Climb Mount Kilimanjaro (5895m) via the Northern Circuit
Take the less trodden path. Trek the longest, quietest route to the summit of Africa’s highest mountain. 10 days.
Kilimanjaro International Airport
Keen hikers looking to see and explore as much as possible on this iconic mountain before achieving their dream summit.
The Northern Circuit on Mt. Kilimanjaro is the longest and arguably the best route to summit this notorious peak; approaching from the west and making your way to the summit from the east, you’ll experience panoramic views, beautiful scenery and the quiet, rarely visited northern slopes.
- 8 days trekking
- 7 nights camping
- 2 nights hotel accommodation in Moshi .
- Local, certified guide
- Fair and sustainable wages for cook and porters
- Meals and drinking water
- Local transfers
- Airport transfers
- All taxes, insurances and licenses relative to the trip
Day 1: Arrive at Kilimanjaro Airport
Your host will meet you on arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer you to your accommodation for the night.
Here, your guide will meet you for a briefing and equipment check before you retire for an early night ahead of tomorrow’s adventure.
Day 2: Londrossi Gate to Mkubwa Camp
This morning, you will leave the town of Moshi for the 2-hour drive through mountain villages to the Londrossi Gate.
After registration at the national park gate, you’ll be driven further up the mountain to the trailhead starting point. Your trek will begin through rainforest scenery and if you get lucky, you may even spot the odd elephant or buffalo that may emerge.
After 3-4 hours of trekking, you will reach your first camp at Mkubwa where a much-needed dinner will be waiting for you.
5km trekking, 3-4 hours, elevation: 2360m to 2820m
Day 3: Mkubwa Camp to Shira Camp 1
After a good night’s rest and breakfast at camp, you’ll continue to trek on an ascending path and leave the rainforest behind.
Today’s trek is a relatively short one with a gradual ascent through the low alpine moorland zone.
The trail begins to climb steadily and the temperatures begin to drop as you make your way to the rim of the Shira Plateau and eventually to Shira Camp.
8km trekking, 5-6 hours, elevation: 2820m to 3610m
Day 4: Shira Camp 1 to Moir Hut
After breakfast this morning, you’ll head east through the Garden of Senecios before entering the high alpine desert zone, and up to the lava tower known as the Shark’s Tooth (4600m).
This is an important day for acclimatisation as you’ll trek at high altitude before dropping to sleep low at camp; a process which is imperative to summit success.
After lunch, you’ll join the Northern Circuit and head down into the valley to Moir Camp where you will rest for the night.
13km trekking, 5-7 hours, elevation: 3610m to 4200m
Day 5: Moir Camp to Buffalo Camp
This morning you’ll take the moderately steep climb out of Moir Valley and continue on the Northern Circuit.
From here, the trek will have its ups and downs as you skirt around the northern slopes of Kibo over a series of inclines and declines.
You’ll arrive at Buffalo Camp at just after midday; enjoy lunch and an extended rest as the trek begins to take its toll.
11km trekking, 5-7 hours, elevation: 4200m to 4020m
Day 6: Buffalo Camp to Rongai Third Cave
Your day will start with a climb up the Buffalo Ridge and down into Porfu Camp; this route is rarely taken so enjoy the sense of wilderness.
Continuing east, you’ll make your way around the northern slopes to the Rongai Third Cave where you will camp tonight.
This is another short day giving you plenty of time to rest and acclimatise which will all help come summit day.
8km trekking, 5-7 hours, elevation: 4020m to 3800m
Day 7: Rongai Third Cave to School Hut
This morning you’ll take a steady incline up and over the Saddle Plateau (4400) which separates the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi.
You’ll then continue a gentle trek south-west to the School Hut where you will rest and prepare for the summit tomorrow.
You’ll be served an early dinner to allow time for some sleep before you are woken for your summit attempt just before midnight.
13km trekking, 4-5 hours, elevation: 3800m to 4800m
Day 8: Summit day
You’ll be woken at around 11:30 with tea and biscuits before you attempt the most physically and mentally challenging part of the trek; the first part taking you on the rocky path to Hans Meyer Cave (5150m) before zigzagging up to Gillman’s Point (5681m).
The terrain flattens as you head west around the crater rim before a snowy ascent to Uhuru Peak (5895m), the highest point on Mt. Kilimanjaro and possibly your greatest trekking accomplishment.
Retracing your steps, you’ll make your way back around the crater rim to Stella Point (5739m) before heading down the heavily screed slopes of Kibo down to Millennium Camp - have your gaiters and trekking poles ready.
Up: 6km, 6-8 hours, elevation: 4800m to 5895m Down: 9km, 4-6 hours, descent to 3790m
Day 9: Millennium Camp to Mweka Gate – Moshi
After breakfast this morning you’ll continue your descent down to the Mweka Park Gate. The weather will be significantly warmer making the terrain wet and muddy so have your gaiters and trekking poles to hand.
When you reach the park gate, you’ll be rewarded with your summit certificate. Your transfer will be waiting for you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Mochi (30-minute drive).
Arrive at the hotel to enjoy a hot shower and final farewell dinner to mark the end of an incredible adventure.
10km trekking, 3-4 hours, elevation: 3790m to 1630m
Day 10: Time to Head Home
Breakfast this morning will mark the end of this remarkable trip; you may decide to continue your adventure in Tanzania, but if it’s time to go home, your transfer will be ready to take you back to the airport.
Note: This itinerary and the duration of the activities are subject to change due to group abilities and preferences, and weather conditions and forecasts.
Want to combine you climb with game safari without losing any time? You'll probably like this trip.
All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.
Your first and final nights will be spent at the Kili Wonder Hotel just 4km from Moshi Town and 40km from the airport.
This 4-star boutique hotel has a restaurant on-site where you can enjoy an international breakfast and a la carte dinner. If you fancy something a little more casual, there’s the 4th-floor Summit Bar offering live cooking of fresh pizzas and flame grilled BBQ meats, as well as a stunning view of Mt. Kili and Moshi Town.
The rooms are modern and comfortable with en-suite bathroom and free WiFi.
During the trek, you will camp at a number of camps along the Northern Circuit.
You will be sharing a twin room for hotel nights and a tent will be provided per two people for camping nights. There is the option to upgrade to a private room or tent if you would like to do so - please see Optional Extras.
There are six established routes to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro - Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai and Umbwe. The Lemosho and Shira routes approach from the west of the mountain; the Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe routes all approach from the south; and the Rongai route approaches from the north near Kenya. All routes, except Marangu, descend via Mweka.
The Northern Circuit is longer than the other trails on Mt Kilimanjaro, taking a minimum of eight days to complete. This additional time on the mountain achieves better acclimatisation and in turn a better summit success rate. This route circles the quieter northern slopes to the east of the mountain, giving you a real sense of exploring the wilderness.
Kilimanjaro Airport - Anytime
Your adventure begins at Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) with your private airport transfer at any time of the day. Your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals area. Once arrived, you’ll be met by your guide for a quick gear check and meeting at your hotel in Moshi.
Alternatively, if you’re in Tanzania already, your host can arrange a pick-up from any point in Tanzania upon request (not included). You’ll meet your fellow adventurers the next day for the start of the trek.
Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel in Moshi - Anytime
Your adventure ends with an overnight stay at the Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel in Moshi. From here you may decide to continue your adventure in Tanzania or ask your host to arrange a private airport transfer for any flight departing that day. The airport transfer takes circa 2 hours.
Yes, you host is one of the pioneers in the field of ethical tourism in Tanzania. They are part of the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project which works to raise public awareness regarding the proper treatment of porters on Kilimanjaro and assists climbing companies with implementing procedures that ensure fair and ethical treatment of their porters.
Guides have been trained at Mweka Wildlife centre to learn everything about the routes. With over 10 years of experience, they have been to the summit over 100 times. Additionally, all of the guides are certified First Aid Responders and CPR trained.
For 2 clients you'll be accompanied by 14 supporting staff members:
- 1 lead guide
- 1 Assistant guide
- 1 Cook
- 1 Waiter
- 1 Pilot (toilet porter)
- 9 Regular porters, who carry any additional equipment
Mount Kilimanjaro isn’t a technique climbing mountain; anyone of reasonable fitness should be capable of summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro. You just need to be prepared and determined. The Kilimanjaro National Park authority allows children from 12 years to an old man of 80 years.
You can climb on your own if you wish, or you can choose to join a bigger group.
Sure can! A lot of people do, and it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.
If you need to be taken down to a lower altitude as a matter of urgency, there are two options.
In most instances, steel framed, mobile stretchers can be pushed by porters to descend quickly. Most people feel immediate relief at lower altitudes. You will be evaluated and if the guides determine you are well enough, you will wait for others in your group at a lower camp or taken to the gate for transfer to Moshi for rest and medical treatment if necessary.
For more serious concerns, through a partnership with Kilimanjaro SAR, emergency helicopters can be deployed within 5 minutes for evacuation, with in-flight medical treatment. If you require further medical attention upon landing, you will be taken to their modern private High Altitude Medical clinic ideal for Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS).
Please ensure you have appropriate insurance coverage for trekking with evacuation coverage up to 6,000 meters above Sea Level.
The following equipment is provided by your host:
- Sleeping Tents are Mountain Hardwear Brand Trango 3
- Mattresses, which are made foam material in Tanzania
- Dining tents to accommodate enough people with a solar light on
- Comfy chairs with backrest
- Oxygen tanks on each climb
- All cooking equipment
Please see our ‘optional extras’ for a list of items that can be hired upon arrival.
Unlike many operators, your host carries oxygen on all climbs and guides perform daily health and pulse oxymeter checks, which measures both your heart rate and percentage of oxygen in your blood. We want to ensure and monitor your health and safety at all altitudes. Your guides are well trained to identify AMS signs and to resolve them immediately
The following are not included in the trip price:
- Flights to and from Kilimanjaro International Airport
- Visa fees
- Equipment hire
- Energy snacks and drinks
- Personal expenses
- Travel insurance
It is possible to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro all year round, however, the months outside of the rainy seasons are more desirable. The best months are from December to March, and July to October. The finest weather is usually at the beginning of the year from January to March, which are typically the warmest and driest months of the year.
Due to Tanzania’s proximity to the equator, this region doesn’t typically experience the extremes of winter and summer weather but has dry and wet seasons instead. The local weather conditions on Kilimanjaro can be somewhat unpredictable to say the very least; rainfall varies from 2100mm per year in the rainforest belt to less than 120mm per year in the summit zone. Similarly, daily temperature changes are unexpected when compared to normal weather cycles, and are largely dependent on altitude.
There is a limit to the weight that the porters can carry and your kit bag must be a maximum of 20Kg. You will also have a rucksack that will contain your basic kit for a days walking.
Your host can advise you on what to pack before setting off, and you can leave excess luggage securely at the base before you set off for the trek.
During your trip, a team of experienced chefs will cook and serve you nutritious meals.
Breakfast: Fruit juice and fruit, cereal, porridge, eggs prepared at request, breads and toast with jam margarine and honey, French-toast, pancakes, sausage, bacon, teas, coffee, drinking chocolate.
Snacks: peanuts, crisp, popcorn, cookies, chocolate, dried fruits.
Lunch: Sliced vegetables, fruit, boiled egg, meat cutlets, various sandwiches options (egg/ cheese/tomato/tuna/meat/peanut butter), macaroni and meat sauce and breads.
Dinner: soup of the day, breads, salads, rice, pastas, potatoes, roast or fried chicken, beef or fish, currys, mixed vegetables, lentils, fruit salad, fruit with custard, teas, coffee, drinking chocolate.
On summit night, you’ll enjoy a midnight snack with juice, soup, hot chocolate, tea or coffee and biscuits. When you return to base camp, a nice meal will be waiting for you to reward all your hard work.
If you have any special requests, let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.
You do not require any technical equipment on Mount Kilimanjaro; however you will experience changing weather conditions and be exposed to temperatures ranging from +30 degrees to -25 degrees, so you should be prepared for this. You should take thin layers that can be added, or taken away depending on the weather conditions.
The list below provides a good overview of what you need to bring:
Waterproof Jacket, breathable with hood
Weather rated Insulated Jacket, synthetic or down
Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell
Long sleeve shirts: light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric (2)
Short sleeve shirts: light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric (2)
Waterproof Pants, breathable
Hiking Pants (convertible to shorts recommended) (2)
Long Underwear (moisture-wicking fabric recommended) (2)
Underwear, briefs (moisture-wicking fabric recommended)
Sports Bra (women)
- Hiking Boots, warm, waterproof, broken-in, with spare laces
- Gym Shoes, to wear at camp (optional)
- Socks, thick, wool or synthetic (3-5)
- Sock Liners, tight, thin, synthetic, worn under socks to prevent blisters (3-5)
- Gaiters, waterproof – highly recommended to prevent loose gravel and sand
- Sleeping Bag, warm, four season rated*
- Sleeping Bag Liner, for added warmth (optional)
- Trekking Poles (highly recommended)
- Head lamp, with extra batteries*
- Duffel bag, for porters to carry your equipment*
- Daypack, for you to carry your personal gear*
- Brimmed Hat, for sun protection
- Knit Hat, for warmth
- Balaclava, for face coverage (highly recommended)
- Bandana (optional)
- Gloves, warm (waterproof recommended)*
- Glove Liners, thin, synthetic, worn under gloves for added warmth*
- Sunglasses or Goggles
- Backpack Cover, waterproof*
- Poncho, during rainy season (optional)
- Water Bottle* (Nalgene recommended, must have 2-3 Liters combined)
- Water Bladder* Camelback type – note disposable plastic bottles are not allowed on the mountain per National Park regulations
- Towel, lightweight, quick-dry (optional)
- Pee Bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night (highly recommended)
- Stuff Sacks or Plastic Bags, various sizes, to keep gear dry and separate
- Trip Receipt
- Visa (available upon arrival )
- Yellow fever vaccination card
- Insurance Documents
You must ensure you have travel insurance which covers high altitude trekking, with evacuation coverage up to 6,000 meters above Sea Level. Please be aware that coverage and eligibility requirements for this benefit differ by policy.
We’ve teamed up with the guys at World Nomads to offer insurance designed for adventurous travellers across 140 countries that includes overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities. To get yours sorted, click here
TANZANIA PLASTIC BAGS BAN
Plastic Bag Ban with effect from 1st June 2019: Tourists can face very heavy fines for using Plastic bags. The use, manufacture or importation of plastic bags, including garbage bags and shopping bags, is illegal and convicted offenders, including tourists, can face very heavy fines, imprisonment for up to two years, or both.
Visitors are advised to avoid packing any plastic bags in their suitcases or in carry-on hand luggage before flying to Tanzania. Items purchased at the airport before boarding the aircraft should be removed from plastic bags. Please check your hand luggage before disembarking at entry points and any plastic bags should be left in the plane.
Similarly the transparent "zip-lock" plastic bags that some airlines require passengers to use for keeping liquids, cosmetics, toiletries etc separately in hand luggage are also not permitted to be brought and should be removed and left on the plane before disembarking.
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