Northern Circuit Route

9 Days | 8 Nights

Departs on selected days

Tour Cost

Prices on request

Tour Overview

The Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit Route is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. This relatively new route ascends Kilimanjaro’s more scenic and tranquil western slope and crosses nearly the entire mountain before reaching the summit. Because there are almost no other groups on the northern face, this is easily one of the most picturesque and peaceful journeys up Africa’s highest point.

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Londorosi gate to Mtimkubwa Camp

Elevation: 2100m to 2850m

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll make our way to the western side of Kilimanjaro, to the Londorossi Gate, where we will meet up with our team of porters and guides. After we register your climb, our staff will prepare the supplies and gear for our trek. Here we can rest and take pictures while we wait for our baggage to be weighed and for the other necessary trip formalities to be completed.
We’ll then begin the climb. The trail gently ascends through the mountain forest and towards the end of the trek, we’ll enter the first camp that will have been set up and waiting for us. Tonight, we’ll rest under the forest canopy listening to the sounds of birds and velvet monkeys calling gently to each other, a very special experience.

Day 2: MtiMkubwa Camp to Shira 1 Camp

Elevation: 2850m to 3505m

We leave the rainforest, entering the heath and moorland zone. Today, we have amazing panoramic views that reach the rim of the Shira Plateau and enjoy the stunning views from the ridge. This day may challenge your body’s acclimatization but you’ll be in good hands and we’ll be taking short, continuous breaks. We will then camp on the Shira Plateau.

Day 3: Shira Camp 1 to Shira Camp 2

Elevation:3505m to 3840m
This is a short day in terms of terrain and elevation. We’ll look to climb about 350m/1,148ft of gentle hiking. We’ll treat this as a resetting and acclimatization day and a chance to explore the Shira Plateau whilst enjoying views of Kibo, the largest of the three volcanic cones on Kilimanjaro.

Day 4: Shira Camp 2 to Lava Tower to Moir Hut

Elevation: 3840m to 4600m to 4200m

This is a very important day in your growth and in your progression up the mountain. An imperative day for acclimatization. Once we arrive at the Lava Tower you will be served lunch, rest, and then descend down to Moir Hut, where we divert from the main trail.

Day 5: Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp

Elevation: 4200m to 4033m

We begin with a moderately steep climb out of Moir Valley. If you wish, take a small detour here to climb the summit of Little Lent Hill at 4,375 meters before returning to the Northern Circuit trail. The route follows a series of inclines and declines, skirting around the northern slopes of Kibo to Buffalo Camp. Spectacular views of plains north of Kilimanjaro that stretches as far as the eye can see to the Kenyan / Tanzanian border. You will arrive at Buffalo Camp just after midday, where you will have lunch and have time to rest.

Day 6: Buffalo Camp to Third Cave Camp

Elevation: 4033m to 3936m

Day six starts with a climb up the Buffalo Ridge and down into Pofu Camp where lunch is served. We continue East around the Northern slopes to the Rongai Third Cave. Today’s climb is shorter than the day before and you should be feeling better acclimatized to the altitude at this point. You will arrive at the Third Cave just around mid-afternoon

Day 7: Third Cave to School Hut

Elevation: 3936m to 4800m

There is a steady ascent to reach the saddle, a lunar landscape between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. From here we continue upwards and reach School Hut in the early afternoon. The remainder of the afternoon is spent resting and preparing for the summit day.

Day 8: School Hut to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Elevation:4800m to 5895m to 3106m

We start the final and most demanding part of the climb around 00:30 a.m on a switchback trail through, loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman’s Point. We take a short rest here for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. We then head on to Uhuru Peak, passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. We retrace our steps along the crater rim to Stella Point and then descend down through Barafu Camp to reach Mweka Camp.

Day 9: School Hut to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Elevation:3106m to 1640m

We’ll finish our magnificent trek through lush forest as we descend to the Mweka Gate. This sustained descent will become easier by having colobus/blue monkeys and melodic birdsong cheering us on. At the gate, we will then sign out of the national park as we collect our summit certificate and on through a coffee farm where you are then transferred back to Arusha/Moshi.

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