Northern Circuit Trail

The Northern Circuit is a newest and fantastic route that takes in all sides of the mountain nearly 360 degrees of beautiful scenery including the quiet, rarely visited northern slopes, and offers good acclimatization over either 7 or 8 days. The route can even be split over 9 days to give extra acclimatization. It begins in the remote west, following the Lemosho trail for the beginning of the climb through lush and pristine rainforest. The trail then rises steeply up to and across the Shira Plateau before taking a north easterly direction around the back side of the mountain and on to the 'Northern Circuit', avoiding the main stream of climbers that continue on to Barranco Camp from the plateau. The Northern Circuit is not incorporated as a standard section of most routes, and as such offers climbers a real sense of solitude and a different experience of mountain Kilimanjaro. The extra days also aid the acclimatization process, increasing the chance of reaching the summit. Eventually the Northern Circuit brings climbers around to the eastern side of the mountain to summit Uhuru Peak via Gillman's and Stella Point, descending via the Marangu Route with a stopover at Horombo.

  • OVERVIEW
  • 7 DAYS 6 NIGHTS
  • 8 DAYS 7 NIGHTS
  • 9 DAYS 8 NIGHTS

Although our Northern Circuit Challenge begins on the Lemosho Route in the west, The Northern Circuit can actually be incorporated in to most routes on Kilimanjaro and we will be happy to tailor this to your specific requirement. Northern circuit route has the highest summit success rate eventhough it is the wettest route and should be avoided during rainy season normally March, April and May.

OPTIONS

DAY 1

DAY 2

DAY 3

DAY 4

DAY 5

DAY 6

DAY 7

DAY 8

DAY 9

7 DAYS

(Option 1)

Londorosi Gate to Shira Camp 1

Shira Camp 1 to Moir Camp

Moir Camp to Buffalo Camp

Buffalo Camp to Rongai 3rd Cave

Rongai 3rd Cave to School Hut

Hut to Uhuru Peak then to Millennium Camp

Hut to Uhuru Peak then to Millennium Camp

-

-

8 DAYS

(Option 2)

Londorosi Gate to Mti Mkubwa camp

Mti Mkubwa Camp to Shira Camp 1

Shira Camp 1 to Moir Camp

Moir Camp to Buffalo Camp

Buffalo Camp to Rongai 3rd Cave

Rongai 3rd Cave to School Hut

School Hut to Uhuru Peak then to Millennium Camp

Millennium Camp to Mweka Gate

-

9 DAY

(Option 3)

Londorosi Gate to Mti Mkubwa camp

Mti Mkubwa Camp to Shira Camp 1

Shira Camp 1 to Shira Camp 2

Shira Camp 2 to Moir Camp

Moir Camp to Buffalo Camp

Buffalo Camp to Rongai 3rdCave

Rongai 3rd Cave to School Hut

School Hut to Uhuru Peak then to Millennium Camp

Millennium Camp to Mweka Gate

9 DAY

(Option 4)

Londorosi Gate to Mti Mkubwa camp

Mti Mkubwa Camp to Shira Camp 1

Shira Camp 1 to Shira Camp 2

Shira Camp 2 to Lava Tower then to Moir Camp

Moir Camp to Buffalo Camp

Buffalo Camp to Rongai 3rd Cave

Rongai 3rd Cave to School Hut

School Hut to Uhuru Peak then to Mweka Camp

Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

9 DAY

(Option 5)

Londorosi Gate to Mti Mkubwa camp

Mti Mkubwa Camp to Shira Camp 1

Shira Camp 1 to Moir Camp

Moir Camp

to Buffalo Camp

Buffalo Camp to Rongai 3rd Cave

Rongai 3rd Cave to School Hut

School Hut to Uhuru Peak then to Crater Camp

Crater Camp the to Millennium Camp

Millennium Camp to Mweka Gate

Day 1: Londorosi Gate (2,100m) – Shira Camp 1 (3,720m)
Distance Approximation: 14 km
Habitat: Moorland
The Northern Circuit Route begins at Londorosi Gate in the West, the same start point as the Lemosho Route. We depart Moshi for Londorosi Gate, which takes about 2 hours, where you will complete entry formalities. and then you will be driven further up the mountain to the trailhead starting point. On this day you will spend the first hours climbing through the last section of the rainforest path before entering the low alpine moorland which follows up onto the Shira Plateau. If you have lucky, you can spot large wildlife like elephant and buffalo that sometimes emerge from the rainforest onto the path as you climb towards your first camp.

Day 2: Shira Camp 1 (3,720m) - Moir Camp (3,810 m)
Distance Approximation: 14 km
Zone: Alpine Desert
This day we will have a long climb, we will stop to Shira Camp 2 for lunch. We will leave the Shira Plateau ridge behind as we move one to Lava Tower (4,600 meters) passes through the ‘Garden of the Senecios’ and then enters the high alpine desert zone, back down via the Northern Circuit to Moir Camp where you will spend your night.

Day 3: Moir Camp (3,810 m) - Buffalo Camp (4,020 m)
Distance Approximation: 12 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
This day involves a moderately steep climb out of Moir Valley. Climbers can take a small detour here to climb the summit of Little Lent Hill 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. This place of the trail offers great views 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 climbing.

Day 4: Buffalo Camp (4,020 m) - Rongai Third Cave (3,800 m)
Distance Approximation: 8 km
Habitat: Moorland
We will start with a climb up the Buffalo Ridge and down into Pofu Camp where lunch is usually served. This route is rarely travelled and we will enjoy its mountain wilderness feel. The route continues to east around the northern slopes to the Rongai Third Cave. The climb is shorter than the day before and you will be feeling well acclimatized to the altitude. You may arrive at the Third Cave just around mid-afternoon.

Day 5: Rongai 3rd Cave (3,800 m) to School Hut (4,800 m)
Distance Approximation: 5 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 5 involves a steady incline up and over the Saddle which sits between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi Peak. You will continue walking south-west up to School Hut. Once you arrive at School Hut here we rest, enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. 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.

Day 6: School Hut (4,800 m) - Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) - Millennium Camp (3,950 m)
Distance Approximation: 16 km
Habitat: Arctic and Rain Forest
You will be awoken around 11:30 with hot tea and biscuits and then begin the steep incline up the slopes of Kibo under the cover of darkness. Your first checkpoint will be at 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 to 6 hours after departing School Hut. You will take a moment here to enjoy the approaching dawn and incredible view out and across to Mawenzi Peak, but remember you will still have 2 hours climbing to reach Uhuru Peak. The slope flattens as you head west around the crater rim and you should arrive at the summit at or just after sunrise. You will 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. You may decide to take a short break here before continuing down to Millennium Camp for your final night on the mountain. You will be climbing for 11 up to 15 hours so it is important to pace yourself, remain hydrated and keep your blood sugar levels up.

Day 7: Millennium Camp (3,950 m) - Mweka Gate (1,640 m)
Distance Approximation: 12 km
Habitat: Rainforest
After a hearty breakfast and a traditional farewell ceremony by your mountain crew. On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. A green certificate for those who made it to Gilman’s Point and a gold certificate for those who reached Uhuru Peak. A leisurely 3 to 4 hours walk will once again take you through the lush rainforest, where the endemic Impatiens Kilimanjaro flower grows. Reaching Mweka Gate you will be greeted by our transfer driver, who will take you back to your Hotel/Lodge. It is customary to give your guides and porters tips at this point before being driven back to your hotel/lodge. The rest of the day is for you to enjoy at leisure, enjoy a long shower, jump in the pool or just relax at the bar.

Day 1: Londorosi Gate (2,100m) – Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,821m)
Distance Approximation: 6 km
Habitat: Montane Forest
The Northern Circuit Route begins at Londorosi Gate in the West, the same start point as the Lemosho Route. We depart Moshi for Londorosi Gate, which takes about 2 hours, where you will complete entry formalities. and then you will be driven further up the mountain to the trailhead starting point. We may serve lunch here before the short first day climb to Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,821 meters) begins. If you have lucky, you can spot large wildlife like elephant and buffalo that sometimes emerge from the rainforest onto the path as you climb towards your first camp.

Day 2: Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,821m) – Shira Camp 1 (3,720m)
Distance Approximation: 8 km
Habitat: Moorland
On this day you will spend the first hour climbing through the last section of rainforest path before entering the low alpine moorland habitat which follows up onto the Shira Plateau. We may reach the Shira Ridge before dropping gently down to Shira 1 Camp. This climb is relatively short and gradual, ending at Shira Camp 1.

Day 3: Shira Camp 1 (3,720m) - Moir Camp (3,810 m)
Distance Approximation: 14 km
Zone: Alpine Desert
This day we will have long climb, we will stop to Shira Camp 2 for lunch. We will leave the Shira Plateau ridge behind as we move one to Lava Tower (4,600 meters) passes through the ‘Garden of the Senecios’ and then enters the high alpine desert zone, back down via the Northern Circuit to Moir Camp where you will spend your night.

Day 4: Moir Camp (3,810 m) - Buffalo Camp (4,020 m)
Distance Approximation: 12 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
This day involves a moderately steep climb out of Moir Valley. Climbers can take a small detour here to climb the summit of Little Lent Hill 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. This place of the trail offers great views 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 climbing.

Day 5: Buffalo Camp (4,020 m) - Rongai Third Cave (3,800 m)
Distance Approximation: 8 km
Habitat: Moorland
We will start with a climb up the Buffalo Ridge and down into Pofu Camp where lunch is usually served. This route is rarely travelled and we will enjoy its mountain wilderness feel. The route continues to east around the northern slopes to the Rongai Third Cave. The climb is shorter than the day before and you will be feeling well acclimatized to the altitude. You may arrive at the Third Cave just around mid-afternoon.

Day 6: Rongai 3rd Cave (3,800 m) to School Hut (4,800 m)
Distance Approximation: 5 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 6 involves a steady incline up and over the Saddle which sits between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi Peak. You will continue walking south-west up to School Hut. Once you arrive at School Hut here we rest, enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. 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.

Day 7: School Hut (4,800 m) - Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) - Millennium Camp (3,950 m)
Distance Approximation: 16 km
Habitat: Arctic and Rain Forest
You will be awoken around 11:30 with hot tea and biscuits and then begin the steep incline up the slopes of Kibo under the cover of darkness. Your first check-point will be at 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 to 6 hours after departing School Hut. You will take a moment here to enjoy the approaching dawn and incredible view out and across to Mawenzi Peak, but remember you will still have 2 hours climbing to reach Uhuru Peak. The slope flattens as you head west around the crater rim and you should arrive at the summit at or just after sunrise. You will 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. You may decide to take a short break here before continuing down to Millennium Camp for your final night on the mountain. You will be climbing for 11 up to 15 hours so it is important to pace yourself, remain hydrated and keep your blood sugar levels up.

Day 8: Millennium Camp (3,950 m) - Mweka Gate (1,640 m)
Distance Approximation: 12 km
Habitat: Rainforest habitat
After a hearty breakfast and a traditional farewell ceremony by your mountain crew. On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. A green certificate for those who made it to Gilman’s Point and a gold certificate for those who reached Uhuru Peak.. A leisurely 3 to 4 hours walk will once again take you through the lush rainforest, where the endemic Impatiens Kilimanjaro flower grows. Reaching Mweka Gate you will be greeted by our transfer driver, who will take you back to your Hotel/Lodge. It is customary to give your guides and porters tips at this point before being driven back to your hotel/lodge. The rest of the day is for you to enjoy at leisure, enjoy a long shower, jump in the pool or just relax at the bar.

Day 1: Londorosi Gate (2,100m) – Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,821m)
Distance Approximation: 6 km
Habitat: Montane Forest
The Northern Circuit Route begins at Londorosi Gate in the West, the same start point as the Lemosho Route. We depart Moshi for Londorosi Gate, which takes about 2 hours, where you will complete entry formalities. and then you will be driven further up the mountain to the trailhead starting point. We may serve lunch here before the short first day climb to Mti Mkubwa Camp begins. If you have lucky, you can spot large wildlife like elephant and buffalo that sometimes emerge from the rainforest onto the path as you climb towards your first camp.

Day 2: Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,821m) – Shira Camp 1 (3,720m)
Distance Approximation: 8 km
Habitat: Moorland
On this day you will spend the first hour climbing through the last section of rainforest path before entering the low alpine moorland habitat which follows up onto the Shira Plateau. We may reach the Shira Ridge before dropping gently down to Shira 1 Camp. This climb is relatively short and gradual, ending at Shira Camp 1.

Day 3: Shira Camp 1 (3,720m) – Shira Camp 2 (3,840m)
Distance Approximation: 6.9km
Habitat: Moorland
On Day 3 the climb we will cross the Shira Plateau from Shira Camp 1 to Shira Camp 2. Climbers usually spend the night at Shira Camp 2 where you will have a chance to join other climbers from the Machame Route. It is worth climbing a little higher up the plateau to enjoy the stunning view across the valley below and Western Breach of Kilimanjaro above at Shira Camp 2. The plateau is exposed so be prepared for a cold night with temperatures getting below zero.

Day 4: Shira Camp 2 (3,840 m) - Lava Tower (4,640 m) - Moir Camp (3,810 m)
Distance Approximation: 14 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
This day we have long climb, heading east which passes through the ‘Garden of the Senecios’ and then enters the high alpine desert habitat. The morning is spent climbing up to Lava Tower and the iconic Shark’s Tooth rock formation at 4,640 meters, where you will have lunch. After lunch you will join the northern circuit heading down to Moir Camp. A variety of walks are available on Lent Hills making this an excellent acclimatization opportunity. Shira Plateau is one of the highest plateaus on earth.

Day 5: Moir Camp (3,810 m) - Buffalo Camp (4,020 m)
Distance Approximation: 12 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 5 involves a moderately steep climb out of Moir Valley. Climbers can take a small detour here to climb the summit of Little Lent Hill 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. This place of the trail offers great views 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 climbing.

Day 6: Buffalo Camp (4,020 m) - Rongai Third Cave (3,800 m)
Distance Approximation: 8 km
Habitat: Moorland
We will start with a climb up the Buffalo Ridge and down into Porfu Camp where lunch is usually served. This route is rarely travelled and we will enjoy its mountain wilderness feel. The route continues to east around the northern slopes to the Rongai Third Cave. The climb is shorter than the day before and you will be feeling well acclimatized to the altitude. You may arrive at the Third Cave just around mid-afternoon.

Day 7: Rongai 3rd Cave (3,800 m) to School Hut (4,800 m)
Distance Approximation: 5 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 7 involves a steady incline up and over the Saddle which sits between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi Peak. You will continue walking south-west up to School Hut. Once you arrive at School Hut here we rest, enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. 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.

Day 8: School Hut (4,800 m) - Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) - Millennium Camp (3,950 m)
Distance Approximation: 16 km
Habitat: Arctic and Rain Forest
You will be awoken around 11:30 with hot tea and biscuits and then begin the steep incline up the slopes of Kibo under the cover of darkness. Your first checkpoint will be at 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 to 6 hours after departing School Hut. You will take a moment here to enjoy the approaching dawn and incredible view out and across to Mawenzi Peak, but remember you will still have 2 hours climbing to reach Uhuru Peak. The slope flattens as you head west around the crater rim and you should arrive at the summit at or just after sunrise. You will 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. You may decide to take a short break here before continuing down to Millennium Camp for your final night on the mountain. You will be climbing for 11 up to 15 hours so it is important to pace yourself, remain hydrated and keep your blood sugar levels up.

Day 9: Millennium Camp (3,950 m) - Mweka Gate (1,640 m)
Distance Approximation: 12 km Habitat: Rainforest habitat After a hearty breakfast and a traditional farewell ceremony by your mountain crew. On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. A green certificate for those who made it to Gilman’s Point and a gold certificate for those who reached Uhuru Peak. A leisurely 3 to 4 hours walk will once again take you through the lush rainforest, where the endemic Impatiens Kilimanjaro flower grows. Reaching Mweka Gate you will be greeted by our transfer driver, who will take you back to your Hotel/Lodge. It is customary to give your guides and porters tips at this point before being driven back to your hotel/lodge. The rest of the day is for you to enjoy at leisure, enjoy a long shower, jump in the pool or just relax at the bar.

Tour Package Includes:

🗸 Airport and Mt. transfer fees.
🗸 2 Night Hotel accommodation in Arusha or Moshi.
🗸 Quality, Waterproof, four-season private mountain sleeping tent.
🗸 Quality Mess tents with table and chairs.
🗸 Free Arusha/Moshi City walking tour.
🗸 Certified, experienced, English speaking mountain guides
🗸 All Tanzanian National Park Fees including Rescue Fees, Taxes and Permits.
🗸 Baggage Storage for excess unused staffs
🗸 All hot Meals prepared by our cook.
🗸 Clean, purified Drinking water during climbing..
🗸 Salaries for the mountain crew above KIATO payment requirement.
🗸 Personal Summit Certificate signed by the National Park and your Guide.

Tour Package Excludes:

🗙 International and local airfares.
🗙 Tips for guides, porters and cook and gratuities (high recommended).
🗙 Laundry services.
🗙 Tanzania Entry visa and other permits.
🗙 Travel insurance.
🗙 Meals and drinks not specified
🗙 Private mountain gears.
🗙 Other Items of a personal nature and unspecified services.

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