Mt Kilimanjaro Climbing Rongai Route
The Rongai route ascents Kilimanjaro from the northeastern side of the mountain, along the border between Tanzania and Kenya. This route retains a sense of unspoilt wilderness and offers a different perspective on Kilimanjaro by approaching it from the north.
The Rongai route on Mount Kilimanjaro is a seven day camping route; it has the attraction of being a lower traffic and easier route compared to the southern slopes for climbing Kilimanjaro. It attracts about 10% of visitors to the mountain. The route is really a complete traverse, the only one to experience the arid northern side and the lush southern side. It’s also known as the Loitokok Route.
Starting from the Kenyan side of the mountain in the north its advantages are a more gradual and easier route in terms of terrain, plus there are excellent clear views of the mountain all through the approach. There is also more opportunity to see wildlife such as buffalo, elephant and antelope.
The seven days includes a day of acclimatisation at Mawenzi Tarn and this is an important addition because the flatter terrain means you can’t ‘climb high, sleep low’ which is a good approach to acclimatisation. This extra day helps a lot and means the summit success rate on this route is quite high at over 80%. A six day itinerary without the acclimatisation day lowers the summit success rate to about 65% and it’s much more likely to get altitude sickness.
The route is quieter and flatter, and arguably has less scenic quality than other routes on the south side. However walking across the open plain with the summit massif in view all the time gives a real sense of vastness to the mountain. It is drier because of the fact that the mountain itself stops the rain clouds coming up from the south, so it’s really a very different experience in terms of scenery and terrain. For many, the solitude and sense of space is a big draw, although you don’t get to experience all the different habitats which are evident on the south side routes like Machame and Lemosho.
It takes five days to ascend from the NNE through the forest and onto the heathland and to the last camp at Kibo where it joins the Marangu route. Summit day is on day six up to Gilmans Point on the crater rim and then up to Uhuru Peak and all the way down to Horombo Hut, and the seventh day is a descent to Mweka Gate which is just half an hour drive from Moshi.
RONGAI ROUTE KILIMANJARO
Rongai route ascends Mount Kilimanjaro from the north-eastern side of the mountain, along the border between Tanzania and Kenya. The rongai route retains a sense of unspoiled wilderness.
The Rongai route is the only route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north. Rongai route is truly one of the more remote and wild trails on the entire mountain. Despite that however, this route offers trekkers plenty of advantages, making it a very appealing option for those looking for a unique experience on Africa’s tallest peak.
Due to its remote nature, the Rongai Route is among the least visited of all of the trails on Mount Kilimanjaro. Those who choose this path will experience peace and quiet for much of the trek, encountering few other climbers prior to reaching the Kibo Camp, at which point the trail merges with the Marangu Route for the final push to the summit.