This special Kilimanjaro Climb Northern Circuit Route 8 Days 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. 8Days 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 traveling 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: Traveling 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 8 Days 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 0:- 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 1: LONDOROSSI GATE(2,100 meters) STARING POINT (2,389/7838ft ) MTI MKUBWA CAMP(2,785/9137ft)
Altitude gained: 396m
The Northern Circuit Route begins at Londorossi Gate (2,100 meters) in the West, the same start point as the Lemosho Route. The drive to Londorossi Gate takes approximately two hours from Moshi and considerably longer from Arusha. Registration with the Kilimanjaro National Park authorities occurs at the gate and then you will be driven further up the mountain to the trailhead starting point. Most tour operators serve lunch here before the short first-day trek to MtiMkubwa Camp (2,785 meters) begins. You may get lucky and spot large wildlife like elephant and buffalo that sometimes emerge from the rainforest onto the path as you trek towards your first camp. Dinner will be served when you reach MtiMkubwa Camp.
Distance: ~4.8km / 3 miles
Trekking time: 3-4 hours
DAY 2: MTI MKUBWA CAMP (2785m/ 9137ft )- SHIRA I CAMP (3504m/ 11496ft)
Altitude gained: 719m
You will spend the first-hour trekking through the last section of rainforest path before entering the low alpine moorland zone which follows up onto the Shira Plateau. The trek is relatively short and gradual, ending at Shira Camp 1 (3,504 meters).
Distance: ~7.9km / 5 miles
Trekking time: 5-6 hours
Zone: Rainforest / Low Alpine Zone
DAY 3: SHIRA 1 (3504m/11496ft) TO MOIR HUT (4161m/13651ft)
Altitude gained: 657m
A long trek heading east which passes through the ‘Garden of the Senecios’ and then enters the high alpine desert zone. The morning is spent trekking up to Lava Tower and the iconic Shark’s Tooth rock formation at 4,600 meters, where you will have lunch. After lunch, you will join the northern circuit heading down to Moir Camp at 4,161 meters (see map above). 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 acclimatization process.
Distance: ~ 9.8km / 6.1 miles
Trekking time: 5-7 hours
Zone: Low alpine zone / High alpine zone
DAY 4: MOIR CAMP (4,155m/13,632ft) TO BUFFALO CAMP (4,033m/13,232ft)
Altitude loss: 122m
Today it involves 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 to Buffalo Camp (4,033 meters). The trek gives great vistas out across the plains that lie north of Kilimanjaro and stretch out to the Kenyan / Tanzanian border. You will arrive at Buffalo Camp just after midday, where you will have lunch and have time to rest after a long day hiking.
Distance: ~9.2km / 5.8miles
Trekking time: 5-7 hours
Zone: High alpine zone
DAY 5: BUFFALO CAMP (4033m/13,232ft) – RONGAI 3RD CAVE (3,936m/12,193ft)
Altitude lost: 97m
Starts with a climb up the Buffalo Ridge and down into Pofu Camp where lunch is usually served. The route then continues east around the northern slopes to the Rongai Third Cave at 3,936 meters. The trek is shorter than the day before and by now you should be feeling well acclimatized to the altitude. You will arrive at the Third Cave just around mid-afternoon.
Distance: ~6.8km / 4.3miles
Trekking time: 5-7 hours
Zone: High alpine zone and low alpine zone
DAY 6: RONGAI 3RD CAVE (3936m/12913ft) – SCHOOL HUT (4717m/15,476ft)
Altitude gained: 781m
Today it involves a steady incline up and over the Saddle which sits between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi Peak. Trekkers then continue walking south-west up to School Hut (4,800 meters). After arriving at School Hut you will be served an early dinner and then you should get some shut-eye as you will be awoken before midnight to start your summit attempt. Remember to prepare all your gear, including warm clothes, insulated water bottles, snacks, headlamp, and camera before going to bed.
Distance: ~4.8km / 3miles
Trekking time: 4-5 hours
Zone: High alpine zone and glacial zone
DAY 7: SCHOOL HUT ( 4717m/15476ft) – SUMMIT ( 5,895 m/19341ft) – MILLENIUM CAMP (3,827 m/12556ft)
Altitude gained: 1178m
Altitude lost: 2068m (descent)
You will be awoken around 11:30 with hot tea and biscuits and will then begin the steep incline up to the slopes of Kibo under the cover of darkness. Your first check-point is Hans Meyer Cave where you will take a short break. The climb steepens as you approach Gilman’s Point (5,681 meters), which will be around 5-6 hours after departing School Hut. Take a moment to enjoy the approaching dawn and incredible view out and across to Mawenzi Peak, but remember you still have 2 hours trekking to reach Uhuru Peak so dig deep for the energy. The slope flattens as you head west around the crater rim and you should arrive at the summit at or just after sunrise. Your stay here will be brief so get as many pictures as you can of the incredible views and surrounding glaciers. You will then retrace your steps back around the crater rim to Stella Point (5,739 meters) where you will turn south and head down the heavily screed slopes of Kibo to Barafu Camp (4,680 meters). Most trekkers take a short break here before continuing down to Millennium Camp (3,950 meters) for your final night on the mountain. In total, you will be trekking for 14-16 hours on day eight so it is important to pace yourself, remain hydrated and keep your blood sugar levels up. Note: some tour operators return via Gilman’s Point to Horombo Hut using the Marangu Route.
You will be awoken around 11:30 with hot tea and biscuits and will then begin the steep incline up to the slopes of Kibo under the cover of darkness. Your first check-point is Hans Meyer Cave where you will take a short break. The climb steepens as you approach Gilman’s Point (5,681 meters)
Distance: ~5.9km / 3.7 miles ascent and 8.4km / 5.2 mile descent
Trekking time: 6-8 hours ascent and then 4-6 hour descent
Zone: Glacial zone and all preceding zones
DAY 8: MILLENIUM CAMP 3827m/12,556ft – MWEKA GATE 1633m/5358ft – MOSHI 970m
Altitude lost: 2194m
After breakfast and a heartfelt ceremony of appreciation and team bonding with your crew, it’s time to say goodbye. We continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. As the weather is drastically warmer, the terrain is wet, muddy and steep and we highly recommend Gaiters and trekking poles.
From the gate, a vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes). Enjoy a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!!
Distance: ~12.2km / 7.6 miles
Trekking time: 3-4 hours
Zone: Rainforest zone
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 – 8 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.
Kindly find the above is OK, for any questions, clarifications or suggestions kindly do not hesitate to get in touch with us. I will reply your mail shortly