9 Days Northern Circuit Route

9 Days Northern Circuit Route

Overview

The Northern Circuit route is both the newest as well as the longest route up to the peak. Some companies have already started to nickname it the 360 route or the Grand Traverse. The long journey allows for great acclimatisation leading to high success rates. Only a small number of climbers choose the Northern circuit route owing to the additional days needed to complete it. It starts from the same point as the Lemosho route and offers similarly scenic views. Camping is the only available accommodation option on the Northern Circuit.The Northern Circuit is definitely our favourite Kilimanjaro route along with the Lemosho route. If you have the extra time to spare, we believe that the Northern Circuit is the best route for experiencing Mount Kilimanjaro. For starters, it offers stunning scenery including the quiet, rarely visited northern slope.The Northern Circuit is the only route to show you this side of the mountain! You also get to explore more of Kilimanjaro via this slightly longer route, thereby enjoying its various environments thoroughly.

Northern Circuit Route

Uniqueness

  • The Northern Circuit route is the longest and newest of the seven established Kilimanjaro routes.
  • It’s one of the best routes because of its great acclimatisation profile, high summit success rate, stunning views, and comparatively relaxed pace. 
  • It’s also much less crowded than the other Kilimanjaro routes. Simply put, it’s one of the best ways to experience the roof of Africa.

Success Rate

The Northern Circuit is the longest Kilimanjaro route and also provides many opportunities to climb high and sleep low, both of which give it an excellent acclimatisation profile. The summit success rate of the Northern Circuit route is the highest on the mountain. Whilst there are no official statistics, the average success rate across all Kilimanjaro operators for the Northern Circuit is 90%. Follow Alice has a success rate of 95% for the Northern Circuit!

Highlights

  • Good acclimatization profile
  • High success rate
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Panoramic views
  • Varied terrain
  • Quieter than other routes

Tour Details

Before the climbing can begin, you will leave Moshi and take a 4 hour drive to Londorossi Gate

From there, you will follow the same first couple of days as the Lemosho route, trekking through the rainforest to Shira Ridge, before crossing the Shira Plateau.

From here you head in an easterly direction towards Moir’s camp, which is nestled behind a ridge near the famous Lava tower.

You then head around the northern approach route via Pofu camp and join up with the Rongai route at Third Caves.

Itinerary

Day
1
Londorossi Gate to Mkubwa Camp

Today you drive to Londorossi Park Gate, where you’re recorded in the Kilimanjaro National Park records. You then start the trek, hiking through mountain rainforest for three to four hours to reach Mkubwa Camp, where you stay the night.

Day
2
Mkubwa Camp to Shira 1 Camp

Today you trek through the last of the rainforest, before entering moorland terrain. The trail leads towards Shira Plateau and Shira Camp 1, where you stay the night. All in all today’s hike takes about five to six hours.

Day
3
Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp

Today you make your way across the Shira Plateau to Shira Camp 2 on a trek that lasts just three to four hours. Temperatures start to change rather dramatically at this point of the trek, with the nights sometimes plummeting below freezing.

Day
4
Shira 2 Camp to Moir Hut

On this day you can expect a lengthy trek of five to seven hours through the high alpine desert. You climb to Lava Tower and the Shark’s Tooth rock formation. You then head back down Moir Camp. This is an important acclimatisation day.

Day
5
Moir Hut to Pofu Camp

Today you hike for five to seven hours. The trek The trek begins with a steep incline as you journey around Kibo’s north face. You then walk through the alpine desert to reach Pofu Camp, where you spend the night.

Day
6
Pofu Camp to Third Cave

Much like the past couple of days, the journey today is lengthy but can be very rewarding. Buffaloes are sometimes spotted here. You cross valleys on this trek of five to seven hours and end at Third Cave, where you stay the night.

Day
7
Third Cave to Kibo Hut

Today you undertake a steady climb over the Saddle, a stretch of barren land connecting the two peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. The terrain is pretty inhospitable, being high-altitude desert. You climb for four to five hours to arrive at School Hut, where you get some rest before the big day!

Day
8
Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Today is summit day! It’s all been leading to this, so it’s time to dig deep and use all of your determination to reach the top. Picture yourself standing on the roof of Africa and enjoying those unparalleled views!Your guide wakes you up around midnight to begin your trek to the summit! The route ascends northwest into the dark night. In about six hours you reach Stella Point on the crater rim at 5,685 m (18,651 ft) above sea level. Having enjoyed the sunrise, you continue for an hour or so on a snow-covered trail to reach Uhuru Peak at 5,895 m (19,341 ft) above sea level. You’re now standing at the very top of Africa having achieved a truly remarkable feat!After reaching the summit, you descend to Mweka Camp at 3,110 m (10,204 ft) above sea level. Here you spend your final night on the mountain after having hiked for about 12 to 15 hours today!

Day
9
Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Today you do the last bit of hiking down to the foot of the mountain, where your driver meets you. Time for high-fives and a celebratory drink!

Map

What's Include

  • Gate Enter fees
  • All meals on the mountain (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks)
  • Purified water throughout the climb
  • Breakfast and dinner at the lodge before and after the climb
  • Beautiful lodging before and after the climb (2 nights, based on double occupancy)
  • Professional, English-speaking, experienced mountain guides
  • Transport to and from trail head
  • Cook and porters
  • Private toilet tent
  • High-quality sleeping bags and insulated pads
  • Tents and all camping gear
  • Emergency oxygen and rescue equipment
  • Daily blood check with pulse oxymeter

What's Exclude

  • Airfare to Tanzania
  • Airport transfers
  • Visa
  • Tips for the crew
  • Personal rental gear you might need

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