9 Days Kilimanjaro Trekking northern Circuit Route

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9 Days Kilimanjaro Trekking Northern Circuit route is one of the best routes on Kilimanjaro, offering nearly 360 degrees of beautiful scenery including the quiet, rarely visited northern slopes. As the longest route on Kilimanjaro, the Northern Circuit also has the most acclimatization time and the highest summit success rate. Thus, the Northern Circuit route is highly recommended.

The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west, beginning with a long drive from Moshi to Londorossi Gate. From there, the first two days are spent trekking through the rainforest to Shira Ridge, before crossing the Shira Plateau. The route then heads north and circles clockwise from Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp to School Hut, before summiting from the east. Descend is made via the Mweka route.

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Day 0 Kilimanjaro Airport – Arusha

Our friendly transfer driver will meet you at Kilimanjaro airport. After loading the luggage into the vehicle you will make your way to Arusha night at  Natron Palace Hotel You can relax the rest of the day or go and explore the small town of Arusha. Our team will meet you later in the day to have a preliminary talk in preparation for the days to follow.

Day 1 Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa Kilimanjaro

Elevation: 7,742 ft to 9,498 ft
Distance: 6 km/4 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

We depart Arusha/Moshi 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 an undisturbed forest that winds to the first campsite.

Day 2 Mti Mkubwa to Shira 1 Camp Kilimanjaro

Elevation: 9,498 ft to 11,500 ft
Distance: 8 km/ 5miles
Hiking Time 5-6 hours
Habitat: Health

We continue on the trail leading out of the rainforest and into a savannah of tall grasses, heather, and volcanic rock draped with lichen beards. As we ascend through the lush rolling hills and cross several streams, we reach the Shira Ridge before dropping gently down to Shira 1 Camp. Here we catch our first glimpse of Kibo across the plateau.

Day 3 Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp Kilimanjaro

Elevation: 11,500 ft to 12,500 ft
Distance: 7 km/4 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Heath

We explore the Shira Plateau. It is a gentle walk east on moorland meadows towards Shira 2 Camp. The heath zone displays abundant wildflowers and unique Senecio trees.

Day 4 Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower Kilimanjaro

Elevation: 12,500 ft to 15,190 ft
Distance: 7 km/4 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Lava Tower to Moir Hut
Elevation: 15,190 ft to 13,580 ft
Distance: 7 km/4 miles
Hiking Time: 2-3 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We continue to the east up a ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower – a 300 ft tall volcanic rock formation. Then we divert from the main trail to Moir Hut, a little-used site on the base of Lent Hills. A variety of walks are available on Lent Hills making this an excellent acclimatization opportunity. Shira Plateau is one of the highest plateaus on earth.

Day 5 Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp

Elevation: 13,580 ft to 13,200 ft
Distance: 12 km/7 miles
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

e trek out of Moir Valley with a moderately steep climb, then hike to the summit of Lent Hills before returning to the main trail. The path crosses a rock field and gently undulates before reaching Buffalo Camp. This section of the trail offers great views across the plains that lie north of Kilimanjaro and stretch out to the Kenyan/Tanzanian border.

Day 6 Buffalo Camp to Third Cave

Elevation: 13,200 ft to 12,700 ft
Distance: 8 km/5 miles
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Heath

As we head up Buffalo Ridge, the terrain becomes increasingly sparse. This route is rarely traveled and we will enjoy its mountain wilderness feel. We trek through remote valleys onto the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro until we arrive at Third Cave.

Day 7 Third Cave to School Hut

Elevation: 12,700 ft to 15,600 ft
Distance: 5 km/3 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

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 and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day.

Day 8 School Hut to Uhuru Peak

Elevation: 15,600 ft to 19,341 ft
Distance: 6 km/4 miles
Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp
Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065
Distance: 12 km/7 miles
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Habitat: Artic

Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. At Gilman’s point (18,600 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Day 9 Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
Distance: 10 km/6 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us back to the hotel in Arusha/Moshi.

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Included

  • Kilimanjaro trekking according to the itinerary
  • Professional, Wilderness First Responder GuideProper Ration of Mountain crew (Cook & Porters)
  • Pre and Post accommodations (2 nights
  • Bed and Breakfast)
  • Airport Transfers
  • Mineral water
  • Meals according to the itinerary
  • All National Park & Hut Fees, Crew Permits and VATGate TransfersQuality Imported Equipments

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Travel or Medical
  • Insurance is required and you should ask for Recommendation
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Visa feesTips for porters and mountain crew
  • Personal spending money for souvenirs etc.

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Excellent
Based on 17 reviews
Abraham joseph
Abraham joseph
22 April 2024
Best experience like no other Crown Eagle Adv is an experience like no other! From the moment we stepped into their capable hands, every aspect of our journey through the Serengeti, ngorongoro and Tarangire was expertly handled.
Allan F
Allan F
16 February 2024
comfortable and quality safari vehicles The safari vehicles provided by Crown Eagle Adventures were comfortable and well-equipped, allowing for optimal viewing and photography opportunities. Our guides' keen eyes and expert navigation skills ensured that we never missed a sighting, whether it was a pride of lions lounging in the shade or a herd of elephants crossing the savannah.
Daniel R
Daniel R
8 February 2024
highly recommend I highly recommend Crown Eagle Adventures to anyone seeking a memorable and well-organized safari experience. They exceeded my expectations, and I can't wait to embark on another adventure with them in the future
Ruud M
Ruud M
30 January 2024
Thank You I recently had the pleasure of experiencing a safari with Crown Eagle Adventures, and I must say their service was nothing short of exceptional. From the moment I inquired about the trip to the final moments of our safari, the team at Crown Eagle demonstrated a level of professionalism and dedication that truly stood out.
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Vivian G
14 January 2024
Amazing experience! I recently had the pleasure of embarking on an unforgettable Tanzania Safari with Crown Eagle Adventures, and I must say it exceeded all expectations! From the moment I reached out to inquire about their services to the final farewell, the experience was nothing short of extraordinary.
Bo S
Bo S
10 July 2023
Perfect safari Fantastic trip from start to end. Good guide and cook, that manage to find the big five and prepare good food all the way. We all felt save and well informed during the entire trip. Helped getting our delayed luggage from the airport before we left Arusha, - so nice. My best recomendations to Crown Eagle Safaris and the entire team behind.
Antonia N
Antonia N
12 June 2023
Solo hike to summit of oldonyo lengai I hiked on top of oldonyo lengai. I felt save at all times as a solo travelling woman. Tour was well planned, the chef was great, lodge was also very good. Thanks for the great hike! Will never forget this experience!
Saifou K
Saifou K
11 September 2022
2 jours de folie dans la savane Un excellent rapport qualité prix. Très bien guidé par Nicolas. Nous avons visité tarengire le premier jour : lions, zèbres, éléphants, gnous, buffles, antilopes ... une vraie merveille. Ensuite la parc de Ngorogoro. Safari très bien organisé par Saleh. N'hésitez pas ... vous serez bien pris en charge par ce prestataire modeste mais très professionnel.
daniel k
daniel k
20 August 2022
Magnifique Une agence parfaite, qui a su s'adapter à notre besoin ainsi que notre budget. Tout en ayant un service clientèle parfait, le moindre problème ils étaient au petit soins avec nous, une question sur la tanzanie ils étaient la. Rien n'a dire. Foncez!