Northern Circuit Route
Experience the newest route on Kilimanjaro 11 days
Be one of the first to climb the summit of Kilimanjaro on the new Northern Circuit Route! For thousands of years, the imposing splendor of Africa’s highest mountain haunts human imagination. For the first time ever, Karibu Adventure offers tours the opportunity to experience the most recent route on Kilimanjaro. On the incredible 11-day Northern Circuit route, you will not only experience the newest, but also the longest and most visually diverse route to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Through the length of the ascent, you will go through the optimal altitude acclimation. As a result, the Northern Circuit Route has the best chance of reaching the summit on all routes. Along the way, you’ll be able to see spectacular scenery and comb through the pristine wilderness and desert. You walk off the beaten track and venture a route that only a few have climbed in front of you.
The Northern Circuit Route is still a well-kept secret – be among the first pioneers! Take a look at our itinerary and read what awaits you on the unforgettable Kilimanjaro adventure:
1st day: Kilimanjaro Airport to Moshi
The first day on your incredible journey is full of anticipation and takes you to the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro. You will be warmly received at the airport by our driver who will take you to the hotel in Moshi. After reaching the hotel your Kilimanjaro orientation will be done by your guide. Our expert team will discuss with you all the important details of your route and give you final tips for a successful hike. Your hiking equipment will then be thoroughly checked and you may be able to borrow missing equipment. The rest of the day is at your leisure.
Day 2: Londorossi Gate (2350m) to Mti Mkubwa (2750m)
Hiking time: 3 hours
Distance: 7 km
Height gain: 450m
You start early in the day! After a hearty breakfast, head to the Londorossi Gate with your mountain team. The 3-hour drive is a remarkable cultural experience, traversing the fascinating cities of Boma N’gombe and Sanya Juu. Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro National Park, the authorities will register you for your trek as our team prepares everything for your ascent. Take the time and get to know all the members of your crew, including your porters and the cook. After registration, continue up the hill to the starting point of your hike. On the first leg of your Kilimanjaro ascent, you’ll wander through untamed wilderness, past ancient and exotic plant species. Black and white colobus monkeys bounce through the lush rainforest, while you may catch a glimpse of larger mammals such as elephants or buffaloes. Your destination for the day is Mti Mkubwa Camp (2750 m), where you can relax for the rest of the day.
Day 3: Mti Mkubwa (2,750m) to Shira Camp 1 (3,550m)
Walking time: 6-7 hours
Distance: 10 km
Height gain: 800m
The day starts on the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro and you have the longest and most spectacular day ahead of you. You will pass through the last sections of the rainforest before the majestic barren landscape of the Moorland Zone pops up in front of you. Marvel at rare plant species, including the giant purple lobelia and the wild vegetation. Wander through the massive Shira Plateau, the remains of an ancient volcanic crater. You will then cross the Shira Ridge on the slopes of Shira Camp 1 (3,600m) where your crew will pitch up for you.
Day 4: Shira Camp 1 (3,550m) to Shira Camp 2 (3,840m)
Walking time: 3-4 hours
Distance: 8 km
Height gain: 290m
After a warm breakfast, you will continue your scenic hike through the moorland. Few visitors have frequented this section of Kilimanjaro, allowing you to fully experience its pristine beauty. Along the Shira Plateau, you will be greeted by a truly breathtaking view of the top of Kilimanjaro, before you reach Shira Camp 2 (3810 m). The rest of the day is at your leisure to explore the spectacular area, including the iconic Shira Cathedral, a towering volcanic stone formation. Your guide will take you on a short hike to help you get used to the altitude.
Day 5: Shira Camp 2 (3840 m) to the Moir Hut Camp (4,200 m)
Walking time: 5-7 hours
Distance: 14 km
Height gain: 610m
The fifth day of the Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit Route will take you east to the High Alps Desert. Here, join the Lemosho Route with the popular Machame Route before taking your lonesome walk. Marvel at the various desert plant species and the iconic shark-tooth volcanic rock formation on the way to the Lava Tower. The hike to the Lawa Tower involves smooth acclimatization to the altitude. The end of the day is in sight as soon as you discover the Moir Camp (4,200 m) behind the magnificent Lent Hills. There you can put your feet up and enjoy a hot meal.
Day 6: Moir Hut Camp (4,200 m) to the Buffalo Camp (4020 m)
Walking time: 5 – 7 hours
Distance: 12 km
Height loss: 180m
The refreshing mountain air has a revitalizing effect and gives energy for the further ascent. After breakfast, continue your trek from the Moir Valley. A short detour to the top of Lent Hill to admire the view before continuing on the Northern Circuit Trail. You walk along hilly terrain until you reach the Buffalo Camp. Relax for the night on a breathtaking campsite with the gigantic views of the Kenyan plains.
Day 7: Buffalo Camp (4020 m) to Third Cave (3870 m)
Walking time: 5 – 7 hours
Distance: 8 km
Height loss: 150m
Your Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit adventure continues with a restful morning up to the top of the Buffalo Ridge, after lunch you will continue to pace eastwards through the Alpine landscape, the vegetation will become increasingly sparse Rongai Third Cave Camp At this time of your Kilimanjaro climb, you are fully acclimatized.
Day 8: Third Cave Camp (3870 m) to School Hut (4,800 m)
Hiking time: 4 – 6 hours
Distance: 6 km
Height gain: 930m
This is the last leg of the hike before the final climb to the top of Kilimanjaro. The highlight of the day will be the hike up and over “The Sattle,” a lunar landscape that lies between the Kibo and Mawenzi Peak. You will then travel southwest to School Hut (4,800 m). Your guides will give you a final briefing on the early morning summit hike.
Day 9: School Hut (4,800 m) to Mweka Camp (3060 m)
Hiking time: 11 – 15 hours
Distance: 19 km
Height gain: 1095m Height
Your last morning on the Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit Route is an early start to the day. You and your mountain guide wander through the darkness of the night towards the main crater rim, to Gilman’s Point. Here you can enjoy a warm cup of tea before relaxing and enjoy the view of the surrounding glaciers. You reach the summit of Kilimanjaro in time to catch the sunrise, one of the most spectacular natural scenery. A feeling of exhilaration will inspire you, you have made it to the highest point of Africa, the Uhuru Peak. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the view before you begin your descent along the crater rim. The Mweka Camp is your last stop of the journey. Fall into a triumphant sleep and admire one last time the starry night sky.
Day 10: Mweka Camp (3060 m) to Mweka Gate (1,640 m) to Moshi
Walking time: 3 – 4 hours
Distance: 10 km
Height loss: 1420m
The last hike is short and takes you to the Mweka Gate. You will be greeted by your Viva Africa Tours driver, who will take you back to the property, where you will find a hot shower, soft mattress and a range of clean clothes, as well as the ceremonial handover of your certificate.
Day 11: Moshi to Kilimanjaro airport
Our driver will take you to the airport from where you will take your return flight home. If you have decided on a safari, then start your second adventure, which we also like to take care of.
9 Days Northern Circuit + 2 nights hotel
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The price for the mountain includes:
- Park fees, camping fees & rescue fees
- Twice a day medical health check up, monitoring with pulse-oximeter and stethoscope with basic first aid kit
- Oxygen Cylinder
- Orientation meeting in Moshi and gear check as well.
- 18% VAT on tour fees & services
- Camping equipment (tents, sleeping mat, camp chairs, camp tables, mess tent & cutlery for meals) and 3 Season mountain tents
- Transportation to & from the mountain gate
- Medically qualified mountain guides, cooks and porters
- 3 Meals while on the mountain + evening tea with popcorn or peanuts.
- Hot water for washing up daily and treated water for drink while climbing.
- Pre & Post Trek accommodation in Moshi (Click HERE) Bed & Breakfast Basis with storage facilities for excess luggage during hikes.
- Fair wages for the mountain crew as approved by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (KINAPA), Kilimanjaro Association of Tour Operators (KIATO)
- Local meals at selected restaurants in Moshi Town
- 3-4 porters per climber, which includes porters to carry up to 30 lbs of your personal gear.
- Kilimanjaro certificate for your successful summit attempt.
- Tips to mountain crew (Click HERE to see tipping policy)
- Items of a personal nature
- Laundry Services
- Entry visa for Tanzania