Northern Circuit – 9 Days

  • norhern-circut-

One of the best routes on Kilimanjaro is the Northern Circuit, which offers nearly 360 degrees of breathtaking scenery, including the secluded, little traveled northern slopes. The Northern Circuit is the longest route on Kilimanjaro, allowing for the best acclimatization time and having the highest summit success rate.

The journey begins with a lengthy drive from Moshi or Arusha to Lemosho Gate as Mount Kilimanjaro is approached from the west. The first two s are spent making the trek from there through the rain forest to Shira Ridge and then across the Shira Plateau. The route then turns north and makes a clockwise loop from School Hut to Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp before ascending from the east.

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), Arusha Airport, (ARK/HTAR), Moshi and Arusha
DEPARTURE TIME Please arrive at least 2 hours before the flight.
All Park fees. Entrance , Camping & Rescue Fees Wages for our Professional Mountain Crew
Quality Mountain camping equipment Pre and Post Accommodationin Moshi / Arusha
Airport Transfers. On Arrival and Depature Kilimanjaro Transfer. Before and After Climb
All meals While on the Mountain (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner ) Professional Mountain guide with W.F.R knowledge.
Flights Personal gear
Tips for guides, porters and cook Entry visa for Tanzania
Vaccinations Travel insurance
Dinner in the hotels before and after the climb Optional Tours & Activities

What is the success rate of the Northern Circuit route?

The Machame route has a decent success rate because of the numerous ups and downs that facilitate greater acclimatization. It is advisable to take your time in order to increase your chances of success. The average peak success percentage for the 7- route is 92%. The success rate falls to 85% on average for the 6- itinerary.


Day 1: Arrival.

When you arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), a representative of Kilimanjaro Ascent will be waiting to greet you and drive you to the hotel that is included in the tariff. The hotel offers all the amenities needed for a comfortable stay, including warm rooms, hot water, courteous service, a pool, and Internet connection. There will be a briefing with our management in the evening, and they will make sure you are prepared to start the ascent.

Be aware that check-in begins at 2:00 PM.


Day 2:Ascent From Lemosho gate to Mti Mkubwa / Big Tree Camp.

We leave Moshi/Arusha, which takes around 4 hours, after you have finished the entry procedures. At the trailhead, we stop for lunch before hiking through untamed forest to the first campsite.

  • Elevation (ft): 7,800ft to 9,500ft
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Hiking Time:3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest.


Day 3: Ascent From Mti Mkubwa / Big Tree Camp to Shira 1 Camp.

We keep moving down the track that emerges from the woods and enters a savannah of high grasses, heather, and volcanic rock covered in lichen beards. We reach the Shira Ridge before descending gently to Shira 1 camp as we ascend through the verdant undulating hills and cross various streams. From over the plateau, there is a breathtaking view of Kibo.

  • Elevation (ft): 9,500ft to 11,500ft
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Hiking Time 5-6 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland


Day 4: Ascent From Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp.

We spend the entire exploring the Shira plateau. Shira 2 camp is located on moorland meadows near a stream and is reached after a leisurely stroll east toward Kibo’s glaciated peak over the plateau. We next proceed to Moir Hut, a remote location at the foot of Lent Hills. Lent Hills offers a wide range of treks, making this a fantastic chance to acclimate. One of the highest plateaus on earth is Shira.

  • Elevation (ft): 11,500ft to 13,800 ft
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Hiking Time: 3-5 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland


Day 5: Ascent From Shira 2 Camp to Muir hut Camp via Lover Tower

We continue eastward along a ridge before turning southeastward in the direction of the 300-foot-tall Lava Tower, a volcanic rock formation. Then we leave the main trail and head off to Moir Hut, a remote location at the foot of Lent Hills. Lent Hills offers a wide range of treks, making this a fantastic chance to acclimate. One of the highest plateaus in the planet is the Shira Plateau.

Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower

  • Elevation: 12,500 ft to 15,190 ftDistance: 7 km
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Lava Tower to Moir Hut

  • Elevation: 15,190 ft to 13,580 ft
  • Distance: 7 km
  • Hiking Time: 2-3 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert


Day 6: Ascent From Muir hut Camp to Pofu/buffalo Camp.

We climb out of Moir Valley before continuing on to the top of Lent Hills and then returning to the main trail. Before arriving at Buffalo Camp, the road passes through a field of rocks and gently sways. Great views of the plains that extend to the Kenyan/Tanzanian border and are located north of Mount Kilimanjaro may be seen from this part of the trek.

  • Elevation: 13,580 ft to 13,200 ft
  • Distance: 12 km
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert


Day 7: Ascent From Buffalo/Pofu Camp to Third Cave Camp.

The ground becomes more sparse as we climb Buffalo Ridge. We will appreciate the feeling of being in a mountain wilderness along this infrequently traveled road. Up until we reach Third Cave, we go through isolated valleys on the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro.

  • Elevation: 13,200 ft to 12,700 ft
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Heath


Day 8: Ascent From Third Cave Camp to School hut Camp

Between Kibo and Mawenzi, there is a “Saddle” that we gradually ascend and cross. We proceed to School Hut, where we will camp. After arriving, we take a nap and eat a light dinner to get ready for the summit .

  • Elevation: 12,700 ft to 15,600 ft
  • Distance: 5 km
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert


Day 9: Ascent from School hut Camp to Summit then down to Mweka / Millennium Camp

We start the ascent very early in the morning (about midnight). The hardest part of the walk both physically and mentally is this section. At this altitude and time of , the wind and cold can be very strong. We climb in the dark for several hours, stopping frequently but only briefly. You will be rewarded with the most breathtaking sunrise you are ever likely to witness approaching Mawenzi Peak at Gilman’s Point (18,600 feet). Finally, we reach Uhuru Peak, which is both Mount Kilimanjaro’s and Africa’s highest point.
We now begin our descent from the summit, going straight down to the Mweka Hut campsite while pausing at Barafu for lunch. Trekking poles are helpful because the terrain is fairly rocky and can be quite taxing on the knees. Due to its location in the upper forest, Mweka Camp may experience late-afternoon mist or rain. We have our final meal on the mountain later in the evening before a well-earned rest.

School Hut to Uhuru Peak

  • Elevation: 15,600 ft to 19,341 ft
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Habitat: Arctic

Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp/Millennium Camp

  • Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft
  • Distance: 12 km
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Habitat: Artic


Day 10: Descent from Mweka / Millennium Camp to Mweka gate.

We continue the descent to the Mweka Park Gate to pick up your summit certificates after breakfast. It could be muddy and damp at lower altitudes. Trekking poles and gaiters will be useful. Most likely, there will be enough to wear: shorts and t-shirts (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). You travel another hour to Mweka Village from the gate. You will be met by a car at the village of Mweka and driven back to your accommodation in Moshi / Arusha

  • Elevation (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft
  • Distance: 10 km / 13.5 from Millennium camp
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest


Day 11: Depature

We continue the descent to Mweka Gate on our final , where we pick up the summit certificates. It could be muddy and damp at lower altitudes. We go another hour to Mweka Village from the gate. We’ll be picked up by a car at Mweka Village and taken back to our Moshi / Arusha

2 reviews for Northern Circuit – 9 Days

  1. Kilimanjaro_Ascent


    Amazing Kilimanjaro Experience!!

  2. Kilimanjaro_Ascent


    Amazing Kilimanjaro Experience in Tanzania !!

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