9 Day Northern Circuit

Depart from Arusha or Moshi. The Northern Circuit is the newest and longest route on Mount Kilimanjaro.

It begins in the West at the Londorossi Gate and follows the same path as the Lemosho route for the first two days. After crossing the Shira plateau the path veers north near Lava Tower, following the longer Northern Circuit instead of the more popular Southern Circuit via Barranco Valley The route circles around the quieter northern slopes to the east side of the mountain.

The Northern Circuit is longer than the other trails on Kilimanjaro, taking a minimum of eight or nine days to complete. The eight day trek skips the additional acclimatization day that is usually spent at Shira Camp 2 and continues straight on to Moir Camp.

You will be picked up at the Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to Parkview In hotel/Kilimanjaro wonders Hotel or any booked 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 is Bed & Breakfast included

Day 1

Londorossi Gate (2,100 meters) – start point 2,360 meters to Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,820 meters)

Distance:5.5km 
Trekking time: 3-4 hours 
Zone: Rainforest

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. 

Day 2

Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,820 meters) to Shira Camp 1 (3,610 meters) Shira 1

Distance:8km  
Trekking time: 5-6 hours 
Zone: Rainforest / Low Alpine Zone

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). 

Day 3

Shira Camp 1 (3,610 meters) to Moir Camp (4,200 meters) Moir Camp

Distance:15km
Trekking time: 5-7 hours 
Zone: Low alpine zone / High alpine zone

Day three 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 acclimatization process. 

Day 4

Moir Camp (4,200 meters) to Buffalo Camp (4,020 meters) Buffalo Camp

Distance:12km 
Trekking time: 5-7 hours 
Zone: High alpine zone

Day four 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. 

Day 5

Buffalo Camp (4,020 meters) to Rongai Third Cave (3,800 meters) Rongai Third Cave

Distance:8km 
Trekking time: 5-7 hours 
Zone: High alpine zone and low alpine zone

Day five 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. 

Day 6

3rd Cave (3,800 meters) to School Hut (4,800 meters) School Hut

Distance:15km
Trekking time: 4-5 hours 
Zone: High alpine zone and glacial zone

Day six 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. 

Day 7

School Hut (4,800 meters) to UHURU PEAK (5895m) to Crater Camp (5,790m) Uhuru Peak

Distance:6km Ascending 
Trekking time: 6-8 hours ascent 
Zone: Glacial zone

Wake before dawn to start your summit approach. You’ll reach Uhuru Peak in the early afternoon, when few groups are around. A short descent brings you to Crater Camp, set in soft sands near the famed Furtwangler Glacier. Crater camp is not a route in it’s own right but a challenging extension which in principle can be added to any route. It involves sleeping overnight in the bowl of the crater. An amazing experience enjoyed by only a few of the most adventurous climbers. 

Day 8

Crater Camp (5,790m) to Millennium Camp (3790m) Millennium Camp

Distance: 13.4km 
Approx. time taken: 13 – 15 hours 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

In the morning after early breakfast, we begin our descent by returning to Stella Point and then descending on scree slope passing Barafu camp for a short break before heading down to Millennium Camp for a long well-earned rest. 

Day 9

Millennium Camp (3790m) to Mweka Gate (1630m) Mweka Gate

Distance: 12.1km
Approx. time taken: 7 hours 
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch Included

Today you walk down through the rain forest to Mweka Gate, where we complete park formalities and receive certificates, which you can hang up with pride! We are then met by our vehicles and return to your arranged hotel in Moshi. 

Day 10

Depart Tanzania Moshi

Hotel: Bed & Breakfast

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 souvenirs before heading to the airport. Our vehicle will be ready to take you to the airport at your time. 

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