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The Rongai route is the only route to ascend up the northeast side of the mountain, originating close to the Kenyan border.

It is one of the less frequently used routes, mostly attributed to the long drive required to reach the starting gate, when you will pass through traditional Chagga villages and get a peek into local life. It is also the only route to afford you such a close view of Mawenzi Peak, Kilimanjaro’s second highest peak, and a rewarding hike across the ‘Saddle’, the expanse between the Mawenzi and Kibo (Uhuru) Peaks.

Overview Itinerary

Day From To Distance & Time Altitude Change

1997 m / 6,552 ft


2635 m / 8,645 ft

7 km / 4.3 mi

3-4 hours

+638 m / +2,093 ft

2635 m / 8,645 ft


3487 m / 11,440 ft

5.5 km / 3.4 mi

4-5 hours

+852 m / +2,795 ft

3487 m / 11,440 ft


3675 m / 12,057 ft

6.25 km / 3.9 mi

2-3 hours

+188 m / +617 ft

3675 m / 12,057 ft


4302 m / 14,114 ft

3.75 km / 2.3 mi

4-5 hours

+627 m / +2,057 ft

4302 m / 14,114 ft


4714 m / 15,466 ft

9 km / 5.6 mi

5-6 hours

+412 m / +1,352 ft

4714 m / 15,466 ft


5895 m / 19,341

6.2 km / 3.9 mi

6-8 hours

+1181 m / +3,875 ft

5895 m / 19,341


3721 m / 12,208 ft

16 km / 10 mi

6-8 hours

-2174 m / -7,133 ft

3721 m / 12,208 ft


1905 m / 6,250 ft

20 km / 12.4 mi

5-7 hours

-1816 m / -5,958 ft

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Kilimanjaro International Airport – Moshi

Welcome to Tanzania! Upon arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met by a Pristine Trails representative and transferred to your hotel in Moshi town. Depending on your arrival time, you will have a pre-trek briefing with your Kilimanjaro guide either this afternoon/evening or the following morning.

Overnight: Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel
Transfer Time: 1 Hour
Meals: None

Day 2: Moshi – Rongai Gate – Simba Camp

Wake early to begin the long drive to the Rongai Gate, passing through local Chagga villages and markets on the way. Upon reaching the gate, you will meet your porters and begin the trek from the Nale Moru Village. The small winding path crosses maize fields before climbing gradually through a pine forest onto Simba Camp, where you will settle in for your first night on the mountain.

Trekking Time: 3-4 hours • Distance: 7 km / 4.3 mi • Altitude Change: 638 m / +2,093 ft

Overnight: Simba Camp
Transfer Time: 3 hours
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Simba Camp – Second Cave

The trail continues up towards Kibo, on a shade-less path that will eventually pass First Cave and take you to your destination at Second Cave, where you will have your lunch and spend the night.

Trekking Time: 4-5 hours • Distance: 5.5 km / 3.4 mi • Altitude Change: +852 m / +2,795 ft

Overnight: Second Cave
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Second Cave – Kikelelwa Camp

Today you will walk through open moorland on an undulating path to Kikelelwa Camp where you will spend the night. This camp is located by the Kikelelwa River. From here the clouds tend to clear, affording expansive views of the summit peeking out over the ridge. Spend the afternoon either resting or taking an acclimatization hike in the surrounding area.

Trekking Time: 2-3 hours • Distance: 6.25 km / 3.9 mi • Altitude Change: +188 m / +617 ft

Overnight: Kikelelwa Camp
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Kikelelwa Camp – Mawenzi Tarn Hut

A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb all-around views and a tangible sense of wilderness. You will leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn, spectacularly situated directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi Peak. The afternoon will be free to rest or explore the nearby ridge to the west as an aid to acclimatization.

Trekking Time: 4-5 hours • Distance: 3.75 km / 2.3 mi • Altitude Change: +627 m / +2,057 ft

Overnight: Mawenzi Tarn Hut
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Mawenzi Tarn Hut – Kibo Huts

Today you start by retracing steps before heading west across the ridge and dropping down the slope for the crossing of the lunar-like desert of the ‘Saddle’ between the Mawenzi and Kibo peaks. The flora is sparse but the views all around you are stunning. After a few hours you will reach the Kibo Huts at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Spend the evening resting for the final ascent to the summit that will begin at midnight.

Trekking Time: 5-6 hours • Distance: 9 km / 5.6 mi • Altitude Change: +412 m / +1,352 ft

Overnight: Kibo Huts
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Kibo Huts – Uhuru Peak – Horombo Huts

Wake around midnight to begin your ascent to Uhuru Peak. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave. You will then take on switchbacks up to Gilman’s Point at 5719 m / 18,763 ft, situated on the crater rim. This section is very steep with much stone scree and is the most demanding section of the route. From Gilman’s Point, hike for another two hours up to your ultimate goal, Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. You made it! Enjoy a short time on the Roof of Africa before beginning the descent.

Trekking Time: 6-8 hours • Distance: : 6.2 km / 3.9 mi • Altitude Change: +1181 m / +3,875 ft

Descend back down via the same route through Gilman’s Point and Kibo Huts where you will stop for a rest and a meal. From there you will continue your descent via the Marangu Route, passing through the heath and moorland zones onto Horombo, where you will spend your last night on the mountain. Enjoy your final mountain dinner and a well-earned night’s sleep.

Trekking Time: 6-8 hours • Distance: : 16 km / 10 mi • Altitude Change: -2174 m / -7,133 ft

Overnight: Horombo Huts
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Horombo Huts – Marangu Gate – Moshi

After breakfast, continue your descent, stopping first at Mandara Huts for lunch before the final descent through the rainforest to the Marangu Gate, where park formalities will be completed and you will be met by our vehicles to return you to the Pristine Trails office. Here you will receive your certificate of ascent courtesy of the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority, have the tipping ceremony for your mountain crew and collect any luggage you stored. Thereafter, you will be driven back to your hotel where you can treat yourself to a well-earned shower and a good night’s sleep.

Trekking Time: 5-7 hours • Distance: 20 km / 12.4 mi • Altitude Change: -1816 m / -5,958 ft

Overnight: Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel
Transfer Time: 1 hour
Meals: Breakfast

Day 9: Continuation of Your Journey or Departure

After breakfast, you will begin the next leg of your journey either onto your wildlife safari or you will be transferred to the Kilimanjaro International Airport for your departure flight.

Transfer Time: 1 hour to airport
Meals: Breakfast


Valid through December 31, 2023

1 Person 2-3 People 4-6 People 7+ / Open Group
$3,695 $2,945 $2,705 $2,575

Inclusions / Exclusions

The details are outlined below. We will take the utmost care to ensure your trek is safe and the experience of a lifetime.

Price Inclusions:




Lead Guide(s)
English Speaking & Wilderness First Responder Trained

Assistant Guide(s), for 2+ people


Porters, equipment

Porters, personal client luggage (15 kg per client)


Sleeping tent, 3-person size for 2 people

Sleeping mat, 2-inch foam


Walk-in dining tent and table

Backed chairs

Wash basins with hot water each morning and evening

Private portable toilet with toilet paper


Three meals per day & afternoon snack during the trek
Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free upon request

Treated drinking water
(minimum of 3L per day while trekking with additional water available at camp)

Coffee and tea during the trek


Pulse oximeter

Altitude sickness checklists

First aid kit

Emergency oxygen


Kilimanjaro National Park fees
Camping/hut, rescue, conservation and taxes

Pre-trek briefing with your guide


Roundtrip airport transfer between Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and Moshi

Roundtrip transfer between Moshi and the park gate

Hotel stays in Moshi pre- and post-trek (2 nights total) on bed & breakfast basis at Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel

Price Exclusions:

  • Gratuities/tips
  • Personal trekking gear such as sleeping bag and clothing
  • Favored beverages (water, soda and alcohol at hotels)
  • Additional accommodation or meals resulting from early descent
  • Tanzania entry visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Domestic or international flights
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Additional Amenities Available:

  • Private portable shower/wash tent
  • Sleeping cot and walk-in sleeping tent
  • Portable altitude chamber
  • Custom evacuation stretcher

Recommended Tipping Guide

Tipping is customary on Mount Kilimanjaro for all members of your mountain crew.

Although they receive a fair wage, they rely on tips for a total fair compensation as set by the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project Partners for Responsible Travel.

Crew Member Per Crew Member
Per Day Per Group
Per Crew Member
Per Trek Per Group
Lead Guide $20 $140
Assistant Guide $15 $105
Cook $15 $105
Special Porters:
Waiter; summit porters
$8 $56
Porters $6 $42

The standard guide to client ratio on your trek is 1 lead guide and 1 assistant guide for every up to 4 clients, 1 cook, 2-3 special porters and an average of 4-6 porters per client. Therefore, the total recommended tipping amount per client for this trek ranges from $250-400, depending on the trekking package and total number of people in the trekking group.

To ensure fair and transparent tipping for each crew member, there will be a tipping ceremony at the Pristine Trails office following your descent from the mountain. Envelopes will be provided to divide your tips for each member of the crew.

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