This special route combination is by a wide margin the least-used route on Kilimanjaro northern circuit route , getting you far away from the madding crowd. The trailhead is at high elevation, and thus we start slow and easy on this route.Kilimanjaro northern circuit route. The trail begins on the Shira Plateau, and the hike across the plateau is said to be one of the most stunningly beautiful hikes in Africa.
Early on we leave the tourist trails and head off across the north side of the mountain, facing Kenya and the famous Amboselli National Park. Kilimanjaro northern circuit route.The spectacular hike along the northern circuit affords opportunities to see some animals; possible elephant, buffalo, eland, and signs of many other animals.Kilimanjaro northern circuit route. Along this way we won’t see other tourists, only following cairns which signal the route.
For the first four days we traverse the valleys and ridges of the entire north side of the mountain between 12,000’ 3,650 mt. to 14,000’ 4,265 mt, and on day 5 the trail reaches the base of Mawenzi, the second highest peak of Kilimanjaro- it’s jagged rock spires reaching 16,893’ 5,149 mt.Kilimanjaro northern circuit route. From here we trek across the magnificent saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo Peak.
KILIMANJARO NORTHERN CIRCUIT ROUTE
From the seldom used Outward Bound camp we depart to the summit, where the trail joins with the Marangu Coca-Cola Route high on the mountain.Kilimanjaro northern circuit route. This trek is designed to get you closer to nature, and to benefit from plenty of acclimatization time, the most diverse and complete ‘grand traverse’ of Kilimanjaro from west to east, and by far the most remote trails.
The accommodation in this trip of Kilimanjaro northern circuit route are tents and dining is in our mess tents. Toilet tents with convenient and sanitary portable flush toilets are set up at all camps
Kilimanjaro trek through Northern Circuit
If you have the luxury of time and a generous budget, the Northern Circuit route is one of the most beautiful routes on Kilimanjaro, offering sweeping 360-degree views across the rarely visited northern slopes. The route is long and will cost more, but it allows for the longest period of acclimatization time, and boasts the greatest summit success rate.
As for the direction of travel, the route starts in the west from the Londorossi Gate, travels to the Shira Ridge, and crosses over to the Shira Plateau. Then, instead of travelling south and following the direction that other routes take, the Northern Circuit swings north, travelling clockwise to the summit from the east. The descent is made along the Mweka route.
Previous trekking experience is highly recommended, as the days will feature 6-8 hours hiking with daily ascents of 900m to 1,000m, perhaps with the odd day ascending around 1,100m to 1,200m.
Depending on the route, you may be trekking at an altitude of over 3,500m. You need complete confidence in your ability to trek for many days over difficult terrain.
Extremes of altitude and weather may be encountered, as may the use of ice axes and crampons. A degree of physical and mental stamina will be essential to complete the hike as the days will be tiring.
- Location: Travelling from the west and starting at the Londorossi Gate, the route starts in the same direction as the Lemosho route.
- Difficulty: Challenging
- Height: The Northern Circuit route makes its way to the Uhuru peak and reaches a height of 5,895 metres (19,341 feet).
- Duration: The Northern Circuit route can be completed in 8 or 9 days, and the additional time on the mountain means the success rate is much higher than other routes.
- Trail conditions: Hikers and trekkers will enjoy the peacefulness of the trail, as it is a newer route and less popular (as it is one of the most expensive routes to complete). The trail itself is one of the most beautiful, offering breathtaking vistas.
The Northern Circuit Route itinerary
|DAY||START||ALTITUDE (M/FT)||FINISH||ALTITUDE (M/FT)||TIME (HRS)||DISTANCE (KM/MI)|
|1||Londorossi Gate||2,360m/ 7,742ft||Mti Mkubwa||2,895m/ 9,498ft||3-4||6km/ 4mi|
|2||Mti Mkubwa||2,895m/ 9,498ft||Shira 1 Camp||3,505m/ 11,500ft||5-6||8km/ 5mi|
|3||Shira 1 Camp||3,505m/ 11,500ft||Shira 2 Camp||3,810m/ 12,500ft||3-4||7km/ 4mi|
|4||Shira 2 Camp||3,810m/ 12,500ft||Lava Tower||4,630m/ 15,190ft||3-4||7km/ 4mi|
|Lava Tower||4,630m/ 15,190ft||Moir Hut||4,200m/ 13,800ft||2-3||7km/ 4mi|
|5||Moir Hut||4,200m/ 13,800ft||Buffalo Camp||4,020m/ 13,200ft||5-7||12km/ 7mi|
|6||Buffalo Camp||4,020m/ 13,200ft||Third Cave||3,870m/ 12,700ft||5-7||8km/ 5mi|
|7||Third Cave||3,870m/ 12,700ft||School Hut||4,750m/ 15,600ft||4-5||5km/ 3mi|
|8||School Hut||4,750m/ 15,600ft||Uhuru Peak||5,895m/ 19,341ft||6-8||6km/ 4mi|
|Uhuru Peak||5,895m/ 19,341ft||Mweka Camp||3,068m/ 10,065ft||4-6||12km/ 7mi|
|9||Mweka Camp||3,068m/ 10,065ft||Mweka Gate||1,640m/ 5,380ft||3-4||10km/ 6mi|
The Northern Circuit route success rate
The Northern Circuit route has one of the highest success rates on average at 95%. Thanks to the length of the route, hikers have plenty of time for acclimatization. However, the route is recommended for hikers with stamina, as it requires 6-8h of hiking per day.
Northern Circuit tips
- Make sure you choose your route carefully and consider traffic levels, difficulty, sights, and scenery.
- Before you embark on your hike, it’s best to attempt a few small hikes at home and consider as much physical preparation as possible.
- To mentally prepare for the Northern route, spend a few weekends camping at home in order to get used to using limited facilities, and overcome any small barriers you might encounter.
- Take a close look at your packing list to make sure you have all of the right gear including footwear, clothing, snacks, and equipment.
- Remember: water is a hiker’s best friend, and staying hydrated could be the difference between reaching the summit or not.
- Mentally prepare yourself for altitude sickness. It affects everyone differently, and even experienced hikers will suffer from some symptoms at times.
- If time and budget allow, aim to spend as much time on the mountain as possible. Hikers that embark on the shorter routes often see a much lower success rate.
- Pace yourself! It’s not a race to the top, and you’ll save yourself unnecessary stress and anxiety by taking your time and enjoying the views.
Day 1:- Arrive in Tanzania and transfer to Arusha
Welcome to Tanzania – Today you will be meet at Kilimanjaro International Airport and then transferred to hotel in Arusha. The drive from Kilimanjaro Airport to Arusha is approx one hour. Meals – Dinner at Mvuli hotel in Arusha https://www.mvulihotels.co.tz/ half board included
Day 2: -MORUM BARRIER GATE 12,362 ft.3,768 mt. ~SHIRA 1 CAMP 12,200 ft. 3,720 mt.
Departure from Arusha will be at around 7:30am for Londorossi gate, about 4 hours, where you will complete entry formalities. Then continue up by car to Morum Barrier Gate another hour to reach the trailhead. Upon arrival at trail-head, eat lunch, then commence through heather and moorland which lead to the first camp,which is a descent only about 1-2 hours of trekking. The view of Kibo from across the plateau is stunning.
Day 3: -SHIRA 1 CAMP ~ MOIR CAMP 13,800 ft. 4,205 mt.
Trek across the Shira plateau, east toward Kibo’s glaciered peak.Kilimanjaro northern circuit route. Shira is one of the highest plateaus on earth, averaging 12,500 feet. We immediately veer away from the tourist trails toward thee northeast edge of the Plateau to reach Moir Camp. The trek is about 4-5 hours over easy terrain. Moir camp is an isolated and seldom used camp affording views over the Shira Plateau.
Day 4: -MOIR CAMP ~ BUFFALO CAMP 13,200 ft. 4,025 mt.
Begin the morning trek heading out of the moorland and into the stark alpine desert, on a steep ridge off the main trail, and begin our venture on the Kilimanjaro northern circuit route. The total trekking time is about 5 – 7 hours. From the Pofu Campsite you will enjoy a magnificent view into Kenya’s wild lands to the north.
Day 5: – BUFFALO CAMP ~ KIKELEWA CAVES CAMP 11,800 ft. 3600 m
Proceed onward through valleys and over ridges through the alpine desert and moorland, continuing our circuit to the east, enjoying a vast mountain wilderness to ourselves. Kilimanjaro northern circuit route.Trekking time today is 5 – 7 hours.
Day 6: -KIKELEWA CAVES CAMP ~ MAWENZI TARN CAMP 14,160 ft.4,315 m
Trek 3-5 hours steadily upward to reach a placid mountain tarn lake at the foot of the majestically rising steep ridges of Mawenzi, Kilimanjaro’s second highest volcano. Kilimanjaro northern circuit route.The camp here is nestled along the tarn in a protected alcove with magnificent views towards the steeply rising rocks of Mawenzi.
Day 7 : -MAWENZI TARN CAMP ~ OUTWARD BOUND CAMP 15,585 ft. 4,750 m
The trekking time today is 5 – 7 hours, though a relatively easy hike across the wide saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo. Kilimanjaro northern circuit route.Kilimanjaro northern circuit route.The trek takes you across the massive saddle- the crossing is impressive and the landscape spectacularly stark. The temperatures turn cold as you near the foot of Kibo, reaching Outward Bound Camp after 5-7 hours of trekking.Kilimanjaro northern circuit route. Prepare all your gear for the day ahead, and turn in early to rest. A resupply of fresh food and supplies will reach camp on this afternoon.
Day 8: OUTWARD BOUND CAMP ~ UHURU PEAK 19,340 ft.5,895 m Millennium CAMP 10,200 ft. 3,110 m
A midnight wake-up call is the start of a long trek. You begin trekking at 1am up the winding path of endless switchbacks. From your camp to the rim of the crater Gillman’s Point 18,750 ft. 5,712 m to Uhuru Peak, the trekking time is about 7 – 8 hours. The slope is steep, with switchbacks, over loose rock and scree with some boulders as you near Gilman’s Point. Kilimanjaro northern circuit route.You will stop at Hans Meyer cave on the way, the famous place where Kilimanjaro’s first western climber described in his journals. Once you arrive at Gilman’s Point at the edge of the crater, the trail to the summit is less demanding, and is reached after a further 1½-2 hours along the snowy crater rim depending on the season Kilimanjaro northern circuit route . After a short time at the summit, re-trace your steps back to Gilman’s Point, then summon your strength again for further descent to Mweka Camp for the night.
Day 9: MWEKA CAMP ~ MWEKA GATE 6,000 ft. 1,830 m
Success is what we want during our trip. We are prepared for any urgent situation and also have in place a complete evacuation procedure in case of altitude sickness. We carry first aid supplies, supplement summit oxygen and Pulse Oximeters).
|No. of Pax in one group||7 Pax||6 Pax||5 Pax||4 Pax||3 Pax||2 Pax||1 Pax|
Available Discounts Available discounts for Northern circuit route – 9 days
|Children between 5 years and 15 years old||USD 800 per person|
|Expatriates/Residents living in Tanzania||USD 280 per person|
|East African Citizens||USD 1000 per person|
- All transfers to the mountain and back to your Arusha hotel
- Professional, experienced, mountain guides
- Guides, Porters, Cook salaries and park fees
- Quality, waterproof, four-season mountain sleeping tents
- Sleeping Mattress
- All meals while on the Mountain
- Quality Mess tents with table and chairs
- Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food
- Clean, purified drinking water
- Conservation fees (part of park fees)
- Camping or Hut fees (part of park fees)
- Rescue fees (part of park fees)
- VAT (18% charged by the Government)
- Surcharge for online payment of deposit (5%)
- Transportation to and from your selected route
- All land transport
- Quality, Waterproof, four-season private mountain sleeping tent
- Quality Mess tents with table and chairs
- Certified, experienced, English speaking mountain guides:
- Government Climbing Taxes
- Climbing permits
- All hot Meals prepared by our cook while on Mountain
- Guides, Porters and Cook Salaries
- Fair and ethical treatment of Porters
- Enough porters to carry your luggage
- Safety Equipment:
- Emergency Oxygen
- Pulse Ox meter
- Hot drinks at every meal
- Water provided on climb, mineral water for the first day and boiled water every day
- Emergency rescue fees
- Personal Summit Certificate signed by the National Park and your Guide
- Personal items and toiletries
- Tips for guides, porters and cook (this is a guide to tipping on the mountain
- Tipping on Kilimanjaro from the trekking group (not per climber):
N/B: Our Guides, cooks and Porters are always satisfied with your thanks giving (tip) you have and not beyond your ability.
- International airfares and departure taxes
- All items of person nature such as telephone call, fax, email etc
- Alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks
- Laundry services
- Visa and International flight tickets fees.
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