8 Days Northern Circuit Route

8 Days Northern Circuit Route

The Eight day variation combines days three and four, going from Shira one Camp to to Moir Hut without staying at shira two camp, which reduces one day for acclimatization.

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.

8 Days Northern Circuit Route Itinerary:

Day 0: Arrival Tanzania.

Pick up from Kilimanjaro International airport and transferred to Arusha for your overnight stay.

  • Overnight: Kiliwonders Hotel Moshi
  • Meal Plan: HalfBoard.

Day 1: Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa

  • Elevation: 7,742 ft to 9,498 ft
  • Distance: 6 km/4 miles
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

We depart Moshi for Londorossi Gate, which takes about 4 hours, where you will complete entry formalities. Then drive to the Lemosho trailhead. Upon arrival at trailhead, we begin hiking through undisturbed forest which winds to the first camp site.

Day 2: Mti Mkubwa to Shira 1 Camp

  • Elevation: 9,498 ft to 11,500 ft
  • Distance: 8 km/ 5miles
  • Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
  • Habitat: Health

We continue on the trail leading out of the rain forest and into a savannah of tall grasses, heather and volcanic rock draped with lichen beards. As we ascend through the lush rolling hills and cross several streams, we reach the Shira Ridge before dropping gently down to Shira 1 Camp. Here we catch our first glimpse of Kibo across the plateau.

Day 3: Shira 1 Camp to Moir Hut

  • Elevation: 11,500 ft to 13,580 ft
  • Distance: 14 km/8 miles
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland

We explore the Shira Plateau. It is a gentle walk east on moorland meadows towards Shira 2 Camp. The heath zone displays abundant wildflowers and unique Senecio trees. We continue to the east up a ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower – a 300 ft tall volcanic rock formation. Then we divert from the main trail to Moir Hut, a little used site on the base of Lent Hills. A variety of walks are available on Lent Hills making this an excellent acclimatization opportunity. Shira Plateau is one of the highest plateaus on earth.

Day 4: Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp

  • Elevation: 13,580 ft to 13,200 ft
  • Distance: 12 km/7 miles
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

We trek out of Moir Valley with a moderately steep climb, then hike to the summit of Lent Hills before returning to the main trail. The path crosses a rock field and gently undulates before reaching Buffalo Camp. This section of the trail offers great views across the plains that lie north of Kilimanjaro and stretch out to the Kenyan/Tanzanian border.

Day 5: Buffalo Camp to Third Cave

  • Elevation: 13,200 ft to 12,700 ft
  • Distance: 8 km/5 miles
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Heath

As we head up Buffalo Ridge, the terrain becomes increasingly sparse. This route is rarely travelled and we will enjoy its mountain wilderness feel. We trek through remote valleys on to the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro until we arrive at Third Cave.

Day 6: Third Cave to School Hut

  • Elevation: 12,700 ft to 15,600 ft
  • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

We climb steadily up and over the “Saddle,” which sits between Kibo and Mawenzi. We continue on to our camp, School Hut. Once here we rest, enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day.

Day 7: School Hut to Uhuru Peak

  • Elevation: 15,600 ft to 19,341 ft
  • Distance: 6 km/4 miles
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. Near Stella Point (18,900 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

  • Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft
  • Distance: 12 km/7 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. 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.

 Day 8: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

  • Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
  • Distance: 10 km/6 miles
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us to Airport. (One More night in the hotel is Recommended)

Price Item Includes:

  • 1 Nights’ accommodation at the hotel.
  • Return transfers between the hotel to the start / finish point of a climb.
  • All Kilimanjaro National Park gate fees, camping / hut fees and climbing permits.
  • Kilimanjaro National Park rescue fees (Kilimanjaro Rescue Team).
  • Chief guide carries a Pulse Oximeter.
  • Emergency oxygen (for use in emergencies only – not as summiting aid).
  • Basic first aid kit (for use in emergencies only).
  • All mentioned activities unless labeled option.
  • Flying Doctors insurance (AMREF) during the Climb.
  • Qualified mountain guide, assistant guides, porters and cook.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as hot drinks on the mountain.
  • Camping equipment’s
  • Water for washing up daily.
  • Porter to carry your duffel bag, with maximum weight of 15kg / 32 lbs, from one camp to the next camp.
  • Kilimanjaro National Park certificate for your successful summit attempt.
  • All Airport Transfers.

Price Item Excludes:

  • International and airport taxes.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Passport and travel visa requirements (Tanzania visa is required).
  • Compulsory tips for crew/day from group (average tip is anything from USD $20/guide | USD $15/assistance guide | USD $10/Chef | USD $5/@porter.
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Accommodation after Trekking (available on request).
  • Visa fees.
  • Optional but highly recommended travel and medical insurance.
  • Personal hiking/trekking gear – you could rent some of the gear in Tanzania.
  • Optional but highly recommended travel and medical insurance.
  • Accommodation After Climb (Strongly Recommended)

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