8 DAYS NORTHERN CIRCUIT KILIMANJARO CLIMBING ROUTE

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Tour Overview

The Northern Circuit is the newest route on Mount Kilimanjaro, and it is also the longest. It starts in the west at the Londorossi Gate and for the first two days takes the same path as the Lemosho route. After crossing the Shira plateau, the path goes north near Lava Tower. Instead of the more popular Southern Circuit through Barranco Valley, it follows the longer Northern Circuit. On the way to the east side of the mountain, the path goes around the quieter northern slopes. The Northern Circuit is the longest of Kilimanjaro’s trails. It takes at least eight or nine days to finish. The eight-day trek doesn’t stop at Shira Camp 2 for an extra day to get used to the altitude. Instead, it goes straight to Moir Camp.
Plan for each day

Day by day itinerary

You’ll meet our Mangokili Adventures driver at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), and he’ll take you to your hotel in Moshi town. There, your guide will meet you. He or she will ask you about your upcoming hike and look over your gear to make sure you have everything you need for the mountain. You can rent the gear you forgot on this day.
Spend the night at the Park View hotel or the Lindrin lodge. The price includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The Northern Circuit Route starts at the same place as the Lemosho Route, at Londorossi Gate (2,100 meters) in the west. From Moshi, it takes about two hours to drive to Londorossi Gate. From Arusha, it takes a lot longer. At the gate, you will sign up with the Kilimanjaro National Park staff, and then you will be driven further up the mountain to the trailhead. Before the short first-day hike to Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,820 meters), most tour operators serve lunch here. As you walk towards your first camp, you might get lucky and see elephants or buffalo coming out of the rainforest onto the path. When you get to Mti Mkubwa Camp, dinner will be ready.
Distance: 5.5 km (3 miles) Time to walk: 3–4 hours Area: Rainforest

The Northern Circuit Route starts at the same place as the Lemosho Route, at Londorossi Gate (2,100 meters) in the west. From Moshi, it takes about two hours to drive to Londorossi Gate. From Arusha, it takes a lot longer. At the gate, you will sign up with the Kilimanjaro National Park staff, and then you will be driven further up the mountain to the trailhead. Before the short first-day hike to Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,820 meters), most tour operators serve lunch here. As you walk towards your first camp, you might get lucky and see elephants or buffalo coming out of the rainforest onto the path. When you get to Mti Mkubwa Camp, dinner will be ready.
Distance: 5.5 km (3 miles) Time to walk: 3–4 hours
-Area: Rainforest

On day three, the trek goes from Shira Camp 1 to Shira Camp 2 for lunch. This is across the Shira Plateau. Most people on a nine-day trek spend the night at Shira Camp 2, where they will meet people on the Machame Route. But trekkers will keep going east for another 8 days, through the “Garden of the Senecios” and into the high alpine desert zone. After that, they will join the northern circuit and head down to Moir Camp, which is at 4,200 meters.
The distance is about 14 kilometers, or 8 miles. The trekking time is between 6 and 8 hours.

On day five, you climb out of Moir Valley on a moderately steep path. Trekkers can take a small detour here to climb to the top of Little Lent Hill at 4,375 meters before heading back to the Northern Circuit trail. From here, the path goes up and down and around the northern slopes of Kibo until it reaches Buffalo Camp (4,020 meters). The trek gives great views of the plains north of Kilimanjaro that go all the way to the border between Kenya and Tanzania. You will get to Buffalo Camp just after noon. After a long day of hiking, you will eat lunch and have time to rest.
The trek will take between 5 and 7 hours and is in the high alpine zone.

The sixth day starts with a climb up the Buffalo Ridge and down into Porfu Camp, where lunch is usually served. The path then goes east around the northern slopes to the Rongai Third Cave at 3,800 meters. The hike is shorter than it was the day before, and you should be used to the high altitude by now. You will get to the Third Cave around the middle of the afternoon.
High alpine zone and low alpine zone. Distance: 8 km (5 miles). Trekking time: 5–7 hours.

On day seven, you climb steadily up and over the saddle between Kibo Peak and Mawenzi Peak. Trekkers then keep going south-west until they reach School Hut (4,800 meters). When you get to School Hut, you’ll have dinner early, and then you should get some sleep because you’ll be woken up before midnight to start your summit attempt. Before you go to bed, make sure you have everything you need, like warm clothes, insulated water bottles, snacks, a headlamp, and a camera.
-The hike takes about 4-5 hours and is
-about 15 km (8 miles) long.
-The area is high alpine and glacial.

Around 11:30, hot tea and biscuits will wake you up, and you’ll start the steep climb up the slopes of Kibo while it’s still dark. At Hans Meyer Cave, your first checkpoint, you’ll take a short break. As you get closer to Gilman’s Point (5,681 meters), the climb gets steeper. This will happen about 5–6 hours after you leave School Hut. Take a moment to enjoy the amazing view of Mawenzi Peak and the rising sun, but keep in mind that you still have to walk for another two hours to reach Uhuru Peak. As you go west around the crater rim, the slope flattens out, and you should reach the summit at or just after sunrise. Your time here will be short, so take as many photos as you can of the amazing views and glaciers around you. Then, you will go back the way you came around the crater rim to Stella Point (5,739 meters). At Stella Point, you will turn south and head down the rocky slopes of Kibo to Barafu Camp (4,680 meters). Most trekkers stop here for a short break before heading down to Millennium Camp (3,950 meters), where they will spend their last night on the mountain. On day eight, you will walk for a total of 14 to 16 hours, so it is important to go at a steady pace, stay hydrated, and keep your blood sugar up. Note: Some tour groups use the Marangu Route to go back to Horombo Hut via Gilman’s Point.
• Distance: ~6km / 3.5 miles ascent and 10.5km / 6 mile descent
• Trekking takes 6–8 hours to climb and 4–6 hours to go down.
• Zone: Glacial zone and all preceding zones

The last day is a short hike from Millennium Camp (3,950 meters) to Mweka Gate through a dense mountain rainforest (1,640 meters). At the gate, you’ll have to sign out with the authorities, who will also give you your official certificate. Those who made it to Gilman’s Point will get a green certificate, and those who made it to Uhuru Peak will get a gold certificate. Before being driven back to your hotel in Moshi, it is common to tip your guide and porter.
• Distance: ~10km / 6.5 miles
Trekking takes 3–4 hours, and the area is a rain forest.

Stay at the Park View hotel or the Lindrin lodge. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all part of the price.

After the Kilimanjaro trek, you have the rest of the day to relax before your flight home. Depending on what time your flight leaves, you could go to Moshi town and buy some souvenirs before going to the airport. If you want to see more, you can add Zanzibar and other places to your trip to Tanzania.

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