northern circuit

The Northern Circuit Route is one of the newer routes on Mt. Kilimanjaro. It starts on the Lemosho Trail, approaching the mountain from the west, before connecting to the rarely used Northern Circuit Trail which traverses Mount Kilimanjaro from the northern slopes.

 

The perfect choice for travellers who prefer to break away from the crowds, the Northern Circuit is the quietest route on the mountain, and offers spectacular scenery, pristine trails, and excellent acclimatisation.

 

It takes 9 days to hike the Northern Circuit, although 10-day options are available for those who would like to extend their expedition further. You descend via the Mweka Route, the same route used on the Machame Route and Lemosho Route, and so you get to see much of the mountain on your journey to its summit.

 

As with all our expeditions, our Northern Circuit Kilimanjaro Tour is fully-escorted by KPAP (Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project) Tanzanian-climbing crew, so you can be confident your trip is safe, secure, and supportive of the local community. Pre-and-post climb accommodations and airport transfers are included, so the only extras you need to budget for are dinner/drinks at the hotel in Moshi and tips for your mountain crew. 

 

 

NORTHERN CIRCUIT ITINERARY

 

DAY 1: ARRIVE KILIMANJARO

Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, please clear immigration, collect your luggage and proceed to the arrivals hall where your driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel in Moshi. Your guide will schedule a meeting in the afternoon. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Overnight: Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel (or similar)

 

DAY 2: MOSHI – LONDOROSSI GATE - MTI MKUBWA CAMP

After breakfast today, your driver will pick you up and drive you to the Londorossi Gate (approximately 3-hour’s drive), where you will complete registration before transferring a further 12km to the start of the trailhead where you will begin your expedition to the Roof of Africa. You will take things easy today with a gentle walk through the rainforest. Sightings of Black and White Colobus monkeys and small antelopes are common on this part of the trek, so keep your camera handy. You will arrive at Mti Mkubwa Camp (or Big Tree Camp) early afternoon. The rest of the day it at leisure.

DAILY INFORMATION

Moshi – Londorossi Gate – Mti Mkubwa Camp

Elevation (ft): 7,800ft to 9,500ft

Elevation (m): 2,375m to 2,895m

Distance: 6 km / 3.7 miles

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Equatorial Rainforest                

Overnight: Camping Mti Mkubwa Camp                                                                                                                                              

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

DAY 3: MTI MKUBWA CAMP – SHIRA ONE CAMP

You’ll enjoy an early mountainside breakfast before climbing a slightly steeper gradient up through the moorland zone as you make your way to Shira One Camp. On a clear day, you’ll enjoy fantastic views of Kibo, Mt. Kilimanjaro’s summit cone, as you continue along the rocky ridge to Shira Plateau. From here, the trail becomes easier and you’ll arrive at camp in the afternoon.

DAILY INFORMATION

Mti Mkubwa Camp to Shira One Camp

Elevation (ft): 9,500ft to 11,500ft

Elevation (m): 2,895m to 3,505m

Distance: 8 km / 4.9 miles

Hiking Time: 5-6 hours

Habitat: Moorland                       

Overnight: Camping Shira One Camp                                                                                                                                    

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

DAY 4: SHIRA ONE CAMP – SHIRA TWO CAMP

After breakfast this morning, you will continue along the Shira Plateau to Shira Two Campsite, where you’ll get your first glimpse of the Western Breach with its dramatic glaciers. Today’s hike will take approximately 5-hours, and you will arrive at camp in the early afternoon. Shira Two Campsite is exposed to the elements, so you can expect colder temperatures tonight, often well below zero.

DAILY INFORMATION

Shira One Camp to Shira Two Camp

Elevation (ft): 11,500ft to 13,800 ft

Elevation (m): 3,505m to 4,205m

Distance: 14 km / 8.6 miles

Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

Habitat: Moorland

Overnight: Camping Shira Two Camp                                                                                             

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

DAY 5: SHIRA TWO CAMP – MOIR HUT CAMP

You will continue up and over the expansive ridgeline of Shira today as you make your way towards the impressive Lava Tower at 15,090ft or 4,600m above sea level. Here, you will have the opportunity to climb to the top of the tower with your guide, before continuing north-west on your circuit of Kibo. After lunch, you will continue to Moir Hut Camp, an isolated camp that offers spectacular views of the Shira Plateau.

DAILY INFORMATION

Shira Two Camp to Moir Hut Camp

Elevation (ft): 11,500ft to 15,190ft to 13,580ft

Elevation (m): 3,505m to 4,4630m to 4,410m

Distance: 14 km / 8.6 miles

Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

Habitat: Moorland

Overnight: Camping Moir Hut Camp                                                                              

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

DAY 6: MOIR HUT CAMP – BUFFALO CAMP

You’ll leave the moorland zone behind today as you continue your trek into the alpine desert and across a steep ridge that connects the Lemosho Route to the Northern Circuit Route. This part of the trail offers fantastic views of the plains north of Kilimanjaro, and while it is steep in some parts, you’ll enjoy plenty of ups and downs as you make your way to Buffalo Camp.

DAILY INFORMATION

Moir Hut Camp to Buffalo Camp

Elevation: 13,580 ft to 13,200 ft

Elevation (m): 4,410m to 4,025m

Distance: 12 km/7 miles

Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Overnight: Camping Buffalo Camp                                                                                  

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

DAY 7: BUFFALO CAMP – THIRD CAVE CAMP

To help you acclimatise, you’ll hike high and sleep low again today. As you head up Buffalo Ridge, you’ll notice a change in scenery once again the terrain becomes increasingly sparse. This rarely travelled route is perfect for those who are looking for a more peaceful experience, traversing remote valleys on the northern slopes on the way to Third Cave Camp.

DAILY INFORMATION

Buffalo Camp to Third Cave Camp

Elevation: 13,200 ft to 12,700 ft

Elevation (m): 4,025m to 3,870m

Distance: 8 km/5 miles

Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Overnight: Camping Third Cave Camp                                                                           

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

DAY 8: THIRD CAVE CAMP – SCHOOL HUTS CAMP

After a warm breakfast in the mess tent, you will climb steadily from Third Cave Camp to the ‘Saddle’ that sits between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. From here, you’ll continue across the lunar landscape to School Hut Camp, where you will spend the afternoon resting in preparation for your midnight summit attempt. Try to get some sleep this afternoon, you have a long night ahead!

DAILY INFORMATION

Third Cave Camp to School Huts Camp

Elevation: 12,700 ft to 15,600 ft

Elevation (m): 3,870m to 4,755m

Distance: 5 km/3 miles

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Overnight: Camping School Huts Camp                                                                         

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

DAY 9: SCHOOL HUTS CAMP – SUMMIT – MWEKA CAMP

Today is the day you have been waiting for! You will be woken up just before midnight with tea and biscuits in preparation for your final journey to the summit – Uhuru Peak at 5895m / 19,340ft.  Your journey to the Roof of Africa will take approximately 7-8 hours, and you will arrive just in time to watch the sun rise over Africa. As you head northwest through heavy stone scree, you will enjoy spectacular views of the Mwenzi Peak to the east and Mt. Meru to the west and glaciers including Furtwangler Glacier, Northern Ice Field and Reusch Crater. After taking your summit photos, you will descend to Barafu Camp for lunch and some much-needed rest. Afterwards, you’ll descend to Mweka camp for your last night on the mountain.

DAILY INFORMATION                    

School Huts Camp to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Elevation: 15,600 ft to 19,341 ft (and descend to 10,065ft)

Elevation (m): 4,755m to 5,895m (and descend to 3,070m)

Distance: 18 km/11 miles

Hiking Time: 10-14 hours

Habitat: Artic

Overnight: Camping Mweka Camp                                                                                  

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

DAY 10: MWEKA CAMP - MOSHI

After breakfast in camp, you will walk down through the rain forest to Mweka Gate where you will receive your certificate. After tipping your crew, you will transfer back to your hotel in Moshi for a welcome hot shower and a celebratory Kilimanjaro Beer!

DAILY INFORMATION

Mweka Camp to Moshi

Elevation (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft

Elevation (m): 3,048m to 1,645m

Distance: 10 km / 6.2 miles

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Rainforest

Overnight: Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel (or similar)                                                                                                

Meals Included: Breakfast

 

DAY 11: DEPARTURE

At the agreed time, your driver will collect you and transfer you to the airport for your return flight home. Alternatively, you will connect with your safari or beach holiday.

Meals Included: Breakfast 

 

From £2525.00 per person sharing



Summit Day on Mount Kilimanjaro
Northern Circuit Mount Kilimanjaro