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7 Days, 6 Nights


The following is day by day itinerary of the most remote route on Kilimanjaro, the Rongai route. The Rongai route approaches the mountain from the north, near the Kenyan border. Important things to note on the itinerary are the elevation gains, the distance to be covered each day, and notable features or things to do each day. This is the only route that will be sleeping in huts. You will use the Marangu route to descend from Uhuru Peak meaning your trek’s end gate will be the Marangu gate. 


Day 1 – Rongai Gate (2364 meters) to Simba Camp (2,671 meters):

After registration at the Rongai Gate, you will start your hike through a rainforest, gently hiking up to Simba Camp. You will also pass through a potato farm as you navigate your way to Simba Camp. Expect to see wild animals such as Colobus monkeys. Today’s hike is fairly easy with only about 7 km of walk.

Distance: 7km

Trekking time: 4-5 hours

Zone: Tropical Rainforest then Heath

Altitude gain: 307 meters

 Day 2 – Simba Camp (2,671 meters) to Second Cave Camp (3,450 meters):

After breakfast at Simba Camp, we will start a fairly steady ascend towards Second Cave Camp located in the moorland zone. At Second Cave Camp, you will get great views of Kibo Peak and the Eastern Ice Fields.

 Distance: 8km

Trekking time: 3-4 hours

Zone: Heath                                                          

Altitude gain: 779 meters

 Day 3 – Second Cave Camp (3450 meters) to Kikelelwa Camp (3600 meters)

Altitude gain today is only about 150 meters, a walk through the moorland zone. We will depart the main trail and take a smaller path towards the rough peaks of Mawenzi, before finally arriving at our final destination, the Kikelelwa Camp.

Distance: 5km

Trekking time: 3-4 hours

Zone: Heath

Altitude gain: 150 meters

Day 4 – Kikelelwa Camp (3,600 meters) to Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4,315 meters):

After an early breakfast, we will head for a steep ascent up the day’s final destination, the famous Mawenzi Tarn Hut. Today’s final campsite is below the cliffs of Mawenzi peak. You will arrive early at the campsite and have a hot lunch there. Here you will have great views of the Kenyan plains and you will have time to talk a walk for acclimatization as you explore the camp’s surrounding area.

Distance: 9km

Trekking time: 5-6 hours

Zone: Alpine desert

Altitude gain: 715 meters

 Day 5 – Mawenzi Tarn Hut (4,315 meters) to Kibo Hut (4,720 meters):

After breakfast, you will start a gradual climb across the lunar desert of the “Saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo. Today’s hike has its destination as the base camp- Kibo Hut that sits at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. At Kibo Hut, you will have an early dinner before you rest to prepare yourself for the summit attempt.

Distance: 9km

Trekking time: 4-5 hours

Zone: Alpine desert

Altitude gain: 715 meters

Day 6 – Kibo Hut (4,720 meters) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters) and then Horombo Hut (3,720 meters):

This is the day you have been waiting for! The summit night is here, your mental and physical stamina are going to be tested to the limit.

After you wake up, you will be served hot drinks and biscuits and will start the summit hike the first destination being Gilman’s point. (5685 meters) which is on Kibo’s crater rim.

At Gilman’s point, you will take some time to rest (5 minutes maximum) and refuel with a snack. We will start the final push moving very slowly to finish to remaining 200 meters to Uhuru Peak. After taking photos and some celebrations at Uhuru Peak, you will begin your descent back to Kibo Hut, and onto Horombo Hut.

Distance: Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak about 6.5km then from Uhuru Peak to Horombo Hut 15.5km making a total of 22km

Trekking time: 6-8 hours to Uhuru Peak, then 5-6 hours from Uhuru Peak to Horombo Hut

Zone: Arctic zone then Heath

Altitude gain: 1175 meters then altitude loss:2175 meters

Day 7 – Horombo Hut (3,720 meters) to Marangu Gate (1,970 meters):

At this point, you are probably exhausted but happy that you have finally fulfilled your dream to climb Africa’s highest mountain. On your way through the rainforest, expect to see Colobus monkeys and other small animals. It will be a tough descent, stopping at Mandara Hut for lunch then descend to Marangu Gate. At Marangu Gate, you will be presented with your certificate, either for Gilman’s Point or Uhuru Peak (depending on how far you managed to get).

Distance: 19km

Trekking time: 6-8 hours

Zone: Rainforest

Altitude gain: 1750 meters

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