7 Days Rongai Route Climbing

Tour Overview

The Rongai Route is one of the easiest routes and the success rate is very high. The route starts on the north side of the mountain just south of the Kenyan border, and is one of the least traveled routes. The descent is down the Marangu Route on the south side of the mountain, so climbers see the mountain from many view points.

The drive to the trail head takes about 3 hours from Moshi through many villages and coffee plantations, including a stop to register climbing permits at Marangu.

The Rongai Route can also be accessed from Amboseli National Park in Kenya. Allow 2 hours including border crossing. We will need copies of passports ahead of time.

Rongai ROUTE ELEVATIONS

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Rongai Gate (Nale Moru), Hike to Simba Camp

Drive to the attractive wooden village of Nale Moru (about 2 hours including a stop to get permits at Marangu). After signing in and preparing the porters, you will begin the hike on a wide path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently but gently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.


  • Elevation: 2000m/6560ft to 2650m/8700ft
  • Distance: 6km/4mi
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Montane Forest
  • Meals: LD
  • Budget Lodging: Simba Camp
Day 2: Hike Simba Camp to Second Cave

The morning hike is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim.


  • Elevation: 2650m/8700ft to 3450m/11,300ft
  • Distance: 6km/4mi
  • Walking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland
  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Second Cave Camp
Day 3: Hike Second Cave to Kikelewa Camp

Head out across the moorland on a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. The campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant Senecios nearby.


  • Elevation: 3450m/11,300ft to 3600m/11,800ft
  • Distance: 9km/5mi
  • Walking Time: 2-3 hours
  • Habitat: Semi-desert
  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Kikelewa Camp.
Day 4: Hike Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn

A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb views. Leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn, 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.

If you are spending an extra day on the mountain, you will camp for two nights here. You can hike up and around Mawenzi for your acclimatization hike.


  • Elevation: 3600m/11,800ft to 4330m/14,200ft
  • Distance: 6km/4mi
  • Walking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Semi-desert
  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Mawenzi Tarn Camp.
Day 5: Hike Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut

Cross the lunar desert of the ‘Saddle’ between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo campsite at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent very early.


  • Elevation: 4330m/14,200ft to 4750m/15,600ft
  • Distance: 9km/5mi
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Kibo Hut Camp.
Day 6: Kibo Camp to Summit and Horombo Hut

Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am), commence the climb to the summit on steep and heavy scree or snow up to Gilman’s Point located on the crater rim (elev 5700m/18,700ft). Continuing, we now ascend to Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point in Africa. There are unbelievable views at every turn. Have your picture taken at the summit to show your friends and family. From here we descend, stopping for lunch and a rest at Kibo before continuing on to the Horombo encampment.

The beginning of this climb is done in the dark and requires headlamps or flashlights. It will be very cold until you start descending, so you will need all of your warm layers. This is by far the most difficult part of the trek with many switchbacks. Going slowly “pole pole” and an optimistic attitude will get you there!


  • Elevation: 4700m/15,500ft to 5895m/19,340ft
  • Down to 3700m/12,200ft
  • Distance: 6km/4mi up / 15km/9mi down
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours up / 15km/9mi down
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
  • Meals: BLD
  • Budget Lodging: Horombo Hut Camp.
Day 7: Hike Horombo Hut to trail head, drive to Moshi

After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to the Mandara Hut. Continue descending through lush forest path to the National Park gate at Marangu. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).

Tanzania Joy Tours vehicle will meet you at Marangu gate to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 1 hour).


  • Elevation: 3700m/12,200ft to 1700m/5500ft
  • Distance: 20km/12.5mi
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Forest
  • Meals: B.

Itinerary Map

Includes

  • 2 night’s accommodation in Moshi or Arusha is included
  • Park entry fees
  • Camping fees
  • Transportation to & from the Kilimanjaro gate
  • Team Kilimanjaro Rescue fees
  • 18% VAT on tour fees & services
  • 4 Season mountain tents
  • Friendly and professional mountain guides, cook and porters
  • 3 hot meals daily while on the mountain
  • Enough treated & filtered drinking water throughout the trek
  • Hot water for washing
  • Fair wages for the mountain crew as approved by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (KINAPA), Kilimanjaro Association of Tour Operators (KIATO)
  • Government taxes
  • Ox meter
  • Sleeping Mattress
  • Quality Mess tents with table and chairs
  • Emergency first-aid kit

Excludes

  • Airfare
  • Tips for porters, Guide, Cook and Assistant Guide
  • Flights or overland transfers to Kilimanjaro International Airport or Arusha town
  • Tips to the mountain staff
  • Meals other than breakfast while in Arusha or Moshi
  • Additional nights beyond the two standard hotel nights included
  • Hotel upgrade costs if you decide to request an alternative hotel to the standard
  • Items considered to be non-essential, such as alcohol, beverages, cigarettes, snacks, etc

traveler photos from this trip

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READ TESTIMONIES FROM OUR HAPPY TRAVELERS

Matthew R.
Matthew R.
2021-03-15
Verified
Amazing Experience for Inexperienced Climbers **I actually went on this tour in early March 2020 but forgot to write the review because the world fell apart when we came off the mountain! And TripAdvisor only lets you post trip reviews with dates within the past year. I was reminded of the trip in March 2021 because of the one-year anniversary of my summit, and I needed to give this company the amazing props they deserve!** I would highly recommend this tour company to anyone! Me (22M at the time) and my friend (21M at the time) had always wanted to climb this mountain but had no climbing experience and lived close to sea level. My friend reached out to Emmanuel and he set us up with the 8 day Lemosho route. The whole process was easy, and he gave us plenty of tips on what to pack! The customer service was great the whole trip from Emmanuel, and the quick responses to our questions prior to the trip made the trip prep easy. I was picked up immediately by a very friendly man named Joseph despite my flight landing two hours late. We drove about 45 minutes to the hotel, where I met up with my friend who had arrived earlier in the day. The next morning, my friend and I had breakfast at the hotel and met the third member of our group, a German (30M) who we quickly befriended and shared stories with during the climb. We then drove to the TJT office and met Emmanuel and the whole gang. Our head guide, Ringo (Like Ringo Starr as he would say!), checked all our gear and made sure we were good to go. After a couple hours drive, we arrived at Londorosi Gate, the start of our Lemosho route. The route we took went as follows: Day 1: Londorosi Gate to Mt Mkubwa. 2250m to 2650m (400m elevation gain) and about 2-3 hours of climbing. Day 2: Mt. Mkubwa to Shira 1. 2650m to 3610m (960m elevation gain) and about 4-5 hours of climbing Day 3: Shira 1 to Cathedral Point to Shira 2: 3610m to 3895m to 3850m (285m elevation gain) and about 5-6 hours of climbing Day 4: Shira 2 to Lava Tower to Barranco: 3850m to 4600m to 3950m (750m elevation gain) and about 6-7 hours of climbing Day 5: Barranco to Karanga: 3950m to 3995m (45m elevation gain) and about 3-4 hours of climbing Day 6: Karanga to Barafu Hut: 3995m to 4673m (678m elevation gain) and about 2-3 hours of climbing Day 7: Barafu Hut to Uhuru Peak: 4673m to 5895m (1222m elevation gain) and about 6-7 hours of climbing. Followed by a descent all the way to Mweka Hut after a brief rest at Barafu Hut (about 6-7 hours of descending) Day 8: Mweka Hut to the park gate (about 3-4 hours of descending) We took it slow given our group's limited climbing experience and need to acclimate. All three of us got altitude sickness the night we made it to Barranco Camp, but after a couple hours we felt much better. Summit night was very difficult for all of us but was extremely rewarding when we made it to the top. The views were indescribable and we could even see Kenya! The ease of our trip wouldn't have been possible without Ringo, his assistant guide Modi, and all the porters who were patient with us as we snailed up the mountain. They told great stories, had great attitudes, and pushed us when we needed the extra motivation on the harder days. It was one of the best weeks of my life and was a great way to bond with my friend and make new friends along the way!
Kembang Bakung
Kembang Bakung
2021-02-25
Verified
Recommended!!! Me and my husband climbed Kilimanjaro at 2019 using Tanzania Joy tour. I was sick couldnt reached the top. But my husband made it perfectly. Second time, in 2021 I didn't want to take a risk about looking for another tour agent. I just trust Tanzania Joy. So I decided to back to Emmanuel (Tanzania Joy) and consulting about the trip. He is responsible. He gave me perfect team (guide, porters, cook, etc). I have Asthma, bronchitist and alergic of cold. Few weeks before climb, I got injury on my knee. Emmanuel ensure me that he will give me the best guide so I can reach the top this time. He will provide the guide all the things that I need for safety. (Notes: I bring my own personal medicine) And he is right! If not because of the guide (Mr. Ringo) and his assistant ( Kaka Rama) I am sure I already gave up that time and couldnt reach the Uhuru peak. Mr. Ringo is really really smart and supportive to customer. His team is perfectly good. They are funny and solid. The food was great! Here I am! Very satisfied and happy!
Lucas
Lucas
2021-01-26
Verified
Sommet du Kilimandjaro atteint ! Merci à Tanzania Joy Tours qui nous a accompagné jusqu'au sommet du Kilimandjaro avec le magnifique lever du soleil ! Emmanuel le gérant est très disponible pour tout programmer et nous conseiller ! De l'arrivée à l'aéroport à l'hôtel de fin d'ascension tout était parfaitement organisé. Son équipe est formidable, attentionnée, professionnelle. L'ascension fut très agréable, ainsi que chacune des personnes de l'équipe ! Un grand merci et une grande admiration pour leur travail à nos côtés : Living, Johnny, Robert, David et Hussen ! La cuisine parfaite, copieuse et variée ! Un grand merci à Adam le cuisinier, et à son assistant Izackiiii ! 😁 Les guides Regan et Kelvin sont aux petits soins, une amitié s'installe rapidement. Ils sont motivants, connaissent parfaitement bien cet environnement et sont très professionnels quand les difficultés liées à l'altitude se font ressentir ! Asante sana ! Pauline & Lucas
Jenny
Jenny
2020-12-27
Verified
Top Wir hatten eine super Zeit im Rahmen unserer Kilimanjaro Tour mit dem Dream-Team von Tanzania Joy Tours. Unsere Guides Patrick und Praygod haben einen super Rhythmus beim gehen und sie haben sich bestens um uns gesorgt. Das gesamte Team hat sich hervorragend um uns gekümmert - besser geht es nicht! Alle haben mit uns mitgefiebert :) Das Essen von unserem Koch Jeremia (Mr. delicious) war ausgezeichnet, abwechslungsreich und mehr als ausreichend. Respekt den Porters gegenüber, welche das schwere Gepäck und Equipment tragen. Ein riesengroßes danke an das gesamte Team!
Fabio B
Fabio B
2020-11-17
Verified
Amazing experience in a private Kilimanjaro!!! Amazing experience!!! When i was looking for a company to arrange the trip Emmanuel from Joy Tour got back to us in seconds and was very reactive at any question we had. On arrival, we were picked up at the airport and took to the hotel where we meet straightaway our tour guide, Kelvin and Joseph. The trip was a dream coming true and this couldn’t be better with Kelvin and his team, that look after us like king!! Also because of Covid the mountain was completely empty. This is of course not good for business but for us was a unique scenario. We also were impressed by the food; the quality was definitely above our expectations considering that we were camping, but having a personal chef and waiter at 4000m plus after a long hike is just amazing. Big thank you to the porters team Thomas, Sebastian, David, Living, Iddi, Jacob, Frans. Waiter Izack Chef Adam And of course the head guide Kelvin and his assistant Joseph that without them we would never manage to get to the top. Will definitely recommend !!
Katoudji
Katoudji
2020-11-01
Verified
EXCEPTIONNEL Bonjour, Je tenais absolument à partager mon expérience avec Tanzania Joy tours. J’ai contacté cette compagnie en janvier via leur site web en janvier 2020 et nous avons construit ensemble le parcours de notre Safari. Mon expérience a été parfaite du premier contact au dernier jour de notre Safari. Emmanuel, le responsable de la société a su se rendre disponible à tout moment. Tout est clair du début à la fin : le contrat, le paiement de l'acompte et le déroulé du safari. Nous avons bénéficié d'une prise en charge exceptionnelle à notre arrivée sachant que compte tenu de la situation actuelle, notre vol a été annulé 24 heures avant le départ. Emmanuel a su réorganiser les choses pour que notre expérience soit optimale, c'est d'ailleurs leur objectif, faire en sorte que nous ayons un souvenir mémorable. L'équipe qui nous a accompagné a tout mis en œuvre pour que nous soyons ravis en faisant le maximum pour que l'on puisse voir le plus d'animaux possible et bien sûr ceux du D5 : objectif atteint ! Notre safari a été contrarié par la situation politique liée aux élections présidentielles et qui a eu pour conséquence l'annulation d'un vol interne (Kilimanjaro - zanzibar). Idem, Emmanuel nous a apporté toute son aide et nous a trouvé une solution afin que nous puissions arriver à Zanzibar comme prévu. J'ajoute enfin qu'Emmanuel (Via Whatsapp) est toujours disponible quel que soit la question, sur les éléments à emporter par exemple, sur le déroulé du safari... J'ai été enchanté de faire ce safari avec cette société qui mérite d'être reconnue pour son professionnalisme. Un grand merci à notre équipe : Sebastien, Denis, Praygod et particulièrement à ELLY notre chauffeur / guide / responsable du safari qui s'est démené pour que l'on vive une expérience unique ! N’hésitez pas une seule seconde à les solliciter !
kimada6
kimada6
2020-10-20
Verified
Amazing company for Kilimanjaro and safaris This is an amazing company! We did the Kilimanjaro climb (through the Rongai route) and then a 5-day safari with them. From the moment we arrived at the airport, everything was organized flawlessly. - The Kilimanjaro team was great ; our guide Patrick helped us reach the top, and was very reassuring. The 15 porters were amazing, and the cook made us delicious and copious meals. The camps were perfectly set up. - The safari was breathtaking ; our guide Elly is a real gem, he is extremely passionate about wildlife, and has a lot of training and experience. He took us to the best places of the national parks and taught us about animals ; he is also super nice! About Covid : there is NO COVID in Tanzania! You should definitely go for a visit, it is very safe. Tanzania joy tours is really a great choice!
Yuliia S
Yuliia S
2020-09-26
Verified
5-Day Marangu route and 5-Day Safari We planned our trip to Tansania shortly after COVID-19 measures in Germany were partially lifted and selected Tanzania Joy Tours. Emmanuel was very helpful, answered all questions promptly and prepared individual program based on our wishes and needs. We've pre-paid this tour only one week before the actual travel, nevertheless, everything was organised on a top level. A driver picked us at the airport and brought to Weru Weru lodge. In the morning a guide and a team have already been waiting for us and together we started our journey to Kilimanjaro. Team was amazing and very helpful. We received delicious meals, water (even in alpine desert area) and our guide Ringo and his assistant, Mudi, were very attentive and cared about us a lot. Even though summiting was very tough, thanks to Ringo's and Mudi' support, we made it to the Uhuru peak. After celebrating our success, we were brought back to Weru Weru lodge and proceeded to Serengeti early next morning. Safari was outstanding and our guide, Chris, and cook, Viktor, were very helpful and made our stay as awesome as possible. Chris is very knowledgeable and told us many interesting facts about wild animals. We've enjoyed plenty of game drives, watched two huntings, saw the great migration and visited the best parks in Tanzania: Serengeti and Ngorongoro. I would like to thank Tanzania Joy a lot for outstanding trip which put this beautiful country to the top list among all destinations we've visited (38 and 55 countries).
M M
M M
2020-08-19
Verified
6-day Machame route & 5-day Safari After our initial trip to Georgia was cancelled due to covid 19, we contacted Emmanuel only 4 days before the start of our holidays. In no time, he draw a program for us and booked everything while he did not even received our money yet due to the fact that we booked only 2 days before we left. When we arrived at Kilimajaro airport, our driver was already here and greeted us with lots of smiles and « karibu » (meaning welcome). We started with the Kilimanjaro hike (Machame route). Patrick, Leonard (the guides), Jeremiah (the cook) and all their team (additionnaly 2 waiters and 6 porters) made a wonderful job taking care of us all the way to the top. We hiked in other countries before and never experienced such service : large tents where you can stand (also fits a table and chairs to eat!), comfortable mats (no need to bring yours), hot water for you to wash morning and evening if you like, tasty food (which they will adapt to your taste if you ask) and encouraging and smiling team all the way. Even if i did not try the last ascent to the top (i did not feel well), my boyfriend successfully did. The cherry on the cake was of course the fact that we were only 6 pax to climb the Machame route on that week due to covid 19. We had sun all the way and the moutain for us! Overall, a great experience. For your reference, we tipped the team 15% of the total cost of the hike. After a rest day in Moshi (Altezza Lodge which we fully recommend), we went for a 5 day safari covering Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Serengeti. Praygod was our tour guide for safari : he is a very knowledgeable, kind and elegant man. He took special interest in showing us the big 5. He chased the cheetah and leopard for hours for us to see and never counted work hours. Even if we did not catch the rhino in Ngorongoro, we had the chance to see one of the few (around 30!) rhinos of the Serengeti National Park. Car was perfect and lunch boxes always tasty. In Serengeti we stayed in Heritage Luxury Tented Camp (very nice) and near Tarangire & Ngorongoro we stayed in Karatu at Eileen’s Tree Inn (do not recommend) and Kudu Lodge (way better, 2 minutes away from Eileen’s Tree Inn). For your reference, tipping is around 20usd a day for your guide. All in all, the experience we had with TJT was wonderful, don’t hesitate to book with them and to send them your money, they are 100% reliable and act as they say. Again thank you Emmanuel for your responsiveness, reliability and flexibility! We wish you and your team all the best and lots of clients to come!
Peter F
Peter F
2020-03-14
Verified
Lemosho Route Overall the trip was 5 star from start to finish. Everything ran smoothly, the food was great and the portions were huge. We booked the 7 day Lemosho route, however given myself and my friend were doing so well, our guide Ringo recommended we attempt the summit earlier therefore completing the trek in 6 days. We really appreciated the personalised touch. Emmanuel was very responsive and arranged an extra night at the hotel. The porters were also brilliant. I would highly recommend booking with TJT.

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