Compare Kilimanjaro’s Northern Circuit route tours & realize a 95% Kilimanjaro summit guarantee when you hike this 9 day Northern Circuit route itinerary. This especially applies if you’re 40+ years of age and have no experience hiking at high altitudes.
The Northern Circuit route is the longest trail on Kilimanjaro in terms of distance and number of days traveled. This is the only trail that approaches Mt. Kilimanjaro from the north and gives hikers a 360-degree view of the mountain. Trekkers should expect incredible scenery, low traffic and a very high success rate.
If this is your first-time hiking at high elevations (above 3,000m/9,900ft), you should know that the most effective way to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro is to properly acclimatize during your hike. Long and gradual routes like the 9-day Northern Circuit route are great for acclimatization systems to be utilized. See, on Kilimanjaro, there are 2 systems that prevent altitude sickness:
- The first method, Pole Pole (Slow-Slow in English), requires you to be on the mountain long enough for your body to acclimate to various altitudes.
- The second method, Trek-High & Sleep-Low, calls for trails to have gradual inclines in order for you to trek to high elevations and sleep at lower altitudes. This method conditions your body to anticipate elevation changes while helping you adjust during your sleep.
Hiking the 9 day Northern Circuit route will give you ample time to adjust to elevation changes and will make for a much better hiking experience. If you’re below 40 years of age, consider hiking the 8-day Lemosho program. The route performs extremely well with hikers that are under 40 years of age.
Northern Circuit’s Highlights
Meet Your Guides
Safety Material & Equipment
Medication & Sanitary Treatments
Wraps, Splints & Wound Coverings
Tools & Supplies
Evacuation Protocol On Northern Circuit Route
Best Time To Hike Northern Circuit Route
Dietary Food Preferences Served On Northern Circuit
All of your meals on Kilimanjaro are freshly cooked by excellent chefs and served according to your dietary preference.
Northern Circuit Route’s Park Fees
|Kilimanjaro National Park fees|
|Conservation Fees||$70/Per Day|
|Camping Fees||$50/Per Night|
|Rescue Fees||$20/Per Hiker|
|Guide and Porter Entrance Fees||$2/Per Supporting Crew|
|Forest Entry Fees||$10/Per Hiker|
|Forest Vehicle Entry Fees||$20/Per Vehicle|
|Forest Support Crew Entry Fees||$1/Per Supporting Crew|
|Tourism Value Added Tax (VAT)||18%|
|Retail Value Added Tax (VAT)||18%|
Northern Circuit Route’s 9 Day Packages & Inclusions
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Northern Circuit Route Itinerary 9 Days
DAY 1 — ARRIVAL
All trekkers will have to arrange their own flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and apply for their own visas through the online immigration portal. Visa guidelines are also available on the official immigration website.
Note, if you’re arriving from a country subject to yellow fever, you will be required to show proof of vaccination. A 72-hour PCR test is required for entry.
A transfer will be arranged to drop off you and your luggage at the hotel to unwind from your travels. Briefing will take place in the evening or early morning.
DAY 2 — LONDOROSSI GATE TO MTI MKUBWA
After breakfast, a car will transfer you to the Londorossi Park Gate for registration while the porters pack supplies and luggages before ascent. Please pack trekking belongings not exceeding 15-18kg as porters are only allowed to carry weight no more than 20kg.
DAY 3 — MTI MKUBWA CAMP TO SHIRA CAMP
From camp, the trek will resume east; across the Shira Plateau with a breath taking view of the Shira Cathedral. The trail crosses moorland meadow and leads to Shira 1 Camp for an overnight stay at 3,500m. Glaciers of the western breach can be spotted from this point. Expect a temperature to drop compared to the previous night.
DAY 4 — SHIRA 1 CAMP TO SHIRA 2 CAMP
As we move from camp, we’ll enter the moorland zone before making our way towards Shira 2 camp.
DAY 5 — SHIRA 2 CAMP TO LAVA TOWER
On this day, we will continue east up a ridge (Shira Ridge) and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower for lunch and acclimatization. As this will be the toughest day of the trek, you may start sensing the change in altitude.
LAVA TOWER TO MOIR HUT
After lunch, well descend to Moir Hut. The “trek high & sleep low” technique is commonly used to help trekkers cope with the changes in altitude. The descent to Moir Camp will take approximately 2-3 hours where the camp is situated on the base of Lent Hills. This grants enormous acclimatization opportunities as there are a variety of good landscapes along Lent Hills.
DAY 6 — MOIR HUT TO BUFFALO CAMP
We’ll hike the steep trails from moir valley before trekking towards the summit of Lent Hills and back into the main trail and you approach Buffalo Camp. This section offers great views of the plains that extend across the Tanzanian northern border.
DAY 7 — BUFFALO CAMP TO THIRD CAVE CAMP
After an early rise, we’ll head up Buffalo ridge. This route is rarely traveled and the terrain becomes increasingly sparse. We’ll trek through remote valleys, past the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro before retiring at Third Cave Camp.
DAY 8 — THIRD CAVE CAMP TO SCHOOL HUT
After breakfast, we’ll trek steadily up and over the “Saddle”, which sits between Kibo and Mawenzi peak before retiring at camp.
DAY 9 — SCHOOL HUT TO UHURU PEAK
This is summit day and may also be the most physically and mentally challenging phase of your trek. The hike will resume between the Redman and Ratzel Glacier heading towards the crater rim at Stella Point (5,732m). Uhuru (5,895m) Peak, the highest point of the mountain, is only an hour away from Stella Point.
UHURU PEAK TO MWEKA CAMP
From the summit of Kilimanjaro, you will descend down Mweka route 3,100m to Mweka Camp for lunch. This point will also be the last point for dinner and an overnight stay.
DAY 10 — MWEKA CAMP TO MWEKA GATE
After breakfast, we will further descend 1,300m to Mweka Gate where you’ll collect your Kilimanjaro certificates from the Kilimanjaro National Park headquarters. A transfer from the gate to the hotel will be arranged after receiving your certificates.
DAY 11 — DEPARTURE/TRANSITION
If you have booked a Wildlife Safari or Zanzibar Beach Holiday package with us, you’ll be transferred to the next chapter of your journey. If you have not booked an additional trip with XPATS International, you’ll be transferred to the airport.
Pre & Post Hike Accommodations
Rongai Route Accommodations
Kilimanjaro’s Northern Circuit Route Map
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