Rongai Route

Climb to the top of Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest peak, via the Rongai Route. This is the only route option on the Northern/Kenyan side of Kilimanjaro and offers guests a more remote, wilderness experience!

Trip Photos

  • Ascending towards Mawenzi on the Rongai route Ascending towards Mawenzi on the Rongai route
  • North slope of Kilimanjaro on the Rongai North slope of Kilimanjaro on the Rongai
  • Sunrise on summit day, Kilimanjaro Sunrise on summit day, Kilimanjaro
  • Dwindling glaciers on the upper reaches of Kili Dwindling glaciers on the upper reaches of Kili

Trip Notes

Location: Tanzania
Meeting Point: Moshi, Tanzania
Destination: Uhuru Peak - Kilimanjaro
Duration: 10 days
Price: $5500 (+ tax, in USD)
Activity Type: Trekking
Season: January, February, March, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Guide to Guest Ratio: 1 to 8
Difficulty Level: 3 out of 5
Paperwork Required: Registration, Health Form, Risk Acknowledgment

Kilimanjaro Options:

Trip Description

Explore a different side of Kilimanjaro!

Unlike the Machame and Lemosho routes up Kilimanjaro, the Rongai route approaches from the north, near Tanzania’s border with Kenya. Considered slightly easier than the Machame route and more remote than either of the other routes, the Rongai route offers guests an enjoyable trip with lots of scenic moments along the route up.

The 10 day itinerary includes travel and rest days. Spending a total of 7 days on the mountain, we have found that this pace helps offer guests a better experience and optimize their chances for success.

Our starting point in the village of Nale Muru is 6,400′ and ascends at a more gradual pace than the Machame route.

The weather tends to be drier on this side of the mountain and usually offers guests more unclouded views of the mountain.

This route is perfect for guests seeking a quieter ascent away from the traffic of the other routes.

As with our Machame and Lemosho itineraries, the Rongai route features a descent down the Normal route which offers new scenery after the summit as we descend off the mountain.

MOSHI: Our trips begin in the city of Moshi, located just a short drive from the Machame gate and offering views of the mountain when not obscured by lenticular clouds. Guests often opt for our guided tours of Moshi, experiencing the vibrant marketplace, historic buildings, and the opportunity to pick up souvenirs from your trip to Tanzania.

SPRINGLANDS HOTEL: Enjoy luxurious accommodations before and after your trip. The Springlands hotel features a swimming pool, bar, lounge area, and buffet style meals served three times a day (breakfast included with your stay).

GETTING TO THE MOUNTAIN: Day 1 of our journey up Kilimanjaro features a drive to the northern side of Kilimanjaro where we’ll enter through the Rongai Gate. The drive time is around 3 hours, a little longer than the drives to the Lemosho/Machame gates by about 1.5 hours.

CLIMATE ZONES: Kilimanjaro features 5 distinct climate zones. The start of the Rongai route features fields of maize and potatoes before trekkers enter a pine forest. Higher on the mountain we encounter the heather/moorland area which offers great views out towards the plains of Kenya. The next zone encountered is the highland desert region, a dry zone featuring some interesting plantlife, including the Dendrosenecio kilimanjari, a stunning groundsel found only in this portion of the mountain. Finally as we approach the upper mountain we’ll reach the arctic zone which includes the summit glaciers – a unique and unforgettable experience!

OUR GUIDES:Mountain Guides International guides are professionals.They are dedicated to insuring our guests an experience that exceeds their expectations!

Every Kili trip that we lead draws on the experience of more than 20 years of guiding high altitude trips on Denali, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, The Volcanoes of Ecuador / Mexico, and high altitude peaks of the Himalayas.

The Rongai Route is a 10 day itinerary, including travel and rest days in Moshi.

Here is an overview of the Rongai itinerary:
TRAVEL: Depending on flight times and connections, travel to Moshi, Tanzania typically takes over 24 hours from the U.S. including a stop in Amsterdam or London. Please be sure your arrival in Tanzania coordinates with the first day of the program.

This is the start date indicated for all trips. We’ll pick you up from Kilimanjaro International Airport, flights from Western countries typically arrive around 9:00pm local time. The drive from the airport to the Springlands hotel is about 45 minutes. We’ll get you settled in to your accommodations and outline you on Day 2.

After a long travel day you’ll have the opportunity to rest and relax at the Springlands Resort. Your guide will coordinate a group meeting where we’ll cover introductions, answer questions about the trip, and ensure everyone has all the necessary gear. Guided tours of Moshi can be arranged by your guide through the Springlands staff, it is a great opportunity to see Moshi and pick up souvenirs.

DAY 3: SIMBA CAMP(6,400′ to 9,750′) – About 4 hours
We will transfer by Land Rover (about 3 hours) to the attractive wooden village of Nale Muru (1950 m). After signing in and preparing the porters, we will begin the hike on a wide path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. The forest begins to thin out around the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone (2600 m) with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.

DAY 4: KIKELEWA CAMP (8500′ to 11,800′) – About 7 hours
The morning walk is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave (3450 m) with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. After lunch, we leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. The campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant Senecios near Kikelewa Camp (3600 m)

DAY 5: MAWENZI CAMP (11,800′ to 14,200′) – About 4 hours
A short but steep climb up grassy slopes will reward us with superb panoramic views and a tangible sense of wilderness. Camp is at Mawenzi Tarn (4330 m), spectacularly situated in a cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the surrounding area as an aid to acclimatization.

We’ll spend the day exploring the area while resting for our upcoming summit. This rest day has proven remarkably effective at making the summit bid on Day 8 much more enjoyable and safe for our guests.

DAY 7: KIBO CAMP (14,200′ to 15,600′) About 5 hours
We will cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo campsite (4750 m) at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall.

DAY 8: SUMMIT DAY (15,600′ to 19,300′ and down to 12,200′) About 11 hours
It will take 6 or 7 hours to reach the crater rim. Sunrise on the Crater is going to be something to remember forever. The sun rising over the plains of Africa and diffuse light highlighting the nearby glaciers is truly a world class experience. After a short break, we will continue along the rim for another hour before reaching the highest point in Africa, (19,340 ft). Congratulations! We will spend up to a half hour on the summit and then begin the descent to Barafu. At camp we will rest for a few hours and then start the walk down to our final camp on Kilimanjaro!

DAY 9 – RETURN TO MOSHI About 3 hours
In the morning we’ll depart camp for the park gates. We’ll meet up with our ride back to town and sign out with the park rangers, receiving summit certificates to commemorate your achievement in reaching the summit! Back at the Springlands Resort you’ll get settled in, enjoy a refreshing shower and a well deserved beverage.

We’ll arrange your transfer from Springlands to the airport or out onto your safari.

For a PDF version of this itinerary click this link.

Who are my guides?
MGI provides professional American guides. All guides are medically trained and experienced at high altitude. The guides know how to foster a fun trip while making safety a top priority. In addition to American guides, we hire local guides, cooks, and porters to help support our trips. We work closely with our trusted local partner to ensure a high quality trip.

What is the weather like in Moshi? What about on Kilimanjaro?
Moshi is a tropical climate, with rainfall amounts varying from summer (wetter) to winter (drier). The average temperature in Moshi is around 74 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Rongai route is on the drier Northern side of Kilimanjaro and sees less rain/snow than the Machame and Lemosho routes.

How much weight will I carry?
Local porters will carry most of our equipment throughout the climb. You can expect to carry daypacks with warm layers, rain gear, water, and snacks.

What will we eat?
The meals are healthy and hearty. Breakfast and dinner are served hot in our dining tents, some lunches are also hot, some. We provide plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and can accommodate special diets if you give us notice. Coffee, tea and cocoa are served at breakfast and dinner.

A typical breakfast might include hot oatmeal with a side of fruit. Lunches could vary from sandwiches and snacks to warm soup and some bread. Pasta and rice dishes are common at dinner time along with poultry and some delicious dessert options.

What will camping be like?
We use stout 4 season tents for sleeping arrangements. The tents are either 2 person or 3 person tents and quite spacious with a vestibule to secure your gear under cover. All trips feature a dining tent complete with table and chairs for added comfort. We provide a private bathroom tent so you don’t have to use the public toilets on the mountain!

What if I am travelling solo?
Solo travelers will have their own accommodations at the hotel and a tent to themselves. We do not charge extra for singles.

How should I prepare for the climb?
We recommend a regular routine incorporating running, hiking, biking, swimming, or other aerobic activities. If you have any questions or would like help planning a training routine don’t hesitate to contact us!

Do you offer rental equipment?
Yes! We have sleeping bags, down jackets, packs, trekking poles, and duffel bags available to rent.

Other Questions?
This is just a short list of the most commonly asked questions. Please visit our complete FAQ guide by clicking the link here to see additional FAQs.

Trip Documents:
  • Trip Itinerary – Printable detailed trip itinerary.
  • Equipment List – Overview of personal clothing and equipment that you’ll need for this trip.
  • Rental Gear List – List of gear, and personal items available for rent
  • Registration Form – Outlines policies, and essential information. One required per participant.
  • Health Form – This form enables our guides to have accurate health information in the event of an emergency.
  • Land Waiver – One required per participant over the age of 18.
  • Travel Info – Helpful information on how to get to/from Tanzania.

Price: $5500 (+ tax, in USD)
Start Dates: Jan - Mar / June - Dec

What is included in the trip price:
  • Moshi – includes hotel stay, airport/town transfers, and welcome dinner.
  • Expedition food – all food while climbing Kilimanjaro.
  • Climbing Fees – includes climbing and hut fees
  • Professional guides / local support – Professional guides and porter support all included with the trip cost
Guests are responsible for the following:
  • Airfare – Guests are responsible for travel expenses to Tanzania
  • Restaurant Food in town & Alcohol – We are happy to recommend places to eat in town
  • Trip insurance – we highly recommend trip insurance for all of our programs.
  • Visa – You’ll need a tourist visa for your time in Tanzania. We recommend acquiring this in advance.
  • Tips – We recommend $250 – $300 per climber to split among the local African staff, and another $50 – $100 for your American guide
  • Optional Safari – All Kilimanjaro treks can be combined with a safari package, contact us for further details!
To Book your adventure, follow the steps below:
  1. Please call to confirm availability at 1-800-766-3396 or fill out an online form to request more information via this link:
  2. Place a $500 deposit to reserve your spot: this can be place over the phone by credit card, check in the mail, or through our payment gateway.
  3. Once you’ve reserved your spot, you’ll receive a welcome packet with all the necessary registration forms and trip information.
  4. We kindly ask that you submit all of the necessary trip registration information at least 45 days prior to your trip.

Feel free to call or email anytime if you have questions about your upcoming trip. Our team is excited to help you prepare for your adventure!

Guest Comments:

One of a kind adventure! It was a challenging day, but an incredible experience I'll remember forever. John was a great guide; personable and always safety conscious.
- Roger P.