Northern Circuit Route
The Northern Circuit route is one of the best routes on Kilimanjaro mainly because it offers nearly 360 degrees of wonderful landscapes including quiet and little known slopes.
The success rate of this path is extraordinarily high and this is mostly due to the fact that the itinerary includes acclimatization time and the duration of the climb allows to face this experience with more serenity. Therefore it is highly recommended.
Northern Circuit route approaches Kilimanjaro from the western side, starting with a long drive from Moshi to the Londorossi gate.
The first two days are in common with the Lemosho Route and are spent trekking through the rainforest to Shira Ridge, before crossing the Shira plateau. Northern Circuit route then heads north and turns clockwise from Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp to School Hut, before climbing from the eastern side. The descent is undertook through the Mweka route.
Northern Circuit Route: day by day program
Day 1 – Pick up at Kilimanjaro
Upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro airport, one of our guides will welcome you and bring you to the Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel in Moshi. The rest of the day is free time till the evening when you will attend the trekking briefing during which the guide will check your equipment and give you all the necessary information to undertake this incredible adventure.
Day 2 – Moshi – Londorossi Gate (2,100m) – Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,750m)
Hiking time: 3-4 hours.
In the morning you will leave for the Londorossi Gate which will be reached in about 4 hours. After completing the administrative formalities, you will start walking through the dense rainforest reaching the Camp in around 4 hours
Day 3 – Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,750m) – Shira Camp 1 (3,500m)
Hiking time: 5-6 hours.
You will keep climbing the path till you will be out of the rainforest. You will cross hills, several streams and finally you will reach the Shira ridge before going down to the Shira 1 camp, where you will be able to admire the Kibo glacier for the first time.
Day 4 – Shira Camp 1 (3,500m) – Shira Camp 2 (3,810m)
Hiking time: 3-4 hours.
Day dedicated to the exploration of the Shira plateau, one of the highest worldwide. It is a pleasant walk towards East on the heath meadows to Shira Camp 2.
Day 5 – Shira Camp 2 (3,810m) – Lava Tower Hut (4,640m) – Moir Hut (4,160m)
Hiking time: 6-8 hours.
Today you will go up for about 800 m but the Camp for the night will be slightly higher than the day before. This will allow the body to acclimatise. The trek begins with a climb in the direction of the Lava Tower. Vegetation becomes scarcer as the landscape changes in an Afro-Alpine desert. Then, you will start getting down towards Moir Hut, a little known location at the base of the Lent Hills, where you can take several walks, making it an excellent acclimatization opportunity.
Day 6 – Moir Hut (4,160m) – Buffalo Camp (4,020m)
Hiking time: 5-7 hours.
Acclimatization day. We leave Moir Hut through a quite steep climb, with a deviation to the top of Lent Hills, before returning to the main path. The path crosses a rocky field and gently sways before reaching Buffalo Camp. This section of the trail offers beautiful views of the plains that are located north of Kilimanjaro and extend to the border with Kenya.
Day 7 – Buffalo Camp (4,020m) – Third Cave (3,870m)
Hiking time: 5-7 hours.
The path is rarely traveled by other climbers and gives the opportunity to enjoy the wild atmosphere of this area. You will cross remote valleys until to the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro. Finally, you will arrive to Third Cave.
Day 8 – Third Cave (3,870m) – School Hut (4,750m)
Hiking time: 4-5 hours.
Going up you will cross the “Saddle”, which is located between Kibo and Mawenzi. The rest of the day will be devoted for resting and getting ready for the final climb.
Day 9 – School Hut (4,750m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895m) – Mweka Camp (3,080m)
Hiking time: 12-14 hours .
Today is the big day. It will start in the middle of the night. The moon and torches will be the only light sources during the climb towards Stella Point (5,730 m), reaching the edge of the crater in about 5-7 hours. A couple of hours more separate us from Uhuru Peak, where you can finally enjoy the sun rising over the African landscape.
The descent head Barafu Camp, where you can rest and relax a bit before moving to Mweka Camp for the last night on Kilimanjaro.
Day 10 – Mweka Camp (3,080m) – Mweka Gate (1,630m) – Arusha
Hiking time: 2-3 hours .
Once again the descend will be through the rainforest, with the possibility to spot colobus monkeys, reaching the Mweka gate of Kilimanjaro National Park at the end. Once got to the park entrance, we will carry on with a private vehicle with final destination the Tulia Boutique Hotel & Spa in Arusha.