Tanzania

Kilimanjaro Rongai (7 Day Route)

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Starting from the northeastern side of the mountain near the Kenyan border, the Rongai Route is a 'secret trail' that rises above the Amboseli plains.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) & transfer to Moshi Town

We pick you up from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and transfer you to your hotel in Moshi town, where you spend the night.

At the hotel, your guide will brief you on the upcoming trek and do an equipment check to make sure you have all the necessary mountain gear. If you're missing anything important, not to worry, we offer gear rentals.

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This morning we drive to the village of Nale Moru, the starting point of the Rongai route.

The first stage of the trek is through farmland and pine forests. En route, we have a chance to see the beautiful Colobus monkeys or, if lucky enough, elephants or buffalos.

Our first camp will be the Simba Camp, located at the edge of the moorland zone.

Trekking distance: 8km / 5 miles (4–5 hours).

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The morning hike is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave Camp located in the moorland zone.

From here, we usually enjoy superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim.

Trekking distance: 5km / 3.1 miles (3–4 hours).

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Leaving the pine forest behind, we make a steady ascent through the moorland. There are superb views of the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim of Kibo, the highest of the mountain's three volcanoes.

During the trek, we leave the main trail and strike out on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi, the second of Kilimanjaro’s volcanoes.

Our camp today is in the sheltered valley near Kikelewa caves.

Trekking distance: 5km / 3.1 miles (3–4 hours).

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This morning we have a short but steep ascent up grassy slopes which is rewarded by a superb view of the Kenyan plains to the north.

We leave vegetation behind shortly before reaching our next camp at Mawenzi Tarn Hut. The hut lies directly below the towering cliffs of Mawenzi.

This afternoon you have a chance to rest or explore the surrounding area as we take time to acclimatise.

Trekking distance: 8km / 5 miles (4–5 hours).

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After a good night’s rest and breakfast, we set off on our walk to Kibo Hut.

The climb will take us across desolate scree slopes with no vegetation around us at all. It’s a tough, steep walk made more difficult by the altitude.

On arriving at camp, we eat and spend the afternoon resting to prepare for a long night and day ahead. It is important to keep hydrated and warm at camp.

We have an early dinner and then try to get some sleep before getting up between 11:00 PM and midnight to start the climb to the summit.

Trekking distance: 8km / 5 miles (5–6 hours).

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Today is “The Big Day”. We begin the final ascent around midnight, it's going to be long and strenuous.

Passing the Hans Meyer Cave at 5,220m, we make our way slowly but surely upwards. We hope to reach Gillman’s Point (5,681m), the crater rim of Kilimanjaro, as the sun slowly starts to warm up the land.

After a further hike of 1–2 hours, we reach the summit, Uhuru Peak (5,895m) and celebrate.

On your return to Kibo Hut, a warm meal awaits you. We rest here before proceeding back down to Horombo Hut.

Trekking distance: 22km / 13.7 miles (12–15 hours).

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The last stage takes us through the heath and moor zone to the Mandara Hut (2,700m) where a warm lunch is waiting for you.

Soon, we pass through the tropical rainforest and arrive at the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (1,860m).

After saying goodbye to your mountain guides, you have a short transfer back to your hotel in Moshi.

Once there, you can take a warm and relaxing shower and celebrate reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Trekking distance: 20.8km / 12.9 miles (7-8 hours).

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You have the day free to wind down after the trek before you fly home.

Depending on flight times, you may want to go and explore Moshi town and grab some souvenirs before heading to the airport.

If you can spare an hour, we welcome you to plant a tree. This forms part of our environmental conservation efforts in the Kilimanjaro region.

What's Included

Included
  • Professional mountain guides, cooks, and porters.
  • Accommodation: You stay in a hotel before and after the trek. During the trek, you sleep in tents.
  • All tour permits and camp fees.
  • -29°C Extreme Limit sleeping bags and mats.
  • Airport transfers (three available pick-up times depending on your flight).
  • All food during the 7-day trek (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
  • Dinner at the hotel on the first and last nights, as well as breakfast on departure day.
  • Filtered water throughout the trek.
  • Tree donation in support of local environmental conservation projects.
Not Included
  • International and local flights.
  • Lunch on the first and last day.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Personal travel/rescue insurance.
  • Visa fees.
  • Single supplement: US$90 per person (optional).
  • Portable toilet: US$150 per group (optional).
Have a question?

If you have any questions about this trip or want to speak with an expert, get in touch.

We're ready to help.

Team Images
Team Images
Team Images

Rated 5.0

37 verified reviews

David
David

(Aug 2023)

Had a fantastic trip from start to finish, everything was well organised and catered for from the guides and porters to the food.

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Karen
Karen

(Aug 2023)

Just got back from an amazing summit to Kilimanjaro, absolutely faultless trip, guides Derek and Augustine were amazing, encouraging and very professional, only thing I would probably do differently is book a toilet, now we didn’t initially because we thought someone has to carry it, but it gets emptied at each camp and especially in the middle of the night if you have to get up it’s difficult to navigate where the toilets are in each camp. I celebrated half a century during the trip and the chef even baked a huge cake iced cake and they all sang to me at night, totally memorable experience which I will never forget, definitely take ear plugs, vitamin C tabs to flavor water, take some nice treats to share around and most of all be kind, these guys work hard and earn little so tip whatever you can at the end. We booked the hot springs and waterfall tour as we had 1 day spare and didn’t fancy traveling 5 hrs each way to do safari, roads are slow and a bit crazy so we were glad we just booked a day tour after.

Edward
Edward

(Apr 2023)

What a great experience. If you are trying to persuade yourself to do this trust me just do it. You won’t regret it. (Even in the wet season)! And you will be proud of yourself for achieving this. Overall, Great communication and planning by the team. The whole team were super friendly and helpful which took away any stresses related to that. The hike itself. They scale the support team well so you have a head guide / chef and other support staff carrying the heavier bags/ tents / food etc. you will only be carrying your day pack. You are going to be amazed how quickly and effortlessly they can carry these items up the mountain. Most days aren’t too long in terms of hiking (depending how fast you are) but give you ample time to acclimatize. The summit day is something else. Depending how fast you are you will leave anywhere between 11pm and 2am (maybe later if you are even fitter) to reach the summit for sunrise. I would consider myself pretty fit but found the summit day pretty tiring, especially the last push before Stella Point. You won’t regret putting the effort/ training in before. Food was great too. Considering you are camping you still get freshly (and tasty) cooked hot meals and packed lunches on longer days. Pro tips: 1) I would highly recommend paying extra for the portable toilet. I read the same online before I went and opted for it and after seeing (smelling) the toilets on the mountain I’m happy I paid the extra 😊😮 2) wet season clothes A poncho is not optional but a MUST. It rained every day on the hike. When it poured it really poured and I was thankful I had a poncho and great rain gear. Trying to dry clothes / gear between days is limited so this will save you putting on wet trousers again or having a wet bag. 3) camp entertainment As mentioned some days aren’t the most demanding and you have sometime to kill in the camps. I had audio books but had downloaded a few episodes/ movies. Make sure you download quite a few. They weigh nothing! 4) pillow Bring an inflatable pillow for the camping. 5) extra treats The supporting team really appreciated sharing the treats brought from home. 6) safari make sure you do a safari. I had one day spare at the end of the trip and opted to go to the ngorongoro crater. Even though it was a super early start (3am) it was amazing and out of this world. Lion king in real life! 7) wet season Don’t necessarily be put off by the idea of hiking in the wet season. Besides from dealing with the rain the benefit is there are not as many people hiking / camping. There were only 5-6 other tourists I saw hiking. Looking at the size of some of the camps I can only imagine how busy the mountain would be in peak season.

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Kelly
Kelly

(Feb 2023)

My Kilimanjaro trip was one of the best experiences of my life. I began the trip with some honest doubts that I would be able to make it to the summit, but I quickly learned that the team would help me every step of the way to make sure I succeeded. The level of hospitality, customer service, and sincere kindness was something I’d never felt before on any of my various adventure trips. Our tour guide Jimi was one of the very best guides - he was lively, fun, trustworthy, and always kept a close eye on our group to make sure all were happy and healthy. Isaya was also incredible - he made sure we were well fed, hydrated, brought us coffee in our tents in the mornings, and made sure we had all food needs taken care of. Daniel was incredible at all the pre-planning, during, and was there to celebrate with us at the end. He’s very good at what he does - you can tell he thoroughly enjoys his job and making sure his clients have the best experience. I highly recommend them as the best of the best. Every detail was planned out, and everything was perfectly executed. I’ll be recommending this to all friends who are wanting to hike Kilimanjaro. Amazing!!

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Evelin
Evelin

(Feb 2023)

Climbing Kilimanjaro via the Machame route was an absolute ultimate adventure. Perfectly organised by the local Ashante tours from the first to the very last minute of our trip to Tanzania. The guides were amazing and without them we wouldn’t have had the same experience or let alone climb to the top. Couldn’t wish for anything better than this

FAQs

Before you go

Many people describe the Rongai Route as more beautiful and more unknown. It feels like a secret trek! This route has the highest success rate for summiting. Remarkably, the Rongai Route is also accessible to those in wheelchairs. The route starts on the northeastern side of the mountain, where seasons don't affect the region as much. This makes it the safest and most popular route to climb in the rainy season (between March and May). There are shorter walks between camps on evergreen terrain that wildlife flourishes upon. If you're lucky, you'll spot colobus monkeys, birds, and other creatures as you make your way through the rainforest.

This is the popular route to trek during the rainy season (between March and May) This region of the mountain is not affected by the seasonal changes and rains that make some of the other routes complicated over these months.

See above for inclusions and exclusions.

Here is a typical packing list for Kilimanjaro: Documents: • Passport • Travel insurance details • Boarding passes for flights • Two passport photos • Driver’s license (if needed) • Cards and cash Gear and clothing (please make sure that you have non-cotton clothing for trekking): • Sleeping bag liner (optional) • Trekking boots: all-season, lightweight • Two base-layer t-shirts (e.g. running t-shirts) • Fleece/soft-shell jacket • Waterproof jacket • Down jacket for warmth • Travel clothes and city wear • Underwear • Base-layer trousers (optional) • Waterproof trousers • Trekking trousers • Trekking shorts (optional) • Multiple pairs thick wool mountaineering socks • Lightweight and breathable trekking socks • Gloves and wool hat • Small daypack (35l capacity is generally fine) • Duffel or rucksack with straps to go over your back • Dry Liner or Dry Bag • Water bottle/thermos: At least 2L. Nalgene bottles best. • Sunglasses • Suncream • General toiletries, contact lenses, glasses (if needed) • Towel • Electronics (head torch, travel adaptor, phone & charger) • Lip balm • Travel wash • Hand sanitiser, wet wipes • Trekking poles (optional) Please note that all plastic bags, regardless of their thickness, are prohibited from being brought into Tanzania. This excludes packaging for medical supplies. If you don't want to purchase your own kit or need to travel light, you can hire most of the equipment from our guides in-country. Get in touch for the list and rental prices.

When you go above altitudes of 2,500m (as is the case on Kilimanjaro), there is less oxygen which poses a risk of altitude sickness. High altitude sickness can happen to anybody, regardless of age or fitness. Symptoms vary between individuals but commonly include headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, and numbness in fingers and toes. These symptoms can come on unexpectedly and get severe quickly. To decrease the chances of experiencing altitude sickness, you need to allow your body time to acclimatise properly. Although impossible to completely prevent, we've designed our itineraries to give guests the best chance to adjust to the altitude changes. Ahsante guides have years of experience in recognizing and helping guests deal with altitude sickness. Note that oxygen is not used on Kilimanjaro to help guests reach the summit or to 'treat' altitude sickness. The only cure for altitude sickness is to immediately descend to lower ground. In severe cases, oxygen may be given to provide enough temporary relief to allow the affected guest to descend. In extreme cases, altitude sickness on Kilimanjaro can be fatal. We put your safety first. We trust our guide's expertise, their decision on whether or not to continue is final.

Most non-citizens need a Tanzanian tourist visa. This is easily obtained upon arrival. Tanzanian visas are also available online. Beware when purchasing your visa online, as there are many illegitimate companies. Below is a link to the official Tanzanian High Commission UK website. While applying for a visa, you will need the following host company details: Full Name: Ahsante Tours & Safaris Limited Mobile number: +255759690257 Email: info@ahsantetours.com Company name/Registration number: 100817209 Physical address: Plot 29-A, Karanga Drive, Moshi – Kilimanjaro Accommodation (where you will stay): Panama Garden Resort Address: P.O.Box 6907, Lema Road

We recommend that you check in with your personal healthcare advisor or travel doctor before your trip to Africa. We have provided a useful link below where you can find information on vaccine requirements.

On your trip

You stay in a hotel at the beginning and end of the trek. This lodging offers twin shared rooms and basic showering facilities. During the trek, you will be given a 3-man tent and use it as a twin share. Single supplements are available for the duration of the trip for $90. Please send us a message after booking if you would like to arrange a single supplement. If you would like to book any additional nights at the hotel, you can do so at the link below.

Portable toilets are an optional extra. The cost for this extra service is $150, payable at our offices, in-country. The group can decide whether they would like this extra service and split the cost between group members.

The start and end point of this tour is Kilimanjaro International Airport. There are three pick-up times (10:00 AM, 5:00 PM or 11:59 PM). On the last date, you can fly at any time. Your guides will arrange transfers that work best for the group. Guests typically fly with BA, Air France, or Qatar. However, we recommend comparing a few airlines.

Every day on the trek we will provide you with filtered water to fill up your bottles. The water is filtered and boiled by a Katadyn filtration system. We recommend you also bring water purification tablets or a filter bottle.

It is customary in Tanzania to tip guides and porters. The amount that you tip is completely up to you. As a good rule of thumb, generally, participants will tip around US$200 per customer (not per guide). You can give this to the head guide, and they will distribute it amongst the team of guides, porters, and cooks.

You will have chefs with you on the hike who can cater to all dietary requirements. During the trek, you will be provided with three nutritious and filling meals each day to keep energy levels high. Please provide full details of any dietary requirements and allergies on your Trip Form. You will receive a link to fill this out shortly after booking. You can also update the form on your Skyhook dashboard. Note that lunch (at the hotel) on your first and final day is not included.

Other FAQs

Most groups have 12 people, with a maximum of 14.

The Kilimanjaro Rongai Route is moderately complex in comparison to the others, with a more gradual ascent profile.

Yes of course! Safari in Tanzania is an amazing experience - simply message us after booking and we'll make some recommendations.

The minimum age for this group tour is 18 years.

Your head guide is Holyfield

All trips on Skyhook are run by small, hand-picked local guiding companies. For this trip your guides run Ahsante Tours, based in Moshi.

By booking through Skyhook you'll be joining a small-group trip. This can make it nice and sociable (you'll be added to a group chat after booking), and guarantees great value for money!

Holyfield