kilimanjaro climb – rongai route

7-Day Private Camping Ascent via the North Side of the Mountain

Rongai Trailhead is Kilimanjaro’s only route beginning from the north side and is used by few trekkers. It joins with the Marangu (Coca-Cola) Route on the final ascent to the summit on the fifth day, but otherwise few others are seen along the way. Our Kilimanjaro Climb – Rongai Route affords the opportunity to view the Mawenzi volcano, the second highest peak of Kilimanjaro, and the magnificent saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo Peak. Due to the rugged terrain and the very limited acclimatization time, fitness plays a huge role in the success of this trek.

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Perfect for:

  • Perfect for Kilimanjaro Climbs
  • Perfect for Adventure Seekers
  • Perfect for Active Travelers
  • Duration 7 days; 6 days/5 nights on the mountain
  • Departures Anytime
  • Accommodations Mountain camping + lodge
  • Fitness Rating Difficult
  • Activities Mountain trekking
  • Safari Type Kilimanjaro Climbs
  • Style Deluxe
  • Land-Only Price* $5,000 - $9,999
  • Flight Price Call for pricing

*All pricing per person based on double occupancy. Pricing varies based on travel dates, call for a customized quotation matching your travel needs. Changes to itinerary and pricing may apply. Price includes all accommodations, meals, some drinks, transfers, vehicles, park fees, guides and activities as indicated, and a $25 donation to a worthy African charity. Price excludes international flights, visas, tips, inoculations, travel insurance, and anything not specified above. We accept Visa, Master Card, Discover & AMEX. No refunds—see Terms and Conditions for details.


Day 1 – Arusha: Upon arrival, you will be transferred to Rivertrees Country Inn (or similar) for overnight. Your guide will give you a comprehensive climb briefing either tonight or in the morning, depending on your arrival time.

Day 2 – Rongai Gate (6,550 ft.)/Rongai 1 Caves Camp (9,285 ft.): Depart from Arusha at 8 am and drive 5 hours (2 hours on rough roads) to the Rongai gate. After completion of administrative formalities and meeting with porters and guides, begin the 3-4-hour walk to the first camp. The walk is at a leisurely pace through fields and then into the rain forest. Arrive at your camp set in the heather, to your mess tent and a hot meal. (B, L, D)

Day 3 – Rongai 1 Caves Camp/Rongai 2 Caves Camp (11,300 ft.): About 4-5 hours trek through the heather will bring you to the second caves. If the weather is clear, Mawenzi will be in plain view; a stunning sight. Enjoy stopping to see the exotic heather-zone flowers and plants which grow alongside the trail. (B, L, D)

Day 4 – Rongai 2 Caves Camp/Rongai 3 Caves Camp (12,415 ft.): Today is a short trek designed to help you acclimate. The track leads through the moorland and towards Kibo’s steeply rising slopes. The trekking time is about 2-3 hours. From the campsite you will enjoy magnificent views towards Mawenzi and Kibo; your final target. (B, L, D)

Day 5 – Rongai 3 Caves Camp/Outward Bound Camp (15,585 ft.): Trek from the moorland and eventually into the stark highland desert. The temperatures turn cold as you near the foot of Kibo, at Outward Bound Hut, after 5-7 hours of trekking. Prepare all your gear for the night ahead, and turn in early to rest. (B, L, D)

Day 6 – Outward Bound Camp/Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft.)/Horombo Camp (10,200 ft.): You will wake at midnight, and depart the camp at about 1 am. From your camp to the rim of the crater (Gillman’s Point (18,750 ft./5,712 m)) to Uhuru Peak, the trekking time is about 7-8 hours. The following descent to Mweka Camp is about 5-6 hours. Total trekking time is 12-14 hours. Upon your 1 am departure, the temperatures will be between -0 to -10° C, and then from 4 am to 6 am (just before sunrise), you can expect temperatures from -10° to -20° C. The slope is steep, with switchbacks, over loose rock and scree with some boulders as you near Gilman’s Point. You will stop at Hans Meyer cave on the way, the famous place where Kilimanjaro’s first western climber described in his journals. Once you arrive at Gilman’s Point (after about 5-6 hours) at the edge of the crater, the trail to the summit is less demanding and is reached after a further 1½-2 hours along the snowy crater rim (depending on the season). After 3 hours of descending to Kibo hut, there is a pause for rest and food, then another 3-4 hours to reach Horombo Camp. (B, L, D)

Day 7 – Horombo Camp/Marangu Gate (5,900 ft.)/Arusha: Descend straight to the gate (5-6 hours), where you will have lunch and will be awarded climbing certificates. Afterward, transfer the hotel of your choice in Arusha (hotel priced separately), or to Kilimanjaro International Airport. (B, L)

Note: Your bag (to be portered) can weigh a maximum of 15kg (approximately 33 lbs). We have included an AED for this trek.


View Kilimanjaro Climb Inclusions or Gear Rental Information


Why Climb Kilimanjaro with Africa Adventure Consultants

Safety Equipment & Training: Safety is our number one priority on Kilimanjaro. Unlike many Kilimanjaro operators, we provide extensive safety gear on Kilimanjaro, including a hyperbaric chamber on every trek and a fully rigid litter. We supply plenty of emergency oxygen and have AED devices on each climb. We encourage you to compare our inclusions with other outfitters.

Mountain Guides and Core Crew: Our mountain guides and core crew are recognized as the most capable and professional crew on the mountain. All of our head guides are WFR trained and certified. Our guides and core crew have the best compensation package on Kilimanjaro.

Food: We provide healthy, nutritious and, most importantly, delicious meals on the mountain. Our offerings are chosen specifically to keep your energy level up and your taste buds happy!

Porters: We are committed to ethical porter treatment standards: A Kilimanjaro climb would not be possible without porters. They are the backbone of all Kilimanjaro expeditions and sadly have long been exploited by the tourism industry in Tanzania. However, a change has been occurring, and expectations of the porters are changing in cooperation with companies like ours that are committed to providing fair working conditions, honesty, and transparency.

Interested in this trip? Give us a call or drop us an email.

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20 Years of Experience & Passion

Our passion for Africa began with a dream of living on the continent – a dream realized. We explored parks, rivers, mountains and villages, learned about the flora and fauna, fell in love with everything, and came away wanting to share our passion for a remarkable continent. Africa Adventure Consultants was born of the desire to give more people the chance to experience Africa’s wonders. Let us guide you into the wilderness.

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