Northern Circuit 10 Days

Select a Trip Month
Aug 20, 2018 - Aug 29, 2018
$2,399 per person
10 spots left
Aug 28, 2018 - Sep 06, 2018
$2,399 per person
10 spots left
Sep 05, 2018 - Sep 14, 2018
$2,399 per person
10 spots left
Sep 13, 2018 - Sep 22, 2018
$2,399 per person
9 spots left
Sep 21, 2018 - Sep 30, 2018
$2,399 per person
10 spots left
Overview

    What's Included?

  • 10 day adventure, 8 of which include 3 meals a day
  • 2 nights of accommodation in Moshi, breakfast included
  • Airport Pickup from Kilimanjaro Airport
  • All Ground Transfers
  • Accommodation while trekking*
  • National Park Entry Fees
  • Fully-licensed, English-speaking guide
  • Porter service on the trek
  • First aid kit
  • Trip completion certificate


*Accommodation on the trek is tent camping.

Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5,895m (19,341ft). The Northern Circuit is the newest and Longest route on Kilimanjaro. This route encompasses several ecosystems, boasts incredible views and allows for an adequate altitude acclimation time.

Your trip starts when we pick you up from the airport at Kilimanjaro and take you to the hotel in Moshi for the night. You will be introduced to your mountain guide and we will ensure you have all the necessary gear for the climb. The next morning you’ll be driven to the trailhead where the hike begins.

The hike is designed to acclimate your body to the increasing altitude by completing phases that allow for gradual altitude gain each day. Along the way you’ll see incredible views and take in the expansive landscape. Your guides will teach you about the region and the many things you’ll discover as you traverse this beautiful land, all while the summit lingers in the distance as a reminder of your ultimate goal.

Under a blanket of stars you’ll begin your final ascent towards the Summit. Finally, you’ll stand atop the (5,896m -19,340ft) Uhuru Peak and take in the view from the tallest mountain in Africa. After a well-deserved celebration and picture, you’ll descend to the last camp before heading back to Moshi. The following day we’ll help you get back to the airport.

Full Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Moshi

We'll pick you up from Arusha town or Kilimanjaro International Airport and transport you to Moshi town, which is commonly known as the gateway to Mount Kilimanjaro. Your guide will give you a briefing and ensure that you have all the gear required for the climb. If you are missing essential equipment, it can be rented in Moshi. Check out the sites around Moshi! It boasts beautiful waterfalls, open air markets, and local foods to try.

Day 2 - Londorossi Gate (2,100 meters) - start point 2,360 meters to Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,820 meters)

Distance: ~5.5km / 3 miles
Trekking time: 3-4 hours
Zone: Rainforest
The Northern Circuit Route begins at Londorossi Gate (2,100 meters) in the West, the same start point as the Lemosho Route. The drive to Londorossi Gate takes approximately two hours from Moshi and considerably longer from Arusha. Registration with the Kilimanjaro National Park authorities occurs at the gate and then you will be driven further up the mountain to the trailhead starting point. Most tour operators serve lunch here before the short first day trek to Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,820 meters) begins. You may get lucky and spot large wildlife like elephant and buffalo that sometimes emerge from the rainforest onto the path as you trek towards your first camp. Dinner will be served when you reach Mti Mkubwa Camp.

Day 3 - Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,820 meters) to Shira Camp 1 (3,610 meters)

Distance: ~8km / 5 miles
Trekking time: 5-6 hours
Zone: Rainforest / Low Alpine Zone
On day three you will spend the first hour trekking through the last section of rainforest path before entering the low alpine moorland zone which follows up onto the Shira Plateau. The trek is relatively short and gradual, ending at Shira Camp 1 (3,610 meters).

Day 4 - Shira Camp 1 (3,610 meters) to Moir Camp (4,200 meters)

Distance: ~14km / 8 miles
Trekking time: 6-8 hours
Zone: Rainforest / Low Alpine Zone / High alpine zone
On day four the trek crosses the Shira Plateau from Shira Camp 1 to Shira Camp 2 for lunch. Here nine day trekkers usually spend the night at Shira Camp 2 where they will join trekkers from the Machame Route. But for 8days trekkers will continue with trek heading east which passes through the 'Garden of the Senecios' and then enters the high alpine desert zone, then you will join the northern circuit heading down to Moir Camp at 4,200.

Day 5 - Moir Camp (4,200 meters) to Buffalo Camp (4,020 meters)

Distance: ~12km / 7 miles
Trekking time: 5-7 hours
Zone: High alpine zone
Day five involves a moderately steep climb out of Moir Valley. Trekkers can take a small detour here to climb the summit of Little Lent Hill at 4,375 meters before returning to the Northern Circuit trail. From here the route follows a series of inclines and declines, skirting around the northern slopes of Kibo to Buffalo Camp (4,020 meters). The trek gives great vistas out across the plains that lie north of Kilimanjaro and stretch out to the Kenyan / Tanzanian border. You will arrive at Buffalo Camp just after midday, where you will have lunch and have time to rest after a long day hiking.

Day 6 - Buffalo Camp (4,020 meters) to Rongai Third Cave (3,800 meters)

Distance: ~8km / 5 miles
Trekking time: 5-7 hours
Zone: High alpine zone and low alpine zone
Day six starts with a climb up the Buffalo ridge and down into Porfu Camp where lunch is usually served. The route then continues east around the northern slopes to the Rongai Third Cave at 3,800 meters. The trek is shorter than the day before and by now you should be feeling well acclimatised to the altitude. You will arrive at the Third Cave just around mid-afternoon.

Day 7 - 3rd Cave (3,800 meters) to School Hut (4,800 meters)

Distance: ~15km / 8 miles
Trekking time: 4-5 hours
Zone: High alpine zone and glacial zone
Day seven involves a steady incline up and over the Saddle which sits between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi Peak. Trekkers then continue walking south-west up to School Hut (4,800 meters). After arriving at School Hut you will be served an early dinner and then you should get some shut-eye as you will be awoken before midnight to start your summit attempt. Remember to prepare all your gear, including warm clothes, insulated water bottles, snacks, headlamp and camera before going to bed.

Day 8 - School Hut (4,800 meters) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters) and then onto Millennium Camp (3,950 meters)

Distance: ~6km / 3.5 miles ascent and 10.5km / 6 mile descent
Trekking time: 6-8 hours ascent and then 4-6 hour descent
Zone: Glacial zone and all preceding zones
You will be awoken around 11:30 with hot tea and biscuits and will then begin the steep incline up the slopes of Kibo under the cover of darkness. Your first check-point is Hans Meyer Cave where you will take a short break. The climb steepens as you approach Gilman's Point (5,681 meters), which will be around 5-6 hours after departing School Hut. Take a moment to enjoy the approaching dawn and incredible view out and across to Mawenzi Peak, but remember you still have 2 hours trekking to reach Uhuru Peak so dig deep for the energy. The slope flattens as you head west around the crater rim and you should arrive at the summit at or just after sunrise. Your stay here will be brief so get as many pictures as you can of the incredible views and surrounding glaciers. You will then retrace your steps back around the crater rim to Stella Point (5,739 meters) where you will turn south and head down the heavily screed slopes of Kibo to Barafu Camp (4,680 meters). Most trekkers take a short break here before continuing down to Millennium Camp (3,950 meters) for your final night on the mountain. In total you will be trekking for 14-16 hours on day eight so it is important to pace yourself, remain hydrated and keep your blood sugar levels up. Note: some tour operators return via Gilman's Point to Horombo Hut using the Marangu Route.

Day 9 - Millennium Camp (3,950 meters) to Mweka Gate (1,640 meters)

Distance: ~10km / 6.5 miles
Trekking time: 3-4 hours
Zone: Rainforest zone
The final day is a short hike through the dense montane rainforest from Millennium Camp (3,950 meters) to Mweka Gate (1,640 meters). At the gate you will need to sign-out with the authorities, who will also provide you with your official certificate - a green certificate for those who made it to Gilman's Point and a gold certificate for those who reached Uhuru Peak.

Day 10 - Depart Moshi

After breakfast, we'll transport you back to Arusha town or Kilimanjaro airport..

Terms

    Extra Cost and Exclusions

  • For visas please click here.
  • All the meals are included on the climb but we only include breakfast while you are in Moshi.
  • We suggest a minimum tip for your climbing staff of $350. (Please Review our Tip Guidelines).


    Climbing Gear

  • We will provide tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad.
  • We will provide a duffel bag that you repack your personal gear into for the porter to carry.
  • You are responsible to bring your own personal gear (Check gear list).


Solo Travelers

We don't charge solo travelers any extra fees. Solo travelers can expect their own hotel room in Moshi and a private tent during the climb.

Discontinued Climbs

Some climbers may actually finish the climb ahead of schedule and others may have problems with altitude or decide to come down earlier for other reasons. If you do get back to Moshi early you are responsible to pay the costs for your extra hotel nights ($40 per/night) and meals. Keep in mind, our costs are the same regardless of when you end the climb. So even if you are climbing fewer days than scheduled keep in mind that we have already paid the staff, purchased, food and rented gear for all the days you were supposed to be on the climb.

Cancellation Policies

We understand things happen and plans change and will refund your deposit minus a $150 cancelation fee. Once we have made arrangements for the climb such as renting gear and buying food the deposit is not refundable. If your travel dates change we can generally reschedule you at no extra charge, but please provide at least 7 days advance notice.

FAQ

Who can go?
How difficult is climbing Kilimanjaro?

The trek to the Barafu Hut is only moderately difficult with a good trail with the only really steep point being the Barranco Wall. The final push to the the summit ridge takes about 6 hours and is very steep and cold. This last steep section is mostly switchbacks and then some easy rock scrambling near the top. Your guide will set a very slow pace. Most reasonably fit individuals can make it so long as they are not having any difficulty acclimatizing.

Are there any age limits for climbing Kilimanjaro?

The official age limit set by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority for climibing Uhuru Peak is 10 years old, we usually recommend a minimum age of 13 years. If anyone in your group is under 16 years of age please inform us in advance so arrangements can be made.

Why is a guide necessarily? I've trekked/hiked/camped before - can't I guide myself?

Guides are a requirement on Kilimanjaro set by the Tanzania National Park Service

Is previous trekking experience really necessary?

While it’s not technically required it's a good idea. Kilimanjaro is not the easiest trek and its good to have some previous experience and know what you are getting into and what trekking is.

Preparation
What should I pack for my trip?

We have a complete downladable packing list or if you want more details visit our blog post on packing for Kilimanjaro Machame Route.

What's the best time of year to book a trek in Kilimanjaro?

March and April are the rainy months at Kilimanjaro so we recommend that you avoid this time period.

I am landing in Nairobi. How do I get to Kilimanjaro?

We generally advise flying into Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) as you will likely end up spending several hundred dollars getting to and from Nairobi. There is a shuttle service from Nairobi operated by Riverside Shuttle which takes 6 to 8 hours and costs $35 to $40 each way. You will need a Yellow Fever Certificate to cross the land border into Tanzania. You will also need a separate visa for Kenya. Flights are also available from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro and generally cost $200 one way.

Are any permits required for climbing Kilimanjaro?

Permits are required and included in the cost of the trek. You will get your permit at the Machame gate on the first day of the trek.

What type of insurance should I have? Where can I obtain a policy?

Your park entrance fee includes cost of rescue off the mountain which will be organized by the Tanzanian National Park Service in conjunction with our team. In addition, it is strongly recommended that you have adequate travel insurance. While the park service will provide rescue services your travel insurance will cover any cost related to cancellation charges, unexpected curtailment of your holiday, medical and repatriation expenses including air ambulance, personal accident, delay loss or damage to your personal effects. If you don't have it already we recommend either Cover More or World Nomads.

About the trek
How long does it take to climb Kilimanjaro?

The Machame Route requires 6 days of trekking. Some individuals opt for an extra acclimatization day which is spent at Karanga Camp.

How long do we spend walking each day?

The typical time spent walking is about 5 to 6 hours. On the summit day you will spend 12 to 16 hours trekking. However, you will be given a few hours to rest at Barafu so that this long day of trekking is broken into two parts. We make the summit push and decent all in one day to avoid acclimatization problems.

Room and board
What kinds of accommodations are available on Kilimanjaro?

We offer tented camping on the Machame Route. Your camp crew will set up the tents before you arrive. Tents are on twin sharing and private tents may be available for individuals travelling alone. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag.

Will my mobile phone work? What about internet access?

Your mobile service may work at one or two points on the mountain but don’t count on it. We have tested mobile internet cards from both Vodacom (Tanzania) and Safaricom (Kenya) and were not able to access the internet. If you have a phone call that needs to be made during the trek please speak with your guide and he may be able to arrange something.

Can I charge my phone or camera during the trek?

In general its best to bring extra batteries or a portable solar charger. In some cases the park rangers may be able to assist you with charging a device for an extra fee.

Where will our drinking water come from?

We provide plenty of drinking water on the climb. Drinking water is obtained on the mountain and then boiled before it is provided to you. Disposable plastic water bottles are not allowed on the mountain.

What about showers?

Your guide can provide you with a bucket of hot water both in the evening and the morning for washing.

Where do we eat our meals?

Lunch are packed and eaten on the trail during the day. You will take lunch and dinner in the dinning tents that are set up.

Health and safety
What physical criteria will ensure I'm fit enough to trek?

You should be in good enough shape to walk continuously throughout the day. Good overall fitness, flexibility, and healthy will ensure you trek safely and comfortably. Those with acute or chronic health conditions impacting their stamina, range of motion, coordination, or balance may have difficulty completing the trek. If you are in doubt about your own physical readiness, consult a physician well in advance of booking your trip! Please review our blog post (Training for Kilimanjaro).

How will we deal with altitude acclimation?

The best scenario is to acclimatize slowly. The 6 day trip up Kilimanjaro is a fairly rapid ascent and trekkers should report any problems to their guide. Common symptoms of mountain sickness include headaches and cough.

What do I need to know about sun protection?

It may seem counter-intuitive, but your skin is in more danger of sun damage on the mountains than while at the beach! The sun’s intensity increases dramatically as we rise in altitude, and fresh snow reflects exponentially more UV rays than does the sand. You will need to protect your skin with clothing and sunblock. A sunblock specifically for mountain conditions is recommended. If you wear prescription eyeglasses its recommend that you get your prescription fitted to sunglasses.

What happens if I get sick or injured while trekking?

We take all possible precautions to proactively ensure the safety and wellness of our trekkers, but rest assured that our guides are trained and experienced in dealing with emergencies. Each guide is trained in first aid and is Wilderness First Aid Certified. In the case of altitude sickness, you will immediately be taken to a lower altitude. If necessary, your guide will utilize the park rescues services for immediate evacuation.

Are solo female travelers safe climbing Kilimanjaro?

Yes, we ensure the travel safety of all our trekking guests, both male and female. We have longstanding, strong relationships with the lodges we frequent, and know them to be safe and reliable. In addition our guides are consistently mindful of all guests' whereabouts while trekking. We travel in small groups, all the better to easily maintain continual contact.

Practical matters
What should I pack?

We will provide you a complete packing list on receipt of your trek. It is possible that you can rent gear once you reach Moshi but it tends to be expensive and the quality is not great. If you need any specific equipment beforehand we may be able to help you with some supplies free of charge.

What sort of footwear is recommended?

A good pair of hiking boots are important for the final climb as they help to keep your feet warm and provide adequate ankle support. Tennis shoes are sufficient on the other days of the trek.

How much can a porter carry?

Porters on Kilimanjaro are allowed to carry 15Kg plus their own personal belongings.

Should I tip my guide? How about my porter?

Tipping is an important part of the culture in Tanzania. Please review our tipping guidelines.

How much money should I bring along?

Its not required to bring any money on the mountain and you can give tips at the hotel at the end of the climb. The hotel has a lock box where you can store valuables during the climb. Our treks are all-inclusive. We cover accommodation, food, park fees, permits, and many other costs, as a means of making your adventure as stress-free and convenient as possible. Once you get on the mountain there are no opportunities to spend any money.

What communication options exist while trekking?

Your guide should be able to arrange a phone call or to get a message relayed in the case of emergency. Don’t expect any communication options although it is possible you will have cell signal in some locations.

What if I end my climb early?

Some climbers may actually finish the climb ahead of schedule and get back to Moshi early. Its also the case that sometimes climbers either have problems with altitude or decide to come down earlier for other reasons. If you do get back to Moshi early you are responsible to pay the costs for your extra hotel nights ($35 per/night) and meals. The reason behind this is that our costs are the same regardless of when you end the climb. So even if you are climbing less days than scheduled keep in mind that we have already paid the staff, purchased, food and rented gear for all the days you were supposed to be on the climb.

What is your cancellation policy? How about other terms and conditions?

Please check our Terms and Conditions page.