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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Kilimanjaro Climb – Rongai Route

By James Davinson
Africa Travel Expert for Alfred&

Summit Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest peak, via the scenic Rongai Route. This popular eight-day hike takes you through montane rainforest and moorland to alpine desert and the arctic heights of Uhuru. Accompanied by a guide and team of local porters, you’ll camp along the trail, zigzagging up to Gilman’s peak on summit day to watch the sunrise from the crater rim, with views of Africa spread below you.

Places

Length
8 days
Best months to go
January to March, June to October
Guide price range
£3,435 - £3,775
Including international flights

Top Experiences
Itinerary Highlights

Mount Kilimanjaro

Conquer Mount Kilimanjaro on the Rongai Route

Along the way, you’ll pass through the mountain’s diverse landscape zones to the arctic heights of Uhuru peak...

Mount Kilimanjaro

Watch the sunrise at Gilman’s Peak on Mount Kilimanjaro

You get such a sense of achievement when you arrive to watch the sun rise and the sky change colour above the clouds...

Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro: lava towers and hanging glaciers on the Machame Route

The glaciers sparkle in the dawn light as we arrive at Uhuru peak for sunrise above the clouds, with views of Africa below...

Day by day
Itinerary in detail

1

Arrival in Arusha & Moshi

Welcome to Tanzania. Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International airport, a local representative will be waiting to transfer you for 1-hour to your comfortable hotel in Moshi Town, the gateway to Mount Kilimanjaro. The rest of the day is free to relax and organise your kit in preparation for the start of the trek tomorrow. Overnight at Springlands Hotel.

2

Moshi & Kilimanjaro First Cave Camp

After breakfast, drive for 2.5-hours to the Rongai trailhead at Nale Moru village, where you’ll meet your team of guides and porters. The trek starts from the village, where a small winding path crosses maize fields before climbing gently into a pine forest. The countryside is beautiful and there are no steep sections on the trail, making it ideal for acclimatisation to both the altitude and local terrain. After around 5-hours you’ll arrive at the First Cave Camp at an elevation of 2,600 metres. Your base for the night has a toilet and wooden tables with benches and your team of porters and cooks will set up a comfortable camp for you here. Overnight at First Cave Camp.

Things to do:

3

Kilimanjaro Kikelelwa Cave Camp

Today you’ll continue your steady ascent up the mountain, walking for 6-7 hours towards Kibo. The landscape becomes more rugged as you spend much of the day walking across dramatic moorland. You’ll pass the Second Cave before reaching Kikelelwa Cave where you’ll spend the night at 3,600 meters. The views from here are increasingly dramatic and you’ll start to really appreciate the scale of the mountain. The rest of the afternoon is spent resting in preparation for the challenge ahead. Overnight at Kikelelwa Cave Camp.

4

Kilimanjaro Mawenzi Tarn Camp

You’ll be rewarded with superb wilderness views today as the trail steepens and you climb above the vegetation zone into a rocky landscape. Your camp for the night sits spectacularly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi at 4,330 metres. After walking 3-4 hours to camp, you’ll spend the afternoon gently exploring the area to further help with acclimatisation. Overnight at Mawenzi Tarn Camp.

5

Kilimanjaro Kibo Camp

After breakfast, continue ascending through alpine desert on the east side of Kibo, the largest volcanic cone on the mountain. You’ll walk for 4-5 hours, crossing the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo before reaching the Kibo Hut at 4,700 metres. The remainder of the day is spent resting in camp, in preparation for the final ascent which begins at midnight. Overnight at Kibo Camp.

6

Kilimanjaro Horombo Hut

The big day is here! Rising just before midnight for some tea and biscuits, you’ll shuffle into the night along a steep trail strewn with rocky scree. It is undeniably tough going but making steady progress you’ll arrive at Hans Meyer Cave for a rest at 5,150 metres. The path then zigzags very steeply up to Gillman's Point, located on the crater rim at 5,681 metres. The path is loose underfoot, requiring both physical and mental fortitude to conquer, but enjoying the sunrise from this spectacular place makes the effort well and truly worthwhile. From here the challenge continues, across often snow-covered terrain, all the way up to Uhuru Peak – the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Standing at 5,895 metres you’ve made it to the highest point in Africa – a truly exhilarating feeling! After taking photos you’ll descend back to the Kibo Hut for a brief rest and to gather your remaining gear, before continuing down from the mountain. This is an extremely challenging day with around 14 hours of walking, but you’ll be surprised how much quicker your progress is on the way back down. Tonight, you’ll enjoy a final dinner on the mountain, and a well-earned sleep at the Horombo Hut at 3,720 metres. Overnight at Horombo Hut.

Things to do:

7

Moshi

After breakfast, continue descending for around 6-hours to reach the Marangu Gate. Here you’ll receive a summit certificate if you managed to reach either Gillman's Point or Uhuru Peak. Finally leaving the mountain, drive back to Moshi for a welcome hot shower, dinner and (if you still have the energy!) a final celebration. Overnight at Springlands Hotel.

8

Moshi & Departure

This morning drive for 1-hour to Kilimanjaro International airport, for your return flight to the UK or onward travel.

Another stop?

We recommend finishing your African adventure with a beach stay on the white sands of Zanzibar, or its small sister island of Pemba.

Extensions

Extensions

Holiday Budget
Guide price information

Low Season

01 Jan - 30 Jun, 01 Aug - 31 Dec

£3,435

High Season

01 Jul - 31 Jul

£3,775

Alfred & James Davinson

James has spent 12 years exploring much of Africa, including Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Kenya. Rather than merely scratching the surface of a destination, his passion for diving ensures that he ventures well and truly under it! When he isn’t underwater, you’ll find him jumping into it, at the Devil’s Pool high above Victoria Falls. Time in South Africa has also made him partial to a spot of coastal driving and quality food and wine at a local vineyard.

James Davinson

Plan your holiday withAlfred&

Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Adele, who's travelled extensively in Tanzania. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it on their own. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - the rangers who'll ensure you'll spot the best wildlife, the village chiefs who'll give you a genuine insight into local life and the camp managers who can recommend the very best spot to enjoy your sundowner.

Freephone an expert 01306 744 656