Instead of following the southern traverse like all the other west approaching routes, the Northern Circuit traverses the mountain around the quiet, rarely visited northern slopes. While you trek, you will see nearly 360 degrees of beautiful scenery as you traverse the mountain at 13,000 feet. As the longest route on Kilimanjaro, the Northern Circuit also has the longest acclimatization time, giving you the highest chance of reaching the summit successfully.
DURATION: 10 DAYS
PLACES TO VISIT: Mount Kilimanjaro
You will be picked up by the staff of Gosheni Safaris from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and driven to your accommodation in Arusha. Participants will be given a short briefing for the climb the next day. Kits and the necessary equipment will be checked as well.
Accommodation: Sg Resort
Elevation (ft): 7,800ft to 9,500ft •Distance: 6 km •Hiking Time: 3-4 hours• Habitat: Rain Forest
We depart Arusha for Londorossi Gate (2 hours), where you will complete entry formalities. We then drive to the Lemosho trailhead and arrive in time for lunch. Afterwards, we walk through undisturbed forest, which winds to the first campsite.
Elevation (ft): 9,500ft to 11,500ft •Distance: 8 km •Hiking Time 5-6 hours •Habitat: Moorland
We 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 we ascend through the rolling hills and cross several streams, we reach the Shira Ridge before dropping gently down to Shira 1 camp. Here you will have an amazing view of Kibo from across the plateau.
Elevation (ft): 11,500ft to 13,800 ft •Distance: 14 km •Hiking Time: 5-7 hours• Habitat: Moorland
We explore Shira plateau for a full day, one of the highest plateaus on earth. It is a gentle walk towards Kibo’s glaciered peak, across the plateau, which leads to Shira 2 camp on moorland meadows by a stream. A variety of walks are available on Lent Hills making this an excellent acclimatization opportunity.
Elevation: 4,200m •Distance: 14 km •Hiking 5-7 hours
Today, we trek in high altitude and sleep in a low altitude, which is good for the acclimatization process. We spent the morning trekking up to Lava Tower and the iconic Shark’s Tooth rock formation at 4,600 meters where you will have lunch. After, we head down to the northern circuit to Moir Camp at 4,200 meters.
Elevation: 4,020m •Distance: 12 km •Hiking 5-7 hours
We leave Moir Valley and take a short walk to reach the summit of Little Lent hill at 4,375 meters with amazing views. After, we return to the trail and head eastwards throughout the northern circuit path to Buffalo Camp. Here, you will be welcomed with a vast space of Kenyan plains stretch out far below to the north.
Elevation: 4,020m-3,800m •Distance: 8 km •Hiking 5-6 hours
Today, the trek will be shorter and you should be feeling well acclimatized to the altitude. We climb up the Buffalo ridge and down into Porfu Camp where lunch will be served. The route then continues east around the northern slopes to the Rongai Third Cave at 3,800 meters. You will arrive at the Third Cave just around mid-afternoon.
Elevation: 4,800m •Distance: 15 km •Hiking 4-5 hours
After breakfast, we ascend to The Saddler, lunar panorama between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. Afterwards, we proceed upwards and arrive at School Hut Campsite early in the afternoon. You can spend the rest of the day relaxing and preparing for the summit day.
We’ll start our ascent by midnight and use a torchlight so that we can reach the Crater rim by daybreak. It will be a steep climb for about 5 or 6 hours over unfastened volcanic scree up to Gilmans stage (5,685 m). We shall rest there for a a while admiring the daybreak over Mawenzi. The trail leads west alongside the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that additionally occupy quite a lot of the summit area. We then retrace our steps alongside the crater rim to Stella Stage. Afterwards, we descend down to Barafu Camp stopping at Barafu for lunch. Here you might need gaiters and trekking poles 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. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Elevation 3,950 to 1640m •Distance: 10 km •Hiking Time: 3-4 hours •Habitat: Rain Forest
After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy so Gaiters and trekking poles will help. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village where our vehicle awaits to driveus back to the Hotel in Arusha.
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