The 9 days Northern Circuit Route is one of the easiest routes on Mount Kilimanjaro. It is a recently introduced route that gives climbers enough time to acclimatize as well as enjoy the beautiful scenery that it offers. If you have enough time on your hands and are not on a tight budget this route will take you to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro with ease. Boasting a high summit success rate, the rarely visited northern slopes of Kilimanjaro will reward you with beautiful 360 degrees of panoramic views. The 9 Days Northern Circuit route is one of the longest routes hence it takes longer to climb Kilimanjaro using this route. This route can be done as an 8-day itinerary or a 9-day itinerary which we strongly recommend.

Northern Circuit Route MapHow to climb the 9 Days Northern Circuit route

The starting point of the 9 days Northern Circuit route is at the Londorosi gate from the western side of the mountain traversing to the beautiful Shira plateau via the Shira Ridge in the west.

The route takes a different direction compared to the other route as instead of heading south, it takes the northern direction around the mountain towards the Uhuru peak, Mount Kilimanjaro’s main summit. Once it reaches the summit, climbers take a different route going down the mountain as the descent is via the popular Mweka route.

  • Location: Just like the Lemosho route, the starting point at the Londorosi Gate is located on the western side of the mountain.
  • Difficulty: Challenging but easier compared to the other routes
  • Height: The 9 Days Northern Circuit route trails to Uhuru Peak at an altitude of 5,895 meters (19,341 feet).
  • Duration: The Northern Circuit route has two options, the 8-day itinerary, and the 9-day itinerary, we do recommend the 9-day itinerary though as it guarantees a high summit success rate and enough time to acclimatize.
  • Trail conditions: This is a newer route, meaning it experiences less traffic as it is not really popular. Another plus side of this route is that it offers beautiful scenery. 

Where will you stay along this route?

Another ultimate Kilimanjaro camping experience along this 9 days Northern Circuit Route which also happens to be the longest trail on the mountain.  Your nights will be spent in Tents that will be set up by our Tranquil Kilimanjaro porters on designated campsites along this route. Day 1 begins with an overnight at Mti Mkubwa camp, also known as big tree or forest camp. You will then stay at Shira Once Camp, Shira 2 Camp, Lava Tower Camp, Moir Hut, Pofu Camp/Buffalo Camp, and Third Cave Camp then summiting via School Hut Camp before returning to Mweka Camp and finally descending through the Mweka Gate along Mweka Route. We will accommodate you into a hotel room the day before your climb and if need be, even after you descend the mountain, we will book you into a nice hotel/lodge to relax before catching your flight back home or continuing on a safari or Zanzibar beach combo or addon.

How much will this 9-day Northern Circuit trek cost?

The prices for this 9-day Northern Circuit route trip will cost starting from $2,150 for a group of 10 people and above to $3,195 for a single person. These costs include all taxes and requirements as indicated in the “price” tab under the items included and excluded section.

As for the meals on this trek, rest assured that our chef has expertise in preparing delicious and serving energy-giving foods while on the mountain. Also, be sure to indicate if you have any dietary restrictions that you would like us to be aware of.

9 Days Northern Circuit full-moon climbs

It is possible to book this tour and climb Kilimanjaro on a full moon. Just contact us on the booking form to get a free quote, and proper time dates from our reservation team. More details and exact dates for the Kilimanjaro full moon climbs.

Why is the Northern Circuit route easier?

Mount Kilimanjaro is somehow challenging but by comparison, the Northern circuit route is easier, in fact, it is one of the easiest routes up the mountain. The reason for this is because first of all it is longer and takes longer to climb, giving hikers plenty of time to acclimatize. Still, that being said, you will still need to be fit to make your climbing routine more enjoyable. This route is also recommended for climbers who do not have any past experience in mountain climbing.

What is the 9-Day Northern Circuit route success rate?

The 9-day northern circuit route has a high success rate of about 95% due to the amount of time it gives climbers to acclimatize. At that rate, this is one of the easiest routes you could choose to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Nine-day Northern Circuit route itinerary

Below is a day-by-day itinerary summary of the Northern Circuit route that takes a duration of nine days.

DAY START ALTITUDE (M/FT) FINISH ALTITUDE (M/FT) TIME (HRS) DISTANCE (KM/MI)
1 Londorossi Gate 2,360m/ 7,742ft Mti Mkubwa 2,895m/ 9,498ft 3-4 6km/ 4mi
2 Mti Mkubwa 2,895m/ 9,498ft Shira 1 Camp 3,505m/ 11,500ft 5-6 8km/ 5mi
3 Shira 1 Camp 3,505m/ 11,500ft Shira 2 Camp 3,810m/ 12,500ft 3-4 7km/ 4mi
4 Shira 2 Camp 3,810m/ 12,500ft Lava Tower 4,630m/ 15,190ft 3-4 7km/ 4mi
Lava Tower 4,630m/ 15,190ft Moir Hut 4,200m/ 13,800ft 2-3 7km/ 4mi
5 Moir Hut 4,200m/ 13,800ft Buffalo/Pofu Camp 4,020m/ 13,200ft 5-7 12km/ 7mi
6 Buffalo/Pofu Camp 4,020m/ 13,200ft Third Cave 3,870m/ 12,700ft 5-7 8km/ 5mi
7 Third Cave 3,870m/ 12,700ft School Hut 4,750m/ 15,600ft 4-5 5km/ 3mi
8 School Hut 4,750m/ 15,600ft Uhuru Peak 5,895m/ 19,341ft 6-8 6km/ 4mi
Uhuru Peak 5,895m/ 19,341ft Mweka Camp 3,068m/ 10,065ft 4-6 12km/ 7mi
9 Mweka Camp 3,068m/ 10,065ft Mweka Gate 1,640m/ 5,380ft 3-4 10km/ 6mi

9 Days Northern Circuit Reviews

Below are some of the reviews that we gathered from our past clients that climbed the mountain using, Kilimanjaro’s longest route, the Northern Circuit Route.

We chose the Northern circuit route, because we were climbing for the first time, Diannah and the team advised us to take a longer route and more days to acclimatise. So we chose the 9 days northern circuit route and we did not regret it. One tip and word of advice, please drink alot of water and everything will be fine,. The guides were really helpful and the porters helped us alot. We enjoyed the scenic views on the northern slopes of mount Kilimanjaro and the amazing sunrise at Stella Point. We also took amazing pictures at Uhuru Peak. The midnight summit attempt was the hardest part but worth it.

Will Spencer – Sydney, Australia

Additional information

DifficultyChallenging

Arrive in Arusha

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport or similar to begin your 7-day Rongai Route trek, where you will be met by Tranquil Kilimanjaro representatives. Transfer to Chanya Lodge and meet with your climbing manager and guide for a thorough briefing and equipment check. Chanya Lodge or other recommended accommodation options is where you’ll spend the night.

Accommodations: Chanya Lodge or similar

Meals Included: Dinner

Day 1

Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa

Elevation: 7,742 ft to 9,498 ft

Distance: 6 km/4 miles

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Rain Forest

Starting point: The starting point for the 9-day Northern circuit route is at the Londorossi Gate.

We drive to Londorosi Gate from Moshi town, a short drive that takes a duration of about 4 hours. It is at the gate where you will complete the paperwork and registration for beginning your climb. After registration at the gate, drive to Lemosho trailhead where hiking begins by going through the tranquil rainforest zone which leads to your first camp of the day, the Mti Mkubwa Camp.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping – Mti Mkubwa Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 2

Mti Mkubwa to Shira 1 Camp

Elevation: 9,498 ft to 11,500 ft
Distance: 8 km/5 miles
Hiking Time 5-6 hours
Habitat: Heath

We begin hiking through the rain forest and into grassland, heath, and moorland zone with patches of lichen bearded volcanic rocks outcropping the savannah terrain. As begin climbing up through the green rolling hills and traverse meandering streams, we come across the Shira Ridge before descending sharply to the second camp of the route, the Shira 1 Camp. From here we can see a partial view of Kibo on the backdrop of the plateau.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping – Shira 1 Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp

Elevation: 11,500 ft to 12,500 ft

Distance: 7 km/4 miles

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Heath

We spend our hike on the epic Shira Plateau from Shira 1 camp, a stone’s throw away on the eastern side of the Shira 2 camp. Located in the heath and moorland zone, this area is rich of wild flowers dotted with beautiful Senecio trees.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping – Shira 2 Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower then Moir Hut Camp

Elevation: 12,500 ft to 15,190 ft

Distance: 7 km/4 miles

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert


Lava Tower to Moir Hut

Elevation: 15,190 ft to 13,580 ft

Distance: 7 km/4 miles

Hiking Time: 2-3 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

We climb eastwards to the Shira ridge and then proceed to the Lava Tower located on the south eastern side, it is– a towering, 300 ft gigantic volcanic rock formation. Then we deviate from the main route to head to Moir Hut, a seldom frequented site located below the Lent Hills which is a popular place on Mount Kilimanjaro used for acclimatization purposes. We do a few walks on Lent hills to acclimatize.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping – Moir Hut Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Moir Hut to Buffalo/ Pofu Camp

Elevation: 13,580 ft to 13,200 ft

Distance: 12 km/7 miles

Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

We descend to Moir Valley and then take a steep climb to the summit of Lent Hills before returning to the main path of the Northern Circuit route. The trail traverses a rock field and gently goes up and down to reach the resting camp of day 5 of the route itinerary, the Buffalo/ Pofu Camp. This part of the route offers amazing views across the plains that are situated to the north of the mountain extending to the Kenyan/Tanzanian border.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping – Buffalo/ Pofu Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Buffalo/Pofu Camp to Third Cave

Elevation: 13,200 ft to 12,700 ft

Distance: 8 km/5 miles

Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

Habitat: Heath

As we move towards the Buffalo Ridge, the terrain becomes suddenly bare. This route is seldomly used by trekkers and you will get the true feeling of the real wilderness while you trek this segment. The northern slopes offer very scenic views, as we trek through remote valleys as we head towards our next campsite called Third Cave.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping – Third Cave Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Third Cave to School Hut

Elevation: 12,700 ft to 15,600 ft

Distance: 5 km/3 miles

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

We reach the alpine zone in dramatic style as we climb up and over the “Saddle,” which is sandwiched between Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. Our trek continues on to the next camp for overnight, at School Hut Camp. We find the camp set up and dinner already prepared. We enjoy early dinner and prepare for waking up early for summit day.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping – School Hut Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Summit Day: School Hut to Uhuru Peak

Elevation: 15,600 ft to 19,341 ft

Distance: 6 km/4 miles

Hiking Time: 6-8 hours


Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065

Distance: 12 km/7 miles

Hiking Time: 4-6 hours

Habitat: Artic

Summit Day: 9 Days Northern Circuit Route

The push to attempt summiting begins around midnight, very early in the morning. Most climbers find it a very challenging segment of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, both mentally and physically as well, especially because of the extreme weather in the alpine zone.

Ascending the mountain towards the summit happens during the night in total darkness for a few hours with short intervals of resting in between. Once you reach Gilman’s point at an altitude of 18,600 ft, you will be rewarded with the most amazing sunrise views you have probably ever, with the sun rising from the direction of the Mawenzi Peak.

After a few hours of trekking, we reach Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, and the whole of Africa.

Descending Mount Kilimanjaro

Descent from the summit takes the Mweka Route, with the first stop going down being the Mweka Hut camp site, making a brief lunch break at Barafu. The descent trail is full of outcropping rocks on the ground and can be quite hard on the knees; it is advisable to use poles for descending. The zone where Mweka camp is located receives plenty of rain and precipitation, most of the time it is wet as it is located on the upper rainforest zone. Later in the evening, we will have our last dinner on the mountain and a good night’s sleep, away from the worries of climbing.

Accommodations: Kilimanjaro Camping – Mweka Camp

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9

Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft

Distance: 10 km/6 miles

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: RainForest

This is the final day of the 9 days Northern Circuit route package, we descend up to Mweka Gate to be awarded summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be a little bit muddy or wet. After collecting our certificates, we head to Mweka Village where a vehicle awaits to take us to our hotel in Moshi.

Departure

You may opt for a Tanzania safari extension before you depart. You have a dayroom today to pack, freshen up, and prepare for your journey back home or a much-needed relaxation in Zanzibar.

The cost of  climbing Kilimanjaro via the Northern Circuit route is as follows.

1 Person: $3,195

A group of 2 people: $2,595 per person

A group of 3 people: $2,445 per person

A group of 4 people: $2,350 per person

A group of 5 people: $2,305 per person

A group of 6 People: $2,242 per person

A group of 7 people: $2,150 per person

A group of 8 people: $2,150 per person

A group of 9 people: $2,150 per person

A group of 10 people: $2,150 per person

9 Days Northern Circuit Route Price includes

All transfers to the mountain and back to your Arusha hotel

Professional, experienced, mountain guides

Guides, Porters, Cook salaries and park fees

Quality, waterproof, four-season mountain sleeping tents

Sleeping Mattress

All meals while on the Mountain

Quality Mess tents with table and chairs

Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food

Clean, purified drinking water

Conservation fees (part of park fees)

Camping or Hut fees (part of park fees)

Rescue fees (part of park fees)

VAT (18% charged by the Government)

Surcharge for online payment of deposit (5%)

Price Excludes

Airport transfers

Accommodation in Arusha

Tanzania Visa

Gratuity

Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)

Meals not listed above

Optional Tours (short safari after your climb etc)

What is the distance of the Northern Circuit Route?

The length and trekking distance for the Northern Circuit measures about 97km or 60 miles.

What is the 9-Days Northern Circuit Summit Success Rate?

The Northern Circuit has a high summit success rate of 90%-95% and is the longest route up Kilimanjaro. This gives climbers enough time to acclimatize.

What is the scenery like on the Northern Circuit Route?

The Northern Circuit goes through the scenic northern slopes which are not frequented by climbers and offers stunning vistas while you hike and traverse different vegetation zones on Mount Kilimanjaro

How do I prepare for the Northern Circuit Route?

To make your climbing experience easier and more enjoyable, any physical activity and training will come in handy.

 When is the best time to climb the Northern Circuit?

Since Mount Kilimanjaro can be climbed all year-round, you can choose to use the Northern Circuit route any time of the year but the best time should be between, January-march and June-October. The months between April, May, and November are the least favourable as they are the wettest. Should you choose to climb Kilimanjaro via the Northern Circuit in these months, make sure you have waterproof equipment and gear for Kilimanjaro climbs.

 What should I pack and what equipment do I need?

Tranquil Kilimanjaro will supply some of the gear and equipment you will need, but some of the gear you have to either buy or hire such as waterproof gear, a headlamp, sunglasses, appropriate hiking boots, personal medication, a non-disposable water bottle, and headgear.

How to get to Northern Circuit Route?

To begin your Northern Circuit Route itinerary, you will need to reach Mount Kilimanjaro first. Travellers flying from the UK, the US, Australia or Canada, and other parts of the world can choose to fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport located between Moshi and Arusha, Tanzania, or any other airport near Moshi like the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

What are the climbing requirements for Kilimanjaro?

Mount Kilimanjaro welcomes hikers of all levels of fitness and ability, but if you’re planning to reach the summit, careful planning, and vigorous training is vital. Consider adding extra time to your itinerary to avoid altitude sickness and to enjoy your time climbing Kilimanjaro.

What permits do I need?

The costs for the 9 Days Northern Circuit Route are inclusive of park fees and entry permit to Mount Kilimanjaro, all you need is VISA for visiting Tanzania and your Air ticket and a few other things mentioned to be excluded from the costs for this route.

9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route
9 days Northern Circuit route