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Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit 9 Day

This unique route combination is a lesser traveled route.  You will see less hikers along the way, making this more private.  As the trailhead is at a high elevation, you will start more slowly.  This trail begins on the Shira Plateau.  The trek across the plateau is said to be one of the most stunning and gorgeous hikes in Africa.

Day 1: Arrive in Tanzania

You will be met at the Kilimanjaro International Airport and be driven to your hotel in Moshi.  Your mountain guide will give you a briefing of your upcoming climb while at your hotel.  As well, we will do an equipment check to make sure you have all that will be necessary on the mountain.

Meals:  No meals included

DAY 2: LONDOROSSI GATE (2,100 meters) – START POINT 2,360 meters TO MTI MKUBWA CAMP (2,820 meters)

  • Distance: ~5.5km / 3 miles
  • Trekking time: 3-4 hours
  • Zone: Rainforest
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

The Northern Circuit Route will begin at the Londorossi Gate (2,100 meters) in the west.  Your ride to this gate will take approximately two hours from Moshi and longer from Arusha.  You will register at the Kilimanjaro National Park gate entrance.  After registration, you will ride further up the mountain to the trailhead.  Lunch will be served before you begin your trek to Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,820 meters).  As you trek through the rain forest, it is sometimes possible to spot elephant and buffalo along the route.

DAY 3: MTI MKUBWA CAMP (2,820 meters) TO SHIRA CAMP 1 (3,610 meters)

  • Distance:~8km / 5 miles
  • Trekking time: 5-6 hours
  • Zone: Rainforest / Low Alpine Zone
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

After your first hour of trekking, you will move out of the rain forest and enter into the low alpine moorland zone which leads you onto the Shira Plateau.  This hiking day is relatively short and gradual and will end at Shira Camp 1 (3,610 meters).

DAY 4: SHIRA CAMP 1 (3,610 METERS) TO SHIRA CAMP 2 (3,850 meters)

  • Distance: ~7km / 4 miles
  • Trekking time: 3-4 hours
  • Zone: Rainforest / Low Alpine Zone
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

As you trek this day, you will cross the Shira Plateau moving from Shira Camp 1 to Shira Camp 2.  You will meet hikers on the Machame Route at this camp.  At Shira Camp 2, you can trek higher up the plateau to enjoy the stunning view across the valley below and the Western Breach of Kilimanjaro above.   As the plateau is exposed, you will need to be prepared for a cold night with temperatures possible below freezing.  Note:  Trekkers on an eight-day hike will continue east up the Shira Plateau ridge and on to Lava Tower (4,600 meters), and then back down via the Northern Circuit to Moir Camp (4,200 Meters).

DAY 5: SHIRA CAMP 2 (3,850 METERS) TO MOIR CAMP (4,200 meters)

  • Distance: ~14km / 8 miles
  • Trekking time: 5-7 hours
  • Zone: Low alpine zone / High alpine zone
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

This will be a long trekking day heading east and will pass through the ‘Garden of the Senecios’.  You will then enter into the high alpine desert zone of the mountain. The morning will be spent trekking to Lava Tower and the iconic Shark’s Tooth rock formation at 4,600 meters, where you will have lunch.  You will then join the northern circuit and head down to Moir Camp at 4,200 meters (see map above).  This is an important day in your trek, as you will experience high altitude and sleep low.  This is good for your acclimatization process.

DAY 6: MOIR CAMP (4,200 METERS) TO BUFFALO CAMP (4,020 meters)

  • Distance: ~12km / 7 miles
  • Trekking time: 5-7 hours
  • Zone: High alpine zone
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

Your day involves a moderately steep climb out of Moir Valley.  Trekkers can take a short detour to climb the summit of Little Lent Hill at 4,375 meters before returning to the Northern Circuit Trail.  From here the route follows a series of inclines and declines, skirting the northern slopes of Kibo to Buffalo Camp (4,020 meters).  You will enjoy the fabulous vistas across the plains that lie north of Kilimanjaro and stretch to the Kenyan / Tanzanian border.  Arriving at your camp just after midday, lunch will be ready for you, and there will be time to rest after a demanding day of hiking.


  • Distance: ~8km / 5 miles
  • Trekking time: 5-7 hours
  • Zone: High alpine zone and low alpine zone
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

You will begin with a climb up the Buffalo Ridge and down to Porfu Camp where lunch is served.  After lunch, you will continue east around the northern slopes to the Rongai Third Cave at 3,800 meters.  This trek will be shorter than the previous day, and you should be feeling well acclimatized to the altitude. At mid-afternoon you will arrive at the Third Cave.

DAY 8: 3RD CAVE (3,800 METERS) TO SCHOOL HUT (4,800 meters) 

  • Distance: ~15km / 8 miles
  • Trekking time: 4-5 hours
  • Zone: High alpine zone and glacial zone
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

This day will be a steady climb up and over the Saddle which sits between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi.  You will then continue walking south-west up to School Hut (4,800 meters).  After arriving at School Hut, you will be served an early dinner.  You can then rest, and hopefully sleep to prepare for your summit climb.  Before your rest, you will organize all of your gear including warm clothes, insulated water bottles, snacks, headlamp and camera.


  • Distance: ~6km / 3.5 miles ascent and 10.5km / 6 mile descent
  • Trekking time: 6-8 hours ascent and then 4-6 hour descent
  • Zone: Glacial zone and all preceding zones
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included

You will be woken at 11:30 pm with hot tea and biscuits, and then begin your summit experience up the steep slopes of Kibo under the cover of darkness.  Your first check point is Hans Meyer Cave, where you will have a short break.  The climb continues to steepen as you approach Gilman’s Point (5,681 meters), which will be about five to six hours after you begin.  Be sure and take a moment to enjoy the approaching dawn and incredible view across to Mawenzi Peak.  Remember that you will still have two hours of trekking to reach Uhuru Peak.  Dig deep for the energy.  As you head west around the crater rim, the slope flattens.  You should arrive at the summit at or soon after sunrise.  Your stay here will be brief.  Take as many pictures as possible of the incredible views and surrounding glaciers.  You will then retrace your steps around the crater rim to Stella Point (5,739 meters) where you will turn south and head down the heavily screed slopes of Kibo to Barafu Camp (4,680 meters).  We will take a short break at Barafu Camp before continuing to Millennium Camp (3,950 meters) for your final night on the mountain. Because you will be trekking 14 to 16 hours on day eight, it is important to pace yourself, remain hydrated and keep your blood sugar levels up.  Note:  Some tour operators return via Gilman’s Point to Horombo Hut using the Marangu Route.

Day 10: Millennium Camp (3,950 meters) to Mweka Gate (1,640 meters) Distance: ~10km / 6.5 miles

  • Trekking time: 3-4 hours
  • Zone: Rainforest zone
  • Meals: Breakfast & Lunch included

Your final day will be a short hike through the dense mountain rain forest from Millennium Camp (3,950 meters) to the Mweka Gate (1,640 meters).  You will sign out at the gate and receive your appropriate summit certificate.  You will then be driven back to your hotel in Moshi.  It is customary to give your guide and porter tips before being driven back to your hotel in Moshi.

Day 11: Depart Tanzania

This day will have an open agenda.  You may want to simply wind down at the hotel or spend some time exploring Moshi before heading to the airport.








8 -10 PEOPLE

11 & ABOVE



  • 2 nights of accommodation at the hotels
  • Both transport to and from the gate
  • Park entry fees
  • Private transport to & from Kilimanjaro International Airport to your accommodations in Moshi.
  • Crater fees
  • Camping fees
  • Team Kilimanjaro Rescue fees
  • 18% VAT on tour fees & services
  • 4 Season mountain tents. Example EUREKA, MOUNTAIN HARD WEAR
  • Double layered Sleeping Mats
  • Friendly and professional mountain guides, cook and porters
  • 3 hot meals daily while on the mountain
  • Enough treated & filtered drinking water throughout the trek
  • Hot water for washing
  • Fair wages for the mountain crew as it is recommended by  Kilimanjaro Association of Tour Operators (KIATO) and the government.
  • Government taxes
  • Portable oxygen tanks & ox meter
  • Emergency first-aid kit.

Not Included:

  • Travel insurance
  • International Flights
  • Laundry (Available at hotel)
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Tips for guides, porters and cook (this is a guide to tipping on the mountain
We will reply to your inquiry as soon as possible. Thank you for considering Jambo Kili Tours as your Tanzania host.