Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed using one of six well-known routes, Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Rongai, and Umbwe. All three routes—Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe—advance from the mountain’s southern side. The west is where the Lemosho and Shira paths approach from. The Rongai route travels close to Kenya from the north. All routes descend via Mweka, excluding Marangu and Rongai.
One of the best routes on Kilimanjaro is the Northern Circuit, which offers nearly 360 degrees of breathtaking scenery, including the secluded, little traveled northern slopes. The Northern Circuit is the longest route on Kilimanjaro, allowing for the best acclimatization time and having the highest summit success rate.
Journey begins with a lengthy drive from Moshi to Londorossi Gate as it makes its way toward Mount Kilimanjaro from the west. The first two days are spent making the trek from there through the rain forest to Shira Ridge and then across the Shira Plateau. The route then turns north and makes a clockwise loop from School Hut to Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp before ascending from east.
We will pick you up at Kilimanjaro International Airport – Time to be advised, meet and assist from Norbert Safaris & Adventures.
You will be welcomed with a cup of coffee, tea, and served with some delicious snacks, with a glass of champagne at your disposal.
The driver will help you with luggage in your comfortable transfer van and safely start to drive for 45 minutes to your hotel in Moshi town.
You will be assisted to check in at the hotel, and later you will be provided with a proper briefing with our managers, who will also make sure you have all the necessary gears and ready to trek Mount Kilimanjaro on the Northern Circuit Route for 9 days.
A guide and a mountain support crew will arrive at the hotel in the morning in order to meet you and hold another briefing, after which you will travel by vehicle (roughly 3–4 hours) to Kilimanjaro National Park’s western entrance: Londorossi Gate (2,200 m).
After the quick formality of acquiring climbing permits and registering with the search and rescue service, the group will start trekking to the first camp on your route – Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,780 m). Taking rain covers (raincoats or ponchos) with you is important, because the trek lies through the dense tropical forest, where torrential rains are frequent.
By the time you reach the camp, our professional mountain crew will prepare everything necessary, put tents and cook lunch for you. After having lunch you will complete an acclimatization hike up to 300 m towards Shira 1 Camp and go back to Mti Mkubwa, where hot dinner will be served for you.
An early wakeup, breakfast, and a gradual walk up to the altitude of 3,500 meters; at this point you will be able to see stunning views of Shira Plateau and Kibo Volcano for the first time.
On the whole, the passage from Mti Mkubwa to the second high-altitude camp – Shira 1 (3,505 m) is rather easy and takes about 5-6 hours.
This will allow you to start the acclimatization process gradually, which is the mainstay of good trekking towards the Kilimanjaro Crater Camp.
When you reach the camp, your team of specialists will cook you lunch and you will have the chance to rest in your tent or walk around the nearby area.
Departing from Shira 1 Camp and a light trekking towards the second high altitude camp: Shira 2 Camp (3,900 m). This trek is not difficult and you will be able to enjoy spectacular views of Africa and the unique flora of Kilimanjaro and the surrounding area.
Shira 2 Camp is the best place on the trip to see Mount Meru (the fifth summit of Africa), weather permitting.
When you arrive at camp you will have lunch, and after a two-hour rest, everyone will complete an acclimatization hike towards Lava Tower Camp that features a 300 meter gain in altitude.
This day is crucial for acclimatization even though you end it at a similar elevation to where you started.
After leaving the Shira Plateau, we head east along a ridge, passing the turnoff for the Kibo peak, before heading south-east toward the “Shark’s Tooth” lava tower (4650m/15,250ft).
We reach a second intersection, which leads to the Arrow Glacier, not far from the tower. We then keep descending to Barranco Camp for the night.
Out of Moir Valley, we start with a moderately steep climb. You can make a short detour from the Northern Circuit trail here to Little Lent Hill’s 4,375-meter summit if you’d like.
Buffalo Camp is reached by taking a series of inclinations and descents that skirt the northern slopes of Kibo. Views of the plains north of Mount Kilimanjaro that are breathtakingly beautiful and extend as far as the eye can see to the Kenyan/Tanzanian border.
Just after noon, you will arrive at Buffalo Camp, where you can have lunch and rest.
You will finish trekking up the northern slope of Kilimanjaro and stop for the night in 3rd Cave Camp, where the route will meet up with the traditional Rongai route.
On this day the trekking will be shorter than on the day before, and by this time your body will already have become completely acclimated to an altitude of 4,000 meters, which will contribute to your general feelings of well-being.
Steadily upward and over the saddle that connects Kibo Peak and Mawenzi Peak.
Continue southwest to School Hut, where you will be given an early dinner and the rest before starting your summit attempt just before midnight.
Before turning in for the night, don’t forget to set up your equipment, including warm clothes, insulated water bottles, snacks, a headlamp, and a camera.
Departure from School Hut at night and the start of summiting Kilimanjaro at Uhuru Peak.
Technically the climb is relatively simple; however, the most challenging part is the high altitude.
Each pair of climbers will get a personal guide for the entire ascent to monitor your physical and mental conditions.
After your successful ascent to Uhuru Peak – the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and the last point of the climb, Opportunity for Pictures and Celebrations.
Then you will return to Barafu Camp and after a 2-hour rest continue to Mweka Camp for Dinner and Overnight
The camp is situated in a tropical rainforest. When you wake up, you will feel relief from the reduction of the height and the satisfaction of reaching the summit.
After a warm breakfast, you will head for the park’s exit: Mweka Gate (1,650 m). After your descent the whole group will gather to congratulate you, followed by offering you a chance to share your opinions on the climb in the guestbook.
Lastly, we will present you with your commemorative certificates in our office and provide you a transfer back to the hotel.
Leisure breakfast at the hotel, later you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro Airport to catch your international flight going back home or to the next destination.
OPTIONAL — You can combine this Northern circuit package short safari experience or doing a day tour excursions such as Materuni Waterfalls, Chemka Hotspring or go for Arusha / Moshi Town tour.
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