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11 Days 10 Nights
Availability : Annual
Climbing Kilimanjaro - Northern Route
Min Age : +6

Mount Kilimanjaro Climb Overview – Northern Route

This path is less travelled than the southern ones, so you’ll have a far better chance of reaching the summit in 9 days.

If you haven’t done much trekking at high altitudes, but still want to give it a shot, the Northern Circuit can be completed in nine days. Hikers with more experience may wish to take on the Northern Circuit’s more challenging 8-day ascent.

Itinerary at a glance:
  • Day 1: Kilimanjaro International Airport to Arusha City
  • Day 2: Arusha to Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa Camp
  • Day 3: Mti Mkubwa Camp to Shira Camp 1
  • Day 4: Shira Camp 1 to Shira Camp 2
  • Day 5: Shira Camp 2 to Lava Tower to Moir Hut
  • Day 6: Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp
  • Day 7: Buffalo Camp to Third Cave
  • Day 8: Third Cave to School Hut
  • Day 9: Summit Day! School Hut to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp
  • Day 10: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate to Arusha
  • Day 11: Arusha to Kilimanjaro International Airport

Route Description

Londorossi Gate is the starting point of the ascent, and it is located at an elevation of 2,360 metres on the far western side of the mountain. It travels the same path as the Lemosho route, which means it goes through a beautiful jungle full of rare plants and animals. The next summit is located at Shira Ridge, the third and last peak of the mountain.

The Northern Circuit proper begins after you head north from that point, after crossing the famous Shira plateau and passing the magnificent Shira Cathedral. Less people venture to the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro, making it a more peaceful and tranquil place to summit. Clear days allow for expansive views across Kenya’s Amboseli Plains. After connecting with the Rongai and Marangu trails to the east, hikers can make the final push to the peak via Gillmans Point. As opposed to retracing your steps back down the same path you took to get there, you will be taking the Mweka trail back down after you reach the peak.

Departure & Return Location

Arrival and Departure: Kilimanjaro International Airport

Photos
Itinerary

Day 1Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport – Arusha City: 55kms/1hour

Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport, you will be warmly welcomed by one of our experienced drivers and your Mountain Guide who will escort you to your reserved hotel in Arusha Town.

Overnight at Zawadi House on Bed and Breakfast

Day 2Arusha to Londorossi Gate to Lemosho Glades to Mti Mkubwa Camp

  • Height (ft): 3,000 ft/4921ft to 7,380 ft to 6,560 ft to 9,020 ft

  • Distance: 18 km,

  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

  • Habitation: Montane Forest 

Drive from Arusha to the Londorossi Park Gate. From here follow a forest track in a 4WD vehicle for about 11 km/7 mi (45 minutes) to Lemosho Glades and a possible campsite. From the Glades, walk for 3 hours along beautiful forest trails to the Mti Mkubwa (big tree) campsite. 

Day 3Mti Mkubwa Camp to Shira Camp 1

  • Height (ft): 9,498 ft to 11,500 ft

  • Distance: 8 km/5 miles

  • Hiking Time: 5 – 6 hours

  • Habitation: Heath 

Crossing the Shira Plateau to the east, we are treated to breathtaking views of the Shira Cathedral. To get to Shira 1 Camp, where we will spend the night at an altitude of 3,500 metres and eat and relax, we must first traverse a moorland meadow. At this point, we should be able to get a good look at the Western Breach’s breathtaking glaciers. Tonight will be much chillier than last night, and we might even see temps below freezing.

Day 4Shira Camp 1 to Shira Camp 2

  • Height (ft): 11,500 ft to 12,500 ft

  • Distance: 7 km/4 miles

  • Hiking Time: 3 to 4 hours

  • Habitation: Heath 

We will climb the massive rock buttress known as Shira Cathedral, which is topped by a series of sharp pinnacles and spires, today. When the afternoon mists sweep in, you might really feel like you’re out in the wilderness. The views of Mt. Meru from our campsite near Shira Hut are quite breathtaking.

Day 5Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower to Moir Hut

  • Height (ft): 12,500 ft to 15,190 ft 15,190 ft to 13,580 ft

  • Distance: 7 km/4 miles 7 km/4 miles

  • Hiking Time: 3 to 4 hours 2 to 3 hours

  • Habitation: Alpine Desert

Now that we’ve left the moors behind, we’ll be hiking across the high-altitude Shira Caldera to the Shira Cave, where we’ll have spectacular views of the Arrow glacier. At 4200 feet, our campsite for the night will be ideal.

Day 6Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp

  • Height (ft) : 13,580 ft to 13,200 ft

  • Distance: 12 km/7 miles

  • Hiking Time: 5 to 7 hours

  • Habitation: Alpine Desert 

Leaving the Moir Valley behind, we make a relatively direct ascent to the top of the Lent Hills (4700m). After taking in the scenery, we make our way back to the Northern Circuit trail and continue eastward. The remaining stretch of today’s hike is a gradual uphill climb to Pofu Camp.

Day 7Buffalo Camp to Third Cave

  • Height (ft) : 13,200 ft to 12,700 ft
  • Distance: 8 km/5 miles
  • Hiking Time: 5 to 7 hours
  • Habitation: Heath  

Reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro’s northern side, you’ll spend the night in 3rd Cave Camp, where your route will intersect with the classic Rongai route. Day two of the journey is shorter than day one because your body has fully adapted to the 4,000 metre altitude by now, which will have a positive effect on your mood and energy levels.

Day 8Third Cave to School Hut

  • Height (ft) : 12,700 ft to 15,600 ft    
  • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4 to 5 hours
  • Habitation: Alpine Desert 

As of today, you should be on your way to the School Hut Summit Camp (4,750 m). The hiking itself is not difficult; pick a reasonable pace to preserve your energy for the last push to the peak of Kilimanjaro. There is no time to waste after you reach camp; that night you will reach the summit of Uhuru, so get plenty of rest, don’t push yourself, and drink lots of water
(5,895 m).Depending on the season and recent storms, you may encounter snow on your remaining hike along the rim to Uhuru Peak.

Day 9Summit Day! School Hut to Uhuru Peak Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

  • Height (ft): 15,600 ft to 19,341 ft 19,341 ft to 10,065
  • Distance: 6 km/4 miles 12 km/7 miles
  • Climbing Time: 6-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent
  • Habitation: Arctic

The hours between midnight and two in the morning are filled with anticipation of the new day. Getting through this section is the most taxing on your body and mind.

 

We keep moving between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers, trying to keep warm and focused on the incredible sense of accomplishment that awaits us at the peak. Following a series of switchbacks, head northwest to reach the crater’s rim at Stella Point. As a thank you for your brief stay, the sunrise will be breathtaking. Early risers on the trail can be rewarded with a sunrise atop the mountain. From here, the final hour-long hike to Uhuru Peak is almost certainly going to be through snow the whole way.

Step by step, you’ve made it to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and Africa’s highest point, Uhuru Peak.

Following the obligatory group photo, toasts, and (perhaps) happy tears, everyone takes a breather to reflect on the momentous occasion. We break for lunch and a short rest in Barafu before continuing our precipitous descent to Mweka Camp. For the unforgiving rough gravel and volcanic ash, gaiters and trekking poles are must-haves. You’ve earned a good night’s sleep before your final summit.

Day 10Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate to Moshi/Arusha

  • Height(ft): 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
  • Distance: 10 km/6 miles
  • Hiking Time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Habitation: Rain Forest 

After a well-deserved breakfast, it is a short, scenic, 3-hour hike back to the park gate. Don’t give your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely, but do remember to tip your staff at the gate. At Mweka Gate, you can sign your name and add details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Climbers who reached Stella Point are issued green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak receive gold certificates.

From the Mweka Gate, you will continue down to the Mweka Village, possibly a muddy, 3 km, 1-hour hike if the road is too muddy for vehicles. In the Mweka Village, you will be served a delicious hot lunch after which you are driven back to Arusha for an overdue hot shower and comfortable night in a nice hotel. 

Overnight at Zawadi House on Bed and Breakfast

Day 8Arusha to Kilimanjaro International Airport

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Airport for your onward flight.

“End of service”.

Map

Price includes and excludes

Price Includes

  • It's just one arrival and one departure. Each party will receive their own private vehicle and driver to transport them from Kilimanjaro International Airport to their accommodation.
  • Night in Arusha City before and after climbing Kilimanjaro.
  • Extra luggage will be stored at our office until you come back from the mountain
  • Transportation to and from the mountain
  • All entrance fees, camping/hut costs, and climbing permits for Kilimanjaro National Park
  • Rescue costs in Kilimanjaro National Park (Kilimanjaro Rescue Team)
  • A pulse oximeter is carried by the chief guide and is used to measure clients' blood oxygen levels twice day.
  • Oxygen for an emergency (for use in emergencies only – not as summiting aid)
  • First aid kit (for use in emergencies only)
  • Qualified mountain guides, porters, and cook
  • Salaries in accordance with KINAPA (Kilimanjaro National Park Authority) regulations.
  • 3 meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) on the mountain as specified in the itinerary
  • At the lunch stop, a hot meal is prepared and served inside the mess tent with a table and seats
  • Camping equipment (tents, mattress, camp chairs, camp tables, mess tent & cutlery for meals)
  • Certificate of Achievement if you reach Gilman’s point, Stella point or Uhuru point
  • Complimentary 3 litres of mineral water per hiker on the first day of the ascent, followed by 3 litres of purified water per person per day from first night onwards
  • Private portable toilet for the whole group

Price Excludes

  • International Flight
  • Personal Mountain Gears i: e Gloves, Sunglasses, sleeping bag, Hats, Rain suits, Warm Jacket, Heavy boots, Scarf's, Rain Trousers, Sleeping bag etc. Some of the gears/equipment could be rented in Tanzania.
  • Extras at the lodges i.e. drinks, telephone, laundry, etc.
  • Visa: US citizens pay $100 per person, whereas other countries pay $50 per person.
  • My own hotel room and mountain tent, respectively
  • Tips to mountain crew (highly recommended) – Guideline: Mountain guide: 25 USD per guide, per day, per group, Cook 15 USD per day, per group. Mountain Porter: 8 US per porter, per day on the mountain.

Are you ready to start planning your Kilimanjaro Climb?

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