10 Days Northern Circruit Route

The Northern Circuit Route is the longest route on Kilimanjaro, a nine day trip initially ascending Lemosho route on the western side of the mountain up onto the Shira Plateau before reaching the Lava Tower, then heading north and circumnavigating the main summit massif in a clockwise direction and joining up with the Rongai route. The summit is then climbed from the eastern side of the mountain and the descent is straight down via the southern Mweka route. Understandably this is also known as the Grand Traverse or the 360 Route and offers the complete Kilimanjaro experience in terms of all the habitats and the views of the mountain from all sides.

Day 1: Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa (Big Tree) Camp

  • Elevation: 2,250m to 2,800m (7,382ft to 9,186ft)
  • Distance: 6km (4 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rainforest

Your journey begins with a drive from Moshi/Arusha to Londorossi Gate for registration. From there, a short drive brings you to the trailhead. The trek starts through the dense rainforest, reaching Mti Mkubwa Camp for the night.

Day 2: Mti Mkubwa Camp to Shira 1 Camp

  • Elevation: 2,800m to 3,610m (9,186ft to 11,843ft)
  • Distance: 8km (5 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland

The trail continues through the rainforest before transitioning into the heath and moorland zone. You will ascend the Shira Ridge and cross the Shira Plateau, with stunning views of the summit, arriving at Shira 1 Camp.

Day 3: Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp

  • Elevation: 3,610m to 3,850m (11,843ft to 12,631ft)
  • Distance: 7km (4 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland

A gentle hike across the Shira Plateau leads to Shira 2 Camp. This day allows for further acclimatization and provides panoramic views of the mountain and surrounding landscapes.

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

  • Elevation: 3,850m to 4,600m (12,631ft to 15,091ft) (Lava Tower), then down to 4,200m (13,780ft) (Moir Hut)
  • Distance: 14km (9 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

The trek begins with a long ascent to Lava Tower, a striking rock formation. After acclimatizing at 4,600m, you will descend to Moir Hut, located in a secluded area on the mountain. This “climb high, sleep low” approach aids acclimatization.

Day 5: Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp

  • Elevation: 4,200m to 4,020m (13,780ft to 13,188ft)
  • Distance: 12km (7.5 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

From Moir Hut, the trail heads north, circling around the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro. This less-traveled path offers breathtaking views and a sense of solitude. The day ends at Buffalo Camp.

Day 6: Buffalo Camp to Third Cave

  • Elevation: 4,020m to 3,870m (13,188ft to 12,700ft)
  • Distance: 8km (5 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Habitat: Semi-desert

Continuing eastwards, you will trek through the alpine desert landscape. The trail offers stunning views of the Kenyan plains as you make your way to Third Cave for the night.

Day 7: Third Cave to School Hut

  • Elevation: 3,870m to 4,800m (12,700ft to 15,748ft)
  • Distance: 5km (3 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

The hike to School Hut is relatively short but steep, allowing ample time for rest and preparation for the summit push. Upon arrival, you will rest and prepare for the early morning ascent to Uhuru Peak.

Day 8: School Hut to Uhuru Peak to Crater Camp

  • Elevation: 4,800m to 5,895m (15,748ft to 19,341ft) (Uhuru Peak), then down to 5,790m (18,996ft) (Crater Camp)
  • Distance: 6km ascent, 1km descent (3.7 miles ascent, 0.6 miles descent)
  • Hiking Time: 8-10 hours
  • Habitat: Arctic

An early start at midnight, you will begin the most challenging part of the trek to the summit of Uhuru Peak. After reaching the peak and celebrating your accomplishment, you will descend into the crater to camp at Crater Camp, a unique and remote campsite.

Day 9: Crater Camp to Millennium Camp

  • Elevation: 5,790m to 3,820m (18,996ft to 12,533ft)
  • Distance: 12km (7.5 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Habitat: Arctic to Moorland

Leaving the surreal landscape of the crater, you will descend past Barafu Hut and continue down to Millennium Camp. The rapid descent helps with recovery after the summit effort.

Day 10: Millennium Camp to Mweka Gate

  • Elevation: 3,820m to 1,650m (12,533ft to 5,413ft)
  • Distance: 20km (12.5 miles)
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland to Rainforest

The final leg of the journey descends through the lush rainforest to Mweka Gate. Upon arrival, you will complete your registration and receive your summit certificates before being driven back to Moshi/Arusha.

Summary

The 10-day Northern Circuit Route provides a comprehensive and immersive Kilimanjaro experience, combining stunning landscapes, excellent acclimatization, and the thrill of reaching Uhuru Peak. This extended route offers a less crowded and more serene adventure, enhancing your chances of a successful summit.

  • Price Include:
    * All transfers

    * Accommodation
    * all trekking fees,
    * All meals while on the Mountain
    * Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
    * Quality Mess tents with table and chairs
    * English speaking guide
    * Sleeping bags
    * Porters salary
    • 3 meals in a day
    • Mineral drinking water.

    Price Exclude:

    * Tips,
    * medical insurance cover
    * all trekking personal gears
    * alcohol
    * all things of personal nature

    1. What is Mount Kilimanjaro?

      • Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa, located in Tanzania. It is a dormant volcano and one of the most iconic mountains in the world.
    2. How tall is Mount Kilimanjaro?

      • The summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, called Uhuru Peak, stands at an elevation of 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) above sea level.
    3. How long does it take to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

      • The duration of a Kilimanjaro climb varies depending on the route chosen. Most climbs typically range from 5 to 9 days.
    4. What are the different routes up Mount Kilimanjaro?

      • There are several routes to the summit of Kilimanjaro, each with its own characteristics and scenery. Popular routes include the Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Rongai, and Northern Circuit routes.
    5. Is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro difficult?

      • Climbing Kilimanjaro is challenging due to its high altitude, but it doesn’t require technical climbing skills. However, climbers should be physically fit and prepared for the rigors of high-altitude trekking.
    6. Do I need a guide to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

      • Yes, it is mandatory to have a registered guide accompany you on your Kilimanjaro climb. Guides are essential for safety, navigation, and providing support throughout the trek.
    7. When is the best time to climb Mount Kilimanjaro?

      • The best times for climbing Kilimanjaro are during the dry seasons, which are typically from late June to October and from December to March. These months offer clearer skies and better trekking conditions.
    8. What should I pack for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

      • Essential items for climbing Kilimanjaro include proper clothing for varying temperatures, sturdy hiking boots, a good quality sleeping bag, trekking poles, personal medications, and other necessary gear as recommended by your tour operator.
    9. What are the risks of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

      • The main risks of climbing Kilimanjaro include altitude sickness, which can affect anyone regardless of fitness level, as well as other potential hazards such as extreme weather conditions and physical exhaustion.
    10. Do I need to train before climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

      • Yes, it is highly recommended to undergo physical training and preparation before attempting to climb Kilimanjaro. This can include cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and hiking to build endurance and fitness levels.
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