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Climb Kilimanjaro via the Northern circuit route

  • 8 to 10 day trekking options with 9 days our recommended.
  • Suitable for beginner to intermediate trekkers with no technical equipment or experience required.
  • Nights spent in four season mountain tents built for any weather with a private toilet always provided as a standard.
  • The least crowded route and only one to cover all sides of the mountain within the route.
  • A proffessional support team of guides, cook, waiter and porters with external monitoring (KPAP) for fair working standards on each and every trek.
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Northern Circuit 8 day map

Overview

Northern Circuit route

This non-technical Kilimanjaro camping route is one of the newest and considered to be one of the best routes on Kilimanjaro as it is the only one to offer a near 360 degree trail around the main Kibo cone and crosses the northern circuit trail which is rarely used and much quieter than the other routes used. Due to it’s long nature and super acclimatization profile, you have one of the highest chances of reaching the peak, especially in 9 or more days. This route is also preferred by those looking to avoid the small ‘scrambling’ (using your hands and legs) section at the Barranco wall which is found on the southern circuit approaches.

Itinerary

Click to expand the various itinerary options for this route. Itineraries indicated as * Recommended * are chosen for their duration, acclimatization and good route profile

Day 1 - Arrival and pre-climb briefing day

MoshiToday has no planned activities and is only an arrival day for you to reach your base lodge in time for a pre-climb briefing (time to be confirmed) with your mountain guide. A shared shuttle airport transfer is included from Kilimanjaro International Airport (time and flight to be confirmed) to Moshi.

  • Approx driving distance: 1-2 hours
  • Approx trekking time: None
  • Approx trekking distance: None
  • Start Altitude: Unknown
  • End Altitude: Unknown
  • Highest Altitude reached: Unknown
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: Unknown
  • Meals included: None

Overnight (optional) at Bristol Cottages

Bristol Cottages

Style: Mid-range lodge
Location:
Moshi, town center
Altitude: Unknown

Overnight (optional) at Chanya Lodge

Chanya Lodge

Style: Mid-range lodge
Location:
Moshi, outside of town center
Altitude: Unknown

Overnight (optional) at Simba Farm Lodge

Style: Mid-range farm lodge
Location:
Sanya Juu, just outside of the park
Altitude: Unknown

Overnight (optional) at Original Maasai Lodge

Original Maasai Lodge

Style: Mid-range Maasai lodge
Location:
West Kilimanjaro Area, outside of the park
Altitude: Unknown

Day 2 - Moshi to Londrossi gate to Big tree (Mti Mkubwa) camp

Kilimanjaro rainforestYou will be transferred by road from Moshi (09:00am) to Londorossi gate. After registration you continue on the 4x4 track till the trail head where you begin your trek through the rain forest zone with your guide. The forest is thick and diverse with flora / fauna, and you may experience rain this afternoon which is common in this zone making the path slightly slippery. A short and winding path takes you steadily to the first camp.

  • Approx driving distance: 2-3 hours
  • Approx trekking time: 3-4 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 7km or 4.5mi
  • Start Altitude: 2100m or 6890ft
  • End Altitude: 2780m or 9120ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 2780m or 9120ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +680m or +2230ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Overnight at Big tree (Mti Mkubwa) Camp

Kilimanjaro Camping
Style: Shared Public campsite
Location:
Rainforest, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 2780m or 9120ft

Day 3 - Big Tree (Mti Mkubwa) camp to Shira One camp

Kilimanjaro Heather Moorland

This morning you quickly leave the forest zone on a steep path as the dense vegetation slowly eases into the Heather and moorland zone. The remainder of the day takes you on a steady hike across the Shira  ridge where views of the Shira peak (the third of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic cones) gives you the spectacular jagged scenery of this eroded peak.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 4-5 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 7km or 4.5mi
  • Start Altitude: 2780m or 9120ft
  • End Altitude: 3505m or 11500ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 3505m or 11500ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +725m or +2380ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at Shira One Camp

Kilimanjaro camp
Style:
Shared Public campsite
Location:
Heather & moorland, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 3505m or 11500ft

Day 4 - Shira One camp to Moir Camp

Kilimanjaro Alpine Desert

Todays hike takes you gradually across the Shira Plateau within the heather and moorland and diverts off the main trail towards the Northern circuit bypass into the alpine desert zone to Moir Hut camp at the base of the Lent Hills where you may optionally hike further for additional acclimatization walks. You have already diverted off the commonly used southern circuit trail onto the northern circuit which takes you around the back of the Kibo cone.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 3-5 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 6km or 4mi
  • Start Altitude: 3505m or 11500ft
  • End Altitude: 4140m or 13585ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 4140m or 13585ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +635m or +2085ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at Moir Hut Camp

Kilimanjaro Camp
Style: Shared public campsite
Location:
Alpine desert, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 4140m or 13585ft

Day 5 - Moir Camp to Buffalo (Pofu) camp

Kilimanjaro Alpine Desert

Leaving behind the Moir valley you trek on a relatively steep path to the summit of the Lent Hills (if you didn’t reach here the day before) before circling around north of the Kibo cone into the Alpine desert and enjoying this remote part of the mountain with unique scenery of the Northern Kilimanjaro peak and the Kenyan plains below.   

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 7-9 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 12km or 7mi
  • Start Altitude: 4140m or 13585ft
  • End Altitude: 4030m or 13220ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 4375m or 14355ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +235m or +770ft / -345m or -1135ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at Pofu (Buffalo) Camp

Kilimanjaro camp
Style: Shared special campsite
Location: Alpine desert Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 4030m or 13220ft

Day 6 - Buffalo (Pofu) camp to Third Cave Camp

Kilimanjaro Heather Moorland

Your final day on the northern circuit bypass today taking you through the remote mountain wilderness of the North which is probably the least used trail on Kili. Your hike takes you back out of the alpine desert through the buffalo ridge and the remote valleys until the drier heather and moorland area around the Third Cave Camp.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 3-5 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 6km or 4mi
  • Start Altitude: 4030m or 13220ft
  • End Altitude: 3935m or 12795ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 4030m or 13220ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: -95m or -425ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at Third Cave Camp

Kilimanjaro Camp
Style: Shared public campsite
Location:
Heather & moorland, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 3935m or 12795ft

Day 7 - Third cave camp to School Hut Camp (or alternatively Kibo Camp)

Kilimanjaro Alpine Desert

Your hike today takes you abruptly towards the Kibo cone steadily climbing up and over the edges of the alpine desert journeying on the edges of the Kibo saddle. The relatively short distance today means you have plenty of time at your summit camp to rest and prepare for the summit attempt tonight.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 3-5 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 8km or 5mi
  • Start Altitude: 3935m or 12795ft
  • End Altitude: 4715m or 15470ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 4715m or 15470ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +780m or 2575ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at School Hut Camp

Kilimanjaro Camp
Style: Shared public campsite
Location:
Alpine desert, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 4715m or 15470ft

Day 8 - School Hut Camp to Gilman’s point to Uhuru peak to Mweka camp

Kilimanjaro arctic zone

In the early morning (around 00:00am) you begin your final ascent to the summit of Uhuru peak through the arctic zone. The trek is a steep hike over loose volcanic scree through the dark and cold night and takes a slow pace in a zig-zag pattern towards Gilman’s Point (5681m or 18640ft) which is your first stop on the Kibo crater rim. From here a short (but difficult) hike remains to take you past Stella point (the first stop on the rim for those summiting from Barafu camp / the Southern circuit) and further around till Uhuru Peak (5895m or 19341ft), the highest point in Africa. You usually don’t spend that long at the peak due to the extreme altitude and will descend down via Stella point until the southern circuit base camp (Barafu). After a recovery meal you continue the descent through the alpine desert, heather and moorland and until the rainforest where you stop for the night.  

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 14-18 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 20km or 12.5mi
  • Start Altitude: 4715m or 15470ft
  • End Altitude: 3080m or 10105ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 5895m or 19431ft (Peak!)
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +1180m or 3961ft / -2195m or -7211ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at Mweka Camp

Kilimanjaro Camp
Style:
Shared public campsite
Location:
Rainforest, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 3080m or 10105ft

Day 9 - Mweka camp to Mweka gate to Moshi town

Kilimanjaro rainforest

Your final day on Kilimanjaro is a descent through the southern rain forest until Mweka gate where our vehicle will be waiting to take you back to Moshi town. Usually, the crew will leave you at Mweka gate and it’s a perfect opportunity to say goodbye to your crew who all generally head directly home from the end gate.

  • Approx driving distance: 1 hour
  • Approx trekking time: 3-4 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 10km or 6mi
  • Start Altitude: 3080m or 10105ft
  • End Altitude: 1630m or 5350ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 3080m or 10105ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: -1450 or -4755ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight (optional) at Bristol Cottages

Bristol Cottages

Style: Mid-range lodge
Location:
Moshi, town center
Altitude: Unknown

Overnight (optional) at Chanya Lodge

Chanya Lodge

Style: Mid-range lodge
Location:
Moshi, outside of town center
Altitude: Unknown

Overnight (optional) at Simba Farm Lodge

Style: Mid-range farm lodge
Location:
Sanya Juu, just outside of the park
Altitude: Unknown

Overnight (optional) at Original Maasai Lodge

Original Maasai Lodge

Style: Mid-range Maasai lodge
Location:
West Kilimanjaro Area, outside of the park
Altitude: Unknown

Day 10 - Departure day or continue with next activity

Safari car

Today has no planned activities and is only a departure day for you head home (time and flight to be confirmed), continue with your next tour activity or book extra nights to recover. Speak to a tour consultant for all of your options.

  • Approx driving distance: 1-2 hours
  • Approx trekking time: None
  • Approx trekking distance: None
  • Start Altitude: Unknown
  • End Altitude: Unknown
  • Highest Altitude reached: Unknown
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: Unknown
  • Meals included: Breakfast

No overnight accommodation included

Day 1 - Arrival and pre-climb briefing day

MoshiToday has no planned activities and is only an arrival day for you to reach your base lodge in time for a pre-climb briefing (time to be confirmed) with your mountain guide. A shared shuttle airport transfer is included from Kilimanjaro International Airport (time and flight to be confirmed) to Moshi.

  • Approx driving distance: 1-2 hours
  • Approx trekking time: None
  • Approx trekking distance: None
  • Start Altitude: Unknown
  • End Altitude: Unknown
  • Highest Altitude reached: Unknown
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: Unknown
  • Meals included: None

Overnight (optional) at Bristol Cottages

Bristol Cottages

Style: Mid-range lodge
Location:
Moshi, town center
Altitude: Unknown

Overnight (optional) at Chanya Lodge

Chanya Lodge

Style: Mid-range lodge
Location:
Moshi, outside of town center
Altitude: Unknown

Overnight (optional) at Simba Farm Lodge

Style: Mid-range farm lodge
Location:
Sanya Juu, just outside of the park
Altitude: Unknown

Overnight (optional) at Original Maasai Lodge

Original Maasai Lodge

Style: Mid-range Maasai lodge
Location:
West Kilimanjaro Area, outside of the park
Altitude: Unknown

Day 2 - Moshi to Londrossi gate to Big tree (Mti Mkubwa) camp

Kilimanjaro rainforestYou will be transferred by road from Moshi (09:00am) to Londorossi gate. After registration you continue on the 4x4 track till the trail head where you begin your trek through the rain forest zone with your guide. The forest is thick and diverse with flora / fauna, and you may experience rain this afternoon which is common in this zone making the path slightly slippery. A short and winding path takes you steadily to the first camp.

  • Approx driving distance: 2-3 hours
  • Approx trekking time: 3-4 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 7km or 4.5mi
  • Start Altitude: 2100m or 6890ft
  • End Altitude: 2780m or 9120ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 2780m or 9120ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +680m or +2230ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Overnight at Big tree (Mti Mkubwa) Camp

Kilimanjaro Camping
Style: Shared Public campsite
Location:
Rainforest, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 2780m or 9120ft

Day 3 - Big Tree (Mti Mkubwa) camp to Shira One camp

Kilimanjaro Heather Moorland

This morning you quickly leave the forest zone on a steep path as the dense vegetation slowly eases into the Heather and moorland zone. The remainder of the day takes you on a steady hike across the Shira  ridge where views of the Shira peak (the third of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic cones) gives you the spectacular jagged scenery of this eroded peak.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 4-5 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 7km or 4.5mi
  • Start Altitude: 2780m or 9120ft
  • End Altitude: 3505m or 11500ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 3505m or 11500ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +725m or +2380ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at Shira One Camp

Kilimanjaro camp
Style:
Shared Public campsite
Location:
Heather & moorland, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 3505m or 11500ft

Day 4 - Shira One camp to Shira Cathedral Peak to Shira Two camp

Kilimanjaro Heather MoorlandToday's hike takes you gradually across the Shira Plateau within the heather and moorland and an optional extra hike to the Shira Cathedral peak (3880m) before gradually taking you to Shira two camp. Shira is the third of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic cones and has been shaped by lava and volcanic activity to create a stunning jagged peak and offering a unique western view of Kibo, the highest of the peaks and your final destination on the tour.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 5-7 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 6km or 4mi
  • Start Altitude: 3845m or 12615ft
  • End Altitude: 3845m or 12615ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 3872m or 12705ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +340m or +1115ft / -27m or -90ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at Shira Two Camp

Kilimanjaro Camp
Style: Shared public campsite
Location:
Heather & moorland, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 3845m or 12615ft

Day 5 - Shira Two camp to Lava Tower (optional) to Moir Hut Camp

Kilimanjaro Alpine Desert

Today you take a steady pace across the edges of the heather and moorland then into the alpine desert towards the northern Kilimanjaro area. If your fitness is high enough you can take an optional detour via the Lava Tower camp which is great for acclimatization. Moir hut is quite an isolated camp mostly used by those on the Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit but provides a unique northern view of the Kibo cone. You can also optionally hike to the nearby Lent group from Moir hut for vies of these eroded cones and ridges from where you may be able to gaze down into the wilderness plains of Kenya to the north.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 5-7 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 14km or 8.5mi
  • Start Altitude: 3845m or 12615ft
  • End Altitude: 4140m or 13585ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 4630m or 15190ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +785m or 2575ft / -490m or -1605ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at Moir Hut Camp

Kilimanjaro Camp
Style: Shared public campsite
Location:
Alpine desert, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 4140m or 13585ft

Day 6 - Moir Camp to Buffalo (Pofu) camp

Kilimanjaro Alpine Desert

Leaving behind the Moir valley you trek on a relatively steep path to the summit of the Lent Hills (if you didn’t reach here the day before) before circling around north of the Kibo cone into the Alpine desert and enjoying this remote part of the mountain with unique scenery of the Northern Kilimanjaro peak and the Kenyan plains below.   

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 7-9 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 12km or 7mi
  • Start Altitude: 4140m or 13585ft
  • End Altitude: 4030m or 13220ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 4375m or 14355ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +235m or +770ft / -345m or -1135ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at Pofu (Buffalo) Camp

Kilimanjaro camp
Style: Shared special campsite
Location: Alpine desert Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 4030m or 13220ft

Day 7 - Buffalo (Pofu) camp to Third Cave Camp

Kilimanjaro Heather Moorland

Your final day on the northern circuit bypass today taking you through the remote mountain wilderness of the North which is probably the least used trail on Kili. Your hike takes you back out of the alpine desert through the buffalo ridge and the remote valleys until the drier heather and moorland area around the Third Cave Camp.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 3-5 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 6km or 4mi
  • Start Altitude: 4030m or 13220ft
  • End Altitude: 3935m or 12795ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 4030m or 13220ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: -95m or -425ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at Third Cave Camp

Kilimanjaro Camp
Style: Shared public campsite
Location:
Heather & moorland, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 3935m or 12795ft

Day 8 - Third cave camp to School Hut Camp (or alternatively Kibo Camp)

Kilimanjaro Alpine Desert

Your hike today takes you abruptly towards the Kibo cone steadily climbing up and over the edges of the alpine desert journeying on the edges of the Kibo saddle. The relatively short distance today means you have plenty of time at your summit camp to rest and prepare for the summit attempt tonight.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 3-5 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 8km or 5mi
  • Start Altitude: 3935m or 12795ft
  • End Altitude: 4715m or 15470ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 4715m or 15470ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +780m or 2575ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at School Hut Camp

Kilimanjaro Camp
Style: Shared public campsite
Location:
Alpine desert, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 4715m or 15470ft

Day 9 - School Hut Camp to Gilman’s point to Uhuru peak to Mweka camp

Kilimanjaro arctic zone

In the early morning (around 00:00am) you begin your final ascent to the summit of Uhuru peak through the arctic zone. The trek is a steep hike over loose volcanic scree through the dark and cold night and takes a slow pace in a zig-zag pattern towards Gilman’s Point (5681m or 18640ft) which is your first stop on the Kibo crater rim. From here a short (but difficult) hike remains to take you past Stella point (the first stop on the rim for those summiting from Barafu camp / the Southern circuit) and further around till Uhuru Peak (5895m or 19341ft), the highest point in Africa. You usually don’t spend that long at the peak due to the extreme altitude and will descend down via Stella point until the southern circuit base camp (Barafu). After a recovery meal you continue the descent through the alpine desert, heather and moorland and until the rainforest where you stop for the night.  

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 14-18 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 20km or 12.5mi
  • Start Altitude: 4715m or 15470ft
  • End Altitude: 3080m or 10105ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 5895m or 19431ft (Peak!)
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +1180m or 3961ft / -2195m or -7211ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at Mweka Camp

Kilimanjaro Camp
Style:
Shared public campsite
Location:
Rainforest, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 3080m or 10105ft

Day 10 - Mweka camp to Mweka gate to Moshi town

Kilimanjaro rainforest

Your final day on Kilimanjaro is a descent through the southern rain forest until Mweka gate where our vehicle will be waiting to take you back to Moshi town. Usually, the crew will leave you at Mweka gate and it’s a perfect opportunity to say goodbye to your crew who all generally head directly home from the end gate.

  • Approx driving distance: 1 hour
  • Approx trekking time: 3-4 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 10km or 6mi
  • Start Altitude: 3080m or 10105ft
  • End Altitude: 1630m or 5350ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 3080m or 10105ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: -1450 or -4755ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight (optional) at Bristol Cottages

Bristol Cottages

Style: Mid-range lodge
Location:
Moshi, town center
Altitude: Unknown

Overnight (optional) at Chanya Lodge

Chanya Lodge

Style: Mid-range lodge
Location:
Moshi, outside of town center
Altitude: Unknown

Overnight (optional) at Simba Farm Lodge

Style: Mid-range farm lodge
Location:
Sanya Juu, just outside of the park
Altitude: Unknown

Overnight (optional) at Original Maasai Lodge

Original Maasai Lodge

Style: Mid-range Maasai lodge
Location:
West Kilimanjaro Area, outside of the park
Altitude: Unknown

Day 11 - Departure day or continue with next activity

Safari car

Today has no planned activities and is only a departure day for you head home (time and flight to be confirmed), continue with your next tour activity or book extra nights to recover. Speak to a tour consultant for all of your options.

  • Approx driving distance: 1-2 hours
  • Approx trekking time: None
  • Approx trekking distance: None
  • Start Altitude: Unknown
  • End Altitude: Unknown
  • Highest Altitude reached: Unknown
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: Unknown
  • Meals included: Breakfast

No overnight accommodation included

Day 1 - Arrival and pre-climb briefing day

MoshiToday has no planned activities and is only an arrival day for you to reach your base lodge in time for a pre-climb briefing (time to be confirmed) with your mountain guide. A shared shuttle airport transfer is included from Kilimanjaro International Airport (time and flight to be confirmed) to Moshi.

  • Approx driving distance: 1-2 hours
  • Approx trekking time: None
  • Approx trekking distance: None
  • Start Altitude: Unknown
  • End Altitude: Unknown
  • Highest Altitude reached: Unknown
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: Unknown
  • Meals included: None

Overnight (optional) at Bristol Cottages

Bristol Cottages

Style: Mid-range lodge
Location:
Moshi, town center
Altitude: Unknown

Overnight (optional) at Chanya Lodge

Chanya Lodge

Style: Mid-range lodge
Location:
Moshi, outside of town center
Altitude: Unknown

Overnight (optional) at Simba Farm Lodge

Style: Mid-range farm lodge
Location:
Sanya Juu, just outside of the park
Altitude: Unknown

Overnight (optional) at Original Maasai Lodge

Original Maasai Lodge

Style: Mid-range Maasai lodge
Location:
West Kilimanjaro Area, outside of the park
Altitude: Unknown

Day 2 - Moshi to Londrossi gate to Big tree (Mti Mkubwa) camp

Kilimanjaro rainforestYou will be transferred by road from Moshi (09:00am) to Londorossi gate. After registration you continue on the 4x4 track till the trail head where you begin your trek through the rain forest zone with your guide. The forest is thick and diverse with flora / fauna, and you may experience rain this afternoon which is common in this zone making the path slightly slippery. A short and winding path takes you steadily to the first camp.

  • Approx driving distance: 2-3 hours
  • Approx trekking time: 3-4 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 7km or 4.5mi
  • Start Altitude: 2100m or 6890ft
  • End Altitude: 2780m or 9120ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 2780m or 9120ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +680m or +2230ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner

Overnight at Big tree (Mti Mkubwa) Camp

Kilimanjaro Camping
Style: Shared Public campsite
Location:
Rainforest, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 2780m or 9120ft

Day 3 - Big Tree (Mti Mkubwa) camp to Shira One camp

Kilimanjaro Heather Moorland

This morning you quickly leave the forest zone on a steep path as the dense vegetation slowly eases into the Heather and moorland zone. The remainder of the day takes you on a steady hike across the Shira  ridge where views of the Shira peak (the third of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic cones) gives you the spectacular jagged scenery of this eroded peak.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 4-5 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 7km or 4.5mi
  • Start Altitude: 2780m or 9120ft
  • End Altitude: 3505m or 11500ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 3505m or 11500ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +725m or +2380ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at Shira One Camp

Kilimanjaro camp
Style:
Shared Public campsite
Location:
Heather & moorland, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 3505m or 11500ft

Day 4 - Shira One camp to Shira Cathedral Peak to Shira Two camp

Kilimanjaro Heather MoorlandToday's hike takes you gradually across the Shira Plateau within the heather and moorland and an optional extra hike to the Shira Cathedral peak (3880m) before gradually taking you to Shira two camp. Shira is the third of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic cones and has been shaped by lava and volcanic activity to create a stunning jagged peak and offering a unique western view of Kibo, the highest of the peaks and your final destination on the tour.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 5-7 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 6km or 4mi
  • Start Altitude: 3845m or 12615ft
  • End Altitude: 3845m or 12615ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 3872m or 12705ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +340m or +1115ft / -27m or -90ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at Shira Two Camp

Kilimanjaro Camp
Style: Shared public campsite
Location:
Heather & moorland, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 3845m or 12615ft

Day 5 - Shira Two camp to Lava Tower (optional) to Moir Hut Camp

Kilimanjaro Alpine Desert

Today you take a steady pace across the edges of the heather and moorland then into the alpine desert towards the northern Kilimanjaro area. If your fitness is high enough you can take an optional detour via the Lava Tower camp which is great for acclimatization. Moir hut is quite an isolated camp mostly used by those on the Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit but provides a unique northern view of the Kibo cone. You can also optionally hike to the nearby Lent group from Moir hut for vies of these eroded cones and ridges from where you may be able to gaze down into the wilderness plains of Kenya to the north.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 5-7 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 14km or 8.5mi
  • Start Altitude: 3845m or 12615ft
  • End Altitude: 4140m or 13585ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 4630m or 15190ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +785m or 2575ft / -490m or -1605ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at Moir Hut Camp

Kilimanjaro Camp
Style: Shared public campsite
Location:
Alpine desert, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 4140m or 13585ft

Day 6 - Moir Camp to Buffalo (Pofu) camp

Kilimanjaro Alpine Desert

Leaving behind the Moir valley you trek on a relatively steep path to the summit of the Lent Hills (if you didn’t reach here the day before) before circling around north of the Kibo cone into the Alpine desert and enjoying this remote part of the mountain with unique scenery of the Northern Kilimanjaro peak and the Kenyan plains below.   

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 7-9 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 12km or 7mi
  • Start Altitude: 4140m or 13585ft
  • End Altitude: 4030m or 13220ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 4375m or 14355ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +235m or +770ft / -345m or -1135ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at Pofu (Buffalo) Camp

Kilimanjaro camp
Style: Shared special campsite
Location: Alpine desert Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 4030m or 13220ft

Day 7 - Buffalo (Pofu) camp to Third Cave Camp

Kilimanjaro Heather Moorland

Your final day on the northern circuit bypass today taking you through the remote mountain wilderness of the North which is probably the least used trail on Kili. Your hike takes you back out of the alpine desert through the buffalo ridge and the remote valleys until the drier heather and moorland area around the Third Cave Camp.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 3-5 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 6km or 4mi
  • Start Altitude: 4030m or 13220ft
  • End Altitude: 3935m or 12795ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 4030m or 13220ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: -95m or -425ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at Third Cave Camp

Kilimanjaro Camp
Style: Shared public campsite
Location:
Heather & moorland, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 3935m or 12795ft

Day 8 - Third cave camp Mawenzi Tarn Hut Camp

Kilimanjaro Alpine Desert

Your hike today takes you away from the main Kibo cone and east towards the third of the Kilimanjaro peaks; Mawenzi. Mawenzi is the only peak that is not regularly climbed (if at all). You hike is through the barren alpine desert and takes you on the edge of the saddle between the two peaks. Your camp today is quite scenic at the base of the jagged peaks near the Mawenzi tarn lake.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 5-6 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 9km / 5.5mi
  • Start Altitude: 3935m or 12795ft
  • End Altitude: 4310m or 14140ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 4390m or 14400ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +455m or 1490ft / -80m or -260ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at Mawenzi Tarn Camp

Kilimanjaro camp
Style: Shared public campsite
Location:
Heather & moorland, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 4310m or 14140ft

Day 9 - Mawenzi Tarn Camp to School Hut Camp (or alternatively Kibo Camp)

Kilimanjaro Alpine Desert

Your hike today takes you back towards the Kibo cone steadily climbing up and over the edges of the alpine desert journeying through the ‘saddle’ between the Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. The environment becomes more barren and air thinner as you ascend to your base camp where you will rest for the summit journey starting tonight.

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 4-5 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 8km or 5mi
  • Start Altitude: 4310m or 14140ft
  • End Altitude: 4715m or 15470ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 4715m or 15470ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +405m or +1330ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at School Hut Camp

Kilimanjaro Camp
Style: Shared public campsite
Location:
Alpine desert, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 4715m or 15470ft

Day 10 - School Hut Camp to Gilman’s point to Uhuru peak to Mweka camp

Kilimanjaro arctic zone

In the early morning (around 00:00am) you begin your final ascent to the summit of Uhuru peak through the arctic zone. The trek is a steep hike over loose volcanic scree through the dark and cold night and takes a slow pace in a zig-zag pattern towards Gilman’s Point (5681m or 18640ft) which is your first stop on the Kibo crater rim. From here a short (but difficult) hike remains to take you past Stella point (the first stop on the rim for those summiting from Barafu camp / the Southern circuit) and further around till Uhuru Peak (5895m or 19341ft), the highest point in Africa. You usually don’t spend that long at the peak due to the extreme altitude and will descend down via Stella point until the southern circuit base camp (Barafu). After a recovery meal you continue the descent through the alpine desert, heather and moorland and until the rainforest where you stop for the night.  

  • Approx driving distance: None
  • Approx trekking time: 14-18 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 20km or 12.5mi
  • Start Altitude: 4715m or 15470ft
  • End Altitude: 3080m or 10105ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 5895m or 19431ft (Peak!)
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: +1180m or 3961ft / -2195m or -7211ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner

Overnight at Mweka Camp

Kilimanjaro Camp
Style:
Shared public campsite
Location:
Rainforest, Kilimanjaro National Park
Altitude: 3080m or 10105ft

Day 11 - Mweka camp to Mweka gate to Moshi town

Kilimanjaro rainforest

Your final day on Kilimanjaro is a descent through the southern rain forest until Mweka gate where our vehicle will be waiting to take you back to Moshi town. Usually, the crew will leave you at Mweka gate and it’s a perfect opportunity to say goodbye to your crew who all generally head directly home from the end gate.

  • Approx driving distance: 1 hour
  • Approx trekking time: 3-4 hours
  • Approx trekking distance: 10km or 6mi
  • Start Altitude: 3080m or 10105ft
  • End Altitude: 1630m or 5350ft
  • Highest Altitude reached: 3080m or 10105ft
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: -1450 or -4755ft
  • Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight (optional) at Bristol Cottages

Bristol Cottages

Style: Mid-range lodge
Location:
Moshi, town center
Altitude: Unknown

Overnight (optional) at Chanya Lodge

Chanya Lodge

Style: Mid-range lodge
Location:
Moshi, outside of town center
Altitude: Unknown

Overnight (optional) at Simba Farm Lodge

Style: Mid-range farm lodge
Location:
Sanya Juu, just outside of the park
Altitude: Unknown

Overnight (optional) at Original Maasai Lodge

Original Maasai Lodge

Style: Mid-range Maasai lodge
Location:
West Kilimanjaro Area, outside of the park
Altitude: Unknown

Day 12 - Departure day or continue with next activity

Safari car

Today has no planned activities and is only a departure day for you head home (time and flight to be confirmed), continue with your next tour activity or book extra nights to recover. Speak to a tour consultant for all of your options.

  • Approx driving distance: 1-2 hours
  • Approx trekking time: None
  • Approx trekking distance: None
  • Start Altitude: Unknown
  • End Altitude: Unknown
  • Highest Altitude reached: Unknown
  • Altitude +gain / -loss: Unknown
  • Meals included: Breakfast

No overnight accommodation included

Price, includes, add-ons and excludes

Prices depend on your group size, exact route chosen, dates of travel and much more. You can see our standard includes, optional extras / add-ons / comfort upgrades and standard excludes below.

Standard packages usually include

  • All taxes and VAT applicable
  • Optional shared return airport shuttle transfers from / to Kilimanjaro International Airport
  • 1 night(s) before the climb at a pre climb lodge in Moshi on bed and breakfast basis
  • 1 night(s) after the climb at a post climb lodge in Moshi on bed and breakfast basis
  • All National Park conservation, park entry, camping and rescue fees for applicable
  • Trained, certified, and experienced English-speaking Mountain guide/s
  • 1 x luggage porter carrying personal luggage of 15kg per person max
  • Specialist tent crew and luggage porters to service and set-up campsites and carry all camping equipment and food provisions.
  • Four season mountain tent (sharing, or single for 1 person groups), chairs, tables, dedicated group dining tent
  • Trained and experienced personal mountain cook and waiter porter
  • All meals on the mountain and eating utensils and cutlery
  • Pre-climb briefing and equipment check with the guide in Moshi
  • 1 x transfer from a Moshi based lodge to park gates per group including crew transfer for remote gate (Rongai or Lemosho gates)
  • 1 x transfer from park gates to a Moshi based lodge per group
  • Luggage storage while on trek
  • Boiled drinking water on trek (from 1st camp onwards)
  • Twice daily health checks with guides and a high-grade medical oximeter
  • 1 Emergency oxygen cylinder per group and first aid kit
  • Hand washing station, sanitizers, and small personal wash basin
  • Private Portable toilet (inc toilet, toilet tent, porter to carry-clean, toilet rolls, 1 toilet per 5 people max) and optional use of shared public toilet facilities at public campsites
  • 1 x approx. 100Ltr rubberized hold all bag / packsack for personal duffel bag
  • Basic sleeping mattress per person

Optional extras, add-ons and comfort upgrades

  • Extra Pre climb or post climb accommodation
  • Single tent (if not already indicated as included)
  • Additional emergency oxygen cylinders
  • Comfort upgrades such as a foldable bed, larger tent, upgraded menu, celebration items etc.
  • Private airport / non-group gate transfers and out of Moshi transfers
  • Domestic flights
  • One day trips
  • Flying Doctors Emergency Evacuation membership
  • Extra guides or porters
  • Personal mountain equipment such as sleeping bags, walking poles, duffel bags etc.
  • Pre-included tip / fair living wage salary
  • Extra days on the mountain

Standard packages usually exclude

  • Tips / gratuities
  • Beverages such as soft drinks, alcohol etc.
  • International flights
  • Insurance
  • Visas
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Water on first day of trek
  • Metal & hard plastic water bottles, water bladders etc. (note: soft plastics are not permitted on the mountain)

KPAP and fair treatment of your crew

The exploitation and mistreatment of porters can be a troubling challenge in the climbing industry. By climbing with us - a qualified KPAP Partner company - you can be assured that your porters are well taken care of.

KPAP

An 'undercover' KPAP porter monitors us on each and every Kilimanjaro trek.

  • Porters and crew are paid at least a fair minimum wage agreed with their unions.
  • Salaries are all paid within 2 working days from the descent of a climb.
  • Transparent tipping procedures to ensure porters receive the full tip intended for them.
  • Fair tipping recommendations for both the climber and crew.
  • Loads carried by our porters do not exceed 20kg of company gear.
  • Porters are provided with three meals per day on the mountain.
  • Crew are provided with proper shelter and sleeping dedicated for them.
  • Equal climbing opportunities to all porters registered with our company
  • We inspect crew gear each trek to ensure proper kit is taken for a safe trek.
  • Transport for crew is provided to remote gates (Rongai / Lemosho).

The Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project independently monitors everyone of our treks for fair treatment standards to ensure unbiased reporting of our treks and the best working conditions for your crew. Click to read more.

When to visit

These recommendations are based on weather patterns and trends. Mountains are extremely unpredictable and we always recommend you to be prepared for any weather outcome regardless of the predicted season.

Excellent time

January, February, July, August, September, October

Within our predicted dry season, these months generally have dry conditions and good mountain weather making the trek more achievable. These are also the busiest months and you may find all routes are busy in this period.

Good time

March, June, November, December

These months generally are between our dry season and wet season where conditions are generally dry on the mountain however you may still experience some rain. These are generally great months for those looking to avoid the crowds as most will  travel in the excellent time above.

Mixed time

April, May

Our predicted 'long rain' season in Tanzania where the chances of rain are high and downpours can be heavy (tropical!) and make trekking very difficult. For a seasoned mountaineer this can be a great time to avoid all of the crowds who usually skip these months.

Other routes

If this isn't the right route for you, some of the below are alternative routes to consider.

Combine with

This package is usually combined with one of the below. We can also tailor a custom itinerary combining any of our packages for you.

Planning a trek

Need some help planning a Kilimanjaro trek?

Please visit our dedicated section below to find out more about private or group treks, when to climb, getting to Kilimanjaro / Tanzania, visas, documents, choosing a route, training for your climb, health and vaccines, Kilimanjaro packing list, hiking boots, rental equipment, tipping, insurance, money:

What to expect

Want to find out more about what to expect from a Kilimanjaro trek with Shah Tours?

Please visit our dedicated section below to find out more about your mountain crew, safety on the mountain, AMS and mountain sickness, food, drink, equipment, comfort upgrades, toilets and bathrooms, emergency oxygen, communicating on the trek, weather, park rules and luggage:

Why us

Why choose Shah Tours for your Kilimanjaro trek?

As one of Kilimanjaro's oldest and longest serving Kilimanjaro operators, we are one of the best providing: 35+ years experience, family owned and operated, high quality equipment and fleet, responsible and externally monitored, superior & experienced guides, safe, secure and reliable with over 2000+ happy clients each year:

FAQs and blog

Didn't find the information you need on this page?

Explore our blog with: preparation guides, frequently asked questions, interesting articles and more:

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