8 days Northern circuit route on Mt. Kilimanjaro is a unique and one of the least used route on Mount Kilimanjaro, getting you far away from the crowds. The trailhead for this route is at high elevation, and thus you start slow and easy. You trek begins on the Shira Plateau, and the hike across the plateau is undoubtedly one of the most stunningly beautiful hikes in Africa.
With Northern circuit route, you leave the busy trails and head off across the north side of the mount Kilimanjaro, facing Kenya and the famous Amboselli National Park. The amazing hike along the northern circuit affords you opportunities to see some wildlife; possibly elephant, buffalo, eland, and signs of many other animals. Along this way we won’t see many climbers like other routes, only following cairns which signal the route.
You will spend your first 4 days of your Mt. Kilimanjaro climb traversing the valleys and ridges of the entire north side of the iconic Mountain, between 12,000’ (3,650 mt.) to 14,000’ (4,265 mt.) on your first four days, and on day 5 the trail will reach the base of Mawenzi, the second highest peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro- it’s jagged rock spires reaching 16,893’ (5,149 mt.). From here you trek across the magnificent saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo Peak.
From the rarely used Outward Bound camp you leave for the summit, where your trail joins with the Marangu Route high on the mountain.
This trek has been designed by Kilitop and Safaris experts to get you closer to nature, and to benefit from plenty of acclimatization time, the most diverse and complete ‘grand traverse’ of Kilimanjaro from west to east, and by far the most remote trails.
Day 1:ARRIVE ARUSHA,TANZANIA
Touch down at Kilimanjaro International Airport, clear arrival formalities and meet Kilitop & Safaris representative outside custom area. Enjoy private transfer to your hotel in Arusha where you spend the night.
Day 2: -MORUM BARRIER GATE (12,362 ft./ 3,768 mt.) ~SHIRA 1 CAMP (12,200 ft./ 3,720 mt.)
You will depart Arusha after breakfast and head for Londorossi gate, the transfer will take about 4 hours. At Londorosi gate, you will complete entry formalities and thereafter continue up by car to Morum Barrier Gate (another hour to reach the trailhead). Upon arrival at trail-head, eat lunch, and then commence your trek passing through heather and moorland which lead to your first camp on Mt. Kilimanjaro.(which is a descent) only about 1-2 hours of trekking. The view of Kibo from across the plateau is spectacular
Day 3: -SHIRA 1 CAMP ~ MOIR CAMP (13,800 ft. / 4,205 mt.)
Today you leave your camp after breakfast and hike across the legendary Shira plateau, east toward Kibo’s glaciered peak. Averaging 12,500 feet, Shira is considered one of the highest plateaus on earth. You immediately veer away from the crowded trails and head towards the northeast edge of the Plateau to reach Moir Camp. The trek takes about 4-5 hours over easy terrain. Moir camp is an isolated and rarely used camp affording stunning views over the Shira Plateau.
Day 4: -MOIR CAMP ~ BUFFALO CAMP (13,200 ft./ 4,025 mt.)
On your fourth day on Mount Kilimanjaro, you begin your morning trek heading out of the moorland and into the stark alpine desert, on a steep ridge off the main trail, and begin your venture on the Northern Circuit Route. Today, you will trek for about 5 – 7 hours. From the Pofu Campsite you will enjoy spectacular view into Kenya’s wild lands to the north.
Day 5: – BUFFALO CAMP ~ KIKELEWA CAVES CAMP (11,800 ft. 3600 m)
After breakfast at you camp, you begin your trek and proceed onward through valleys and over ridges through the alpine desert and moorland, you will further continue your circuit to the east, enjoying a vast mountain wilderness to yourselves. Today you will have another 5 – 7 hours of trekking.
Day 6: -KIKELEWA CAVES CAMP ~ MAWENZI TARN CAMP (14,160 ft./ 4,315 m)
After a 3-5 hours steadily trekking upward, you will reach a placid mountain tarn (lake) at the foot of the majestically rising steep ridges of Mawenzi, which is Kilimanjaro’s second highest volcano. Your camp for tonight is nestled along the tarn in a protected alcove with magnificent views towards the steeply rising rocks of Mawenzi.Camp at Kikelewa Caves Camp
Day 7 : -MAWENZI TARN CAMP ~ OUTWARD BOUND CAMP (15,585 ft./ 4,750 m)
Begin today’s trek that will take you 5-7 hour. Enjoy hiking though a relatively easy hike across the wide saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo. The trek takes you across the massive saddle- the crossing is quite impressive and the landscape spectacularly stark. As you near the foot of Kibo ,the temperatures turn cold. After reaching your camp, Mawenzi Tarn Camp, prepare all your gear for the day ahead, and turn in early to rest. Our Arusha base will make sure that a resupply of fresh food and supplies reach camp on this afternoon.
Day 8: OUTWARD BOUND CAMP ~ UHURU PEAK (19,340 ft./ 5,895 m) Millennium CAMP (10,200 ft./ 3,110 m)
Expect a midnight wake-up call, that will be the start of a long trek. After some quick tea, you begin trekking at around 1am up the winding path of endless switchbacks. Today’s trek is long and from your camp to the rim of the crater (Gillman’s Point (18,750 ft./ 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. Spend some time at Hans Meyer cave on the way, the famous spot where Kilimanjaro’s first western climber described in his journals. The trek from Gilman’s Point at the edge of the crater, to the summit is less demanding, and depending on your pace, you can reach it 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 where you will spend your last night on Mount Kilimanjaro.
Day 9: MWEKA CAMP ~ MWEKA GATE (6,000 ft. /1,830 m)
After breakfast, your 8 days northern circuit route clim on mount Kilimanjaro comes to an end as you descend straight to the gate, a trek of about 2-3 hours. On arrival at the exit gate you will be awarded Kilimanjaro climbing certificates, thereafter drive to Arusha where a day room to freshen –up and take well deserved rest will be provided till late evening when you will be collected and transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport to board your homebound flight.