9 Days
All Year

The Northern Circuit route is one of the best routes on Kilimanjaro, offering nearly 360 degrees of beautiful scenery including the quiet, rarely visited northern slopes. As the longest route on Kilimanjaro, the Northern Circuit also has the most acclimatization time and the highest summit success rate. Thus, the Northern Circuit route is highly recommended.

The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west, beginning with a long drive from Moshi to Londorossi Gate. From there, the first two days are spent trekking through the rainforest to Shira Ridge, before crossing the Shira Plateau. The route then heads north and circles clockwise from Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp to School Hut, before summiting from the east. Descend is made via the Mweka route.


Day 1: Trekking from Londorossi Camp to Forest Camp

  • Londorossi Gate (2,250m/7,800ft) to Mti Mkumbwa (2,650m/8,694ft)
  • Hiking Distance: 6km
  • Hiking Time: 3-4hrs

Habitat: Montane Forest

You depart Moshi/Arusha for Londorossi Gate, which takes about 4hours, where you will complete entry formalities. Then drive to the Lemosho trailhead (another hour to reach the trailhead). Upon arrival at trailhead, you eat lunch, and then commence through undisturbed forest that winds to the first campsite.

Overnight: Forest Camp (3 Meals)


Day 2: Trekking from Forest Camp to Shira 1

  • Forest Camp (2,650m/8,694ft) to Shira 1 (3,610m/11,843ft)
  • Hiking Distance: 5km
  • Hiking Time: 5-6hrs

Habitat: Moorland

You continue on the trail leading out of the forest and into a savannah of tall grasses, heather, and volcanic rock draped with lichen beards. As you ascend through the lush rolling hills and cross several streams, you reach the Shira Ridge before dropping gently down to Shira 1 camp. The view of Kibo from across the plateau is amazing.

Overnight: Shira 1 Camp (3 Meals)


Day 3: Trekking from Shira 1 to Shira 2 Camp Via Cathedral point

  • Shira Camp 1 (3,610m/11,843ft) to Shira 2 (3,900m/12,795ft) via Cathedral point (3,872m/12,703)
  • Hiking Distance: 7km
  • Hiking Time: 3-4hrs

Habitat: Moorland

Our hiking today continues across the Shira Plateau, which is the remains of the Shira Caldera, Kilimanjaro’s oldest volcano (which last erupted around 700,000 years ago). Enjoying a well-paced day of trekking gives us plenty of opportunities to adjust to the demands of hiking at altitude and enjoy the beauty of Africa’s highest peak! Along the way and to further aid our acclimatization, you will do a 200m ascent of Shira Cathedral (3872m) with splendid views where the Machame route winds up.


Day 4: Trekking to Moir Camp via Lava Tower 4,600m/15,091ft

  • Shira 2 (3,850m/12,631ft) to Moir Camp (4,200m/13,779ft) via Lava Tower (4,600m/15,091ft)
  • Hiking Distance: 12km
  • Hiking Time: 7-8hrs

Habitat: Moorland

The ascent to Lava Tower this morning is slow, steep and steady. Along the way you briefly meet up with the Machame Route which also ascends to the Lava Tower at 4600m. It is good acclimatization to go high and then sleep lower. At the Lava Tower you branch off the main path and start our circular route along the northern flanks of Kilimanjaro. You descend to camp at Moir at 4200m.

Overnight: Moir Camp (3 Meals)


Day 5: Trekking to Buffalo Camp

  • Moir Camp 4,200m/13,779) to Buffalo Camp (4,020m/ft13,188)
  • Hiking Distance: 7km
  • Hiking Time: 5-6hrs

Habitat: Moorland

An early breakfast at Moir Camp, and you pack up and leave for Buffalo Camp. The views today are fantastic over the African plains stretching from the mountain and over the Tanzania / Kenya border. We descent a little as our walk progresses today and we will find it undulating as we trek around the contours of the mountain. You arrive into camp in the early afternoon for a late lunch at camp. You have the remainder of the afternoon to rest.

Overnight: Buffalo Camp (3 Meals)


Day 6: Trekking to Rongai Third Cave 3800

  • Buffalo Camp (4,020m/13,188ft) to Third Cave (3,800m/12,467)
  • Hiking Distance: 9km
  • Hiking Time: 6-7hrs

Habitat: Moorland

Our morning starts with an ascent from Buffalo Ridge to Pofu Camp (4030m). You lunch at Pofu Camp and then continue walking to Rongai Third Cave Camp (3800m) for overnight stay. You should be starting to feel nicely acclimatized at this altitude now. Tonight’s camp is on the original Rongai Route, but the majority who climb up the Rongai Route these days go via Mawenzi Tarn, not camp at Third Cave, so you will not see them until summit night. You have an early night tonight as we have a large ascent tomorrow.

Overnight: Rongai Third Cave (3 Meals)


Day 7: Trek to School Hut Camp (4,800m/15,748)

  • Trek from Rongai Third Cave (3,800m/12,467) to School Hut Camp (4,800m/15,748)
  • Hiking Distance: 8km
  • Hiking Time: 5-6hrs

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Today you return into the zone above 4000m, which is more barren with rocks and scree. One of the beauties of having come along the Northern Route is that you have been on the edge of the vegetation for the last few days. As you climb onto the saddle, Mawenzi Peak comes into view to our left horizon. At this height it is likely that you will be above any clouds, which will add to the atmosphere and excitement of this day. You have a long trek today with a large amount of altitude gain. You should be in good shape for this and arrive at School Hut (4800m) camp in the early-mid afternoon so that you can rest and prepare for our summit walk the following day. Again, you should be fairly free from the majority of the trekkers on the Rongai Route today, which is a considered a luxury on the mountain.

Overnight: School Hut Camp (3 Meals)


Day 8: Summit Day!

  • School Hut ((4800m/15748) to Summit (5,895m/19,340ft) down to Horombo Hut (3,720m/12,204ft)
  • Hiking Distance: 19km
  • Hiking Time: 9hrs up & 3-4hrs down

Habitat: Ice Cap

Summit day starts around midnight. The early start enables us to take advantage of the best surface conditions (frozen scree and possible snow) for our trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro. We leave School Hut and it will be cold as we contouring around in between the Ratzel and Rebman glaciers till we meet with the line of lights of trekkers coming up from Kibo Hut on the Rongai and Marangu routes. Then our trek starts to ascend steeply till Gilman’s Point. Here we are on the rim of the crater and the summit is still an hour’s walk away, but the path gently ascending as we gain the last meters to the summit of Africa. It’s an awesome sight and feeling. Due to the temperatures you will not hang around long at the summit before descending. We return down on the Marangu Route to Horombo Hut at 3720m – the quickest descent. On arrival at camp we will feel elated by our efforts, glad to be down from the high mountain.

Overnight: Horombo Hut Camp (3 Meals)


Day 9: Descent to Marangu Gate

  • Descent Horombo Hut (3,720m/1,2204ft) to Marangu Gate (1,800m/ 5,906ft)
  • Hiking Distance: 18km
  • Hiking Time: 5-6hrs

Habitat: Montane Forest

As you descend from Horombo, you begin to encounter more vegetation and the lower part of the route is through pine forest. We pass the traditional first camping place on the Marangu Route at the Mandara Huts and continue our descent to the Marangu Gate (1800m).

You will say fond farewell to our trusty guide, staff and the porters who have helped us during the past week and pick up our certificates of ascent, you will have Lunch with our Mountain Crew before transfer to our hotel.

For the climbers who do have a flight to catch, we will drive back to our office in Arusha for quick shower and short rest before you are transferred to the respective airport for your inbound or outbound flight.


Airport pick-up and drop-off

Transportation to & from the Mt. Kilimanjaro gate

Park entry fees

Accommodation fees for on the mountain

Rescue fees

18% VAT on tour fees & services

Accommodation on the mountain in tents (mattresses and sleeping bags are included)

Friendly and professional mountain guides, cook and porters

3 meals daily while on the mountain

Drinking water throughout the trek

Hot water for washing

Government taxes

Portable oxygen tanks & ox meter

Emergency first-aid k



Accommodation before and after your mountain trek

Travel insurance


Laundry Service

Personal items and toiletries

Tips for guides, porters and cook (see our tipping guidelines for more information)