Northern Circuit Climb Kilimanjaro 9 days

The longest route on Mount Kilimanjaro is also its newest, but the Northern Circuit is gaining popularity due to its high success rate and its gorgeous views.

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Description

DAY 1: LONDOROSSI GATE TO MTI MKUBWA

  • Distance: 11 km
  • Hiking Time: 3 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

Drive from Moshi or Arusha to  Londorossi Gate, where we will complete entry formalities. From here a forest track requiring one hour drive to Lemosho Glades. After lunch, we will walk along forest trails to Mti Mkubwa (big tree) campsite,

DAY 2: MTI MKUBWA TO SHIRA CAMP 1

  • Distance: 8km
  • Hiking Time: 7 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland

We will follow a trail that leads out of the forest and into a savannah giant heather moorland zone. Ours ascend through scenic rolling hills, we will cross several streams to reach the Shira Ridge before descending to Shira 1 camp. The view of Kibo from the plateau is spectacular.

DAY 3: SHIRA CAMP 1 TO SHIRA CAMP 2

  • Distance: 6km
  • Hiking Time: 2 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland

A gentle walk across the plateau leads to Shira 2 camp on moorland meadows by a stream. A variety of walks are available on the plateau making this an excellent acclimatization day. Shira is one of the highest plateaus on Earth.

DAY 4: SHIRA CAMP 2 TO MOIR HUT

  • Distance: 5km
  • Hiking Time: 3-5 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland / Alpine Desert

Today we continue to Moir Hut, a little-used site on the base of Lent Hills. A variety of walks are available on Lent Hills making this an excellent acclimatization opportunity. Shira is one of the highest plateaus on earth.

DAY 5: MOIR HUT TO BUFFALO CAMP

  • Distance: 12km
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Today we take a moderately steep climb out of Moir Valley. You will have the opportunity for a small detour to climb the summit of Little Lent Hill at 4375m before returning to the Northern Circuit path. 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.

DAY 6: BUFFALO CAMP TO THIRD CAVE

  • Distance: 8km
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: High Alpine zone

As we head up Buffalo Ridge, and down to Porfu Camp where the lunch will be served.  This route is rarely traveled and we will enjoy its mountain wilderness feel. We trek through remote valleys onto the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro until we arrive at Third Cave in the afternoon.

DAY 7: THIRD CAVE TO SCHOOL HUT

  • Distance: 15km
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: High Alpine zone

Today we take a steady ascend over the Saddle, nestled between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. The path leads further south-west toward School Hut, where you will be served with early dinner, after which you should get some sleep because 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 8: SCHOOL HUT TO UHURU PEAK TO MILLENNIUM CAMP

  • Distance: 6km (Descend distance 11km)
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours ascent and 4-6 hour descent
  • Habitat: Glacial zone and all preceding zones

You will be awoken around midnight and served with hot tea and biscuits, after the refreshment will begin the steep incline up the slopes of Kibo, under the cover of the night. The first check-point is Hans Meyer Cave where you will take a short break, and then climb steeply to Gilman’s Point (5681m. Take a moment to enjoy the incredible view of Mawenzi Peak, before we start the final 2 hours of trekking to Uhuru Peak. The slope flattens as we head west around the crater rim and should arrive at the summit at dawn. We will stay briefly at the top for you to get as many photos as you can of the incredible views and surrounding glaciers. We will then retrace our steps back around the crater rim to Stella Point, where we turn south and head down the heavily screed slopes of Kibo to Barafu Camp. After a short break here we continue down to Millennium Camp 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.

DAY 9: MILLENNIUM CAMP TO MWEKA GATE

  • Distance: 6km (Descend distance 11km)
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours ascent and 4-6 hour descent
  • Habitat: Rainforest zone

Today the path descends steeply through the lush Mweka Rain Forest. The route follows the crest of a broad ridge separating two river valleys until it meets with a road that leads us for the last 40 mins to the Mweka Park gates where we stop for a well-deserved picnic lunch where successful hikers will receive their summit certificates (gold for Uhuru Peak, green for Stella Point) from the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority. A vehicle will meet you at the gate to drive you back to the hotel in Moshi or Arusha.

Additional information

The climb cost includes:

Transfers:
Pick-up and drop-off at Kilimanjaro International Airport;
Transfer to the trailhead – entry gate to Kilimanjaro National Park;
Pick-up at the exit from Kilimanjaro National Park and transfer to the hotel;
Entry fees:
All park fees collected by the Kilimanjaro National Park ( conservation fees, camping fees, crew fees, vehicle fee, rescue fee and all other fees collected by the Tanzania National Parks Authority).
Accommodation:
One night at 3* hotel (Aishi Machame Hotel or Altezza Lodge) before the expedition and one night after; The hotels have everything for your comfortable stay – caring staff, nice rooms, reliable Wi-Fi, restaurant and swimming pool);
Tented accommodation on Mount Kilimanjaro (modern, comfortable 4-Season tents North Face VE-25 or Altezza Kilimanjaro Tents).
Please note:

All accommodation is on sharing basis (i.e. you will be sharing with your travel companion a twin/double room in the hotel and a tent during the hike. If you travel alone, we will match you with a same-sex adventurer).

Meals:
Breakfast in the hotel before and after the hike;
All meals on the hike. Our Kilimanjaro diet includes energy-rich and highly nutritious meals prepared by our professional high-altitude cooks.A typical diet on Kilimanjaro includes different soups, garnishes, several types of fish and meat, fresh fruit and vegetables; vegetarian/gluten-free/halal options are available at no extra cost;
All drinks on the hike (coffee, tea, hot chocolate and water).
Hiking and safety equipment
4-inch (10-cm) thick and comfortable sleeping mats;
All group equipment (spacious and comfortable dining tent, camping table and chairs, crockery and cutlery);
Oxygen cylinders and oximeters;
GPS-tracking service;
Complete medical kits.
Climbing crew:
Professional guides, licensed by Kilimanjaro National Park. All our guides are the holder of Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness First Aid certifications. All our guides have 7+years of successful mountaineering experience;
Dedicated support crew (assistant guides, camp master, porters, cooks, etc.).

The climb cost excludes:

Airline tickets;
Visa fee;
Lunch and dinner at the hotel (before and after the ascent);
Personal gear rentals;
Tips for the mountain crew (200–250 USD per person);
Mountaineering insurance.

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