Kili Footprints - Mount Kilimanjaro

For those looking for a more remote route, the Rongai Route is one of the least crowded on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is the only route that approaches the summit from the north and starts near the border of Tanzania/Kenya. As a result, it offers a completely different perspective of the mountain with a variety of spectacular landscapes together with different plants and animals species.

It is also considered an easier and less demanding route compared to those on the southern slopes as it offers a more gradual ascent in terms of terrain, which allows for excellent acclimatisation. Rongai merges with the Marangu Route for the summit climb and descent.

Climbs usually take six to seven days; however, we always advise choosing the longer route for the best chance of acclimatisation and reaching the summit.



Meet-and-greet at Kilimanjaro Airport and transfer to your accommodation in Moshi.

Once you have arrived in Moshi, we will arrange a pre-climbing brief with one of our mountain guides to ensure that you have all the correct gears and equipment. We will also talk you through what to expect on your climb to the highest point in Africa and answer any questions/concerns you may have.

Day 1: Rongai Gate (1,900m/5,900ft) to First Cave Camp (2,600m/ 8,400ft)

Elevation Gain: 800 metres/ 2,500 feet

Day one begins with a 4-hour drive from Moshi to the village of Nale Muru where the Rongai Route trek starts. The trail begins along a wide path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before ascending gently through the beautiful rainforest. The forest is home to a variety of wildlife, including the Black and White Colobus Monkey. Today’s hike will take approximately 5 hours to First Cave Camp (2,600m), where you spend your first night on Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Day 2: First Cave Camp (2,600m/ 8,400ft) to Kikelewa Cave (3,600m/11,800 ft)

Elevation Gain: 1,000 metres / 3,400 feet

Today’s hike will take approximately 6 to 7 hours, starting with a steady incline up to Second Cave where you will stop for lunch. From here you will continue on through the moorland zone towards to Mawenzi Peak, giving you a great chance to take in the breath-taking views of the mountain along the way.  The afternoon is gentler as you continue across the moorland to camp in a sheltered valley at Kikelewa (3,600m).

Day 3: Kikelewa Cave (3,600m/11,800ft) to Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4,330m/14,200ft)

Elevation Gain: 730 metres / 2,400 feet

Day three is a short, steep climb up a grassy slope, and when you reach the top you will be rewarded with amazing views of Kibo and Mawenzi Peaks. Continuing to trek at a slow pace through the moorland heath, you will begin to notice a change in the scenery as you enter the alpine desert zone. After approximately 3 to 4 hours of hiking, you will reach Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4,330m) which sits right beneath the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. The afternoon can be spent relaxing in camp or exploring the area around Mawenzi.

Day 4: Acclimatisation Walk – OPTIONAL

Today you can have a lie in, as you will be staying at Mawenzi Tarn Hut for a second night and spend the day on an acclimatisation walk. Depending on how you are feeling after yesterday’s climb, you can either take a steep walk up the scree slopes towards the peak of Mawenzi. Alternatively, you can enjoy a gentler climb to the ridge or head to the lunar desert visiting the site of a plane crash on the way. Return to Mawenzi Tarn for a lunch, dinner and overnight rest.

Day 5: Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4,330m/14,200ft) to Kibo Huts (4,700m/ 15,400ft)

Elevation Gain: 370 metres / 1,200 feet

After a full breakfast, you will then continue to trek at a slow pace through the heathland, which quickly turns into an almost lunar-like landscape as you enter the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo peaks. From here you will start to get fantastic views of Mt. Kilimanjaro’s summit before arriving at Kibo Hut (4,700m) after 5 to 6 hours of walking. Rest for the evening and prepare for your final ascent to the summit!

DAY 5: SUMMIT DAY! – KIBO HUTS (4,700M/ 15,400FT) TO UHURU PEAK (5,895M/ 19,340FT) TO HOROMBO HUTS (3,720M/12,200FT)

Elevation Gain: 1,195 metres / 3,940 feet 
Elevation Loss: 2,175 metres / 7,140 feet

This is where the going gets really tough! The climb to the summit starts at around 12:00am. For about 6 hours you will be climbing the steepest and most challenging part of your journey. The path zigzags back and forth along a gravel path to Gilman’s Point, (5,685m) on the crater rim. Less than 2 hours are then taken to reach Uhuru Peak (5,895m) – Congratulations, you have now made it to the highest point in Africa! From here you will descend going straight down to Horombo Hut (with a short, well-deserved rest at Kibo Huts where you can collect the rest of your belongings). The descent usually takes a further 6 to 7 hours.


Elevation Loss: 1,890 metres / 6,200 feet

After eating breakfast, you will begin the easiest part of your adventure on Mount Kilimanjaro! The day is spent descending to Marangu Gate via a scenic path through the rainforest. The descent to the gate will take approximately 5 hours and climbers usually arrive before noon. Upon arrival at the gate, climbers will be rewarded with certificates attesting their success on climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Transfer back to accommodation in Moshi.

NB: 6 Day Itinerary for Rongai Route – The difference between the six-day and seven-day climbs is that you don’t spend an extra night in Mawenzi Tarn Hut for acclimatization. 


  • All park fees (entry, camping, forest department and rescue fees)
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) while on the mountain
  • Pre/post accommodation (2 nights in mid-range hotel)**
  • Airport transfers**
  • Camping and facilities
  • Fair and ethical salaries for the team (guide, assistant guide, cook and porters)
  • Transport to and from the gate
  • Drinking water
  • Oxygen cylinder and ox meter


  • Tips for the team (guide, assistant guide, cook and porters)
  • All personal mountain climbing gear and equipment
  • Alcohol, soft drinks and energy snacks
  • Flights, travel insurance, visa and any required vaccinations



Hiking, trekking, biking, and kayaking adventures all over Tanzania, made for outdoor types.


Camping most nights with some hotel/hostel stays to start and throughout; affordable public and private transport.


Serious high-altitude hikes, cycling, or other instances of heavy exercise. Come prepared to sweat a bit.


Small group experience; Max 12, avg 7


All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

* Price imorices depend on the number of climbers in the group, the route you choose, and how many days you wish to climb. Please contact us directly to receive a quote. 

**Accommodation and airport transfers are included in our Mount Kilimanjaro packages as standard. If you do not require either of these services, let us know and we can adjust your quote.

Interested in the above package? Contact us today to book your climb to the “Roof of Africa” with Kili Footprints!