Northern Circuit - Kilimanjaro
Offering unparalleled scenery, excellent acclimatisation, and a great success rate, the Northern Circuit route is a fantastic Kilimanjaro trek for both beginners and experienced hikers. If you’re considering climbing Africa’s highest mountain, read on to learn what it takes to tackle Kilimanjaro’s Northern Circuit route.See all Northern Circuit tours
Nine-day Northern Circuit route itinerary
The Northern Circuit route can be completed in either eight days or nine days (but it's recommended to choose the longer route as it offers more time to acclimatise). Below is a day-by-day itinerary for the nine-day route.
|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 Camp||4,020m/ 13,200ft||5-7||12km/ 7mi|
|6||Buffalo 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|
FAQs: How to climb Kilimanjaro
How do I prepare for Kilimanjaro?
Any physical activity you can do beforehand will help make your ascent more enjoyable. As for how hard you train, this will depend on whether you're aiming for the Uhuru Peak or embarking on a shorter journey and will be different for everyone.
What should I pack and what equipment do I need?
While trekking tour operators may supply some of the gear you’ll need, there are a few non-negotiables you will need that includes waterproof gear, a headlamp, sunglasses, appropriate hiking boots, personal medication, a non-disposable water bottle and a cap or a beanie for example. Learn more.
How to get to Kilimanjaro?
Before you start your hiking escapade to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, you will need to establish how to get there, and the best mode of transport to suit your itinerary or tour. Travellers flying from the UK, the US, Australia or Canada and other parts of the world have a few options to explore. Learn more.
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. Learn more.
What permits do I need?
Each visitor will be required to pay a fee per person, per day for the conservation fee to help manage the national park, however, most tours will cover the permits and entry fees are included in the price.
- Machame Route. Distance: 62 km, average duration: 6-7 days, success rate: 75%-85%
- Marangu Route. Distance: 72 km, average duration: 5-6 days, success rate: 50%
- Lemosho Route. Distance: 70 km, average duration: 7-8 days, success rate: 65%-90%
- Rongai Route. Distance: 73 km, average duration: 6-7 days, success rate: 65%-80%
- Shira Plateau Route. Distance: 56 km, average duration: 7-8 days
- Umbwe Route. Distance: 53 km, average duration: 5-6 days, success rate: 60%-70%
- Northern Circuit Route. Distance: 98 km, average duration: 8-9 days, success rate: 95%