The Rongai Route is among the least travelled official paths leading to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Its inherent appeal lies in its seclusion. Most of your journey unfolds through untouched wilderness and awe-inspiring scenery.
However, this very tranquillity comes with a trade-off: acclimatization is somewhat challenging due to the route’s topography. This doesn’t comfortably allow for the “climb high, rest low” guideline to be adhered to while Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing.
Now, with that, let’s discuss more pros and cons of the Rongai Route Kilimanjaro moving further into the blog so that you can decide; if choosing this particular route is the right for you or not.
Situated on the northern side of the mountain, the Rongai Route is the only approach from this side. It provides climbers with a unique perspective on Kilimanjaro, starting near the Kenyan border and offering a more gradual ascent, making it suitable for those less accustomed to high altitude.
Difficulty Level: Low
Length of the Trek: 73 km/ 45 miles
Duration: 6-7 days
Success Rate: Medium
One of the main highlights of the Rongai Route is its breathtaking scenery. As you ascend the mountain, you’ll witness a stunning transformation of landscapes, from lush rainforests to moorlands, and finally to the barren alpine desert.
The trail also offers panoramic views of the surrounding plains and the iconic Mawenzi peak. The picturesque landscapes, dotted with unique flora and fauna, make the Rongai Route an absolute feast for the eyes.
While Kilimanjaro is a challenging mountain to conquer, the Rongai Route is considered to be less strenuous compared to other popular routes. The trail is known for its gradual ascent, which allows trekkers to acclimatize better to the increasing altitude. However, it is still essential to be physically fit and mentally prepared for the demands of high-altitude trekking.
Important Consideration: Even if, the Rongai Route on Kilimanjaro doesn’t allow you to comfortably follow the climb high and sleep low principle on a 6-day itinerary, it does allow the same on a Kilimanjaro-8 Days Rongai Route itinerary.
The success rate of the Rongai Route is lower compared to other Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes like the Lemosho and Northern Circuit routes.
Although there are no official statistics, the average success rate for the seven-day Rongai route across all Kilimanjaro operators is around 80%, and 65% for the six-day route.
The limited opportunities for climbing high and sleeping low may affect the acclimatization process, making it more challenging for trekkers to reach the summit successfully.
One of the significant advantages of choosing the Rongai Route is the lower number of trekkers compared to the more popular routes. With fewer people on the trail, you can enjoy a more serene and peaceful trekking experience, away from the hustle and bustle of crowded paths.
This solitude allows you to connect more deeply with nature and fully immerse yourself in the magnificence of the Kilimanjaro Trek.
Along the Rongai route, accommodation is exclusively tent camping. This allows you to experience the African night sky in all its glory. There are well-established campsites throughout, complete with toilet facilities.
The Rongai route is certainly feasible in six days, however, extending it over seven days is highly recommended. Allotting an additional day substantially enhances acclimatization, thereby increasing the likelihood of a successful summit bid.
From our observations, individuals who’ve sufficiently prepared for Kilimanjaro Climb find the seven-day Rongai route manageable and rewarding. Above all, it’s crucial to remember that your Kilimanjaro journey is an adventure, not a sprint.
If you’ve decided to make the journey to Tanzania to scale this iconic mountain, ensure you immerse yourself in the experience fully without feeling rushed!
Prices for a Kilimanjaro climb via the Rongai route can range from $2000 to $4000, depending on the tour operator and the level of service. These costs generally cover park fees, guides, porters, food, and water. For more information on prices and fees, head to our Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Packages page, or else, you can contact our experts who will make all the details of the trip available to you.
Now that we have covered all the aspects of Rongai Route Kilimanjaro Trek Details, let’s give you a quick overview of the itinerary.
The journey begins at Rongai Gate. You hike up to the top and then walk down to Marangu Gate. This way, you’re always exploring new parts of the trail on the Rongai route, without going back over the same ground. This makes every day of your Kilimanjaro Hike fresh and exciting.
|DAY 1||Rongai Gate to Rongai Cave||6398 ft. to 9300 ft.||3-4 hours||8 km/ 5 miles||Rain forest|
|DAY 2||Rongai Cave to Second Cave||9300 ft. to 11,300 ft.||3-4 hours||6 km/ 4 miles||Health|
|Second Cave to Kikelewa Cave||11,300 ft. to 11, 811 ft.||3-4 hours||6 km/ 4 miles||Health|
|DAY 3||Kikelewa Cave to Mawenzi Tarn||11,811 ft. to 14,160 ft.||3-4 hours||5 km/ 3 miles||Alpine desert|
|DAY 4||Mawenzi Tarn to Mawenzi Ridge||14,160 ft. – 14,400 ft.||1-2 hours||2 km/ 1 mile||Alpine desert|
|Mawenzi Ridge to Mawenzi Tarn||14,400 ft – 14,160 ft.||1-2 hours||2 km/ 1 mile||Alpine desert|
|DAY 5||Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut||14,160 ft. to 15, 430 ft.||5-6 hours||8 km/ 5 miles||Alpine desert|
|DAY 6||Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak||15,430 ft. to 19,341 ft.||6-8 hours||6 km/ 4 miles||Arctic|
|Uhuru Peak to Horombo Hut||19,341 ft. to 12, 205 ft.||4-5 hours||16 km/ 10 miles||Health|
|DAY 7||Horombo Hut to Marangu Route||12,205 ft. to 6,o46 ft.||5-7 hours||20 km/ 12 miles||Rainforest|
Indeed, Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro is about appreciating the journey as much as reaching the peak. Taking up the Rongai Route Kilimanjaro and Investing in that extra day of acclimatization will not only improve your chances of summiting but also allows you to better appreciate the remarkable scenery.
You will be able to cultivate deeper connections with your fellow trekkers and truly live in the moment amidst the majestic serenity of Kilimanjaro’s landscapes. So, remember, while your destination is the summit, make sure to relish each step of your adventure along the Rongai route.
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