Northern Circuit route was opened for those seeking remote and long Mt Kilimanjaro hiking. The lowest traffic on the Mount. Starting at Shira Plateau, this route traverses picturesque Northern side of the Mount. Recommended for the beginners.
One of our drivers will greet You at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and drive You to your hotel. Our partner hotels offer all that is necessary for a pleasant stay: from comfortable rooms with hot showers to swimming pools. The local staff are ever friendly and will provide all assistance You might need, including Internet access passwords where necessary. In the evening You will be briefed on the upcoming climb by your Tour Manager. Start of check-in is at 14:00 hrs
Introductions and a short final orientation with your guides take place in the morning at your hotel before the 3 to 4-hour drive to Kilimanjaro National Park's West gate: Londorossi (2,200 m). The guides will take care of the Park permits and registration formalities.
A further 1-hour drive brings you to 3,500 m above sea level, which is where the trekking starts. The drop-off point affords stunning vistas of the Shira Plateau.
The further walk to your first overnight camp at Shira 1 camp presents a modest physical challenge and allows for easy acclimation due to the modest increase in altitude.
This will be your first night at high altitude, so adhere to the following rules from this point on:
Do not consume any alcohol or caffeine
Keep hydrated by drinking no less than 4 l (about a gallon) of water a day
We recommend that you take Diamox pills every morning prior to beginning the climb - this alleviates altitude sickness symptoms. Make sure to consult your physician on the use of Diamox before traveling.
Nausea and headaches tend to occur at higher altitudes, especially at night. Do not panic if you experience these or any other symptoms but make sure to appraise your head guide of the situation immediately.
Change in Elevation: Lemosho Glades (3,500 m) — Shira 1 Camp (3,505 m)
Hiking distance: 4 km
Hiking time: 1 hour
This day brings yet another modest altitude gain of 300 m on the way from Shira 1 to Shira 2 Camp. The low physical demands of the trek will leave you with both time and energy to enjoy Kilimanjaro's flora and- when the weather is favourable- Mount Meru, which is the 5th-highest mountain on the continent.
A further acclimatisation walk towards Lava Tower will follow lunch and a 2-hour rest period. This allows you to experience a further gain of 300 m.
Trekking from Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp:
Change in Elevation: Shira 1 Camp (3,505 m) — Shira 2 Camp (3,900 m)
Hiking distance: 7 km
Hiking time: 3–4 hours
Change in Elevation: Shira 2 Camp (3,900 m) — Destination point en route to Lava Tower (4,110 m)
Hiking distance: 2 km
Hiking time: 1–2 hours
The group leaves the altitude of 3,900 m at Shira Camp and heads towards Lava Tower’s 4,630 m after breakfast. This part of the route is rife with ups and downs and may bring some discomfort. You will need to spend one or two hours at higher altitude in order to properly acclimatize yourself, so the lunch break will take place at Lava Tower itself.
The afternoon part of the route climbs slightly before descending to Moir Hut Camp. Your guide may decide to bypass Lava Tower altogether, taking the porter trail instead, if any of the members of the group do not appear to have acclimatized properly. In this case the highest altitude reached will be 4,400, rather than 4,630 metres.
Change in Elevation: Shira 2 Camp (3,900 m) — Lava Tower (4,630 m) — Moir Hut (4,200 m)
Hiking distance: 14 km
Hiking time: 5–7 hours
On this day you will have a rather long but at the same time easy trek. After a short steep climb out of Moir Valley you will start going around the northern slope of Kilimanjaro, and just like on the way to Lava Tower the path will be full of highs and lows, without any steep gains in altitude. This route passes close to the border with Kenya, so you will be treated to amazing views of the Tsavo and Amboseli Valleys.
Change in Elevation: Moir Hut (4,200 m) — Buffalo Camp (4,020 m)
Hiking distance: 12 km
Hiking time: 5–7 hours
You will finish trekking up the northern slope of Kilimanjaro and stop for the night in 3rd Cave Camp, where the route will meet up with the traditional Rongai route. On this day the trekking will be shorter than on the day before, and by this time your body will already have become completely acclimated to an altitude of 4,000 meters, which will contribute to your general feelings of well-being.
Change in Elevation: Buffalo Camp (4,020 m) — 3rd Cave Camp (3,870 m)
Hiking distance: 8 km
Hiking time: 4–6 hours
On this day you will be trekking to the School Hut Summit Camp (4,750 m). The actual trekking is not very hard, so remember to just choose an appropriate pace in order to keep your strength up for the trekking to Kilimanjaro's summit. When you reach the camp, we recommend you sleep well, avoid strenuous activity and drink as many fluids as you can, because that very night you will complete the trekking to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m).
Change in Elevation: 3rd Cave Camp (3,870 m) — School Hut (4,750 m)
Hiking distance: 5 km
Hiking time: 4–5 hours
Safety being the primary consideration during any summiting attempt, one guide will be nominated per every two climbers. His main responsibility is the monitoring of his designated clients’ health on the trek to Uhuru Peak’s 5,895 m. The climb, which starts at School Hut’s 4,750 m around midnight, though relatively easy technically, poses a challenge due to high altitude. A walk upon the nearest glacier is an option upon successful summiting.
The group then descends to Barafu Camp for a two-hour lunch and rest break. The day ends at Millennium Camp’s 3,820 m.
Please keep in mind, that 9/10 accidents occur during descent. Mind your step to avoid potential falls, breaks and damaged toes.
Change in Elevation: School Hut (4,750 m) — Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) — Millennium Camp (3,820 m)
Hiking distance: 6 km
Hiking time: 6–8 hours
Millennium Camp sits amidst a tropical rainforest. The lower altitude and feelings of accomplishment from having reached the summit make for a good night’s rest there. Hot breakfast is followed by your final descent to the Park’s exit gate- Mweka, at 1,650 m. This final stop before your transfer to our offices to receive your accomplishment certificates presents a good opportunity to recap the adventure with your support team. Finally, you will be driven to your hotel for a well-deserved rest.
Change in Elevation: Millennium Camp (3,820 m) — Mweka Gate (1,650 m)
Hiking distance: 12 km
Hiking time: 4–5 hours
Rest at your hotel until your transfer to the airport. Check-out time is 11:00 AM, however, if your flight is in the evening you can extend your stay for the day for a modest fee.