The Northern Circuit

The Northern Circuit

A view of Kibo from the Northern Circuit Kilimanjaro Route
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Why Should You Climb
The Northern Circuit Route?

The Northern Circuit is the longest route on Kilimanjaro, offering nearly 360 degrees of beautiful scenery.

  • The trail starts from the west of Mount Kilimanjaro, and it is one of the less crowded routes on the mountain.
  • Stunning scenery with views across the southern flanks, western forests and the northern plains to the Kenyan border.
  • Luxury expanded height tents with cots beds and foam mattresses option available on this route.
  • The best acclimatization time of all Mount Kilimanjaro routes.
  • The highest summit success rate of all Mount Kilimanjaro Kilimanjaro routes.
  • Night-time summit bid via Gilman’s Point.
  • The descent path is via the Mweka Route.
  • Traffic is low as it is the most remote and seldom used path.

Why Should You Climb
The Northern Circuit Route?

The Northern Circuit is the longest route on Kilimanjaro, offering nearly 360 degrees of beautiful scenery.

  • The trail starts from the west of Mount Kilimanjaro, and it is one of the less crowded routes on the mountain.
  • Stunning scenery with views across the southern flanks, western forests and the northern plains to the Kenyan border.
  • Luxury expanded height tents with cots beds and foam mattresses option available on this route.
  • The best acclimatization time of all Mount Kilimanjaro routes.
  • The highest summit success rate of all Mount Kilimanjaro Kilimanjaro routes.
  • Night-time summit bid via Gilman’s Point.
  • The descent path is via the Mweka Route.
  • Traffic is low as it is the most remote and seldom used path.
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Northern Circuit Route Elevations

Northern Circuit 9-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tanzania

Elevation: 4,200 ft | 1,280 m
Overnight: Lodge near Arusha
Meals: Dinner on arrival

Meet and greet with a Barking Zebra representative at the Kilimanjaro airport, who will assist you with a transfer to your lodge.

The view of Mount Meru from Arusha

Day 2: Acclimatization Day & Pre-Climb Briefing

Elevation: 4,200 ft | 1,280 m
Overnight: Lodge near Arusha
Meals: B/L/D

Meet with Barking Zebra guides for a detailed climb orientation and a final gear check. In the afternoon relax and acclimatize.

Day 3: Forest Camp

Elevation
Londorossi Gate: 7,742 ft | 2,360 m
Forest Camp: 9,170 ft | 2,795 m
Hours of trekking: 3-4
Habitat: Rainforest
Meals: B/L/D


After breakfast, we depart to the western side of the Kilimanjaro National Park to Londorossi gate and complete registration formality. Our trek today will be an easy walk up a small path through beautiful and rain forest. Our first camp is located in the rain forest. Look out for black and white Colobus monkeys in the lush tree canopy.

Day 4: Shira 1 Camp

Elevation: 11,500 ft | 3,505 m
Hours of trekking:
4-6
Habitat:
Moorland
Meals:
B/L/D

This morning we leave the glades and start trekking towards the moorland zone and Shira Caldera, which is a high altitude desert plateau. Shira Plateau shows the remains of an ancient caldera, a volcanic crater that expired around half a million years ago. Today, it stands as a World Heritage Site, boasting deep valleys and weather-beaten lava flows.  We will get our first close views of Kibo – the summit of Kilimanjaro.

Day 5: Shira 2 Camp

Elevation: 12,500 ft | 3,810 m
Hours of trekking: 3-4
Habitat: Moorland
Meals: B/L/D

Today we explore the grassy moorland and volcanic rock formations of the plateau. We take a short hike to the summit of awe-inspiring Shira Cathedral, one of the most amazing natural landmarks on Kilimanjaro. The heath zone displays abundant wildflowers and unique Senecio trees. From our camp, we take in the unforgettable views of Mt. Meru as she floats among the clouds. This is a relatively short day but an important day in terms of rest and acclimatization.

Day 6: Moir Camp

Elevation: 13,650 ft | 4,160 m
Hours of trekking: 5-7
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Meals: B/L/D

Today we hike east across the Shira Plateau, one of the highest plateaus on earth. We have lunch at Lava Tower at 15,190 ft /4,630 m to help our bodies acclimatize to the thin air. Then we continue to Moir Hut, a quiet site on the base of Lent Hills. A variety of walks are available on Lent Hills, making this an excellent acclimatization opportunity.

Day 7: Buffalo Camp

Elevation: 13,200 ft | 4,023 m
Hours of trekking: 5-7
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Meals: B/L/D

We climb out of the Moir Valley and take a short detour to reach the summit of Lent Hills (15,400 ft |4,693 m) before returning to the main trail. The final section of today’s walk undulates until reaching our camp. At the camp, there is a huge feeling of space as the Kenyan plains stretch out far below to the north.

Day 8: Third Cave

Elevation: 12,700 ft | 3,870 m
Hours of trekking: 5-7
Habitat: Moorland
Meals: B/L/D

From Buffalo Camp, we climb to the top of ‘Buffalo Ridge’ and cross numerous ridges and gullies. This route is rarely traveled, and we will enjoy its mountain wilderness. The trail continues eastwards through a landscape that has increasingly sparse vegetation until we reach our camp

Day 9: School Hut

Elevation: 15,600 ft | 4,750 m
Hours of trekking: 4-5
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Meals: B/L/D

There is a steady ascent to reach the saddle, a lunar landscape between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. From here, we continue upwards and reach our camp in the early afternoon. The remainder of the afternoon is spent resting and preparing for the summit push.

Day 8: Summit - Mweka Camp

Elevation Uhuru Peak: 19,341 ft | 5,895 m
Hours of trekking to Uhuru Peak: 6-8
Habitat: Arctic

Elevation Mweka Camp: 10,065 ft | 3,067 m
Hours of trekking to Mweka Camp: 5-6
Habitat: Heath
Meals: B/L/D

We’ll be up before midnight to set out for the glacier zone atop Kilimanjaro. Walk slowly, drink plenty of water and refuel with small snacks to keep our energy high. We rest for a short time at Gilman’s Point (18,600 ft) to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi.

We celebrate our success with a few quick pictures at the top before before descending to Barafu camp for lunch and a short rest. Gaiters and trekking poles come in handy for the loose gravel going down.
Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon.

Day 9: Mweka Gate

Elevation: 5,380 ft | 1,640 m
Hours of trekking: 3-4
Habitat: Rainforest
Meals: B/L/D

Celebrate your achievement with your mountain crew and partake in a tipping ceremony to thank your guides and porters, acknowledging their hard work and contribution to your success.
Descend back through the rainforest and enjoy a farewell lunch with your group at the Mweka gate.

For climbers who are limited on time and need to depart Tanzania on the last day of the climb, you’ll transfer to a day room near the airport where you can shower and relax before your evening flight home.
Contact us if you’d like to overnight after your climb or continue on a wildlife safari.

  • Scheduled Departures

  • Inclusions & Exclusions

Departure Dates 2021

RouteArriveDepartPriceAvailability
Northern Circuit 9-Day
11 Days / 10 Nights
Dec 19 , 2021 - SunDec 29, 2021 - Wed$5,150AvailableReserve

Please note:
National Park fees can change without notice. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this site. We reserve the right to correct errors.

***Can’t find a date that works for you? Call us to set up a private climb.

The number of people in one group ranges from a minimum of three to a maximum of ten people. You will share the same mess tent for all meals, be taken along the route by the same guides and porters and share the tips for the crew at the end of the journey. A supplement charge will be applied to small groups with less than three climbers. Please contact us for more details.

Climbers usually arrive in Tanzania two days before the trek and will stay in one of our recommended hotels near Arusha. The day before the trek, you’ll meet with our operation team and guides for a pre-climb briefing and a thorough gear check. After the climb, you’ll be able to use a dayroom in the hotel before your home-bound flight.

The trip price is based on sharing the room at the lodge and in Kilimanjaro tents with another fellow trekker. If you are a solo traveler and would like to share a room/tent with another trekker, we will make every effort to pair you up with a person of the same gender. All solo travelers will be charged the single supplement fee; however, if we can match you with a roommate, we will refund you the supplement fee.

Single supplement at the lodge: $190
Single tent on the mountain: $300

Many climbers continue exploring Tanzania on a wildlife safari. All safaris are private and operated in our 4×4 Toyota Land Cruisers with pop-top roofs. For safari ideas please click here.

The number of people in one group ranges from a minimum of three to a maximum of ten people. You will share the same mess tent for all meals, be taken along the route by the same guides and porters and share the tips for the crew at the end of the journey. A supplement charge will be applied to small groups with less than three climbers. Please contact us for more details.

Climbers usually arrive in Tanzania two days before the trek and will stay in one of our recommended hotels near Arusha. The day before the trek, you’ll meet with our operation team and guides for a pre-climb briefing and a thorough gear check. After the climb, you’ll be able to use a dayroom in the hotel before your home-bound flight.

The trip price is based on sharing the room at the lodge and in Kilimanjaro tents with another fellow trekker. If you are a solo traveler and would like to share a room/tent with another trekker, we will make every effort to pair you up with a person of the same gender. All solo travelers will be charged the single supplement fee; however, if we can match you with a roommate, we will refund you the supplement fee.

Single supplement at the lodge: $190
Single tent on the mountain: $300

Many climbers continue exploring Tanzania on a wildlife safari. All safaris are private and operated in our 4×4 Toyota Land Cruisers with pop-top roofs. For safari ideas please click here.

Private Climbs

Let us build the Kilimanjaro climb that is perfect for you.

SAFARI TRIP IDEAS AFTER YOUR CLIMB

5-6 Days
Tanzania Highlights

Experience breathtaking views of East Africa's Great Rift Valley, the iconic and endless Serengeti plains, and the wildlife haven of the famous Ngorongoro Crater.
This is Tanzania at its best!

4 Days
Serengeti Great Migration

This safari is designed to focus on seeing the legendary wildebeest migration, where you'll experience the power of the migration on the vast plains of the northern or southern Serengeti, depending on the season.

4 Days
Ngorongoro Crater& Tarangire

Short on time? We have you covered with this 4-day, well-rounded safari. Search for Big Five in the legendary Ngorongoro Crater, observe tree-climbing lions in Lake Manyara, and marvel at the sheer number of elephant herds in Tarangire.

4-5 Days
Zanzibar

If you are looking to combine your Kilimanjaro climb with a fantastic beach holiday, let Zanzibar make your dream come true. Zanzibar offers pristine beaches, fantastic day trips and some of the bluest water in the world.

4-5 Days
Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda

Journey into lash hills of Virunga Mountains in Rwanda for thrilling encounters with endangered mountain gorillas in the wild. Mountain gorillas can only survive in the wild, so trekking into their native forests is your only chance to see them. Call for current pricing. Itineraries can include multiple day gorilla treks.

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