Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit Route Climb, 9 Days

Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit Route Climb, 9 Days

Duration: 9 days
From $3,212 pp

This route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west. It offers a chance to visit Shira Plateau (Cathedral peak) and Shira Caldera. Lemosho Route crosses from Shira Ridge to Shira 2 Camp, in a pleasant hike.

Climbers encounter low traffic until the route joins the Machame route. Afterwards, Lemosho follows the same route as Machame Route through Lava Tower, Barranco and Barafu, known as the southern circuit.

The minimum days required for this route is 7 days, but eight days is recommended as it will give more chance to acclimatize and reach the summit.

Like Machame, this is a scenically spectacular and varied route. Lemosho is highly recommended and it has an abundance of wildlife such as elephant, buffalo, eland and lion which come over to forage during dry season from Longido game-controlled area.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) to Moshi

  • Elevation: 1,000 m to 1,200 m
  • Distance: 36 km
  • Driving Time: 45 min
  • Habitat: Town

Mikio Tours staff will meet and pick you up from JRO (Kilimanjaro International Airport) and transfer you to your hotel in Moshi for overnight B/B.

Day 2: Moshi to Londorosi Gate to BIG Tree Campsite

  • Elevation: 1,200 m to 1,950 m to 2,850 m
  • Distance: 9 km
  • Hiking Time: 3 – 4 hours
  • Habitat: Montane forest

We will pick you up from your hotel your hotel and transport you to Londorosi gate for registration. After this formality, you board the vehicle and drive again to Lemosho glade. From this point you will start the trek across undisturbed Montane forest decorated with Black and White Colobus Monkey to the camp where dinner and overnight will take place.

Day 3: Big Tree Campsite to Shira One Campsite

  • Elevation: 2,850 m to 3,500 m
  • Distance: 13 km
  • Hiking Time: 8 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland and heather land

This is an acclimatization trek because you will gain over 650m by starting walking across a beautiful valley outside Shira caldera rim (3600m). After few hours you will reach into Shira caldera. A high-altitude desert, Shira is the one among the three peaks which erupted in Kilimanjaro ecosystem. The peak later collapsed and formed a crater which eventually became filled with the lava flow from Kibo peak. Its rim is eroded and blasted away by weather and volcanic action. Camp and overnight at 3500m elevation at the Shira One campsite.

Day 4: Shira Two Campsite to Moir Hut Campsite

  • Elevation: 3,500 m to 4,155 m
  • Distance: 11 km
  • Hiking Time: 7 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland

It is a really good day whereby you will follow the trail to Shira two campsite the Lava Tower (4,542 meters). This day allows you to climb high and sleep low and is critical for acclimatization. Stronger hikes may continue to the ruined camp at Arrow Glacier (4,871 meters). Continue hiking from Lava Tower to Moir Hut.

Day 5: Moir Hut Campsite to Buffalo Campsite

  • Elevation: 4,155 m to 4,145 m
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Hiking Time: 4 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland

Today you will start the hike by hiking out of the Moir Valley. Hike to the summit of Lent Hills before returning to the main trail. Continue east through a rock field. Finally reach Buffalo Camp at the end of the day.

Day 6: Buffalo Campsite to Third Cave Campsite

  • Elevation: 4,145 m to 3,936 m
  • Elevation loss: 209 m
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Hiking Time: 5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine desert

Today you will climb to the top of Buffalo Ridge before continuing on through the barren landscape to Third Cave Camp. Cross many gullies during this day you will loss 209m today.

Day 7: Third Cave Campsite to School Hut Campsite

  • Elevation: 3,936 m to 4,717 m
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Hiking Time: 5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine desert

Begin the day by backtracking yesterday’s trail until the dry riverbed. Head west toward Kibo on a steady upward climb. By the early afternoon, reach School Hut on the eastern slopes of Kibo. The Saddle to Mawenzi lies just a few minutes from the camp. Prepare for your midnight ascent to Uhuru Peak.

Day 8: School Hut Campsite/Uhuru Peak/Mweka Campsite

  • Elevation: 4,717 m to 5,895 m to 3,100 m
  • Distance: 15 km
  • Hiking Time: 10 – 12 hours
  • Habitat: Desert and ice

Due to the steep ascent at high altitude, this is the most challenging day of the ascent. Leave School Hut around midnight to begin your hike to the top of Kibo Crater. It is important to remember to snack during the ascent to keep your energy up. You will likely lose your appetite during this day and begin to feel new effects of altitude sickness. Reach Gilman’s Point on the Crater rim. Continue on to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. The hike to the summit is slow, and will take approximately 1.5 hours from Gilman’s Point. After reaching the summit, descend to Barafu Camp for a rest and brunch. Around 1pm, descend to Millennium Camp. Reach Millennium Camp at approximately 6pm

Day 9: Mweka Campsite to Mweka Gate

  • Elevation: 3,100 m to 1,700 m
  • Distance: 9 km
  • Hiking Time: 3 - 4 hours
  • Habitat: Montane

Today is your last day on the mountain. After breakfast you will descend down to Mweka park gate walking across Montane forest. This descent will take 3-4 hours. Here at the gate you will sign out and get ready to board the vehicle ready for the transfer back to the hotel for your certificate presentation and a well-deserved celebration.

Day 10: Moshi to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

  • Elevation: 1,200 m to 1,000 m
  • Distance: 36 km
  • Hiking Time: 45 min
  • Habitat: Town

Mikio Tours staff will meet and pick you up from Moshi and transfer you back to JRO (Kilimanjaro International Airport) or to Safari or Zanzibar if you have extension because we do organize it too.

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