With its gentle gradient and unspoiled remoteness, the Rongai Route is the only trail that summits Mount Kilimanjaro from the north, near the Kenyan border. This beautiful guided small group trek through farmlands, forest, and alpine moorlands is one of the lowest traffic routes on Kili and perfect for those looking to ascend the mighty Roof of Africa without hassle of crowds and with the added luxuries of dedicated guides, cooks, and porters.

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The Rongai Route along Mount Kilimanjaro is a relatively gradual ascent to the summit of Africa’s highest peak. A less traveled alternative to its more popular Machame and Marangu sisters, the Rongai Route allows for a relatively dry, seven-day adventure of unparalleled beauty. During the climb, trekkers will stay two nights in comfortable Arusha lodgings and five nights in full-service alpine camping areas in three-man tents with private toilet tents. A large communal tent allows for dining and socialization during days of leisurely acclimatization and comes with lightweight tables, chairs, and all cutleries. The trek is fully supported with spacious guest tents, mattresses, and pillows and catered to by dedicated mountain guides, local representatives, cooks, and porters.

The Rongai route begins on the Eastern side of Mount Kilimanjaro along the base of Mawenzi. Even before one crosses into the national park boundary, these foothills give way to a lush alpine forest where elusive populations of elephant, leopard, buffalo, the endangered Abbot’s duiker, and other wildlife can sometimes be seen. Birdlife is prolific along the Rongai Route, as are the colobus monkeys—a unique highlight of this particular climb. Ascending via Gillman’s Point to Uhuru Peak, the moorlands of giant heather and lobelias transform into a surreal alpine desert of moss and lichen. The final vestige of vegetation eventually gives way to a winter wonderland of glacial ice and snow as the summit approaches. Views over the Mwaenzi and Kibo saddle, close vantages of Mawenzi, the Kibo Crater, glaciers, and most importantly, the Roof of Africa can be expected on every unforgettable climb.

The seven-day climb along the Rongai Route allows for an extra day of acclimatization under the spires of Mawenzi Tarn before the last arduous ascent, which promises incomparable sunrise vistas over the East African plains. Upon reaching the summit, climbers will descend via the Marangu route, allowing them to experience Mount Kilimanjaro from both spectacular sides.

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