The Rongai Route is unique because it is the only one that approaches from the North, near the Kenyan border. Here, you can find members of the Chagga tribe living in the foothills behind Kilimanjaro. Although Rongai can be done in six days, we recommend doing it in seven to increase your chances of summiting. However, if you are hell-bent on doing it in six, we can arrange it for you.
In his opinion, RG3 thinks that Rongai Route is not as scenic as the other popular routes (such as Machame or Lemosho), but it has its benefits. Because it is less popular, it has much less traffic, and the climate is generally drier. Therefore, it is a good option during the rainy seasons. Like the Marangu Route, it also skips the Barranco Wall.
The Rongai Route starts at the Rongai Gate on the north side of the mountain. You will spend your first day climbing through planted forest with potatoes and carrots, followed by a beautiful trek through rain forest. Your destination for the night will be Simba ("Lion") Camp, named because apparently a lion was spotted on the way there once! You will not see any simba nowadays because they don't hang out there, but you will see blue monkeys and black and white Colobos monkeys, and possibly even baboons.
Day Two, after breakfast, you head from the rain forest into the Moorland Zone. At your destination of Second Camp, you will be rewarded with a nice view of Tanzania and Kenya.
On Day Three, you will make your way to Kikelelwa Camp. During your continued trek through the Moorland Zone, you may see ravens, indigenous mice, and other Moorland critters.
On Day Four, Turn Hut will be your final destination. You will see more beautiful views of the Kilimanjaro lowlands, ending your day's trek in the dry and treeless Alpine Desert Zone. Though it is called Turn Hut, you will stay in tent.
On Day Five, you will leave Turn Hut and head up to Kibo Hut--your base camp for summit night. Today, the Alpine Desert environment and lack of trees will give you a spectacular view of the foothills of Kilimanjaro. You will have lunch somewhere along the way. After reaching Kibo Hut, depending on the time of day, you will eat a snack, take a nap, eat dinner, and receive instructions to prepare for summit night. After instructions, you will return to your tent to sleep, and depending on you and your group's progress, your staff will wake you around 11:00 pm to midnight, with your summit bid starting once your guide clears you for departure.
On Day Six, you will first climb to Gilman's Point, and thereafter you will head to your next major landmark: Stella Point. An approximate one hour hike from Stella Point will bring you to Uhuru Peak at 19,341'. After celebrating and taking pictures of the beautiful glaciers and views, your guides will take you down through the scree back to Kibo Hut. Depending on your guide's advice, you may eat lunch and rest a short time at Kibo Hut. Then you will prepare to descend to Horombo Hut.
On Day Seven, you will wake and eat breakfast and enjoy your staff's rendition of the
Kilimanjaro and Jambo songs. After that, you will start your final descent to Marangu Gate. At Marangu Gate, you will eat a hearty lunch, drink Kilimanjaro beer and/or soft drinks, and have the opportunity to gift some of your gear and clothing to the staff. After that, this is the proper time to tip your staff. (See Tipping Guidelines.) Make sure you show your appreciation for the excellent service and their hard work!
Following the celebration, we will provide transportation back to your hotel, after which you can arrange for safari, an excursion to Zanzibar, or something else tailored to your needs.