The Northern Circuit is not just the newest official route to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro, it is also the longest and most beautiful. And remember the longer the route, the higher the chance of overall success.
This extended climb begins with a drive from Moshi to the Londorossi Gate, where you start. From there the Northern Circuit follows the Lemosho route for the first few days, moving through the lush rainforest below the mountain itself, then ascending the Shira Ridge to cross the high Shira Plateau. When you come near Lava Tower you leave the Lemosho route and turn north to follow the Northern Circuit proper.
There are a few options as to the best route to the summit, depending on the season and local conditions at the time. All routes though converge again at Gilman’s Point to approach the summit itself. Descent is via the Mweka route, where you will likely see other trekkers who went up on either the Lemosho, Shira, Umbwe or Machame routes.
DAY 1 – Londorosi Gate – Mti Mkubwa 2500 m
Habitat: Montana Forest
Hiking Time: 3 hrs
You will be picked up at your hotel after getting breakfast, and drive from Moshi to Bomangombe. Fom here we will turn to the Londorosi Gate for registration and measure all luggage to the scaling standard of the national park and obtain a permit. We than begin our 3hr journey over to the starting point and up to Mti Mkubwa Camp at approx 2650 m. The terrain is that of Montana forest, where we can view some colobus monkeys hanging in bush for 3hrs. We overnight at Mti Mkubwa.
DAY 2 – Mti Mkubwa 2500 m – Shira one (1) 3480 m
Habitat: Montana Forest/Heather & Moorland
Hiking Time 4-5 hrs
After breakfast, we continue our ascension across the dense rainforest, where climbing is gradual and becomes steeper before reaching a wide moorland zone where you will get proper news of the Shira Plateau and its accompanying ridge and peaks. It is here that you finally get views of Kibo. From here, we go down the moorland then up to Shira one (1) whereby you’ll find your chefs, porters and camping crew already preparing for lunch and dinner for your overnight stay.
DAY 3 – Shira one (1) 3480 m – Shira Hut 0r Shira (two) 3840 m
Hiking Time: 5-6 hrs
Breakfast is served first thing in the morning. This is a good day for acclimatization for those who have more climbing time on their schedule. Next we proceed gently east across the Shira Plateau and Shira Cathedral towards Shira Hut on the moorland. It is an excellent place in this route to visit this first eruption in the mountain. Afterwards we go back up to Shira Hut for the overnight camp.
DAY 4 -Shira hut 3840m – via Lava tower for acclimatize and back to Moir hut 4200m
Hiking time 6-7 hrs
After getting a breakfast, we continue on the trail to join up to the junction point where you can meet visitors from the Machame Route. We continue up the steep path to the lava tower to an altitude of 4600 m. At this point of the day due to altitude, some climbers start to feel symptoms of breathlessness, irritability and headaches.
Then we divert from the main trail to Moir Hut, a little used site on the base of Lent Hills. A variety of walks are available on Lent Hills making this an excellent acclimatization opportunity. Shira Plateau is one of the highest plateaus on earth.
DAY 5- Moir hut 4200m -Buffalo camp 4020m
Hiking time: 5- 7hrs
This Buffalo camp in swahil we say “POFU” .We will take a short but steep hike from Moir Valley to the top of the Lent Hills.Not only is the view worth the effort, proper acclimatization requires you to ‘walk high, sleep low’.
Afterwards we will rejoin the trail and cross several valleys on Kilimanjaro north side before reaching Pofu Camp or Buffalo camp.
DAY 6 – Buffalo camp – Third caves 3875
Hiking time: 6- 7 hrs
As we head up Buffalo Ridge, the terrain becomes increasingly sparse. This route is rarely travelled and we will enjoy its mountain wilderness feel. We trek through remote valleys on to the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro via boreder of Kenya until we arrive at Third Cave
DAY 7- Third caves – School hut 4790 metres
Hiking time:4 – 5hrs
A long and steady ascent takes us to The Saddle, and a landscape that can only be referred to as ‘lunar’, with the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo rising on either side.
We’ll reach School Hut and make camp in the early afternoon, giving us a chance to rest and prepare for the summit tomorrow.
DAY 8 – School hut 4790 metres/Gilmans point via Uhuru peak down Mweka 3100m or Millinium camp 3700 m
Habitat: Desert / Summit
Hiking Time: 10-15hrs
We will wake late in the evening early (around 23:00) to prepare for the climb. You will have tea and biscuit available to you. The start for the summit will begin around 23:30 through the stone and sand scree up to Williams Points. We will get rest in the Hans Meyer Caves, 4812 m. After resting, our trail will zigzag upwards to the sight post welcoming you to Gilmans Point, roughly 2.5hrs from Hans Meyer.
The appropriate time for us to be at Gilmans Point is roughly 0500-0600 in order to have a chance of seeing the sunrise at Uhuru around 0620-0630. This next route from Gilmans Point to Uhuru Peak is through to the junction called Stella Point, quite an easy climb. After getting to Uhuru, you can enjoy stunning views then descend back to Millinium campa for lunch. After lunching, begin packing for the trip down to Mweka hut where you will stay overnight. It takes roughly 3hrs to get from Millinium down to Mweka.
Note: But if the clients are too tired we allow to overnight at millinium by discussed with your team.
DAY 9 – Mweka Camp 3100 m – Mweka Gates
Distance: 10 km
Hiking Time: 3 hrs.
After an early and well deserved breakfast is a short 3hrs scenic hike bake to the Mweka Park gates. Those who reached Stella Point and Uhuru Peak are awarded with Certificate of Completion. Then, you are transferred back to your hotel for a long overdue hot shower with time to relax. Tipping as we discussed with Kilismile Trails.