Northern Circuit Route Kilimanjaro Trekking

Route Overview

This route avoids the crowds on the southern routes and provides a fantastic journey with a good chance of summiting.

The climb begins at the Londorossi Gate, at an elevation of 2360 meters, with an approach from the west side of the mountain. It follows the Lemosho route, passing through majestic rainforest and home to some of the region’s most unique wildlife. The path continues up to Shira Ridge, the mountain’s third summit. From there, you’ll cross the famous Shira plateau and see the breathtaking Shira Cathedral before heading north on the Northern Circuit proper. Kilimanjaro’s northern slopes are far more remote and have less traffic from other climbers.

On a clear day, the views extend across Kenya’s Amboseli Plains. The trail then connects with the Rongai and Marangu routes in the east to reach the summit via Gillmans Point. Rather than retracing your steps along the ascent route, you will descend via the Mweka trail after reaching the summit.

The Northern Circuit is a good nine-day hike for those who haven’t hiked much at high altitudes before, with an effective extra day’s acclimatization providing a higher success rate. Experienced hikers may choose the more difficult 8-day Northern Circuit ascent.



Tour Itenerary

Welcome to the Land of Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti, and Zanzibar – Tanzania.
We will pick you up at Kilimanjaro International Airport, meet and assist from your Lomo Tanzania safari guide who will be with you on your safari.
Depending on your arrival time, you will be welcomed with a cup of coffee, tea and hot chocolate served with some delicious snacks and a glass of champagne at your disposal.
Our guide will help you with luggage in your comfortable safari vehicle and safely start to drive for 1 hour to your hotel in Arusha town.
You will be assisted to check-in at your hotel, and if possible followed with a short safari briefing or it can be done tomorrow early morning.

The Accommodation – Moivaro Arusha Lodge

Moivaro Lodge is situated right in the heart of beautiful, natural scenery and yet is only 7 km from the town of Arusha: an ideal spot to enjoy the impressive flora and fauna of East Africa.
At the Lodge you will be ensured that you are looked after in a unique, friendly, and peaceful manner, helping you to prepare for your safaris and cosseting you on your return in the evening.
The spacious thatched brick cottages are set in a lovely tropical garden, with private verandas ensuring every visitor all the privacy needed. Relax and enjoy the beautiful views of Mount Meru from the comfortable veranda, go for a stroll around the Moivaro property, or laze at the pool nestling amid tropical trees and coffee plants.

Meal plan
Hot served dinner will be provided at Moivaro Arusha Lodge

Elevation: 1,200 m to 1,950 m to 2,850 m
Distance: 9 km
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest

We will pick you up from your hotel and transport you to Londorosi gate for registration. After registration, you will board the vehicle again and drive to Lemosho gate. From here, you will begin the trek through undisturbed montane forest decorated with black and white colobus monkeys to the camp for dinner and overnight.

Elevation(m): 2850m to 3500m
Distance: 13km
Hiking time: 8 hours
Habitat: Moorland and heather land

This is an acclimatization day because you will gain over 650 meters by beginning your walk across a beautiful valley outside the Shira caldera rim (3600m). After a few hours, you will arrive at Shira caldera. Shira, a high altitude desert, is one of three peaks that erupted in the Kilimanjaro ecosystem. The peak collapsed, forming a crater that was eventually filled with lava from Kibo peak. Weather and volcanic activity have eroded and blasted away its rim. Shira one campsite at 3500m elevation is where you’ll camp and sleep.

Elevation: 3500m to 3800m
Distance: 7km
Hiking time: 5-6 hours
Habitat: Moorland and rocky

This day, you will trek east across Shira plateau, stopping at (Cathedral peak 3850m) to acclimate. Upon reaching this peak, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Mt. Meru and Kibo Peak. We will then continue trekking to Shira two camp, where you will spend the night.

Hiking time: 6 – 7 hours

Ascent: 390 m

Max. altitude: 4200 m

We leave the moorland behind and embark on a gentle grade walk across the high altitude Shira Caldera to Shira Cave, which offers spectacular views of the Arrow Glacier. At 4200m, we’ll spend the night camping.

Hiking time: 7 – 8 hours

Ascent: 500 m

Descent: 680 m

Max. altitude: 4700 m

We leave the Moir Valley and take a short detour to the summit of Lent Hills (4700m). We return to the trail and head eastwards around the Northern Circuit trail after admiring the views. The final section of today’s walk undulates until you reach Pofu Camp.

Hiking time: 6 – 7 hours

Descent: 60 m

Max. altitude: 4020 m

We cross numerous small valleys as the trail continues through an increasingly sparsely vegetated landscape to reach Third Cave Camp.

Hiking time: 5 – 6 hours

Ascent: 830 m

Max. altitude: 4790 m

Today is a steady ascent to the Saddle, a lunar landscape between Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. We continue upwards from here and arrive at School Hut in the early afternoon. The rest of the afternoon is spent resting and getting ready for the summit day.

Hiking time: 14 – 16 hours

Ascent: 1105 m

Descent: 2068 m

Max. altitude: 5895 m

Around 1 a.m., we begin the final and most difficult part of the climb on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman’s Point. We take a short break here to take in the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. We then proceed to Uhuru Peak, passing close to the magnificent glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy the majority of the summit area. We return along the crater rim to Stella Point, then descend through Barafu Camp, where our porters await us with a packed lunch. We’ll then keep descending until we reach Millennium Camp.

Transport: Private transfer (0.6 hour, 17 km)

Hiking time: 5 – 6 hours

Descent: 2027 m

Max. altitude: 3827 m

This is your final day on the mountain. After breakfast, you will walk through Montane forest to the Mweka park gate. This descent will take approximately 3-4 hours. Sign out at the gate and prepare to board the vehicle for the transfer back to the hotel for your certificate presentation and well-deserved celebration.

Tour Details


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