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The Northern Circuit route on Kilimanjaro

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Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1: Lemosho Gate to Mti Mkubwa Camp

Today you drive to Londorossi Park Gate, where you’re recorded in the Kilimanjaro National Park records. You then start the trek from Lemosho Gate, hiking through the mountain rainforest for three to four hours to reach Mti Mkubwa Camp, where you stay the night.

Elevation: 2,100 m to 2,895 m

Distance: 6 km / 4 miles

Hiking time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Montane forest

Day 2: Mti Mkubwa Camp to Shira 1 Camp

Today you trek through the last of the rainforest, before entering the moorland terrain. The trail leads towards Shira Plateau and Shira Camp 1, where you stay the night. All in all today’s hike takes about five to six hours.

Elevation: 2,895 m to 3,505 m

Distance: 8 km / 5 miles

Hiking time: 5-6 hours

Habitat: Rainforest

Day 3: Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp

Today you make your way across the Shira Plateau to Shira 2 Camp on a trek that lasts just four to six hours. Temperatures start to change rather dramatically at this point of the trek, with the nights sometimes plummeting below freezing.

Elevation: 3,505 m to 3,810 m

Distance: 7 km / 4 miles

Hiking time: 4-6 hours

Habitat: Semi-desert

Day 4: Shira 2 Camp to Moir Hut

On this day you can expect a trek of two to three hours through the high alpine desert. You climb to Lava Tower and the Shark’s Tooth rock formation. You then head back down to Moir Camp. This is an important acclimatization day.

Elevation: 3,810 m to 4,206 m

Distance: 14 km / 8 miles

Hiking time: 2-3 hours

Habitat: Alpine desert

Day 5: Moir Hut to Pofu Camp

Today you hike for five to six hours. The trek begins with a steep incline as you journey around Kibo’s north face. You then walk through the alpine desert to reach Pofu Camp, where you spend the night.

Elevation: 4,206 m to 4,033 m

Distance: 12 km / 7 miles

Hiking time: 5-6 hours

Habitat: Alpine desert

Day 6: Pofu Camp to Third Cave

Much like the past couple of days, the journey today is lengthy but can be very rewarding. Buffaloes are sometimes spotted here. You cross valleys on this trek of four to five hours and end at Third Cave, where you stay the night.

Elevation: 4,033 m to 3,870 m

Habitat: Semi-desert

Hiking time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Arctic

Day 7: Third Cave to Kibo Hut

Today you undertake a steady climb over the Saddle, a stretch of barren land connecting the two peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. The terrain is pretty inhospitable, being a high-altitude desert. You climb for four to five hours to arrive at School Hut, where you get some rest before the big day!

Elevation: 3,870 m to 4,750 m

Distance: 5 km / 3 miles

Hiking time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Arctic

Day 8: Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Today is summit day! It’s all been leading to this, so it’s time to dig deep and use all of your determination to reach the top. Picture yourself standing on the roof of Africa and enjoying those unparalleled views!

Part 1 | Kibo Hut to Uhuru Peak

Your guide wakes you up around midnight to begin your trek to the summit! The route ascends northwest into the dark night. In about five to seven hours you reach Stella Point on the crater rim at 5,685 m (18,651 ft) above sea level. You then continue for an hour or so on a sometimes snow-covered trail to reach Uhuru Peak at 5,895 m (19,341 ft). You’re now standing at the very top of Africa has achieved a truly remarkable feat!

Elevation: 4,750 m to 5,895 m
Distance: 6 km / 4 miles

Hiking time: 6-8 hours

Habitat: Arctic

Part 2 | Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

After reaching the summit, you descend to Mweka Camp at 3,110 m (10,204 ft) above sea level. Here you spend your final night on the mountain after having hiked for about 12 to 16 hours today!

Elevation: 5,895 m to 3,068 m

Distance: 12 km / 7 miles

Hiking time: 6-8 hours

Day 9: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Today you do the last bit of hiking down to the foot of the mountain, where your driver meets you. Time for high-fives and a celebratory drink!

Elevation: 3,068 m to 1,640 m

Distance: 10 km / 6 miles

Hiking time: 3 hours

Habitat: Rainforest

Price Inclusive & Exclusive

  • All accommodations per itinerary
  • All meals per itinerary
  • All tours and entrance fees per itinerary
  • All transportation and transfers per itinerary
  • Round-trip transfers for the Kilimanjaro Airport
  • National Park gate fees
  • Transport from Moshi or Arusha to trailhead and return to Moshi or Arusha
  • Hut fees
  • Certified, experienced, English-speaking guides for all routes
  • Salaries for all crew members
  • Rescue fees (as required by the national park)
  • Cooking equipment, and eating utensils
  • Oximeters
  • Emergency Oxygen (2L canister)
  • International and domestic flights
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff
  • Optional tours
  • Personal expenses 
  • Tips for guides, porters, and cooks
  • Single tent
Tanzania safaris are a great choice year-round

When is the Best Time to Go on Tanzania Safari Holiday

The best time to go on safari in Tanzania is generally during the dry season months of June to October but a wide range of wildlife can be spotted year-round and each season brings its own advantages.

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