Travel ▻ East Africa ▻ Tanzania6-Day Rongai Route (Alternate)
6-Day Rongai Route (Alternate)

6-Day Rongai Route (Alternate)

6 days

6-Day Rongai Route (Alternate)
from $2045 USD

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Our 6-day "alternative" Rongai trek includes a night at super scenic Mawenzi Tarn Hut camp. Soak up the rugged mountain views while camping in the shadow of one of Kilimanjaro's tallest sub-peaks, Mawenzi.

This trip is a hybrid version of our "easiest" trek (the 7-day Rongai) and our standard 6-day Rongai, which also has one of the highest success rates possible. If you are looking for a slightly more challenging hiking experience than the standard Rongai trek, yet something still "easier" than a 6-day Machame, then this is an excellent choice! On a standard 6-day Machame, you have 2 long days of hiking; on this trek, you have just one, on Day 2.

Kilimanjaro + Safari Combo Discount: Save $50/person when you book a Kilimanjaro Trek and Safari (5 days or more).

All our Kilimanjaro treks are offered as a private trip, starting on any day. We offer group departures on the Machame Route only.


Day 1: 6-DAY RONGAI ALTERNATE ROUTE / Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Rongai Gate (Nale Moru), Hike to Simba Camp (LD)


Drive to the attractive wooden village of Nale Moru (about 2 hours including a stop to get permits at Marangu). After signing in and preparing the porters, you will begin the hike on a wide path that winds through fields of maize and potatoes before entering pine forest. The track then starts to climb consistently but gently through attractive forest that shelters a variety of wildlife. The forest begins to thin out and the first camp is at the edge of the moorland zone with extensive views over the Kenyan plains.

-- Elevation: 2000m/6560ft to 2650m/8700ft
-- Distance: 6km/4mi
-- Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
-- Habitat: Montane Forest

Meals included: Lunch, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Simba Camp

Day 2: Hike Simba Camp to Kikelewa Camp (BLD)


The morning hike is a steady ascent up to the Second Cave with superb views of Kibo and the Eastern ice fields on the crater rim. We should reach the campsite by around 12 noon. We'll have lunch and a rest break here.

In the afternoon, around 2pm or so, continue hiking up and across the moorland on a narrower path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. The campsite is in a sheltered valley with giant Senecios nearby.

-- Elevation: 2650m/8700ft to 3450m/11,300ft
-- Distance: 6km/4mi
-- Walking Time: 3-4 hours
-- Habitat: Moorland

-- Elevation: 3450m/11,300ft to 3600m/11,800ft
-- Distance: 9km/5mi
-- Walking Time: 2-3 hours
-- Habitat: Semi-desert

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Kikelewa Camp

Day 3: Hike Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Tarn (BLD)


A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb views. Leave the vegetation behind shortly before reaching the next camp at Mawenzi Tarn, a pond 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.

If you're interested, you can join your guide for an acclimatization hike up and beyond the camp this afternoon/evening - just ask your guides.

-- Elevation: 3600m/11,800ft to 4330m/14,200ft
-- Distance: 6km/4mi
-- Walking Time: 3-4 hours
-- Habitat: Semi-desert

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Mawenzi Tarn Camp

Day 4: Hike Mawenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut (BLD)


Cross the lunar desert of the 'Saddle' between Mawenzi and Kibo to reach Kibo campsite at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent very early.

-- Elevation: 4330m/14,200ft to 4750m/15,600ft
-- Distance: 9km/5mi
-- Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
-- Habitat: Alpine Desert

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Kibo Hut Camp

Day 5: Kibo Camp to Summit and Descent to Horombo Hut (BLD)


Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am), commence the climb to the summit on steep and heavy scree or snow up to Gilman's Point located on the crater rim (elev 5700m/18,700ft). Continuing, we now ascend to Uhuru Peak, which is the highest point in Africa. There are unbelievable views at every turn. Have your picture taken at the summit to show your friends and family. From here we descend, stopping for lunch and a rest at Kibo before continuing on to the Horombo encampment.

The beginning of this climb is done in the dark and requires headlamps or flashlights. It will be very cold until you start descending, so you will need all of your warm layers. This is by far the most difficult part of the trek with many switchbacks. Going slowly "pole pole" and an optimistic attitude will get you there!

-- Elevation: 4700m/15,500ft to 5895m/19,340ft
-- Down to 3700m/12,200ft
-- Distance: 6km/4mi up / 15km/9mi down
-- Hiking Time: 6-8 hours up / 15km/9mi down
-- Habitat: Alpine Desert

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Budget Accommodations: Horombo Hut Camp

Day 6: Final descent, transfer to Moshi (B)

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After breakfast, a steady descent takes us down through moorland to the Mandara Hut. Continue descending through lush forest path to the National Park gate at Marangu. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).

A vehicle will meet you at Marangu village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 1 hour). Don't forget to tip your guides and porters. It is time for celebration!

-- Elevation: 3700m/12,200ft to 1700m/5500ft
-- Distance: 20km/12.5mi
-- Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
-- Habitat: Forest

Meals included: Breakfast


6-Day Rongai Route (Alternate)
from $2045 USD
*** Contact Us for other itinerary and lodging options! ***

NOTE: Prices are per person in U.S. dollars based on double/triple occupancy. All quotations are based on the current rates of park fees, VAT, other government taxes, and current exchange rates. Should any of these be increased or a new tax introduced, these increases will be added on even if your trip has already been paid for.

  • All accommodations per itinerary
  • All meals per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All tours and entrance fees per itinerary (unless listed as excluded)
  • All transportation and transfers per itinerary

  • National Park gate fees
  • Transport from Moshi to trail head and return to Moshi
  • Camping fees
  • Certified, experienced, English-speaking guides for all routes
  • Salaries for all crew members
  • Rescue fees (as required by national park)
  • Tents, foam sleeping pads, cooking equipment, and eating utensils
  • Oximeters
  • Emergency Oxygen (2L canister)

  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals not listed
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff
  • Optional tours
  • Single room supplement
  • Personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, Internet, etc.)
  • Tips for guides, porters, and cooks (budget $350-500/person)
  • Sleeping bags and personal gear
  • $40 for single tent
  • Low season discount in April/May

Request Information: 6-Day Rongai Route (Alternate)


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