Prices Starting From $3,200 USD PER PERSON*
The Northern Circuit Route is one of the newer routes on Mount Kilimanjaro, beginning along the Lemosho trail which approaches the mountain from the west.
However, instead of following the southern traverse like most other routes starting in the west, the Northern Circuit traverses the mountain around the northern slopes, giving climbers a very different perspective of Kilimanjaro.
Taking nine to complete, it is the longest routes on the mountain but is also one of the quietest making it an attractive option for climbers looking for a more remote experience. The Northern Circuit is considered to be one of the most scenic tracks and is highly recommended for good acclimatization.
Meet-and-greet at Kilimanjaro Airport and transfer to your accommodation in Moshi.**
Once you have arrived in Moshi, we will arrange a pre-climbing brief with one of our mountain guides to ensure that you have all the correct gears and equipment. We will also talk you through what to expect on your climb to the highest point in Africa and answer any questions/concerns you may have.
DAY 1: LEMOSHO TRAILHEAD (2,000M/6,600FT) TO MTI MKUBWA CAMP (BIG TREE CAMP – 2,800M/9,100FT)
Elevation Gain: 800 metres / 2,500 feet
After breakfast, you’ll be picked up from your hostel/hotel and driven to Londrossi Gate (approximately 3 hours). After registration, you will then head to Lemosho Trailhead (2,000m) where the trek begins. From here you will enter the beautiful and undisturbed rainforest to begin your ascent up the mountain. Sightings of Black and White Colobus monkeys and small antelopes are quite common, and you may even be lucky enough to spot buffalos and elephants too. After 3 to 4 hours of trekking, you will arrive at Mti Mkubwa Camp, also known as Big Tree Camp (2,800m).
DAY 2: MTI MKUBWA CAMP (2,800M/9,100FT) TO SHIRA 1 CAMP (3,500M/11,500FT)
Elevation Gain: 700 metres / 2,400 feet
After breakfast, you continue as the trail gradually steepens and enters the giant heather moorland zone. After several streams are crossed we continue over the Shira Ridge then gently downwards to Shira 1 Camp (3,500m) located by a stream on the Shira Plateau. Shira is actually a collapsed volcanic crater and was the first of Kilimanjaro’s three volcanic cones to expire. If it’s a clear day, you’ll also get to enjoy superb panoramic views. Today’s hike takes approximately 5 hours.
DAY 3: SHIRA 1 CAMP (3,500M/11,500FT) TO SHIRA 2 CAMP (3,840M/12,600FT)
Elevation Gain: 340 metres / 1,100 feet
An easy day of hiking (approx 4 hours) to help acclimatization and to explore the volcanic rock formations of Shira Plateau. Today you will walk to the summit of Shira Cathedral before reaching Shira 2 Camp (3,840m). This campsite has stunning views, close to the glaciated dome of Kibo and the jagged rim of Shira Plateau. The views from here of Mt. Meru floating on the clouds are simply unforgettable.
Day 4: Shira 2 Camp (3,840m/12,600ft) to Moir Hut (4,200m/13,800ft) via Lava Tower (4,550m/14,900ft)
Elevation Gain: 750 metres/ 2,400 feet (maximum)
Elevation Loss: 350 metres/ 1,150 feet (maximum)
Day four is a long trek (taking approximately 5 to 7 hours). You will begin the day heading east and passing through the ‘Garden of the Senecios’ before entering the high alpine desert zone. The morning is spent trekking up to Lava Tower (4,550m) meters, where you will be rewarded with fantastic panoramic views before stopping for lunch. From Lava Tower, you will then head North West beginning your circuit of Kibo, the almighty summit cone of Mount Kilimanjaro, before reaching Moir Camp at (4,200m). This is an important day in your trek as you will get to experience high altitude and then sleep low, which is good for the acclimatisation process.
Day 5: Moir Hut (4,200m/13,800ft) to Buffalo Camp (4,020m/13,200ft)
Elevation Loss: 180 metres / 590 feet
Today’s climb will involve a moderately steep climb out of Moir Valley. Trekkers can take a small detour here to climb the summit of Little Lent Hill at 4,375 meters before returning to the Northern Circuit trail. From here the route follows a series of inclines and declines, skirting around the northern slopes of Kibo. This part of your climb gives great views across the plains that stretch out to the Kenyan / Tanzanian border. After approximately 7 hours of hiking, you will arrive at Buffalo Camp (4,020m).
Day 6: Buffalo Camp (4,020m/13,200ft) to Third Cave Camp (3,870m/12,700ft)
Elevation Loss: 150 metres / 500 feet
Today you will continue onward through valleys and over ridges through the alpine desert and moorland, continuing your circuit to the east around the northern slopes. This rarely travelled route allowing you to enjoy the vast mountain wilderness in peace. Today’s trek is shorter than the day before (approximately 5 to 6 hours) and you should arrive at Third Cave (3,870m) feeling well acclimatised to the altitude.
Day 7: Third Cave Camp (3,870m/12,700ft) to School Huts (4,750m/15,600ft)
Elevation Gain: 880 metres / 2,890 feet
Climb steadily to reach the Saddle, a lunar landscape between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. From here, you will then continue upwards to reach School Hut Campsite (4,750m) in the early afternoon. The remainder of the afternoon is spent resting and preparing for summit day, which will begin in the early hours of tomorrow morning.
Day 8: School Huts (4,750m/15,600ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895m/19,340ft) to Mweka Camp (3,110m/10,200ft)
Elevation Gain: 1,145 metres / 3,740 feet
Elevation Loss: 2,785 metres / 9,100 feet
This is where the going gets really tough! The climb to the summit starts at around 12:00am. For about 6 hours you will be climbing the steepest and most challenging part of your journey. The path zigzags back and forth along a gravel path to Gilman’s Point, (5,685m) on the crater rim. Less than 2 hours are then taken to reach Uhuru Peak (5,895m) – Congratulations, you have now made it to the highest point in Africa! From here you will descend going straight down to Mweka Camp Hut (with a short, well-deserved rest at Barafu Hut). The descent usually takes a further 6 to 7 hours.
DAY 9: MWEKA HUT (3,100M) TO MWEKA GATE (1,980M)
Elevation Loss: 1,280 metres / 4,220 feet
After eating breakfast, you will begin the easiest part of your adventure on Mount Kilimanjaro! The day is spent descending to Mweka Gate via a scenic path through the rainforest. The descent to the gate will take approximately 5 hours and climbers usually arrive before noon. Upon arrival at the gate, climbers will be rewarded with certificates attesting their success on climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Transfer back to accommodation in Moshi.
OUR PACKAGE INCLUDES:
- All park fees (entry, camping, forest department and rescue fees)
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) while on the mountain
- Pre/post accommodation (2 nights in mid-range hotel)**
- Airport transfers**
- Hut accommodation and facilities
- Fair and ethical salaries for the team (guide, assistant guide, cook and porters)
- Transport to and from the gate
- Drinking water
- Oxygen cylinder and ox meter
- Tips for the team (guide, assistant guide, cook and porters)
- All personal mountain climbing gear and equipment
- Alcohol, soft drinks and energy snacks
- Flights, travel insurance, visa and any required vaccinations
Is this tour for me?
Travel Style: Active
Hiking, trekking, biking, rafting, and adventures all over Tanzania,made for outdoor types.
Service Level: Camping
Camping most nights with some hotel/hostel stays to start and throughout; affordable public and private transport.
Physical Rating: 5 – Challenging
Serious high-altitude hikes, cycling, or other instances of heavy exercise. Come prepared to sweat a bit.
Trip Type: Small Group
Small group experience; Max 12, avg 10.
Age requirement: 12+
All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
* Prices depend on the number of climbers in the group, the route you choose, and how many days you wish to climb. Please contact us directly to receive a quote.
**Accommodation and airport transfers are included in our Mount Kilimanjaro packages as standard. If you do not require either of these services, let us know and we can adjust your quote.
Interested in the above package? Contact us today to book your climb to the “Roof of Africa” with Kili Footprints!