You can start this route from both the Tanzanian side of the border or from Rongai in Kenya, but all park fees and arrangements must be made at the Marangu gate. The route may only be used for ascending and the Marangu route must be used for descending. Rongai route is renowned for having the easiest ascent and considered more beautiful than the main trail of Marangu. Rongai route passes through several different climate zones which makes the trekking more interesting.

DAY 1: Nare Moru Village (Park Gate) and to Moorland Camp

Nare Moru village: 1950m (Park Gate)

Moorland camp: 2600m (overnight)

Ascend: 650m

Descend: 0m

Walking Time: 3-4 hours

Depart from hotel at 07.00hrs, to Marangu Gate for registration formalities and then head off around the mountain to Rongai which is 3-4 hours drive on rough track through the village.

After a short walk through the attractive banana and coffee farms, the trail enters an attractive pine forest. This can be a good walk in good weather, with plenty of interesting flora and fauna.

DAY 2: Moorland Camp to Kikelewa Caves Camp

Moorland Camp: 2600m

Kikelewa caves Camp: 3600m (overnight)

Ascend: 1000m

Descend: 0m

Walking hours: 3-4 hours

Early morning is normally clear at camp and as you make your way up across the moorland you should get increasingly good views of Kibo, the Eastern ice fields and the jagged peak of Mawenzi, especially after the second Rongai cave at 3450m.

After lunch, leave the main trail and head left towards Mawenzi, this is the start of the extra day of acclimatization. The campsite is in a sheltered valley near Kikelewa Caves.

DAY 3: Kikelewa Caves Camp to Mawenzi Tarn Camp

You are now at 4330m

Kikelewa Caves Camp: 3600m

Mawenzi Tarn Camp: 4330m

Ascend: 730m

Descend: 0m

Walking time: 3-4 hours

A short but steep climb up grassy slopes is rewarded by superb all round views and a feeling of real remoteness. Shortly afterwards the vegetation is left behind and the immensity of the mountain begins to loom. The next camp is the grass-like Mawenzi Tarn, spectacularly situated in a sheltered cirque directly beneath the towering spires of Mawenzi.

DAY 4: Mawenzi Tarn Camp to Kibo Camp

Mawenzi Tarn Camp: 4330m

Kibo Camp: 4,700m

Ascend: 520m

Descend: 100m

Walking time: 4-5 hours

The treck leads directly across the Saddle between the Mawenzi and the towering Kibo. As you come out from the Mawenzi massif it feels like you are walking out onto center stage. Keep an eye for the elusive eland, the largest antelope in the world … horselike in proportions … which inhabits in this high altitude zone.

DAY 5: Kibo Camp to Summit 1, Gilmans, Then Summit 2, Uhuru. To Kibo Camp and Horombo Huts

Kibo camp: 4,700m

Summit1, Gilmans: 5,681m

Summit2 Uhuru: 5,895m

Kibo camp: 4,700m

Horombo Huts: 3,720m

Ascend: 1,146m

Descend: 2,016m

Walking hours: 9-14 hrs

By now your guide will have assessed your level of fitness and decide how early you need to wake up for a walk towards a summit. Get a cup of hot tea, and between 11.00 hrs and 12.00 hrs start walking towards the Uhuru summit. Porters not coming with you, so it is just you getting out of sleeping bags, boots on and off you go. (your guide will give more information on Summit day)

Day 6: Horombo Huts and Back To Marangu Gate

Horombo huts: 3,720

Marangu gate: 1,650m

Ascend: 0m

Descend: 1890m

Walking time: 5-6 hrs

By now you have lost all interest in your surroundings and are thinking of a shower, a massage, a drink, and above all a comfortable bed. The descent takes you through the forest to the park gate at Marangu (1650m). A vehicle will be waiting for you at the bottom of the hill. The drive back to the hotel takes about 2 hrs.