The Northern Circuit is the newest and longest route on Mount Kilimanjaro. It begins in the West at the Londorossi Gate and follows…
- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
Our driver will meet you at Kilimanjaro International Airport for pick up and transferred to your hotel either Parkview Inn or Weruweru River lodge in Moshi town, you will meet your guide who will brief you on your upcoming trek and do an equipment check to make sure you have all the necessary mountain gear. Gear which is missing can be rented on this day. Overnight at your arranged Hotel.
- Hotel: Bed & Breakfast
Day 1 Londorossi Gate (2,100 meters) – start point 2,360 meters to Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,820 meters)
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 (2,820 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 covered: ~5.5km / 3 mi
Trekking time: 3hours - 4hours
Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,820 meters) to Shira Camp 1 (3,610 meters)
On day two 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 (3,610 meters).
Distance covered: ~8km / 5 mi
Trekking time: 5hours - 6hours
Zone: Rainforest / Low Alpine Zone
Shira Camp 1 (3,610 meters) to Shira Camp 2 (3,850 meters)
On day three the trek crosses the Shira Plateau from Shira Camp 1 to Shira Camp 2. Nine day trekkers usually spend the night at Shira Camp 2 where they will join trekkers from the Machame Route. At Shira Camp 2 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 (4,600 meters) and then back down via the Northern Circuit to Moir Camp (4,200 meters).
Distance covered: ~7km / 4 mi
Trekking time: 3hours - 4hours
Zone: Rainforest / Low Alpine Zone
Shira Camp 2 (3,850 meters) to Moir Camp (4,200 meters)
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 4,600 meters, where you will have lunch. After lunch you will join the northern circuit heading down to Moir Camp at 4,200 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 acclimatisation process.
Distance covered: ~14km / 8 mi
Trekking time: 5hours - 7hours
Zone: Low alpine zone / High alpine zone
Day 5 Moir Camp (4,200 meters) to Buffalo Camp (4,020 meters)
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 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 (4,020 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 covered: ~12km / 7mi
Trekking time: 5hours – 7hours
Zone: High alpine zone
Buffalo Camp (4,020 meters) to Rongai Third Cave (3,800 meters)
Day six starts with a climb up the Buffalo ridge and down into Porfu Camp where lunch is usually served. The route then continues east around the northern slopes to the Rongai Third Cave at 3,800 meters. The trek is shorter than the day before and by now you should be feeling well acclimatised to the altitude. You will arrive at the Third Cave just around mid-afternoon.
Distance covered: ~8km / 5mi
Trekking time: 3 hours
Hotel: Bed &Breakfast
3rd Cave (3,800 meters) to School Hut (4,800 meters)
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 (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 covered: ~15km / 8mi
Trekking time: 4hours - 5hours
Zone: High alpine zone and glacial zone
School Hut (4,800 meters) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters) and then onto Millennium Camp (3,950 meters)
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 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.
Distance covered: ~6km / 3.5 miles ascent and 10.5km / 6 mile
Trekking time: 6-8 hours ascent and then 4-6 hour descent
Zone: Glacial zone and all preceding zones
Millennium Camp (3790m) to Mweka Gate (1630m)
The final day is a short hike through the dense montane rainforest from Millennium Camp (3,950 meters) to Mweka Gate (1,640 meters). 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 your hotel in Moshi.
Distance covered: ~10km / 6.5 mi
Trekking time: 3hours - 4hours
Zone: Rainforest Zone
The day is left free to wind down after the trek before your flight home. Depending on flight times you could go and explore Moshi town and grab some gift before heading to the airport. Our vehicle will be ready to take you to the airport at your time.
Hotel: Bed & Breakfast
- Pick up and drop off at Kilimanjaro International Airport.
- Pre & Post Trek accommodation at Parkview Inn or Kilimanjaro wonders Hotel
- Park fees, camping fees, rescue fees and 18% VAT on tour fees & services which cost nearly 55% of the total cost charged.
- 4 Season mountain tents
- Sleeping Mats
- Transportation to & from the mountain gate
- Professional mountain guides, cooks and porters
- 3 meals daily while on the mountain
- Filtered water throughout the trek
- Fair wages for the mountain crew as approved by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (KINAPA), Kilimanjaro Association of Tour Operators (KIATO)
- Portable flush toilet can be provided for free upon client’s request.
- Items of a personal nature
- Laundry Services
- A doctor for the group
- Tips to mountain crew
- Guide $15 – $20/guide/day
- Cook $10 – $15/day
- Porters $8
The trek to the Barafu Hut is only moderately difficult.The only really steep point is Barranco Wall (which can be managed with just small will and wits ). The final push to the summit ridge takes around 6 hours and is very steep and cold. This last steep section is mostly switchbacks and then some easy rock scrambling near the top. Your guide will set a very slow pace. Most reasonably fit individuals can make it so long as they are not having any difficulty acclimatizing.
The official age limit set by the Kilimanjaro National Park to climb the Uhuru summit is 10 years, and we usually recommend a minimum age of 13 years. If anyone in your group is under 16, please let us know in advance so arrangements can be made.
Guides are a requirement on Kilimanjaro developed by Tanzania National Park Service
Although it’s not technically required but it's a good idea. Kilimanjaro is not the easiest trek and its good to have some previous experience and know what you are getting into and what the trekking is.
We have a complete downladable packing list or if you want more details please visit http://trekohike.com or https://share.bannersnack.com/bcie120lu/
March and April are the rainy months at Kilimanjaro so we recommend that you avoid this time period. Rest of the months are quite fine.
We generally recommend flying to Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) where it is likely to end up spending several hundred dollars to and from Nairobi. There is a shuttle service from Nairobi operated by Riverside Shuttle which takes 6 to 8 hours and costs $ 35 to $ 40 each way. You will need a yellow fever certificate to cross the land border into Tanzania. You will also need a separate visa for Kenya. Flights from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro cost US $ 200 each way.
Permits are required and are included in the cost of the trip. You will receive your entrance permit at the entrace on the first day of the trip.
Your park entrance fee includes the cost of a mountain rescue that will be organized by the Tanzanian National Park in cooperation with our team. In addition, it is strongly recommended that you have adequate travel insurance. While the Park Service will provide rescue services, your travel insurance will cover any costs related to cancellation fees, unexpected interruption of your vacation, medical expenses and repatriation including air ambulance, personal accidents, loss due to delay or damage to your personal belongings. If you do not already have one, we recommend either Cover More or World Nomads.
It depends on the route you chose and your physical fitness . It can be covered in 5 days (too aggressive) to 8 days (goo acclimatization).Some individuals opt for an extra acclimatization day which is spent at Camp.
The usual time spent walking is about 5 to 6 hours. On the day of the summit, you will spend 12 to 16 hours of trekking.However, you will be given a few hours to rest at Barafu so this long day of trips is divided into two parts. We make the summit push and decent all in one day to avoid acclimatization problems.
We offer camping tent on most of the Route. The camp staff will prepare the tents before you arrive. Tents are available for twin sharing and private tents may be available for individual travelers. You will need to bring your sleeping bag.
Your mobile service may work at one or two points in the mountain but do not rely on them. We tested mobile internet cards from Vodacom (Tanzania) and Safaricom (Kenya) and we could not access the Internet. If you have a phone call to make during the treks, please talk to your guide and he may be able to arrange something.
In general, it is best to bring additional batteries or a portable solar charger. In some cases, park rangers may be able to help you charge a device for an additional fee.
We provide plenty of drinking water on the climb. Drinking water is obtained on the mountain and then boiled before it is provided to you. Disposable plastic water bottles are not allowed on the mountain.
Your guide can provide you with a bucket of hot water both in the evening and the morning for washing.
Lunch are packed and eaten on the trail during the day. You will take lunch and dinner in the dinning tents that are set up.
You must be in good enough condition to walk continuously throughout the day. Comprehensive fitness, flexibility and health will ensure you can walk safely and comfortably. People with severe or chronic health conditions that affect their endurance, range of movement, coordination, or balance may experience difficulty completing the journey. If you suspect your physical preparedness, consult a good doctor before booking your trip!
The best scenario is to adapt slowly. The 6-day trip over Kilimanjaro is a fairly quick trip and the hikers must report any problems in their guidebook. Common symptoms of mountain sickness include headache and cough.
It may seem obvious, but your skin is more vulnerable to sun damage in the mountains than on the beach! The intensity of the sun increases dramatically when we rise in altitude, and the refreshing snow reflects more captivity than ultraviolet radiation than does sand. You will need to protect your skin with clothes and sunblock. It is recommended to use a sunblock specifically for mountain conditions. If you wear a prescription eyeglasses, I recommend that you get your medical prescription for sunglasses.
We take all possible precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of our hikers, but be assured that our guides are trained and experienced in dealing with emergencies. Each guide is trained in first aid and is Wilderness First Aid Certified. In case of altitude sickness, you will be taken directly to a lower altitude. If necessary, your guide will use the park rescue services for immediate evacuation.
Yes, we ensure the safety of travel for all our guests, both male and female. We have strong long-term relationships with hostels that we abound, and know that they are safe and reliable. In addition, our guides constantly indicate the whereabouts of all guests on treks. We travel in small groups, all the better to maintain continuous communication easily.
We will provide you a complete packing list on receipt of your trek. It is possible that you can rent gear once you reach Moshi but it tends to be expensive and the quality is not great. If you need any specific equipment beforehand we may be able to help you with some supplies free of charge.Please visit http://trekohike.com to get an idea.
A good pair of hiking boots are important for the final climb as they help to keep your feet warm and provide adequate ankle support. Tennis shoes are sufficient on the other days of the trek.
Porters on Kilimanjaro are allowed to carry 15Kg plus their own personal belongings.
Tipping is an important part of the culture in Tanzania. Please review our tipping guidelines.
Its not required to bring any money on the mountain and you can give tips at the hotel at the end of the climb. The hotel has a lock box where you can store valuables during the climb. Our treks are all-inclusive. We cover accommodation, food, park fees, permits, and many other costs, as a means of making your adventure as stress-free and convenient as possible. Once you get on the mountain there are no opportunities to spend any money.
Your guide should be able to arrange a phone call or to get a message relayed in the case of emergency. Don’t expect any communication options although it is possible you will have cell signal in some locations.
Some climbers may actually finish the climb ahead of schedule and get back to Moshi early. Its also the case that sometimes climbers either have problems with altitude or decide to come down earlier for other reasons. If you do get back to Moshi early you are responsible to pay the costs for your extra hotel nights ($35 per/night) and meals. The reason behind this is that our costs are the same regardless of when you end the climb. So even if you are climbing less days than scheduled keep in mind that we have already paid the staff, purchased, food and rented gear for all the days you were supposed to be on the climb.
Please check our Terms and Conditions page.