See Mount Kilimanjaro from a whole new perspective
The Northern Circuit route is the newest route to climb Kilimanjaro. The route is unique as you hike via the quiet, still rather unknown northern side of the mountain. You will see Mount Kilimanjaro from a whole new perspective
The hikes per day on the Northern Circuit route are relatively short. This gives your body enough time to recover. In addition, the Northern Circuit route is good for acclimatization, as it is a relatively long climb (in days). Your body has more time to get used to the daily increase in altitude.
Tanzania Climbing Kilimanjaro Itinerary
Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport
Upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, our driver will transfer you to the hotel. Settle in and take time to relax while enjoy African atmosphere. It is possible to book an extra day of rest prior to start of the climb, to give you ample time to acclimatize and recover from the flight. This extra day increases your chances of reaching the summit.
Lemosho Trailhead (2,000m / 6,561 ft) to Big Tree Camp (2,800m / 9,186 ft)
Elevation gain: 800 m/ 2,625 ft | Distance: 6 km. | Walking time: 3-4 hours
Today your driver will pick you up at the hotel to take you to Londorossi Gate (west side). There the formalities are done and you head to the Leomosho Trailhead for lunch before the climb begins. It’s an easy walk through thick forest where you can spot buffalo and monkeys such as the rare black and white colobus monkeys. This first hike only takes about 3 to 4 hours along a narrow path with a few steep sections. Big Tree Camp is a charming camp under a big tree with lots of monkeys and birds in the surrounding area.
Big Tree Camp (2,800m / 9,186 ft ) to Shira 1 Camp (3,500m / 11,482 ft )
Elevation gain: 700 m/ 2,297 ft | Distance: 8 km | Walking time: 5-6 hours
Today your hike begins in the forest. After a short walk, however, you say goodbye to this ecosystem and enter an environment of meadow heather and volcanic rock. It is a day of many ascents and descents through the lush hills below the Shira Plateau. Shira is the third of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic peaks. The summit is covered with lava from the Kibo summit, and the rim has been compromised and deformed by weather and volcanic activity. At the end of a long hike you reach the edge of the plateau and the trail becomes easier. After a 5-6 hour hike you will arrive at Shira Camp, where you will spend the night. From the camp you have an incredibly beautiful view of the Kibo summit.
Shira 1 Camp (3500 m/ 11,483 ft) to Lava Tower (4550 m/ 14,928 ft)
Elevation gain: 1,050 m/ 3,445 ft | Distance: 14 km | Walking time: 7-8 hours
Today you will take a nice hike to Shira Plateau with an optional climb to the Shira Cathedral (3,880 m). Shira is one of the highest plateaus in the world. If you feel energetic enough, you can climb to the lava tower for a wonderful and panoramic view. The hike to the lava tower takes about four hours.
From the lava tower, the path continues north-west towards Kibo, the mightiest and highest peak of Kilimanjaro. After this you follow a steep trail across the alpine desert to Moir Hut.
The Moir Hut Camp is a remote and little-used camp with a wonderful view over the Shira Plateau. An alternative to this route is a morning ascent across the Alpine desert towards Moir Hut, where the afternoon can be spent on the Lent Group, a ridge on the north-west flank of the Kibo. These are eroded volcanic cones and ridges from which you have a beautiful view of the Kenyan plains to the north
Lava Tower (4550 m/ 14,928 ft) to Buffalo camp (4,020m / 13,188 ft)
Elevation gain: 530 m/ 1,739 ft | Distance: 19 km | Walking time: 8-9 hours
In the morning you leave the heathland and hike into the alpine desert. The route continues on the Northern Circuit route over a steep ridge along the main path. If you didn’t want to explore the Lent group yesterday, make a quick detour to Little Lent Hill in the morning before continuing your way to Buffalo Camp. Today you hike for about 8-9 hours.
Buffalo/Pofu Camp (4,020m/ 13,188 ft) to Third Cave Camp (3,870m/ 12,696 ft)
Elevation loss: 150 m/ 492 ft | Distance: 8 km | Walking time: 5-7 hours
During today’s hike you will see many different landscapes. It leads through valleys, alpine and heathland landscapes. The Northern Circuit route continues eastwards. The path is not much frequented and gives you the opportunity to contemplate the landscape, wilderness and beautiful mountains in peace. Today you hike for approximately 5-7 hours.
Third Cave Camp (3,870m / 12, 696 ft ) to School Huts (4,750m / 15,583 ft)
Elevation gain: 880 m/ 2,887 ft | Distance: 5 km | Walking time: 4-5 hours
Today you will have to do a lot of climbing to reach the “Saddle”. A beautiful lunar landscape between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. From here, you continue towards School Hut Camp, where you will arrive in the early afternoon. You can relax the rest of the day and prepare for the summit push of Kilimanjaro tomorrow. Your ascent to the summit begins in the middle of the night, so it’s important to rest! Today’s ascent takes about 4-5 hours.
School Huts (4,750m / 15,583 ft) - Uhuru Peak (5,895m / 19,340 ft) to Millenium Camp (3720 m/ 12,205 ft)
Elevation gain: 1,145 m/ 3,757 ft | Elevation loss: 2,785 m/ 9,137 ft | Distance: 16 km | Walking time: 11-13 hours
The hardest part starts around midnight – the summit push. It’s dark, cold and the path to Gilman’s Point (rim of the main crater) is steep. You ascend in the dark for a few hours and take short breaks. At Gilman’s Point you can enjoy the most beautiful sunrise over Mawenzi. From Gilman’s Point it is another 2-3 hours ascent to Uhuru Peak, the highest point on Kilimanjaro. Celebrate your success on the summit as you overlook an incredibly expansive landscape of white snow and towering peaks. Afterwards you descent to Millenium Camp via Kibo Huts, where you’ll spend your last dinner and your last night on the mountain. Enjoy a well-deserved night’s sleep after a busy and long day.
Millenium Camp (3720 m/ 12,205 ft) - Mweka Gate (1,830m / 6000 ft) – to hotel
Elevation loss: 1,890 m/ 6,209 ft | Distance: 12 km | Walking time: 4-5 hours
When you wake up today, you will feel the comfort of the decrease in altitude and the satisfaction of having reached the summit yesterday. After breakfast, you walk to the exit of the national park. After the descent, the whole group comes together to congratulate each other. Your driver will take you to your hotel, where you can relax, shower, and enjoy a delicious dinner and well-deserved sleep.
Transfer to Airport or extend journey
Today you can relax at the lodge or explore the surrounding area. You can choose to extend your journey with a beautiful Tanzania Safari. Another option is to relax on the tropical Zanzibar Island or one of the other exotic beach destinations Pemba Island and Mafia Island. If you choose to go home after your Kilimanjaro trek, you will fly back home on day 11
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