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The Northern Circuit Route begins from the west at Londorossi Gate and follows the same path as the Lemosho Route at the beginning. After crossing the Shira Plateau the path veers north near Lava Tower, following the longer Northern Circuit instead of the more popular Southern Circuit via Barranco Valley.
The northern circuit is longer than other Kilimanjaro routes while Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. It gives you more time for acclimatization and also beautiful scenic views.
The Northern Circuit Route traverses around the entire mountain. It has the highest acclimatization profile and also the summit success rate.
The Northern Circuit route is easily one of the best routes on Kilimanjaro. It is best suited for those who enjoy backpacking for many days and want to do something that is different. The Northern Circuit is also preferred by those who want to get away from other travelers while on their Kilimanjaro Trek.
WHY CHOOSE THE NORTHERN CIRCUIT ROUTE
Northern Circuit Route is the recommended route to summit the peak via Kilimanjaro Routes. Northern circuit route has a success rate ranging from 90% to 95% compared to other Kilimanjaro routes.
It offers Northern circuit route 8 days as standard and the Northern circuit route 9 days as best recommended one. The additional extra day in the 9 days route will give you more time for proper acclimatization and increase the success rate.
The longer itinerary in the Northern circuit route will give you a better time for proper acclimatization which further helps for a successful summit.
You have an option to sleep at a lower altitude and stay more time in the mountains. The Northern circuit route is less crowded compared to the other Kilimanjaro routes.
HOW HARD IS THE NORTHERN CIRCUIT ROUTE?
The Northern circuit route is not hard compared to the other routes. However, it is a bit strenuous while climbing. Northern circuit route has a longer itinerary with, Northern circuit route 8 days and Northern circuit route 9 days trek. This will help you to get an additional day for Kilimanjaro Acclimatization than the standard route days. You will be able to sleep on the low elevations and spend more time in the mountains. Spending more time on the mountain will make you get adjusted to the higher elevation altitude and you will be able to summit the Uhuru peak with a success rate ranging from 90% to 95%.
NORTHERN CIRCUIT ROUTE 8 DAYS VS. NORTHERN CIRCUIT ROUTE 9 DAYS
The northern circuit route gives you the best option to choose the longer itinerary for proper acclimatization and a higher success rate.
The Northern circuit route 8 days starting from the western side similar to the Lemosho route. It gives you more time for acclimatization and also allows you to sleep more on the lower elevation and spend more time on mountains. You may feel the symptoms of altitude sickness due to lack of acclimatization but you will be able to reach the peak with a 90% to 95% success rate.
The Northern Circuit Route 9 Days gives you an additional couple of days for acclimatization so that your body will be able to be adjusted to the altitude condition in the higher elevations. You will attempt Mount Kilimanjaro on the 10th day and the longer itinerary will help you to be on the top of Uhuru Peak with the highest summit success rate of 95%+.
WHAT IS THE SUMMIT SUCCESS RATE OF THE NORTHERN CIRCUIT ROUTE?
Northern Circuit Route offers a 90% to 95% summit success rate compared to the other Kilimanjaro routes. Due to its longer itinerary and longer days, climbers will have more time to sleep in the lower elevation and spend more time on the mountains. This makes you stay fit and climb the mountain with ease. This will make your climb to Kilimanjaro a successful summit and enjoy the beauty of Kilimanjaro Mountain.
Northern Circuit Route has the highest success rate compared to the other routes in Mount Kilimanjaro. Hence, it is proffered by most of the adventure climbers and also those who are looking to spend more time in the mountains.
Jerry Tanzania Tours hopes to provide prospect climbers with an all-inclusive guide about the Northern Circuit Route that contains valuable information to increase one’s chance of a successful summit when Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
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A member of Jerry Tanzania Tours hospitality team greets you upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport. He will drive you to Panama Garden Resort, where you will have all the essentials for a comfortable stay after a long flight, such as: pleasant rooms with hot showers, a restaurant with delicious choices, genial service team and access to the Internet. Your briefing, in the course of which your guides will provide all the details of the forthcoming trek, takes place at the appointed time. They will answer your questions and make sure you are properly equipped for the trek, providing rental gear when necessary.
Accommodation: Panama Garden Resort
Journey time and Distance: 1 hour’s drive, 40 km from Kilimanjaro International Airport to Moshi
After an early breakfast (07.00hrs), you leave the hotel one hour later to arrive at the Londorosi Gate to complete formalities around 11.00hrs, and in time to have your picnic lunch. After Londorosi, you have a short drive to the start-point of today’s walk. Today your walk is a distance of 7 km/4 miles, with an expected 3.5 to 4 hours of walking time.
Your starting altitude is some 2,100 metres and you finish at 2,650 metres. Your approach to the mountain using the Northern Circuit Route is from the west and some people say this provides the best views of Kilimanjaro. At the start of your walk, you may be lucky enough to spy some colobus or blue monkeys, though an encounter with buffalo, elephant or leopard – while possible – would be rare nowadays. Your walk, steadily upwards, is a wonderful experience, with fantastic forest and some really colourful flowers. Mti Mkubwa Camp (‘Big Tree Camp’) is normally reached by 18.00hrs and dinner is served at 19.30hrs.
Accommodation: In Tents At Mti Mkubwa Camp
Hiking time and Elevation: 4 hours, from Starting Point (2,100 m) to Mti Mkubwa (2,650 m)
You will soon become used to the early, 07.00hrs breakfast and your departure time today is at 08.00hrs. Although your walking distance is only slightly longer than yesterday, today you will be ascending from 2,650 metres to 3,610 metres and you expect a longer walking time of between 4.5 and 5 hours. Indeed, you start climbing straightaway, to the top of a ridge as you head eastwards and upwards. Today, the trees of your first day thin out, you eventually leave the forest environment behind as you move onto the moorland. From here, you are able to get your first view of both the Shira Plateau and mighty Kibo itself.
As ever, you should concentrate on walking pole pole (slowly) to reduce the chances of feeling unwell. Your direction is largely eastwards, picnic lunch is taken around 13.00hrs. Walking is steep at first after lunch, but then flattens and with the snow-topped Kibo ahead of you, you descend slightly to the Shira 1 Camp. Arriving at around 16.00hrs, there will be some welcome resting time before dinner, which will be served at 18.30hrs.
Accommodation: In Tents At Shira 1 Camp
Hiking time and Elevation: 4.5 – 5 hours’ walking, from Mti Mkubwa at 2,650 m to Shira 1 Camp at 3,610 m
Today you potentially have less climbing to do than yesterday, so you celebrate (!) with a later breakfast, at the leisurely hour of 08.00 and a departure about one hour later. We say ‘potentially’ as your guide will explain that today you have the option of trekking via the Shira Cathedral, depending on how you are feeling (see below).
The standard walking distance you cover today will be about 7 km/4 miles. It is a steady, uphill climb and you should expect about 3.5 to 4 hours of walk time in total. You set off first in a south-eastern direction across the moor and heathland of the Shira Plateau. Buffalo, dik-dik and klipspringer graze here and can occasionally be seen. By this standard route, you intend to reach Shira 2 Camp 3,850 metres – which is also known as Shira Huts – by 13.00hrs, in time to be served a cooked lunch. Dinner tonight will be at 18.00hrs.
(As we mentioned above, you will be given the option today of diverting via the Shira Cathedral (3,872 metres, or 12703 feet). This involves more walking, but your extra hours of trekking will be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the plateau and beyond. Your guide will discuss this option with you in detail).
Accommodation: In Tents At Shira 2 Camp
Hiking time and Elevation: 3.5 – 4 hours’ walking, from Shira 1 Camp at 3,610 m to Shira 2 Camp at 3,850 m
Today you are back to your early, 07.00hrs breakfast time, ready for 08.30hrs departure. You would expect to spend about 6.5 to 7 hours walking today, covering a distance of 14 km/9 miles. You will finish your day 350 metres higher than you started it, in between you have to climb to the base of the famous Lava Tower at 4,600 metres. This part of the route is rife with ups and downs and may bring some discomfort. You will spend one or two hours at higher altitude in order to properly acclimatize yourself, so the lunch break will take place at Lava Tower itself. The afternoon part of the route climbs slightly before descending down to Moir Hut Camp. Your guide may decide to bypass Lava Tower altogether, taking the porter trail instead, if any of the members of a party do not appear to have acclimatized properly. In this case the highest altitude you will reach, will be 4,400 metres, rather than 4,600 metres.
Accommodation: In Tents At Moir Hut Camp
Hiking time and Elevation: 6.5 – 7 hours ’walking, from Shira 2 Camp at 3,850 m to Moir Hut Camp at 4,200 m
You climb out of the Moir Valley and take a short detour to reach the summit of Lent Hills (4,375 m). After admiring the views, you return to the trail and head eastwards around the northern circuit trail. Here the trail passes through a field of rock slabs that clink as they are walked on. The final section of today’s walk undulates until reaching the location of Buffalo Camp (4,020 m). At the camp, there is a huge feeling of space as the Kenyan plains stretch out far below to the north.
Accommodation: In Tents At Buffalo Camp
Hiking time and Elevation: 6.5 – 7 hours’ walking, from Moir Hut Camp at 4,200 m to Buffalo Camp at 4,020 m
From Buffalo Camp, you climb to the top of ‘Buffalo Ridge’ and cross numerous ridges and gullies. The trail continues eastwards through a landscape that has increasingly sparse vegetation to eventually reach Third Cave Camp’s 3,800 metres.
Accommodation: In Tents At Third Cave Camp
Hiking time and Elevation: 5.5 – 6 hours’ walking, from Buffalo Camp at 4,020 m to Third Cave Camp at 3,800 m
On a relatively easy path, today’s leg takes you over the so called “saddle”. This piece of rock is actually a lava-flow formed when Kili was still young. It has now solidified and connects two of Mount Kilimanjaro’s three peaks, Mawenzi and Kibo. You will arrive at the School Hut in about 4.5 to 5 hours and go to bed straight after dinner as the summit calls for an early start, at approximately 23.00hrs.
Accommodation: In Tents At School Hut
Hiking time and Elevation: 4.5 – 5 hours’ walking, from Third Cave Camp at 3,800 m to School Hut at 4,800 m
Today is the most challenging day, but hopefully with the great sense of achievement of reaching your goal – the summit of Kilimanjaro! Your schedule for your ‘Summit Day’ is necessarily very different to your other days on the mountain. Rising at 23.00hrs, you take your tea and biscuits (23.30hrs) before a midnight departure.
The day starts with the long, tough climb from School Hut (4,800 metres) to Gilman’s Point (5,685 metres) for some of this you will be walking on scree, making your trek more difficult. From Gilman’s Point (5,685 metres), there is still another 210 metres of ascent and 1 hour’ walk to the summit. Your goal is to reach the top by around 07.00hrs then celebrate (of course!) take your precious photos and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience. After the summit, you descend to an altitude of 4,673 metres at Barafu Camp, where you rest for a couple of hours, take a brunch and then leave again at 13.30hrs to continue to descend to Mweka Camp (3,100 metres) where you spend the night. You would expect to arrive there at 17.00hrs and take your dinner at 19.00hrs. (In total, you cover around 17 km today with about 11-14 hours of walking – tough going, but with your objective hopefully achieved!)
Accommodation: in tents at Mweka Camp
Hiking time and Elevation: 11-14 hours’ walking, from 4,800 m at School Hut to the summit at 5,895 m, then down to 3,100 m at Mweka Camp
Still thrilled by your achievement, breakfast is taken at 07.00hrs and at 08.00hrs you can take the chance to reward your trekking team at the ‘Tipping Celebration.’
Although you still have 10 km/6 miles to walk, departure is at a leisurely 09.00hrs and you descend down to the Mweka Gate which sits at an altitude of 1,640 metres. There, you will be served a cooked lunch at midday and be presented with your hard-earned certificate. Your transport will be waiting to bring you back to your hotel in Moshi, where you can choose to relax – or, if you have any energy left, to celebrate!
Accommodation: Panama Garden Resort
Hiking time and Elevation: 3 hours’ walking, from Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, descending from 3,100 m to 1,640 m, then return by vehicle from Mweka Gate to your hotel 0.8 hours’ drive.
After a good night’s rest at your hotel, you will take breakfast ready for the scheduled check-out by 10.00hrs.(If you wish to remain in the hotel during the day, please advise us of this when you book your trip and we will inform you of the cost for a ‘day room’ which allows you to stay until 18:00hrs, and then make the booking on your behalf.)
As the transfer services have been already included in this package, you will be collected from your hotel and dropped off at the airport. For those travellers who have booked to go on safari, our Jerry Tanzania Tours guide will be meeting you in the afternoon to provide you with a pre-safari briefing.
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* All payments in Tanzania are in USD only. The prices in other currencies are given for comparison only.
Return transfer from Kilimanjaro International Airport to accommodation in Moshi;
Return transfer from accommodation in Moshi to the entry gate into Kilimanjaro National Park.
A helicopter rescue service will be provided to air transfer you (during daylight hours only) in an emergency from the mountain to hospital in Moshi. Note that this service will only be applicable if you have medical insurance which covers high altitude trekking up to 6,000 meters, and this service is always subject to weather conditions.
Professional guides, licensed by Kilimanjaro National Park. All our guides are well-equipped to handle medical emergencies as they have undergone various High-Altitude Medical Emergency Training to save the lives of climbers who fall sick on the mountain.
Dedicated support crew (assistant guides, camp master, porters, cooks, etc.).
One night at 3* hotel (Panama Garden Resort or Altezza Lodge) before the expedition and one night after; The hotels have everything for your comfortable stay - caring staff, nice rooms, reliable Wi-Fi, restaurant and swimming pool).
Tented accommodation on Mount Kilimanjaro (modern, comfortable 4-Season tents North Face VE-25 or Jerry Kilimanjaro Tents).
All hotel accommodation is based on a sharing basis (i.e. you will be sharing with your travel companion a twin/double room. If you travel solo on a group expedition, we will room you with a same-sex participant. Single occupancy in a hotel is available upon request and extra chargers apply.
Breakfast in the hotel before and after the trek.
All meals on the trek. Our Kilimanjaro diet includes energy-rich and highly nutritious meals prepared by our professional high-altitude cooks. In our menu you will find different soups, garnishes, several types of fish and meat, fresh fruit and vegetables; vegetarian/gluten-free/halal options are available at no extra cost.
All drinks on the trek (juices, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and water).
We send a resupply of fresh food from our office to your camp on Day 5.
All park fees collected by the Kilimanjaro National Park (conservation fees, camping fees, crew fees, rescue fees and all other fees collected by the Tanzania National Parks Authority).
2-inches thick and comfortable sleeping mattresses.
All group equipment (spacious and comfortable dining tent, camping table and chairs, crockery and cutlery).
Dry bag (to protect your duffel bag).
Portable toilets (one unit can be comfortably shared between up to 3 people).
Bottled oxygen and pulse oximeter.
Complete medical kits including Diamox.
Of course, we have a high success rate and your trip includes a Certificate of Achievement if you make it to the summit at Uhuru (5,895 metres). But your trip includes a Certificate of Achievement even if you only reach Gilman’s Point (5,685 metres). .
We advise you to purchase Travel insurance for your Kilimanjaro trek as it protects you from accidents and unforeseen circumstances, you’d never dream of happening on your once-in-a-lifetime trek.
Make sure your travel insurance covers you for:
Overseas Medical expenses
Delays in flights and other delays, etc.
$100 per person for USA Citizens and $50 per person for All Other Nationalities. You can find out more about Kilimanjaro Visa
Locks for bags
We would like to suggest an amount of $375 - $415 per person which is shared with the entire trekking team. It is perfectly acceptable to give more or less than that amount.
Though all group camping equipment is included in our Kilimanjaro packages, your personal outfit (mostly clothes for climbing) is not. Thus, you should bring all personal gear for your Kilimanjaro adventure. Our consultants will let you know what you will need for the expedition.
If you do not have certain gear, you may hire everything necessary from us. All equipment is new (we renew our stock every six months). However, remember that personal gear hire is not included in your tour price and extra fees apply.
Contact Expert On Kilimanjaro Group Climbs. Choose a rate that suits your budget and view the full tour. Please keep in mind that these Group Tours can be tailormade by speaking to one of our Travel Specialists. Get in touch with our experts for more information.
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Below, we’ve laid out some of the most important points you need to know before making your way to Kilimanjaro Climb. Our Hints, Tips, Tricks, & Recommendations are available in this free Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Guide. Get In through!
Top most Frequently Asked Questions guide about Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit Route. Jerry Tanzania Tours Has Collected All In the following Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit Rotue FAQs List & have tried to solve them In the best Possible Way. Read On To Find Out.
The main approach via Northern Circuit Route will take you through the rich Lemosho forest and across the Shira Plateau. Then as the climber traverses around to the remote and rarely-visited north side of Kilimanjaro, the scenery becomes more arid and austere. It is so remote here that the shy eland are often seen as well as the occasional buffalo that come to lick minerals from the natural caves on the high slopes of Kilimanjaro.
July-September is the Best Time To Climb The Northern Circuit Route, as the weather is most stable during this period and encountering rain is less likely. That said, since it is close to the equator it is possible to climb the mountain at any time of the year. April and May is the rainy season so this period is best avoided.
The Northern Circuit Route has a lowest difficulty level on all the Kilimanjaro Routes. Although it is the longest route, the longer itinerary means that it has the best acclimatization profile which makes the trek less difficult. The physical trek over nine days is excellent for altitude acclimatization and generally easy under foot. Good level of fitness is highly recommended.
The average Northern Circuit Route Success Rate across all operators is 90%. The Northern Circuit is the longest route up Kilimanjaro which gives the best chance for acclimatization. However, we have a summit success rate of over 98% for the Northern Circuit Route!
Northern Cirvuit Route Preparation includes any physical activity you can participate before your ascent. It depends upon how hard you train before the climbing, whether you're aiming for the Uhuru Peak or embarking on a shorter journey and this will be different for everyone.
The Northern Circuit Route can be completed in a minimum of eight days, but we recommend the nine-day itinerary. This extra day gives you more time to acclimatise. In our experience, most people who have completed the right Kilimanjaro preparation complete the Northern Circuit route with no real problems.
The Northern Circuit Route is the least frequented of the Kilimanjaro routes. The route circles around the quieter northern slope to the east side of the mountain. You get to enjoy remotes slopes and seldom-used camps. It's the perfect option if you're looking for a quieter, more relaxed Kilimanjaro Climb.
The Northern Circuit Route only offers camping accommodation. If you climb Kilimanjaro with us, then all of your camping equipment is provided for you: tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat and pillow. Further, all tents are pitched and then taken down by our dedicated mountain crew throughout the Kilimanjaro Climb.
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