This is our 9 Days Mount Kilimanjaro Climb Northern Circuit Route. The Northern Circuit Route is one of the nice routes to follow during your Mount Kilimanjaro Trek. It offers an almost 360⁰ view of the beautiful surrounding scenery, has a lesser crowd and it’s generally a quite route. Because it is the longest route to the summit, the northern circuit offers the largest amount of time for acclimatization a thing that best explains why it has a very high success rate of summiting the Kilimanjaro. Kilimanjaro Trails together with most expert highly recommend this route

This route approaches the mountain summit from the west and starts with a drive from Moshi to the Londorossi Gate. The next two days are spent exploring the rainforest, before crossing the Shira Plateau. From there the trails heads north circling the Moir Hut, to Buffalo Camp, to school hut in a circular way before finally reaching the summit from the east. The descent is made along Mweka route.

The Northern Circuit Route can be completed in nine days however, a ten days itinerary can be organized with an additional night at Crater Camp. This can be done as a group climb or a private climb.

9 days Kilimanjaro Climb Northern Circuit Route – Itinerary

Day 1

Transfer to Londorossi Gate, Hike to Mti Mkubwa

This is the first day of the 9 days mountain climb along the Lemosho Route. You will be transferred by car from Moshi to the Londorossi gate – a drive which will take approximately four days. Once at the trailhead, you will be briefed about the guidelines to follow while on the mountain, and also complete all the required formalities before beginning the trek. From here you will hike through the verdant rain-forest and head to the Mti Mkubwa camp site where you will have your evening meal and spend the night.

Route Plan: Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa

Elevation: 7,742 feet to 9,498 feet

Distance: 6 kilometers / 4 miles

Hiking Time: 3 to 4 hours

Habitat Moved: Rain Forest.

Day 2

9 days Northern Circuit Route; Mti Mkubwa to Shira 1 Camp.

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.

Route Plan: Mti Mkubwa to Shira 1 Camp

Elevation: 9,498 feet to 11,500 feet

Distance: 8 kilometers / 5miles

Hiking Time: 5 to 6 hours

Habitat Covered: Health / Moorland.

Day 3

Climb from Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp

Today you will depart from Shira 1 Camp and spend the day exploring 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.

Route Plan: Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp

Elevation: 11,500 feet to 12,500 feet

Distance: 7 kilometers / 4 miles

Hiking Time: 3 to 4 hours

Habitat: Heath.

Day 4

Climb Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower to Moir Hut

You will ascend east on a ridge and proceed south eastwards to the Lava Tower also known as ‘Shark’s Tooth’ a very impressive rock formation. You will later descend to Moir Valley to Moir Hut (a not commonly used campsite at the bottom of the Lent hills). There are a number of walks you can take up the lent Hills to enable you acclimatize. The Shira Plateau is one of the highest plateaus in the world.

Route Plan: Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower to Moir Hut

Elevation: 12,500 feet to 15,190 feet ascent (and 15,190 feet to 13,580 feet descent)

Distance: 7 kilometers /4 miles ascent (7 kilometers / 4 miles descent)

Hiking Time: 3 to 4 hours ascent (3 to 4 hours descent)

Habitat: Alpine Desert.

Day 5

9 Days Northern Circuit Route; Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp

Today you will depart from the Moir Valley along a fairly steep climb which will take you to the peak of the lent hills from where you will join the main trail. You will then traverse the gently undulating rock field before finally arriving at the Buffalo Camp where you will spend the night. This section of the route offers breathtaking views across the northern plains of the mountain as well as views into the neighboring country – Kenya.

Route Plan: Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp

Elevation: 13,580 feet to 13,200 feet

Distance: 12 kilometers / 7 miles

Hiking Time: 5 to 7 hours

Habitat Moved: Alpine Desert.

Day 6

Climb from from Buffalo Camp to Third Cave

From the Buffalo Camp you will ascend to the Buffalo Ridge and you will observe that the vegetation starts to thin out. Since this route is less traveled, you will enjoy a wilderness isolated experience on the mountain. You will hike through the isolated valleys found on the northern part of the mountain until you finally reach the Third Cave where you will spend the night.

Route Plan: Buffalo Camp to Third Cave

Elevation: 13,200 feet to 12,700 feet

Distance: 8 kilometers / 5 miles

Hiking Time: 5 to 7 hours

Habitat Moved: Heath.

Day 7

Hike Third Cave to School Hut

From Third Cave you will steadily ascend over the “Saddle,” that is located between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. Later proceed to School Hut which will be our final destination for today. You will have dinner and spend time to rest as you prepare for the next day to summit the mountain.

Route Plan: Third Cave to School Hut

Elevation: 12,700 feet to 15,600 feet

Distance: 5 kilometers /3 miles

Hiking Time: 4 to 5 hours

Habitat Cover: Alpine Desert.

Day 8

9 Days Northern Circuit Route; School Hut to Uhuru Summit to Mweka Camp.

You will begin this day’s hike to the summit very early between midnight and 2:00am. You will hike and head North West and ascend across the thick gravel to Stella Point at an elevation of 18,600 feet found on the rim of the crater. This section of the trail is the most challenging both physically and mentally.

Once at Stella Point, you will have a brief rest and if the weather is good, you will be able to see the most breathtaking sunrise. From this point you will ascend for about an hour traversing the snow covered terrain all the way to the Uhuru peak. The Uhuru summit which stands at a height of 19,341 feet (5,895 meters) is the highest point on Mountain Kilimanjaro and it is considered as the Rooftop of Africa. Actually climbers who are faster will be able to see the sunrise at the Uhuru summit.

After spending some time at the summit resting and taking some photographs, you will begin the descent to the Mweka camp which will be the final destination for the day, making a stopover for lunch at the Barafu camp. During the challenging descent, you will use your trekking poles and gaiters to traverse the loose gravel. The Mweka camp is located on the upper side of the forest, so expect some rainfall or mist in the late afternoon. You will have your evening meal before having your night’s rest.

Route Plan: School Hut to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Elevation: 15,600 feet to 19,341 feet ascent (and 19,341 feet to 10,065 feet)

Distance: 6 kilometers / 4 miles ascent (and 12 kilometers / 7 miles descent)

Hiking Time: 6 to 8 hours ascent (and 4 to 6 hours)

Habitat Moved: Artic

Day 9

Mweka camp, Hike to Mweka Gate

This is the final day of this 8 Days’ hike on Mt. Kilimanjaro. After your breakfast at Mweka Camp, you will descend to the Mweka- Park Gate where you will be awarded your summit certificates for either the Uhuru peak or Kibo peak. The descent is along a very muddy as slippery trail so you will use your trekking poles and gaiters. You will continue to Mweka village. Your driver will be waiting for you at Mweka village, and he will transfer you back to your hotel in Moshi town.

This will be the end of our 9 Day Mount Kilimanjaro Trek on the Northern Circuit

Route Plan: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Elevation: 10,065 feet to 5,380 feet

Distance: 10 kilometers / 6 miles

Hiking Time: 3 to 4 hours

Habitat covered: Rain Forest

8 Days Kilimanjaro Climb Shira Route – Prices

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9 days Northern Circuit Route Kilimanjaro

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