5 Days Rongai Route

5 Days Rongai Route, which is a camping route, goes up the north slope of the mountain from where you can see the plains of Kenya to the north. To get to the start you drive anti-clockwise around the base of the mountain mainly on a tarmac road with some rough road just before the gate.
5 Days Rongai Route is a steady climb up, which is why it is important to monitor your body for signs of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). If you have a headache or feel nauseous, tell your guide. You must be quite fit to do this route in 5 days, and be aware of the challenges of altitude. This is one of the most economical options to climb Kilimanjaro, but it is not for the unfit.

Day 1: Rongai Gate to Simba Camp (2830m)

You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the start of the Rongai route, the Narumuru Gate, close to the Kenyan border, where we begin the ascent of Kilimanjaro after meeting our porters and having lunch. We walk to the Rongai Forest past farmland, where you will see potatoes, maize and other vegetables, carefully tended by the men and women of the nearby villages. In the forest, the vegetation is lush and exotic. You may even see white and Black Colobus Monkeys, and the exotic Hartlaub’s Turaco, a large bird with a violet-blue tail, red wingtips, a blue-black head, and eyes surrounded by white. Even if you don’t see it, you may hear its loud raucous call. After leaving the forest, the lush vegetation thins to heather moorland with many flowers, including the unique Protea Kilimanjarica, which grows only on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. After a 3-4 hour walk, today ends with dinner & overnight at Cave 1 sometimes called Simba Camp. (2830m.)Your cook will then prepare a delicious meal, and you can swap travellers’ tales around the table with your co-adventurers.

Day 2: Simba Camp to Third Cave (3900m)

After a big breakfast, we continue to climb through moorland scenery. You will notice the growing altitude today in your legs and the rhythm of your breathing. Your guide will advise you to go “pole, pole” (“slowly, slowly”) if he thinks your pace is too fast for the altitude. You will see Kilimanjaro’s snowcapped summit, which seems quite near and the jagged peak of Mawenzi on the horizon. We stop for lunch at Second Cave, a natural cave formed by the cooling of the lava. The Rongai Route divides here and you take a right fork to Third Cave, whilst the climbers on the longer route go to Kikelewa Camp. We get up to a height of 3,900 metres today where we camp for the night at Third Cave. You will need to start wearing warm clothing. It can get very cold at this stage.

Day 3: Third Cave to Kibo Hut (4700m)

Today is a steep climb across the arid montane desert. By the end of the day, we have reached Kibo Hut at 4,700 metres where we camp overnight and rest ready for the ascent to the Summit at Midnight. Your guide will brief you about what to wear and how to approach the final leg to the summit. You will wake just before midnight, have a hot drink and a snack and begin your climb. Faint snakes of light shine out in the frosty night as other groups of climbers make the slow ascent to the summit.

Day 4: Kibo Hut to Summit, and down to Horombo Hut

Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), commence the climb to the summit on steep and heavy scree or snow up to Gilman’s Point located on the crater rim (elev 5700m/18,700ft). Continuing, we now ascend to Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point in Africa. There are unbelievable views at every turn. Have your picture taken at the summit to show your friends and family. From here we descend, stopping for lunch and a rest at Kibo before continuing on to the Horombo encampment.

The beginning of this climb is done in the dark and requires headlamps or flashlights. It will be very cold until you start descending, so you will need all of your warm layers. This is by far the most difficult part of the trek with many switchbacks. Going slowly “pole pole” and having an optimistic attitude will get you there!

  • Elevation: 4700m/15,500ft to 5895m/19,340ft Down to 3700m/12,200ft
  • Distance: 6km up / 15km down
  • Hiking time: 6-8 hours up / 15km/9mi down
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 5: Horombo Hut to Marangu gate, drive to Arusha/Moshi

After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to the Mandara Hut. Continue descending through the lush forest path to the National Park gate at Marangu. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).

A vehicle will meet you at Marangu gate to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 1 hour). It is time for celebration


  • All transfers to the mountain and back to your Moshi hotel
  • Professional, experienced, and friendly mountain guides
  • Medical evacuation with Kilimanjaro Search and Rescue> Flying Doctors.
  • 2 nights and accommodations-one before and after the trek in good hotels.
  • Guides, Porters, Cook salaries and park fees
  • Pulse-oximeter – To measure the oxygen level, for each climber daily
  • Portable Emergency Oxygen tanks
  • Quality, waterproof, four-season private mountain sleeping tents
  • Sleeping Mattress
  • All meals while on the Mountain
  • Quality Mess tents with table and chairs
  • Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food
  • Clean, purified drinking water
  • Crisis management and safety procedures
  • Fair and ethical treatment of porters
  • Conservation fees (part of park fees)
  • Camping or Hut fees (part of park fees)
  • Rescue fees (part of park fees)
  • Arrival and Departure transfers
  • All Government Tax and Park Entrance Fees
  • VAT (18% charged by the Government)


  • Tips for guides, cook and porters
  • Track your trek by satellite device services
  • Personal trekking equipment such as sleepings bags, hiking boots, clothes, etc (available for renting)
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Travel insurance
  • Tanzania Visa on arrival
  • People Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)
  • Optional Tours (short safari after your climb etc)

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Posted on

March 19, 2022