The Rongai Route is the only route to ascend up the North side of the mountain, originating close to the Kenyan border. It is considered one of the easiest routes up Mt. Kilimanjaro and boasts a high success rate for reaching the summit. However, it is one of the less-frequently used routes, mostly attributed to the long drive required to reach the gate on day one. This has its advantages though, as it is less crowded and therefore a quieter way to ascend the mountain.
Because the northern side of the mountain tends to be drier than other areas, the ascent on the first day is not wet and muddy like on other routes. This first day is a very gentle climb through fields, a beautiful forest, and on day two enters moorland terrain. Day three takes you through the alpine desert zone, where you will sleep directly underneath the grand Mawenzi Peak, the only route to afford you such a view of Kilimanjaro’s 2nd highest peak. From here there is ample time set aside for acclimatization and resting in preparation for the final ascent to the summit.
This route meets up with the Marangu Route upon descent, allowing climbers a different view of the mountain on the way down. Although Rongai climbers do not experience the rainforest on day one, they are given the chance on the final day before reaching the Marangu Gate where the climb concludes.