Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain on the African continent. The Rongai Route approaches the highest mountain in Africa from the north and retains a sense of untouched wilderness.
It has a relatively gentle gradient and short daily stages as it winds its ways from the starting point just south of the Kenya-Tanzania border.
It passes through farmland and forest, past Alpine moorland to the beautiful summit cone. There are magnificent views throughout, glaciers and ice cliffs of the summit, and across the East African plains far below. We add an extra day on the mountain to help us acclimatize and have a better chance at making it to the top.
We spend the first in Moshi to prepare for our journey. The nights on the mountain are spent camping and we provide top mountain guides, porters and safari chefs to look after you.
Camping equipment is supplied and it is carried by the porters. We end the trip with our last night in Moshi, where we will celebrate our amazing journey to the top of Africa.
8 night / 9 day Rongai Route climb package starting and ending in Moshi including two nights accommodation at Keys Hotel (bed and continental breakfast), 6 night / 7 day Rongai Route climb, camping fees, all food on the climb, transfers to and from the gate, guides and porters, tents, and mattresses and round trip airport transfers.
Multiple departures (8 nights)
Max Group Size: you decide
Accommodations: hotel, camping
$1,825USD plus park fees $980USD based on min 2 people
View Detailed Itinerary →
Day 1 Arrival transfer to Moshi:
Transfer from Kilimanjaro Airport to our hotel in Moshi. A climb briefing is scheduled for today in order to meet your guides and discuss the expedition, check out your packing skills, with you in person.
Overnight at Keys Hotel.
Day 2 Machame Gate (1,490m/4,890ft) – Machame Camp (2,980m/9,780ft):
Walking distance: 11 km/7 miles
Walking time: 5-7 hours
Altitude gain: 1,490m/4,890ft
After breakfast you will be transferred to the Machame Gate at Kilimanjaro National Park from where your hike starts. Today, walk through the beautiful rainforest with dense vegetation, often on a muddy trail, with short sections of steep climbs. The trekking pace is slow and very comfortable, ensuring you have enough time to enjoy the natural surroundings, take a photo and nibble on your packed lunch that we provide. The first campsite, Machame Camp, is on the edge of the dense rainforest, offering your first peek of the mountain in the distance.
Day 3 Machame Camp (2,980m/9,780ft) – New Shira Camp (3,840m/12,600ft):
Walking distance: 9 km/5.5 miles
Walking time: 4-6 hours
Altitude gain: 860m/2,820ft
From Machame Camp the trail continues over steeper terrain interspersed with easy walking. The vegetation changes to increasingly sparse trees and bushes into moorland. There are generally plenty of Proteas and Erica flowers en-route as you gain height along the path. Views of Kibo and Uhuru peak with it’s snow-capped summit becomes a regular sight as you near Shira Camp. The camp itself is one of the most scenic as it allows views towards the west with Mt Meru in the distance and offer views of Kibo (the top of Mt Kilimanjaro). You often see the most spectacular sunsets from Shira with the clouds below you and the higher mountain peaks peeking through to catch the last bit of sunshine. Just a short hike from the camp is the Shira Caves. This makes a very nice acclimatisation walk before you enjoy a sumptuous dinner and good night’s rest.
Day 4 New Shira Camp (3,840m/12,600ft) – Lava Tower (4,630m/15,190ft) – Barranco Camp (3,950 m/12,960 ft):
Walking distance: 15 km/9.3miles
Walking time: 7-9 hours
Altitude gain: 10m/360ft (680m/2,230ft to Lava Tower)
Today you hike up to 4,630 m (15,190 ft) while crossing a ridge and view the plains far below. Hiking through the alpine desert with boulders scattered around and dust hugging the rocks gives the illusion that you are walking on the moon. At Lava Tower, a big rocky outcrop, you have views of the ancient glacier ice of the Breach Wall on Kibo before descending to Barranco Camp. The path passes the “Garden of the Senecios”, which features many of the huge senecio plants as well as lobelia plants. Sunset and sunrise at this camp is breath-taking. The sun paints the rocks in front of camp a dreamy red-yellow colour with the white ice of the high peaks shining bright. Looking towards the south you may see the little town of Moshi far below. You often sleep above the clouds at Barranco Camp.
Day 5 Barranco Camp (3,950m/12,960ft) – Karanga Camp (4,040m/13,255ft):
Walking distance: 5.8km/3.4miles
Walking time: 4-5hours
Altitude gain: 55m/185ft
After breakfast you cross the Great Barranco Wall, topping out at about 4,420m before dropping to the camp at the Karanga River at about 4040m. The hike up the Barranco Wall is steep. You pass below the famous Breach Wall, the largest ice and rock face in Africa. The Breach Wall climbing route, known as “The Icicle”, was first climbed in the early 1970’s by Reinhold Messner. Daytime temperatures can reach up to 26C, while evening temperatures often drop below freezing.
Day 6 Karanga Camp (4,040m/13,255ft) – Barafu Camp (4,550m/14,930ft):
Walking distance: 3.5km/2.2miles
Walking time: 4-5 hours
Altitude gain: 510m/1,675ft
Today’s path takes you up and across a rocky zone where very little vegetation can be found on the inhospitable terrain. A field of sedimentary rocks litter the ground. You leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. Continue up to the Barafu Camp. At this point, you have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Amazing views of Kilimanjaro’s two peaks, Mawenzi and Kibo, are to be seen from Barafu Camp. An early dinner will be served in order for you to get the maximum rest before the final ascent starting at around midnight.
Day 7 Barafu Camp (4,550m/14,930ft) – Summit via Stella Point (5,752m/18,871ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895m/19,340ft) and descent to Millennium Camp (3,820m/12,530ft) or to Mweka Camp (3,100m/10,170ft):
Walking distance: 7km/4.3miles ascent + 23km/14.2miles descent
Walking time: 5-6 hrs + 1-2 hours up, 7-8 hours down (the overall walking time may vary between 10-16 hours)
Altitude gain: 1,202m/3,940ft (Stella Point) or 1,345m/4,410ft (Uhuru Peak)
Descent: 2,795m/9,170ft Mweka Camp
Wake up very early to have a quick bite to eat and something warm to drink before setting out in darkness. The hike to Stella Point is a very slow steep walk on volcanic scree for about 5-6 hours. The headlamps on the trail towards the summit almost look like fireflies flying in a long row. As you approach the crater rim you will enjoy the most memorable sunrise you may ever experience – the sunrise over Africa! Often you see the curving of the earth at this high altitude and the sunrise on the horizon just accentuates it. Keep your camera ready at all times as there are plenty of photo opportunities along the summit. Once you reach Stella Point on top of the crater rim Uhuru Peak is in sight. Hike along fairly flat terrain for about 40-45 min to reach Uhuru Peak. Spend a few minutes at the top and get that photo of you next to the sign marking the summit – definitely one for your collection.
Descend from Uhuru Peak in high spirits as you have just achieved your goal. The trail down from Stella Point on the Mweka route is often enjoyed by hikers sliding down the scree slope, which entails skidding down the loose gravel with big steps and some sideways moves. Try it, it is fun! With every step going down your body enjoys having more oxygen to breathe in. Depending on how you feel, you may enjoy a short rest at Barafu Camp before descending down to Millennium Camp or Mweka Camp. Most of our expeditions overnight at Mweka Camp this evening.
Day 8 Mweka Camp (3,100m/10,170ft) – Mweka Gate (1,980m/6,500ft):
Walking distance: About 15km, 9.3miles
Walking time: 3-4 hours
Enjoy a slow hike through the rainforest to Mweka Gate. It is not a rare sight to spot Black and White Colobus Monkeys in the trees as well as Blue Monkeys. Take time to enjoy the lush vegetation with the Old Man’s Beard (tree moss) growing on the giant trees as well as some Giant Ferns towering high over the forest bed. The path has many steps leading you down to Mweka Gate where you may find a cold beer or soft-drink to start celebrating your assault of Kilimanjaro. You will be transferred back to Moshi, Keys Hotel, to overnight and celebrate (breakfast included).
Liaise with your head guide regarding tips – we recommend an amount of USD180-USD200 for the 7-day climb, which the guide will apportion out amongst the group. Whilst the above figure is anticipated for a job well done – anything above that is totally at your discretion.
In accordance with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project guidelines, we’ve introduced a system where every climber, on completion of the climb, completes a form with the amount that you are giving as a tip.
This evening your guides will meet you to hand out your Kilimanjaro Certificates. Option to enjoy a barbeque at the hotel to celebrate your hike (needs to be booked prior to the climb and is for own account).
Day 9 Departure:
After breakfast you are free to relax at the hotel. Transfer to the airport or stay on for a safari or enjoy an extension to Zanzibar.
$1,825USD plus park fees $980USD based on min 2 people.
single room and single tent surcharge is $295 USD
Park fees subject to change as per the Tanzanian Government.
- Return airport / hotel transfers
- Two nights accommodation at Keys Hotel including breakfast
- 6 night / 7 day Machame Standard Route climb
- Park fees, camping fees, all food on the climb, transfers to and from the gate, guides and porters, tents, and mattresses
- International flights and taxes, Visas, drinks, meals not stated, tips (USD 180-USD200 per climber for a 6 night climb), items of a personal nature, travel insurance, health requirements, and any services not specified.
- Non Refundable deposit of $250 USD per person due to confirm space
- Final Payment Due 60 days prior to departure
- 61 days or more $250USD deposit + plus any hotel deposit that may be required.
- 60-31 days prior to departure 50% non refundable
- 30 days or less 100% nonrefundable
“I would like to thank you very much for organising the trip and ensuring things ran smoothly during our stay in Africa. I had a great time, the group was fun and the tour crew were fantastic.”
Southern Africa Explorer