• Arusha - Tanzania
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Northern Circuit Route


9 Days

Climbing to


Area to Visit

Londrossi Gate, Camp (Mti Mkubwa, Shira 1&2 to Lava Tower, Moir Hut, Buffalo, Third Cave, School Hut to Uhuru Peak, Mweka) and Mweka Gate


The Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit Route is an unforgettable adventure. This relatively new route ascends Kilimanjaro’s more scenic and tranquil western slope before traversing nearly the entire mountain to the summit. Because there are almost no other groups on the northern face, this is without a doubt one of the most scenic and peaceful journeys up Africa’s highest point. The first three days of the ascent follow the same path as the Lemosho Route.

The path then turns north and follows the northern flank of the mountain to Third Caves, where it meets the Rongai Route. Ascend to School Hut, then follow the Marangu Route to the summit via Gilman’s Point. You will descend the mountain via the Mweka trail after reaching the summit. You will be transferred to and from the mountain in a private vehicle. This trip’s accommodation on the mountain will be in tented camps – a true adventure.


Day by Day

Day 0: Arrival Day

When you arrive in Tanzania, whether through Kilimanjaro International Airport or Arusha Airport, you will be met by our native professional driver guide, who will provide you with important information and details about your trip and program. He will help you load and sort your luggage before driving you to your hotel for rest, dinner, and overnight. On the way to the hotel, your driver guide will share the best stories and information about Tanzania and its people’s culture with you.

Day 1: Londorosi gate to Mti mkubwa Camp

Elevation: 2100m to 2850m

After breakfast, we’ll head to the western side of Kilimanjaro, to the Londorossi Gate, where we’ll meet up with our porters and guides. Our staff will prepare the supplies and equipment for our trek after we have registered your climb. We can rest and take pictures here while our luggage is weighed and the other necessary trip formalities are completed.

Then we’ll start climbing. The trail gently ascends through the mountain forest, and near the end of the journey, we’ll arrive at the first camp, which will already be set up and waiting for us. Tonight, we’ll sleep under the forest canopy, listening to the sounds of birds and velvet monkeys calling to one another, a truly unique experience.

Day 2: Mti Mkubwa Camp to Shira 1 Camp

Elevation: 2100m to 2850m

We leave the rainforest behind and enter the heath and moorland zone. Today, we have incredible panoramic views that allow us to reach the rim of the Shira Plateau and enjoy the breathtaking views from the ridge. This day will test your body’s acclimatization, but you’ll be in good hands because we’ll be taking short, continuous breaks. Then we’ll camp on the Shira Plateau.

Day 3: Shira Camp 1 to Shira Camp

Elevation: 3505m to 3840m

In terms of terrain and elevation, this is a short day. We’ll aim for a 350m/1,148ft ascent via gentle hiking. This will be a resetting and acclimatization day, as well as an opportunity to explore the Shira Plateau while taking in views of Kibo, the largest of Kilimanjaro’s three volcanic cones.

Day 4: Shira Camp 2 to Lava Tower to Moir Hut

Elevation: 3840m to 4600m to 4200m

This is a critical day in your development and progression up the mountain. A critical day for acclimatization. We will serve lunch at the Lava Tower, rest, and then descend to Moir Hut, where we will deviate from the main trail.

Day 5: Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp

Elevation: 4200m to 4033m

We start out with a moderately steep ascent out of Moir Valley. Take a short detour to the summit of Little Lent Hill (4,375 meters) before returning to the Northern Circuit trail. The trail follows a series of inclines and declines around Kibo’s northern slopes to Buffalo Camp. Views of the plains north of Kilimanjaro that stretch as far as the eye can see to the Kenyan/Tanzanian border are spectacular. You will arrive at Buffalo Camp shortly after midday, where you will eat lunch and rest.

Day 6: Buffalo Camp to Third Cave Camp

Elevation: 4033m to 3936m

The sixth day begins with a climb up the Buffalo Ridge and a descent into Pofu Camp, where lunch is served. We continue east to the Rongai Third Cave, which is located on the northern slopes. Today’s ascent is shorter than yesterday’s, and you should be feeling more acclimatized to the altitude by now. You’ll get to the Third Cave around mid-afternoon.

Day 7: Third Cave to School Hut

Elevation: 3936m to 4800m

The ascent to the saddle, a lunar landscape between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi, is steady. We continue upwards from here and arrive at School Hut in the early afternoon. The rest of the afternoon is spent resting and getting ready for the summit day.

Day 8: School Hut to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Elevation: 4800m to 5895m to 3106m

Around 00:30 a.m., we begin the final and most difficult part of the climb on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman’s Point. We take a short break here to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. We continue on to Uhuru Peak, passing close to the magnificent glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy the majority of the summit area. We return along the crater rim to Stella Point before descending through Barafu Camp to Mweka Camp.

Day 9: Mweka Camp to Mweka gate

Elevation: 3106m to 1640m

We’ll finish our breathtaking journey through the lush forest by descending to Mweka Gate. The presence of colobus/blue monkeys, as well as the sound of melodic birdsong, will help to make the long descent more bearable. We will then leave the national park, collect our summit certificate, and walk through a coffee farm before returning to Arusha/Moshi.


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