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11 Days Climbing Kilimanjaro, Northern Circuit route in 8 days!

Via the Northern Circuit Route, you will climb Kilimanjaro in 8 days / 7 nights.

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.

The entire ascent (including descent) via the Northern Circuit Route takes 8 days.

Tanzania Specialist offers a unique service throughout the trekking tour:

Climbing Kilimanjaro is the ultimate challenge! You will be accompanied by professional guides, porters, and a cook as you climb the Northern Circuit route. Mountaineering is a relatively primitive sport. You will sleep in simple tents during the ascent. But they are of good quality! Our crew will take care of you and perform a health check every morning and evening to make sure everything is in order. In addition, the accompanying cook will serve you delicious food during the tour. The quality of the food is one of our priorities, as you depend on good food during the strenuous climb. If you would like to have a look at the menu in advance, we will be happy to send it to you. Given the reactions from our customers, climbing Kilimanjaro via the Northern Circuit route is an unforgettable experience!

As soon as you have confirmed your booking with us, we will send you a comprehensive document to prepare for the trip.

For an overview of all the options check Climbing Kilimanjaro.

Day 1: Arrival Kilimanjaro airport

Upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, our guide will take you to the hotel. Here you can recover from the flight and get used to the African environment. An acclimatization day in the hotel on day two is recommended, but you can also start the climb the next day.

The hotel in the program below is an example. The first night is not included in the quoted price. This is because we have hotels in different price ranges and want to accommodate you according to your preference! We work with more than 40 hotels in the Kilimanjaro region, ranging from hotels charging just € 35 per person per night (based on bed & breakfast) to more luxuries five-star hotels. Our prices are never higher than on booking.com. Ask us about the options!

Silver hotels

You will stay in hotel:
Weru Weru River Lodge

Day 2: Lemosho Trailhead (2,000m / 6,561 ft) - Big Tree Camp (2,800m / 9,186 ft)

Elevation gain: 800 m/ 2,625 ft | Distance: 6 km. | Walking time: 3-4 hours | Difficulty: easy | Environment: rainforest

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.

Day 3: Big Tree Camp (2,800m / 9,186 ft ) - Shira 1 Camp (3,500m / 11,482 ft )

Elevation gain: 700 m/ 2,297 ft | Distance: 8 km | Walking time: 5-6 hours | Difficulty: easy | Environment: meadows

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.

Silver hotels

You will stay in hotel:
Weru Weru River Lodge

Day 4: Shira 1 Camp (3500 m/ 11,483 ft) - Lava Tower (4550 m/ 14,928 ft)

Elevation gain: 1,050 m/ 3,445 ft | Distance: 14 km | Walking time: 7-8 hours | Difficulty: medium | Environment: heather

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.

Silver hotels

You will stay in hotel:
Weru Weru River Lodge

Day 5: Lava Tower (4550 m/ 14,928 ft) – Buffalo camp (4,020m / 13,188 ft)

Elevation gain: 530 m/ 1,739 ft | Distance: 19 km | Walking time: 8-9 hours | Difficulty: medium | Environment: alpine desert

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.

 

 

Silver hotels

You will stay in hotel:
Weru Weru River Lodge

Day 6: Buffalo/Pofu Camp (4,020m/ 13,188 ft) - Third Cave Camp (3,870m/ 12,696 ft)

Elevation loss: 150 m/ 492 ft | Distance: 8 km | Walking time: 5-7 hours | Difficulty: medium | Environment: heather

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.

 

Silver hotels

You will stay in hotel:
Weru Weru River Lodge

Day 7: Third Cave Camp (3,870m / 12, 696 ft ) - School Huts (4,750m / 15,583 ft)

Elevation gain: 880 m/ 2,887 ft | Distance: 5 km | Walking time: 4-5 hours | Difficulty: medium | Environment: alpine desert

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.

Silver hotels

You will stay in hotel:
Weru Weru River Lodge

Day 8: School Huts (4,750m / 15,583 ft) - Uhuru Peak (5,895m / 19,340 ft) - 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 | Difficulty: difficult | Environment: arctic summit zone

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.

 

Silver hotels

You will stay in hotel:
Weru Weru River Lodge

Day 9: Millenium Camp (3720 m/ 12,205 ft) - Mweka Gate (1,830m / 6000 ft) - hotel

Elevation loss: 1,890 m/ 6,209 ft | Distance: 12 km | Walking time: 4-5 hours | Difficulty: difficult | Environment: rainforest

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.

Silver hotels

You will stay in hotel:
Weru Weru River Lodge

Day 10-11: Kilimanjaro airport

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 unwind on the tropical Zanzibar Island or one of the other exotic beach destinations Pemba Island and Mafia Island. If you choose to fly home after your Kilimanjaro trek, you will arrive back home on day 11.

Silver hotels

You will stay in hotel:
Weru Weru River Lodge

How fit do you need to be to climb Kilimanjaro via the Northern Cicruit?

Climbing Kilimanjaro is a real challenge due to the altitude, rate of ascent and different temperatures. During an average climbing day you will walk 6-7 hours per day. If you are healthy and fit it is absolutely within reach. There are many things you can do to increase your chances to reach the summit and to make sure you enjoy the trek. It’s important you take your time. Don’t hike too fast so your body has time to adapt and acclimatize. Being in good shape also makes the climb much easier. Go hiking a few months before the climb, especially multiple day hikes are excellent training. But also running and aerobic exercise are a good preparation. It is always difficult to predict who will be affected by altitude sickness. Fortunately the Northern Circuit Route is a long climb which gives climbers plenty of time to acclimatize properly. The trails are pretty good. Not many people experience altitude sickness on this route to the summit.

By adding 1 extra day to your climb, you will reduce the chance to get altitude sickness. Because you spread the climb over more days and your body gets more time to get used to the higher altitude. We do really advice to do this to increase the chance of making it to the top. The costs of this extra day are $ 346 per person.

If you like advice on how to prepare yourself for climbing Kilimanjaro, you can always contact us or read our blog How to prepare for climbing Kilimanjaro?

 How to book this Kilimanjaro adventure?
  1. Click on the button below
  2. Fill in the date of departure and you will see the actual price p.p. (based on 6 persons)
  3. Send us your request and we will respond as soon as possible.

Price information

Northern Circuit prices per person 2 persons 4 persons 6 persons
all seasons  $ 3116  $ 2558  $ 2412

 

Include:

  • Pick up Kilimanjaro Airport, transfer to lodge/hotel
  • Transfer lodge/hotel to Kilimanjaro Airport
  • Private guide speaking fluently English
  • Private cook speaking fluently English
  • Park Fees for national park
  • Porters who carry your luggage
  • High quality tents
  • Chairs and tables for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Dinner-tent
  • Rescue fee
  • Portable toilet

Exclude:

  • International flight tickets and tourist visa
  • Accommodation on day of arrival and departure
  • Insurances (travel, flying doctors etc)
from $2412 p.p. *