northern circuit route offers a completely different experience of Kilimanjaro

Travelers will enjoy the opportunity of contemplating a new scenery every day, Eight days in the mountains are sufficient for successful acclimatization process, which the key ingredient for reaching Uhuru.

Safari tour package:
A custom, tailor-made, private safari
Price per person*:
$1990 - $2620
Includes internal flights:
Length of safari:
10 days
Best months:
January May - December
Countries visited:
Parks visited:
Activity level:
Extreme - Technical climbing (Kilimanjaro, Mt. Meru)
Safari type:
Camping safaris Camping
*Prices are estimates and used as guidelines only. Please contact the tour operator for an exact quote.
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The northern circuit route is one of the newer routes on Kilimanjaro and takes 8 days of trekking. It begin from north, then traverses almost completely counter clockwise before approaching the summit from the east. This route offers diverse views, making a particularly scenic route. It a lengthy, remote route, and the only one to cross the northern side of Kilimanjaro. The trek starts off from the west, following the Lemosho route for the beginning of the trek then traverses the northern face of the mountain to the eastern side.

Day 1. Arrival

Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), where you will meet an Alaitol Safaris representative, and transfer to the hotel under the rate. The hotel will provide all the essentials for a comfortable stay: cozy rooms, hot water, polite staff, a swimming pool, and Internet access. In the evening there will be a briefing with our managers, who will also make sure you are ready to begin the climb.

Note: Check-in starts at 2:00 PM.

Day 2. High-altitude drop off destination and trekking to Shira 1 camp

A guide and a mountain support crew will arrive at the hotel in the morning in order to meet you and hold another briefing, after which you will travel by vehicle (roughly 3–4 hours) to Kilimanjaro National Park's western entrance: Londorossi Gate (2,200 m). After the quick formality of acquiring climbing permits and registering with the search and rescue service, the group continues upwards towards their drop off point by off-road vehicles (reaching 3,500 meters). Here you can see stunning views of the Shira Plateau for the first time.

The route from your drop off point to your first high-altitude camp Shira 1 features a small gain in altitude and is not too physically challenging. Due to this, you will be able to properly begin the process of acclimatization. By the time you reach the camp, our professional mountain crew will prepare everything necessary, put tents and cook dinner for you.

This will be your first day at this altitude, so it is strongly recommended you heed the following instructions from this point on:

  • Abstain from consuming alcohol and caffeine
  • Drink over 4 liters of bottled water daily (little by little, frequently)
  • Take a Diamox pill to help alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness. Most mountain climbers take Diamox in the morning, before they start their ascent, in order to reduce discomfort associated with altitude sickness. We recommend you consult your doctor prior to the trip in case of potential allergies.

At night you may experience discomfort associated with acclimatization to the high altitude: because of a reduction in your waking breathing pattern, your body gets less oxygen than during the day. Taking altitude into account, you may therefore start feeling sick and have a headache. Pay attention to your own body and tell your guide if you start feeling any symptoms of altitude sickness.

Change in Elevation: Lemosho Glades (3,500 m) — Shira 1 Camp (3,505 m)
Hiking distance: 4 km
Hiking time: 1 hour

Day 3. Trekking from Shira 1 camp to Shira 2 camp

Departing from Shira 1 Camp (3,505 m) and a light trekking towards the second high altitude camp: Shira 2 Camp (3,810 m). This trek is not difficult and you will be able to enjoy spectacular views of Africa and the unique flora of Kilimanjaro and the surrounding area. Shira 2 Camp is the best place on the trip to see Mount Meru (the fifth summit of Africa), weather permitting.

When you arrive to camp you will have lunch, and after a two-hour rest everyone will complete an acclimatization hike towards Lava Tower Camp that features a 300-meter gain in altitude.

Trekking from Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp:
Change in Elevation: Shira 1 Camp (3,505 m) — Shira 2 Camp (3,810 m)
Hiking distance: 7 km
Hiking time: 3–4 hours

Acclimatization hike:
Change in Elevation: Shira 2 Camp (3,810 m) — Destination point en route to Lava Tower (4,110 m)
Hiking distance: 2 km
Hiking time: 1–2 hours

Day 4. Trekking from Shira 2 camp to Lava tower and descent to moir hut

After breakfast you leave Shira 2 Camp (3,810 m) and start trekking for the day towards the route's key feature: Lava Tower (4,630 m). This section of the route has a lot of highs and lows that end in a camp at over 4,600 meters. It will be hard, and you may encounter some discomfort, but in order to successfully acclimate to the altitude you have to spend at least 1-2 hours here, so this is where lunch will be offered.

After lunch you will trek a little higher, after which there is a gradual descent to Moir Hut. This camp is located on the way to the northern part of Kilimanjaro.

Note: If one or more participants feel sick, the group may refrain from passing the Lava Tower and adjust the route, following instead the road for porters. In this case you will not reach an altitude of 4,630 meters, getting up only to a maximum of 4,400 meters.

Change in Elevation: Shira 2 Camp (3,810 m) — Lava Tower (4,630 m) — Moir Hut (4,200 m)
Hiking distance: 14 km
Hiking time: 5–7 hours

Day 5. Trekking from Moir hut to Buffalo camp

On this day you will have a rather long but at the same time easy trek. After a short steep climb out of Moir Valley you will start going around the northern slope of Kilimanjaro, and just like on the way to Lava Tower the path will be full of highs and lows, without any steep gains in altitude. This route passes close to the border with Kenya, so you will be treated to amazing views of the Tsavo and Amboseli Valleys.

Change in Elevation: Moir Hut (4,200 m) — Buffalo Camp (4,020 m)
Hiking distance: 12 km
Hiking time: 5–7 hours


Day 6. Trekking From Buffalo Camp to 3rd Cave camp

You will finish trekking up the northern slope of Kilimanjaro and stop for the night in 3rd Cave Camp, where the route will meet up with the traditional Rongai route. On this day the trekking will be shorter than on the day before, and by this time your body will already have become completely acclimated to an altitude of 4,000 meters, which will contribute to your general feelings of well-being.

Change in Elevation: Buffalo Camp (4,020 m) — 3rd Cave Camp (3,870 m)
Hiking distance: 8 km
Hiking time: 4–6 hours

Day 7. Trekking from 3rd Cave camp to School hut

On this day you will be trekking to the School Hut Summit Camp (4,750 m). The actual trekking is not very hard, so remember to just choose an appropriate pace in order to keep your strength up for the trekking to Kilimanjaro's summit. When you reach the camp, we recommend you sleep well, avoid strenuous activity and drink as many fluids as you can, because that very night you will complete the trekking to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m).

Change in Elevation: 3rd Cave Camp (3,870 m) — School Hut (4,750 m)
Hiking distance: 5 km
Hiking time: 4–5 hours

Day 8. Trekking to Uhuru peak and descent to Millenium camp

Night departure from School Hut (4,750 m) and the start of your trekking to Kilimanjaro summit: Uhuru peak (5,895 m). Technically the climb is relatively simple; however, the most challenging part is the high altitude. Each pair of climbers will get a personal guide for the entire ascent to monitor your physical and mental conditions. After your successful ascent to Uhuru Peak, you can descend to the nearest glacier if desired. Then you will descend to Barafu Camp, on the south side of Kilimanjaro. After a two-hour rest and lunch you will continue trekking down to Millennium Camp (3,820 m).

Change in Elevation: School Hut (4,750 m) — Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) — Millennium Camp (3,820 m)
Hiking distance: 6 km
Hiking time: 6–8 hours

Day 9. Descent from Millennium camp to Mweka gate

The camp is situated in a tropical rainforest. When you wake up, you will feel relief from the reduction of the height and the satisfaction of reaching the summit. After a warm breakfast, you will head for the park's exit: Mweka Gate (1,650 m). After your descent the whole group will gather to congratulate you, followed by offering you a chance to share your opinions on the climb in the guestbook. Lastly, we will present you with your commemorative certificates in our office and provide you a transfer back to the hotel.

Change in Elevation: Millennium Camp (3,820 m) — Mweka Gate (1,650 m)
Hiking distance: 12 km
Hiking time: 4–5 hours

Day 10. Departure

Rest in the hotel and transfer to the airport.

Note: Hotel check-out is at 11:00 AM. In case you need a late check-out because of an evening flight, there is the option to extend your hotel stay for an extra fee.

Listed below are hotels/lodges/resorts that the safari tour operator can accomodate for you.

  • Sal salinero Hotels
  • Camping

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Alaitol Adventure & Safaris

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- We offer private/custom safaris
- We offer group tours/safaris
- Our main focus is: Mid-level safaris
- We book pre/post-safari attractions
T: +255 769 336 731
Since: May 2015

Parks you will visit

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Genet cat
Genet cat
Honey badger
Honey badger
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Bird watching
Bird watching
Rock climbing
Rock climbing
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