Kilimanjaro Climb - Rongai Route
Challenge yourself to a trek up Africa’s highest mountain. We think that the Rongai Route is the best way to reach the top – it’s quieter and stays at mountain camps. See icefields on the crater rim, strike out across moorland towards jagged peaks, cross a lunar desert and watch the sun rise from the summit.
Suggested route & duration
7 nights from Arusha
Moshi (hotel): 1 night
Simba Camp: 1 night
Kikelewa Camp: 1 night
Mawenzi Tarn Camp: 1 night
Kibo Camp: 1 night
Horombo Camp: 1 night
Moshi (hotel): 1 night
About this independent tour
Why you’ll love this itinerary
You can stand on the highest point in Africa
You’ll feel an amazing sense of achievement
This route has a quieter start point
Choose a shared or private climb
We’ve arranged an experienced guide to go with you, a porter to carry your backpack, and all meals cooked for you
Suggested itinerary details
Day 1: MOSHI Arrive in Arusha and head to a hotel in Moshi for your last night in a proper bed for a few days.
Day 2: SIMBA Today’s the day. Most routes approach the climb from the south, but the start point of the Rongai Route is on the north-eastern side of the mountain, which is much quieter. Look out for colobus monkeys as you trek through pine forest.
Day 3: KIKELEWA Icefield views and open moorland await today.
Day 4: MAWENZI TARN Enter total wilderness for spectacular views of towering spires.
Day 5: KIBO Cross a lunar desert, then rest up as there’s a staggeringly early start tomorrow.
Day 6: HOROMBO Begin by torchlight at around 1am. After tea and biscuits you’ll head off into the night towards the summit on the steepest part of the climb. At Gillman’s Point (5684 metres) you’ll have time to enjoy the most amazing sunrise. If you feel up to it, make the three-hour round trip to Uhuru Peak (5895 metres) – the highest point in Africa.
Day 7: MOSHI Head back down the mountain for a welcome hot shower, celebratory beers and a night in a bed.
Day 8: ARUSHA Drive back to Arusha.
If you’re feeling strong enough, you can take on the three-hour round trip to the highest point in Africa (5895m)
Sunrise at Gillman’s Point
At Gillman’s Point (5684 metres) you’ll have time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise – an unforgettable moment
All mountain camps offer something special; highest camp will be at 4750 metres at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall
The Marangu Route is a moderate trek with mountain hut accommodation, while the Machame Route is more technically difficult
Tailor your tour
Make it your own
We’ve crafted this itinerary based on our own experiences and our customers’ feedback. It’s fully flexible so talk to us and we can create your perfect trip.
Where to stay
We’ve included your own tent on the climb, at basic communal campsites with private mess/dining tents. Your first night on the mountain will be at 2600 metres at the edge of moorland, with extensive views over the Kenyan plains. Highest camp will be at 4750 metres at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall.
The climb is the unique experience on this itinerary. You can opt for your own private mountain guide or – and this is one of the more interesting add-ons we offer across any of our itineraries – book the use of a private toilet, which will be carried up the mountain for you! We’d highly recommend it.
7 nights gives you 5 nights to climb the mountain and a night in a hotel before and after. Walks each day range from 3 to 8 hours, with one day of 15 hours. This route is suitable for experienced walkers – no technical climbing is involved. To slow the pace, you can add another night at Mawenzi Tarn.
There are lots of great places you can stay after your climb. We recommend some well-deserved relaxation with a beach stay on the island of Zanzibar – it’s just a short flight from Arusha. If you’re all about the adventure, then it’s easy to jet over to the Serengeti for epic wildlife viewing.
Good to know
When to go
The climb is open year-round and costs don’t change much
Peak climb time is June to October when it’s warm and dry
January to March is colder and you can see snow on the summit
April and May are wet, but the Rongai route is the driest route so it’s still doable
March and November are the wettest months, so not ideal for trekking