park Gate. We leave the park and wave goodbye to our crews and drive to Arusha.