9 Days Northern Circuit Kilimanjaro Trek + 2 nights hotel stay

Northern Circuit Route Itinerary

Day 1:  Kilimanjaro International Airport – Moshi Town

Upon your arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be welcomed by our representative and driver, and you will be taken to the hotel in Moshi Town. In the evening you will enjoy a quick briefing which will be conducted by our professional Mountain Guide about your trekking, and to ensure if you are ready for climbing. Dinner and overnight at Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel.

Day 2: Londorossi Gate (2385 m) – Mti Mkubwa Camp (2785 m)

  • Distance: 5 km
  • Trekking time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rainforest

The Northern Circuit Route begins at Londorossi Gate (2385 m) 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 Mti Mkubwa Camp (2785 m) begins.

You may be lucky and spot abundant 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 Mti Mkubwa Camp.

Days 3: Mti Mkubwa Camp (2785 m) – Shira 1 Camp (3505 m)

  • Distance: 8 km
  • Trekking time: 5-6 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland

On day two, you will spend the first-hour trekking through the last section of the 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 Shira1 Camp (3610 m).

Day 4: Shira 1 Camp (3505 m) – Shira 2 Camp (3840 m)

  • Distance: 7 km
  • Trekking time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland

On day three the trek crosses the Shira Plateau from Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp. Nine-day trekkers usually spend the night at Shira 2 Camp where they will join trekkers from the Machame Route. At Shira 2 Camp it is worth trekking a little higher up the plateau to enjoy the stunning view across the valley below and Western Breach of Kilimanjaro above. The plateau is exposed so be prepared for a cold night with temperatures getting below zero.

Note: Trekkers on an eight-day hike will continue east up the Shira Plateau ridge and on to Lava Tower (4600 m) and then back down via the Northern Circuit to Moir Camp (4200 m).

Day 5: Shira 2 Camp (3840 m) – Lava Tower (4640 m) – Moir Camp (4200 m)

  • Distance: Shira 2 Camp – Lava Tower (7 km) & Lava Tower – Moir Hut (7 km)
  • Trekking time: 2 Shira Camp – Lava Tower (3-4 hrs.) & Lava Tower – Moir Hut (2-3 hrs.)
  • Habitat: Alpine-desert

Day four is 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 4600 m, where you will have lunch. After lunch, you will join the northern circuit heading down to Moir Camp at 4200 m (see map above). This is an essential day in your trek as you will get to experience high altitude and then sleep low, which is suitable for the acclimatization process.

Day 6: Moir Camp (4200 m) – Buffalo Camp (4020 m)

Distance: 12 km

  • Trekking time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine desert

Day five 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 4375 m 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 (4020 m). The trek gives magnificent vistas out across the plains that lie north of Kilimanjaro and stretch out to the Kenyan and 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.

Day 7: Buffalo Camp (4020 m) – Third Cave (3870 m)

  • Distance: 8 km
  • Trekking time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland

Day six 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 3870 m. 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.

Day 8: 3rd Cave (3870 m) – School Hut (4750 m)

Distance: 5 km

  • Trekking time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine desert

Day seven 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 (4800 m). 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.

Day 9: School Hut (4750 m) – Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Millennium Camp (3800 m)

  • Distance: School Hut – Uhuru Peak (6 km) & Uhuru Peak – Millennium Camp (10 km)
  • Trekking time: School Hut – Uhuru Peak (6-8 hrs.) & Uhuru Peak – Millennium Camp (4-6 hrs.)
  • Habitat: Glaciers, Snow Capped Summit

You will be awoken around 11:30 with hot tea and biscuits and will then begin the steep incline up the slopes of Kibo under 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 (5681 m), 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 (5739 m) where you will turn south and head down the heavily screed slopes of Kibo to Barafu Camp (4680 m). Most trekkers take a short break here before continuing down to Millennium Camp (3950 m) for your final night on the mountain.

In total, you will be trekking for 14-16 hours on day eight, so it is essential 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

Day 10: Millennium Camp (3800 m) – Mweka Gate (1640 m)

Distance: 10 km

  • Trekking time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rainforest

The final day is a short hike through the dense montane rainforest from Millennium Camp (3950 m) to Mweka Gate (1640 m). At the gate, you will need to sign-out with the authorities, who will also provide you with your official certificate – a green certificate for those who made it to Gilman’s Point and a gold certificate for those who reached Uhuru Peak. It is customary to give your guide and porter tips before being driven back to Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel.

Day 11: Moshi Town – Kilimanjaro Airport

After getting some rest and refreshment at the hotel, your driver-guide will take you to the Kilimanjaro International Airport ready for your flight back home. Alternatively, you can extend your trip in Tanzania and go on wildlife encounter safari or relax at the tropical islands and turquoise water of the Indian Ocean.

Price:

9 Days Kilimanjaro trek Northern Circuit Route Price in USD (Per Person Sharing)
2 Pax 3 Pax 4 Pax 5 Pax 6 Pax
$2,896 $2,796 $2,736 $2,656 $2,596

INCLUDED:

  • Bed and breakfast accommodation in Moshi Town
  • Full board accommodation on the mountain
  • All park fees
  • Camping equipment (tents, sleeping mats, chairs, tables)
  • Oxygen cylinder - only for emergency
  • English speaking guide
  • Mountain crew (cook and porters)
  • First aid kit and pulse oximeter
  • Bottled drinking water
  • Mentioned transfers

EXCLUDED:

  • Sleeping bags
  • Gratuities
  • Beverages
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Flights
  • Laundry
  • All Meals and drinks in Moshi town