Top of Africa-Kili Climb: Rongai Route

Least utilized and best paced route to the summit of Kili


Journey to the top of Africa by the lightly-used Rongai route that starts just south of the Kenya-Tanzania border. Now open for climbing once again, the Rongai route is regarded by experienced guides to be both easier and more beautiful than the main Marangu trail. The Rongai route begins in attractive farmland and delightful forest, with the possibility of wildlife viewing, and passes through several different climate zones as it works its way towards the summit. An extra day is added to the standard five-day itinerary to ensure maximum acclimatization while offering the best possible chance of enjoying the magnificent scenery. This route retains a sense of unspoiled wilderness and offers a different perspective on Kilimanjaro by approaching it from the north.

NOTE: Other route options are available; please contact our office for more information.

Continue to detailed itinerary...


  • Day 1: moshi
    Pre-climb briefing

    Welcome to Kilimanjaro! After your plane lands at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your overnight accommodation. Attend a pre-climb briefing for all climbers before enjoying the rest of the evening at your leisure.

    Ilboru Safari Lodge (or similar)
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  • Day 2: first camp
    First camp

    The climb begins ...

    After completing the necessary registration formalities at the gate of Marangu National Park, transfer by Landrover to Rongai. The climb begins from the attractive wooden village of Nale Moru (6,400’) on a small path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering a pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently, but gently, through attractive forest which shelters a variety of wildlife, including the beautiful Kilimanjaro Colobus monkey. These monkeys are black with a long cape of white hair and a flowing white tail. The forest begins to thin out, and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone (8,500’) with extensive views over the Kenyan plains. [3-4 hours walking]

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Mountain Camping
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  • Day 3: kikelewa caves
    Lush vegetation at lower altitudes

    The morning walk is a steady ascent up to the 'Second Cave' (11,300’) with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. After lunch, leave the main trail and strike out across the moorland on a smaller path toward the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. The campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant senecios near Kikelewa Caves (11,800’) [6-7 hours walking]

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Mountain Camp
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  • Day 4: mawenzi tarn
    Rest and acclimatize

    A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded with superb views and a tangible sense of wilderness. Leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn (14,100’), 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. [3-4 hours walking]

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Mountain Camp
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  • Day 5: kibo camp
    Prepare for your moonlit ascent

    Cross the lunar desert of the 'Saddle' between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach the Kibo campsite (15,580’) at the bottom of the crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent. Prepare for a very early night! [4-5 hours walking]

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Mountain Camp
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  • Day 6: gillman’s point / uhuru peak / kibo
    Welcome to the top of Africa

    Depart your campsite by flashlight around 1 am for the most challenging, yet rewarding, part of the trek. You will proceed very slowly in the darkness on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman's Point (18,640’). Rest there for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the three hour round trip climb to Uhuru Peak (19,340’), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Kibo (15,400’) is surprisingly fast and, after some refreshment, you will continue the descent to reach the final campsite at Horombo (12,200’). [11-15 hours walking]

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Horombo Mountain Camp
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  • Day 7:
    The descent is much easier

    A steady descent will take you down through moorland to Mandara Hut (9,000’), the first stopping place on the Marangu route. Continue descending through lovely lush forest on a good path to the National Park gate at Marangu (6,000’). [5-6 hours walking]. Enjoy a packed lunch on the way down. Overnight at a Marangu hotel, or similar.

    Breakfast, Lunch
    Marangu hotel (or similar)
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  • Day 8: arusha/onward
    Will you conquer Kili?

    Transfer back to Arusha for lunch. Later, you will be transferred to the Kilimanjaro International Airport for your flight home, or extend your stay with either a wildlife safari or a visit to Zanzibar island. A day room can be reserved on request, for an additional cost, Arusha.

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Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
Group Departures (PP): $3,895 (2-3 pax) $3,535 (4-12 pax)
Single Supplement:
$140 - $290
Tent Only - $150 Hotel Only - $140 Whole Trip - $290
Privately on Request
Jan 2-9, 2016
Jan 9-16, 2016
Jan 16-23, 2016
Jan 23-30, 2016
Jan 30-Feb 6, 2016
Feb 6-13, 2016
Feb 13-20, 2016
Feb 20-27, 2016
Feb 27-Mar 5, 2016
Jun 11-18, 2016
Jun 18-25, 2016
Jun 25-Jul 2, 2016
Jul 2-9, 2016
Jul 9-16, 2016
Jul 16-23, 2016
Jul 23-30, 2016
Jul 30-Aug 6, 2016
Aug 6-13, 2016
Aug 13-20, 2016
Aug 20-27, 2016
Aug 27-Sep 3, 2016
Sep 3-10, 2016
Sep 10-17, 2016
Sep 17-24, 2016
Sep 24-Oct 1, 2016
Oct 1-8, 2016
Oct 8-15, 2016
Oct 15-22, 2016
Oct 22-29, 2016
Oct 29-Nov 5, 2016
Dec 3-10, 2016
Dec 10-17, 2016
Dec 17-24, 2016
Dec 24-31, 2016
Dec 31, 2016-Jan 7, 2017
Need to Know

Need to Know

All climbs during Dec 20-Jan 1 will have a $60 per person / per night holiday supplement.

We recommend adding an extra night prior to the climb to allow your body time to rest and recover from the long flights.


8 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
(see full descriptions)
Tents & comfortable hotel, delightful lodge
Activity Level:
(see full descriptions)
Challenging hiking
Group Size:
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 


Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in Journeys Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. Custom trips and private departures require $800 per person deposit. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure.  Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well.  Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted via our website, mail or FAX. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: Journeys can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Tribal Cultural Visits

Duration: 1 days

Combine your safari with an intimate experience of contemporary Tanzanian tribal cultures. Visit with the villagers of Ng’iresi, or members of the Wa-arusha tribe, on the slopes of Mount Meru. You may choose to spend time with the Maasai of Longido... read more

Exotic Zanzibar

Duration: 5 days

Escape to Zanzibar, the “Spice Island”. This tiny African island offers great contrast to the mainland: beaches ideal for snorkeling, rich history and Muslim culture. Experience town and village life, the reefs and the inner natural forest.

Kili Climb Safari, Jul-Oct

Duration: 5 days

A superb safari anytime of the year. From November through June, safaris focus on the Serengeti where the large herds reside. From July through October, safaris follow the herds to Tarangire. You will also visit Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, and t... read more

Kili Climb Safari, Nov-Jun

Duration: 5 days

A superb safari anytime of the year. From November through June, safaris focus on the Serengeti where the large herds reside. From July through October, safaris follow the herds to Tarangire. You will also visit Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, and t... read more

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comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.