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9 Days On Mount Kilimanjaro Through Northern Circuit Route

The Northern Circuit is the newest and longest route on Mount Kilimanjaro. It begins in the West at the Londorossi Gate and follows the same path as the Lemosho route for the first two days. After crossing the Shira plateau the path veers north near Lava Tower, following the longer Northern Circuit instead of the more popular Southern Circuit via Barranco Valley The route circles around the quieter northern slopes to the east side of the mountain.

The Northern Circuit is longer than the other trails on Kilimanjaro, taking a minimum of eight or nine days to complete. The eight day trek skips the additional acclimatization day that is usually spent at Shira Camp 2 and continues straight on to Moir Camp.

Day 1: Arrive at Kilimanjaro airport and then transfer to Springlands hotel or similar for overnight bed and breakfast.

Day 2: Moshi (915 m/3,000 ft) to Londorossi Gate (2,250 m/7,380 ft) to Lemosho

  • Glades (2,000 m/6,560 ft)to Mkubwa Camp (2,750 m/9,020 ft)
  • Drive from Moshi or Arusha to the Londorossi Park Gate.
  • From here follow a forest track in a 4WD vehicle for 11 km/7 mi (45 minutes) to Lemosho Glades and a possible campsite.
  • From the Glades, walk for 3 hours along beautiful forest trails to the Mti Mkubwa (big tree) campsite.

Day 3: Mkubwa Camp (2,750 m/9,020 ft) to Shira Camp 1 (3,500 m/11,485 ft)

  • The trail gradually steepens, enters the giant heather moorland zone, then crosses the Shira Ridge at 3,600 m/11,810 ft. and drops gently to Shira Camp 1 located by a stream on the Shira Plateau

Day 4: SHIRA 1 CAMP ~ MOIR CAMP (13,800 ft. / 4,205m)

  • Trek across the Shira plateau, east toward Kibo’s glaciered peak. Shira is one of the highest plateaus on earth, averaging 12,500 feet.
  • We immediately veer away from the tourist trails toward the northeast edge of the Plateau to reach Moir Camp.
  • The trek is about 4-5 hours over easy terrain. Moir camp is an isolated terrain and seldom used camp affording views over the shira plateau.

Day 5: MOIR CAMP ~ BUFFALO CAMP (13,200 ft. / 4,025m)

  • Begin the morning trek heading out of the moorland and into the stark alpine desert, on a steep ridge off the main trail, and begin our venture on the Northern Circuit Route.
  • The total trekking time is about 5 – 7 hours. From the Pofu Campsite you will enjoy a magnificent view into Kenya’s wild lands to the north.

Day 6: BUFFALO CAMP ~ KIKELEWA CAVES CAMP (11,800 ft. 3600m)

  • Proceed onward through valleys and over ridges through the alpine desert and moorland, continuing our circuit to the east, enjoying a vast mountain wilderness to ourselves.
  • Trekking time today is 5 – 7 hours

Day 7: KIKELEWA CAVES CAMP ~ MAWENZI TARN CAMP (14,160 ft./ 4,315m)

  • Trek 3-5 hours steadily upward to reach a placid mountain tarn (lake) at the foot of the majestically rising steep ridges of Mawenzi, Kilimanjaro second highest volcano.
  • The camp here is nestled along the tarn in a protected alcove with magnificent views towards the steeply rising rocks of Mawenzi.

Day 8: MAWENZI TARN CAMP ~ OUTWARD BOUND CAMP (15,585 ft./ 4,750m)

  • The trekking time today is 5 – 7 hours, though a relatively easy hike across the wide saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo.
  • The trek takes you across the massive saddle- the crossing is impressive and the landscape spectacularly stark.
  • The temperatures turn cold as you near the foot of Kibo, reaching Outward Bound Camp after 5-7 hours of trekking.
  • Prepare all your gear for the day ahead, and turn in early to rest. A resupply of fresh food and supplies will reach camp on this afternoon.

Day 9: OUTWARD BOUND CAMP ~ UHURU PEAK (19,340 ft./ 5,895m) Millennium CAMP (10,200 ft./ 3,110m)

  • A midnight wake-up call is the start of a long trek. You begin trekking at 1am up the winding path of endless switchbacks.
  • From your camp to the rim of the crater (Gillman’s Point (18,750ft. / 5,712 m)) to Uhuru Peak, the trekking time is about 7 – 8 hours.
  • The slope is steep, with switchbacks, over loose rock and scree with some boulders as you near Gilman’s Point.
  • You will stop at Hans Meyer cave on the way, the famous place where
  • Kilimanjaro first western climber described in his journals.
  • Once you arrive at Gilman’s Point at the edge of the crater, the trail to the summit is less demanding, and is reached after a further 1½-2 hours along the snowy crater rim (depending on the season).
  • After a short time at the summit, re-trace your steps back to Gilman’s Point, then summon your strength again for further descent to Mweka Camp for the night.

Day 10: MWEKA CAMP ~ MWEKA GATE (6,000 ft. /1,830m)

  • Descend straight to the gate (2-3 hours), where you’ll have lunch and will be awarded climbing certificates.
  • Overnight at Springlands hotel or similar; bed and breakfast

Day 11: Depart from Springlands to the airport for your flight back Home. End of the tour.

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