The length of the Rongai route is 6 – 7 days
This is the only trail going up Kilimanjaro where you start from the north. The trail starts at the Tanzanian town of Loitokitok, The lower slopes at the very start of the trail leads you through a landscape of farming country, then follows a narrow band of woodland, very different from the forest on the southern side of Kilimanjaro. It soon gives way to some shade less heathland that can be very hot.
This trail can be a challenge in this way but remember, this is the trail lesser travelled. Since animals tend to gather where humans don’t, your chances of seeing the local wildlife or traces of wildlife, here are pretty high. The flora is different here too On the Rongai route you can see both juniper and olive trees and since you will be descending following the Marangu route you will also see the flora of Kilimanjaro people normally talk about, like lobelias or the giant groundsels.
If you opt for an extra day you will spend that extra night at the Mawenzi Tarn Hut, you will see the breath taking views across to Kibo, as well as this northern side. You will also have the opportunity to walk across the Saddle. As you can see, there are more advantages in this extra day than just the acclimatizing part of it.
For the final push to the summit, you take the Kibo Hut Route, joining it either at the huts themselves or just below Hans Meyer Cave. As mentioned, you will follow the Marangu route for your decent, giving you the full experience of both the north and the southern side of Kilimanjaro.
This route requires extra porters for carrying water with you, and will therefore be more expensive.