Rongai Route Description
The Rongai route is an excellent choice if you are looking to take a less used route on Kilimanjaro. It is considered to be the second easiest route (after the Marangu route), but is less used than the Marangu or the Machame routes. It begins the approach to Uhuru Peak from the less forested north side, so is a good choice if you are taking your trek during the ‘rainy seaon’, as this side sees less rain fall in general. After reaching the summit, you will make your descent using the Marangu route.
The standard number of days for the Rongai route is 6, although we recommend that you add an extra day to help with acclimatisation if you haven’t trekked to high altitude before. This will give you a better chance of reaching the summit and allows you to take things a little easier!
On the Rongai route your accommodation will be in tents (even on the descent) which will be provided for you along with your sleeping mat and other camping equipment. You will need to bring with you your own sleeping bag and personal equipment. A full list of the recommended equipment can be found in our general information section.
Itinerary for Rongai Route
- Day 1 – Arrive Springlands hotel (B&B).
- Day 2 – Drive round Kilimanjaro to the Rongai Gate (3-4h, 2100m.). Walk through the rain forest to Camp 1 (4h, 2800m).
- Day 3 – Walk up through giant heathers and moorlands to Camp 2 – near Kikelewa Cave (6h, 3600m). – (If acclimatisation day is added this would be a second night at this camp with walks to higher altitude during the day.)
- Day 4 – Walk towards the jagged pinnacles of Mawenzi and camp by the Mawenzi Tarn Hut, the last section is fairly steep, (4-5h, 4330m).
- Day 5 – Gain The Saddle and walk across this desert of scree to a camp not far from Kibo hut (3-4h, 4730m).
- Day 6 – Very early start for the summit on steep scree up to Gillman’s Point (5h, 5681m) on the crater rim. Continue around the rim to Uhuru Peak (1h30min, 5895m). Descend to our camp for brunch and a rest and then walk down to Horombo Hut. Total walking time about 12h.
- Day 7 – Descend to Marangu gate, 5h. Drive back to the hotel (B&B).
- Day 8 – Depart after breakfast.
Prices for Rongai Route
COST – 6 Day Rongai route plus 2 nights Springlands hotel, B&B $1801 per person
Additional day for acclimatisation (if required) $262 pp
Vehicle cost $120 per group
Single surcharge (if required) $76
Airport transfers from Kilimanjaro airport can be arranged for $20 per person, each way
Groups of 6 or more – Discount of $30 per person. Low season (April – 13 June & Nov) – Discount of $50 per person.
To see what is included/not included in the cost and for Tipping guidelines please see check our PDF
General Information: Rongai route
For more information about: what to take on your trip, health and safety information and our packing lists.
ZARA, one of the top three operators in Northern Tanzania. Begun in 1986 by Zainab Ansell as an international travel agency and in 1987 was appointed as an IATA agency. Safari trips, Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru climbs commenced in 1987.
Many years of experience in running these trips have now been accumulated and in some years Zara has been the top provider. Zara is mentioned in many publications eg “Kilimanjaro & Mount Kenya” by Cameron M Burns, also on several websites that also provide references to Zara services.
We now have a large fleet of 4x4WD vehicles and over 80 guides working with us. 28 mountain guides are registered to Zara. All of our drivers and guides are experienced and speak English. In addition Zara now own and run two hotels – Springlands hotel in Moshi and the Highview hotel in Ngorongoro conservation area along with the safari Wildcamps in Ikoma, Serengeti and Ngorongoro. This allows Zara to be in complete control of your trek or safari from start to finish, ensuring that you receive the best possible service throughout. Check on Trip Advisor for recent reviews of Zara.
LISTED BELOW ARE SOME OF THE MANY THINGS THAT ZARA HAVE DONE TO IMPROVE THE CONDITIONS FOR BOTH ZARA STAFF AND THE LOCAL PEOPLE:
Mount Kilimanjaro porters society (MKPS)
ZARA tours are proud of the work they do in using tourism to create better livelihoods for their employees, partners and communities. As such Director, Zainab Ansell, set up the Mount Kilimanjaro porters society (MKPS) in 2004 with the purpose of improving living and working condition for the porters (and their families) who climb Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru. This includes:
- Providing free training during the low season, in areas such as health, financial management and investment skills, mountain sickness training skills, environmental conservation education and English courses.
- Assisting porters to open bank accounts. Currently almost 90% of the members of MKPS have their own bank account and card. Wages are paid directly in to their account and this is helping them handle more safely and manage more effectively their money. This has helped porters to pursue their own businesses, afford to build their own houses, pay their bills and take care of their families as well as cover their basic needs of food, shelter, clothes and education.
- Helping provide employment opportunities to porters during the low season, for example environmental initiatives have led to several tree planting projects around Moshi and Karatu.
- Establishing tipping sheets for fairness and transparency to ensure that porters get their tips as agreed by clients. This sheet is signed by clients when the tip is paid and signed by porters when they receive their tips and is monitored by the office.
- MKPS through their sponsors Zara Tanzania adventures and colleagues pay higher wage rates than that which has been proposed by KINAPA and TANAPA.·
- Where required, members are loaned (free of charge) hiking equipment such as sleeping bags, tents, raincoats, waterproof trouser, jackets socks, gloves and shoes for the duration of their trek. The MKPS members have membership ID cards which help identify them and support their equipment requirements. It also helps with monitoring the whereabouts of the equipment at any one time.
- Ensuring that porters carry loads that respond to set standards of a maximum of 20kg per person, MKPS members have their luggage weighed at the base hotel. This means that luggage that is over this maximum may be left behind at the hotel. Therefore, when the porters from the ZARA organised trips arrive at the Kilimanjaro National Park gate to have the luggage weight double-checked before the climb, they will not be over the weight limit.
- MKPS porters and other staff are given 3 meals a day whilst on trek and each MKPS member has been given a bicycle.
For more information on the projects that Zara are currently involved with check the website www.zaracharitytanzania.org