The Northern Circuit Route is not just the newest official route on Kilimanjaro, but also the longest and most scenic offering an unparalleled experience of the mountain.  Circling most of the mountain at nearly 4000 metres, the unique itinerary will expose you to sweeping 360-degree views across the rarely visited yet stunningly diverse northern slopes. The route is safe and the longer trail means more time for acclimatization with climb high /sleep low application and consequently high success rates. The nine-day long Northern circuit route sets off from the western Lemosho route making its way through the montane forests and ascending through the Shira ridge on to the Shira plateau to reach the Lava Tower. From there the route heads in the northwest direction to Moir Hut, circumnavigating the mountain in a clockwise direction at an altitude of approximately 13,000 feet. The trail then intersects with the Rongai route variant at Third Cave, before summiting from School Hut. The descent is via Mweka route.

The Northern Circuit route is easily one of the best routes on Kilimanjaro. It is best suited for those who enjoy backpacking for many days and want to do something that is different. The Northern Circuit is also preferred by those who want to get away from other travelers while on their trek

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Day One: Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport.

Arrival at JRO and meet with our staff who will take you at the Hotel at Arusha or Moshi for overnight ( Bed & Breakfast)

Day Two: Lodorosi Gate.(2360m/ 7,742ft to Mti Mkubwa Camp 2896m/9498ft)

We depart Moshi/ Arusha for Londorossi Gate, which takes about 4 hours, where you will complete entry formalities. Then drive to the Lemosho trailhead. Upon arrival at the trailhead, we begin hiking through the undisturbed forest which winds to the first campsite.
Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa
Elevation Gain: 536 meters, 1758 feet.
Distance: 8 kilometers

Day Three: Mti Mkubwa Camp (2896m/9498ft to Shira 1 Camp 3506m 11,500 ft)

As we continue ascending we leave the rainforest behind to enter into the savannah of tall grasslands and sparse vegetation of heather moorlands characterised by lichen beard covered volcanic rocks. Pushing ahead through the rolling hills and across several streams you reach the Shira Ridge before gently descending to Shira 1 Camp, from where you see the first sight of Kibo.
Elevation Gain: 610meters, 2000ft.
Distance: 8 kilometers

Day Four: Shira 1 Camp (3506m/11,500 ft Shira 2 Camp 4207m/13,800ft)

On day four the trek crosses the Shira Plateau from Shira Camp 1 while exploring scenic surroundings thriving with wildflowers and unique Senecio trees on our gentle walk eastwards on moorland meadows towards Shira 2 Camp.
Elevation Gain: 710 meter 2300 feet
Distance: 11 kilometers

Day five: Shira 2 Camp (4207m/13,800ft Barranco Camp 4631m/15,190 ft)

Next up is a climb up a rocky ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower, a 300ft reminder of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic past. Then we divert from the main trail to Moir Hut, a little-used site on the base of Lent Hills. The availability of varied walks on Lent Hills provide for excellent additional acclimatization opportunities.
Elevation gain: 424metere 1391 feet
Distance: 7 kilometers

Lava Tower 4631m/15,190ft Moir Hut 4140m/13,580ft
Elevation Loss: 494 meters, 1620 feet
Distance: 7 kilometers

Day Six: Moir Hut (4140m/13,580ft Buffalo Camp 4024m/13,200 ft)

On this day, its steep climb out of Moir valley followed by a trek up the summit of Lent Hills before rejoining the northern circuit trail. The path from here to Buffalo camp is beset with a series of inclines and declines and will treat you to some amazing vistas across the plains that lie north of Kilimanjaro and stretch out to the Kenyan / Tanzanian border.
Elevation Loss: 116 meters 380 feet
Distance: 12 kilometers

Day Seven: Buffalo Camp 4024m/13,200f Third Cave 3,872m 12,700ft

On this day,  you will trek up the Buffalo Ridge characterised by sparse vegetation but bubbling with vibes of mountain wilderness. The remote route then continues around the northern slopes to arrive at Third Cave.
Elevation Gain: 152 meters, 499
Distance: 8 kilometers

Day Eight: Third Cave 3,872m/12,700ft School Hut 4,756m 15,600ft

We climb steadily up and over the “Saddle,” which sits between Kibo and Mawenzi. We continue on to our camp, School Hut. Once here we rest, enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day.
Elevation Gain: 884 meters 2900 feet
Distance: 5 kilometers

Day Nine: School Hut 4,756m/15,600 Uhuru Peak 5896/19,341ft)
Uhuru Peak 5896m/ 19,341f 2828/9276f Decent Mweka Hut 3068m/10,065f)

Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit for what is going to be the most grueling portion of the trek and bound to test your physical and mental reserves to the hilt. We ascend in the darkness for several hours taking frequent, but short breaks to reach Gilman’s Point (18,900 ft), to witness the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi peak. Another hour’s walking takes us to the summit, Uhuru Peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa

From the summit, you will make a steady descent to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is rocky and the descent can be especially hard for your aching legs and back, already stressed from the exhausting ascent. Pull out your trekking poles for support and leverage while descending as the location of Mweka Camp in the upper rainforest region predisposes it to mist and rain in the late afternoon.
School Hut to Uhuru Peak
Elevation Gain: 1,140 meters, 3,739 feet
Distance: 6 kilometers

Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp
Elevation Loss: 2828 meters, 9,276 feet
Distance: 12 kilometers

Day Ten: Mweka Hut 3068m/10,065f, Mweka Gate 1640m/5380f)

On the last day, you will make a steady descent to the Mweka Gate, where at the park office you will be presented with a certificate marking your achievement of summiting at the top. As you continue your descent be watchful of your footing as the ground tends to be damp and muddy at the lower reaches. From the gate, we continue another trekking for another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us back to the hotel in Arusha or Moshi.
Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate
Elevation Loss: 1,4028 meters, 5,380 feet
Distance: 10 kilometers


  • All Kilimanjaro National Park fees and rescue fees
  • All guides (WFR qualified) and porters
  • All food on the mountain with services of dedicated cook
  • Transfers from Arusha to Mount Kilimanjaro and back to Arusha
  • All safety equipment (including oxygen)
  • All camping equipment
  • All camping and hut fees
  • All communication techniques (mobile phones)
  • Packed lunch on the first day and last day
  • Sleeping mats, stools, a mess tent and hot water for washing are provided on the mountain
  • Bed and breakfast only at Hotel in Arusha on the first day of arrival and the last day


  • All costs associated with obtaining any necessary passports, visas and permits
  • All costs associated with obtaining any necessary immunization, inoculation, and medication
  • Any and all meals, items of a personal nature and services not specified above.
  • Tips

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