This route starts very close to the Kenya border and makes people think that you can hike this mountain from the Kenyan side, but that’s not the case. The Rongai route has less vegetation than the other routes, and the success rate is around 70%. An interesting aspect of this route is that it intersects with Amboseli National Park in Kenya, so sometimes migration of wildlife such as buffalos, antelopes, wild dogs, elephants and lions can be encountered on the flanks of Kilimanjaro Mountain.
Because this route is at the border, a long driving from Moshi/Arusha must be done: first to headquarters at the Marangu gate to get registrations and all payments done, then driving down to Rombo District, and then up to Rongai gate; the total travel time will be about 2.5 to 3 hours.
Acclimatization is more challenging on this route because there’s not much elevation up and downs like other Western Routes (Machame, Lemosho, Londorosi); but still the chance of making it to the top is about 70%, by going slowly, drinking enough water and, wherever there’s a chance, of hiking high and sleeping low.
This route makes branches on the way (day 2) where the long route of Rongai via Kikelewa Camp to Mawenzi Peak to Kibo Hut can be done; this is a very scenic route, and acclimatization is very good. The second branch starts from second cave to third cave, then on to Kibo or School Hut, The base Camp of this Route is either Kibo Hut/School Hut, then after reaching the top, this route leads down through Marangu route. Minimum numbers of days are 5 day but taking the detour through Kikelewa via Mawenzi Peak to Kibo Hut can take 6~7 days.