7Days Rongai Route

DAY 1
Rongai Gate to Rongai Cave
Elevation: 6,398 ft to 9,300 ft
Distance: 8 km/5 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

We drive from Moshi to Marangu Gate for permits before taking a short transfer to the Rongai Gate trailhead. The path winds through corn and potato fields and then climbs gently through the forest which is home to a variety of wildlife, including the black and white colobus monkey.

DAY 2
Rongai Cave to to Second Cave
Elevation: 9,300 ft to 11,300 ft
Distance: 6 km/4 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Heath
Second Cave to Kikelewa Cave
Elevation: 11,300 ft to 11,811 ft
Distance: 6 km/4 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Heath

We begin this morning with a steady incline up to Second Cave. We continue trekking though moorland, leaving the main trail for a smaller path towards the jagged peaks of Mawenzi, before finally arriving at Kikelewa Cave for the night.

DAY 3
Kikelewa Cave to Mawenzi Tarn
Elevation: 11,811 ft to 14,160 ft
Distance: 5 km/3 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

The hike today is short and steep up a grassy slope. Views of the wilderness area are stunning. As we exit the heath zone and emerge into the Alpine Desert zone, the landscape changes dramatically. Our camp is situated beneath the jagged spires of Mawenzi, at Mawenzi Tarn. The remainder of the day can be spent relaxing or exploring the area.

DAY 4
Mawenzi Tarn to Mawenzi Ridge
Elevation (ft): 14,160 ft -14,400 ft
Distance: 2 km/1 mile
Hiking Time: 1-2 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Mawenzi Ridge to Mawenzi Tarn
Elevation (ft): 14,400 ft -14,160 ft
Distance: 2 km/1 mile
Hiking Time: 1-2 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

This is an extra day meant for acclimatization and can be spent day hiking on Mawenzi Ridge. The unique landscape offers motivating views of Kibo and Mawenzi. After spending a few moments exploring the area we head back to Mawenzi Tarn for camp.

DAY 5
Marwenzi Tarn to Kibo Hut
Elevation (ft): 14,160 ft to 15,430 ft
Distance: 8 km/5 miles
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We climb gradually, then cross the lunar desert of the “Saddle” between Mawenzi and Kibo. Our camp, Kibo Hut, sits at the bottom of the Kibo crater wall. Once here we rest, enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day.