Incredible Kilimanjaro Summit Route

High Success Rate

A Quiet, Rarely Used Trail

Fitness level: Able to hike 4-5 miles at a time

Trek Begins & Ends in Moshi, Tanzania

Maximum Altitude: 5,895m/19,341 ft

The Awesome Northern Circuit Kilimanjaro Route

The Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit Route is an unforgettable experience. This relatively new route ascends the more scenic and tranquil western slope of Kilimanjaro and crosses nearly the entire mountain before the summit. This is easily one of the most picturesque paths and peaceful journeys up Africa’s highest point, as there are almost no other groups on the northern face.

Important Details

Price

$3,300 USD


Meeting point

We’ll pick you up at Kilimanjaro International Airport and then transfer you to your hotel in Moshi, Tanzania. You will then stay overnight and in the morning, we’ll drive to the gate where we will start our Kilimanjaro trek. Please note: the hotel and transfers are included in the price.


Availability

January through mid-March
Mid-June through October
December


Duration

9 days, 8 nights + 2 days at hotel

An additional night can be arranged to sleep at the crater rim. This option is best during the drier season from January through March as you spend an unforgettable night under the stars in the shadow of the glacier. The additional time spent at high altitude in cold conditions can be very challenging, so this add-on is only recommended for the most serious of adventure enthusiasts. Simply contact us if you’re interested in the extra night.


Group size

2 min. – 12 max.


Included

  • Dedicated Customer Satisfaction Associate
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Hotel lodging the night before and the night after the climb
  • Breakfast before and after the climb
  • All meals and water on the mountain
  • All park fees and taxes
  • Transportation to and from the hotel and trailhead
  • Tents (3-person mountaineering tent)
  • Sleeping mat
  • Private toilet tent
  • Support team (certified guides, porters, and cooks)
  • Kilimanjaro SAR evacuation insurance

Not included

  • Airfare to and from Tanzania
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Visa
  • Tips for the support team
  • Sleeping bags and other personal gear
  • Rental gear
  • Lunch and dinner at the hotel
  • Drinks and snacks

Gear list

  • Top thermal layer
  • Bottom thermal layer
  • 1-2 pairs of hiking pants
  • 1 hardshell jacket
  • 1-2 short-sleeved t-shirts
  • 1 pair of warm trekking pants
  • 1-2 long-sleeved hiking shirts
  • 1 softshell insulated winter jacket
  • 4-5 pairs of underwear
  • 1 cozy fleece jacket
  • 1 pair of worn-in sturdy hiking boots
  • 3-4 pairs of socks. Merino wool is recommended
  • Rain coat
  • Rain pants
  • Day backpack
  • Duffel bag (recommended size 90L)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Headlamp
  • Snacks

Meals

On all of our Kilimanjaro tours, all of our meals are freshly prepared on the mountain by our talented chef, so when we arrive to camp after a long day of hiking, we have a delicious hot meal waiting for us.

Please note: we can accommodate any dietary needs, so please let us know what your meal requirements are and we will be sure to have our chef whip you up something yummy!


About your guide

All of our guides have extensive experience and training, certification, and knowledge of the area and all of the routes. You’ll be in great hands from top to bottom and by the end of the trip, you’ll be sad to say goodbye!

Depending on the number of hikers, there will be generally 1 guide for every 2 people and 3 porters per person.

Highlights

What Sets This Route Apart

The Northern Circuit is the quiet route which crosses the rarely visited northern slopes

We’ll deliberately spend time at 13,000ft (4,000m) as it’s perfect for acclimatization, contributing to the higher summit success rates

Trek through the lush rainforest with monkeys swinging through the trees

The most incredible summit sunrise, across the plains of Africa

Itinerary

9-Day Northern Circuit Itinerary

Hotel​ to Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa

Elevation: 2,100m/6,890ft​ to 2,850m/9,350ft

Distance: 6 km/4 miles

Hiking time: 3-4 hrs

Habitat: Rain forest

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll make our way to the western side of Kilimanjaro, to the Londorossi Gate, where we will meet up with our team of porters and guides. After we register your climb, our staff will prepare the supplies and gear for our trek. Here we can rest and take pictures while we wait for our baggage to be weighed and for the other necessary trip formalities to be completed.

We’ll then begin the climb. The trail gently ascends through the mountain forest and towards the end of the trek, we’ll enter the first camp that will have been set up and waiting for us. Tonight, we’ll rest under the forest canopy listening to the sounds of birds and velvet monkeys calling gently to each other—a very special experience.

Mti. Mkubwa to Shira I Camp

Elevation: 2,850m/9,350ft to 3,505m/11,500ft

Distance: 8 km/5 miles

Hiking time: 5-6 hrs

Habitat: Moorland/heath

We leave the rainforest, entering the heath and moorland zone. Today, we have amazing panoramic views that reach the rim of the Shira Plateau and enjoy the stunning views from the ridge. This day may challenge your body’s acclimatization but you’ll be in good hands and we’ll be taking short, continuous breaks. We will then camp on the Shira Plateau.

Shira Camp to II Camp

Elevation: 3,500m/11,500ft to 3,840m/12,600ft

Distance: 7 km/4 miles

Hiking time: 3-4 hrs

Habitat: Moorland

This is a short day in terms of terrain and elevation. We’ll look to climb about 350m/1,148ft of gentle hiking. We’ll treat this as a resetting and acclimatization day and a chance to explore the Shira Plateau whilst enjoying views of Kibo, the largest of the three volcanic cones on Kilimanjaro.

Shira II Camp to Lava Tower to Moir Hut

Elevation: 3,840m/11,400ft to 4,600m/15,150ft ​to 4,200m/13,700ft

Distance: 12 km/7 miles

Hiking time: 5 hrs up/3 hrs down

Habitat: Moorland/alpine desert

This is a very important day in your growth and in your progression up the mountain. An imperative day for acclimatization. Once we arrive at the Lava Tower you will be served lunch, rest, and then descend down to Moir Hut, where we divert from the main trail.

Moir Hut Camp to Buffalo Camp

Elevation: 4,200m/13,700ft to 4,000m/13,100ft

Distance: 12 km/7 miles

Hiking time: 5-6 hrs

Habitat: Semi-alpine desert/moorland

We leave Moir by starting with a bit of a steep climb. We’ll then follow the trail that crosses a rock field up and then down. We’ll treat this as a recovery day, as we actually descend to 4,000m/13,100ft to Buffalo Camp where we will be served a delicious hot lunch.

Buffalo Camp to Third Cave Camp

Elevation: 4,000m/13,100ft to 3,800m/12,500ft

Distance: 5 km/3 miles

Hiking time: 3-4 hrs

Habitat: Moorland/heath

Our day begins with a trek around the northern slopes heading towards the eastern side of the mountain. The terrain here is dry with a bit of dust and a few shrubs. The route is quiet and we won’t come across very many other groups. On this day, we’ll begin to catch a sense of the quiet serenity and remoteness during our trek before we reach the Third Cave Camp.

Third Cave Camp​ to School Hut/Kibo Hut

Elevation: 3,800m/12,500ft to 4,800m/15,750ft

Distance: 7 km/4 miles

Hiking time: 4-5 hrs

Habitat: Moorland/alpine desert

This part is a steady ascent before we reach the School Hut. We’ll see some incredible views of the saddled landscape between Kibo Peak and Mawenzi Peak. You will enjoy lunch at the School Hut and then we’ll rest and finish preparing for the summit attempt.

School Hut ​to Uhuru Peak to Millennium Camp

Elevation: 4,800m/15,750ft to 5,895m/19,635ft

Distance: 6km/3 miles ​up and 10km/6 miles down

Hiking time: 10-11 hrs

Habitat: Moorland

We begin our summit push at midnight after being woken up with a hot cup of tea, a biscuit, and a snack for your way up. We’ll start the summit push by zigzagging from Hans Mayer Cave, where we will take a rest for snacks, and continue to Gilman’s Point. This will take roughly 2 hours and is a steep climb with loose terrain underfoot. We’ll be walking at quite a slow pace as it will be cold and possibly windy too. As we approach the crater rim, the sun will begin rising behind you and next to the Mawenzi Peak. Remember, as the sun rises, it brings warmth, and when you feel the heat, it will create an inner fire that will boost your energy and motivate you to keep ploughing forward.

At Gilman’s Point, we’ll enjoy a well-deserved rest and a snack before continuing to Uhuru Peak. You’ll be able to take some pictures at Uhuru Peak and enjoy the incredible views before we descend to Barafu Camp and have lunch. We will then gently walk down to Millennium Camp.

Millennium Camp to Mweka Gate to Moshi Town

Elevation: 3,900m/12,800ft

Distance: 14 km/8 miles

Hiking time: 5-6 hrs

Habitat: Moorland/rain forest

We’ll finish our magnificent trek through lush forest as we descend to the Mweka Gate. This sustained descent will become easier by having colobus/blue monkeys and melodic birdsong cheering us on. At the gate, we will then sign out of the national park as we collect our summit certificate and on through a coffee farm where we are then transferred back to Moshi.


Good to Know

Kilimanjaro’s daily temperatures change drastically. They range from the high 20°C (68°F) right down to -15 °C (5°F) at night. To cope with this huge range in temperature, you will need to combine thin layers of clothing.

Please note that Tanzania implemented a ban on single-use plastic bags on 1st June 2019. Please ensure that none of the items in your luggage are packed in plastic bags. Please also be aware that disposable plastic bottles are not permitted on Kilimanjaro. Reusable plastic bags are generally acceptable.

Kilimanjaro National Park operates an absolutely strict limit of 15kg per porter for your main equipment bag, which includes your sleeping bag. This is more than sufficient for your needs on the mountain. Your bag will be weighed before you leave the hotel to start the climb and if it is overweight you will have to take items out and leave them at the hotel.

Safety procedures: twice daily (morning and evening), our expert guides will perform health checks for all trekkers. This is an important protocol to ensure the wellbeing of all our guests. Our lead guide will test oxygen levels using a pulse oximeter and run through a checklist of health measures as a means of determining that everyone can proceed safely. This is crucial in preemptively assessing any symptoms related to altitude sickness. Health and safety are our utmost priorities!

On top of that, we design our treks so that we are walking at a slow pace. You will hear the guides advise everyone to take it “pole pole”, which means easy-going in Swahili. While at times you may be excited and want to rush ahead, it is very important to listen to the guides who are skilled in navigating the mountain, its terrain and weather patterns, and understanding how altitude sickness can quickly incapacitate a person. Going “pole pole” may seem frustratingly slow for those very eager to reach the top, but rest assured, it is the best way to be confident of making it to the summit in good health.

Kilimanjaro Dates & Prices

Below is a table of our available Kilimanjaro climb dates and prices for 2021. All of our climbs are great value for money and we strive to provide each person with a fun, successful, and unforgettable experience. Join us at the summit today!

Looking to enhance your climb with a full moon?

Every tour date that has a moon icon indicates a climb where the lunar spectacular is in full swing! When the peak of Kilimanjaro and magnificent glaciers are lit up by the full moon, the view is absolutely stunning. For this reason alone, some climbers schedule their trek to coincide with this celestial event. Aside from the lunar spectacular, another reason to choose to climb during a full moon is that the bright light will improve visibility during the climb, and it will be especially beneficial during the summit attempt.

( full-moon-icon = Full Moon)

2021 Dates

2021 New Year's Summit Treks

2021 Christmas Summit Treks

2022 Dates

2022 New Year's Summit Treks

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