Fixed Group Date
|August 10, 2024 - August 18, 2024
|August 29, 2024 - September 6, 2024
About the tour
This route avoids the crowds on the southern routes and over 9 days, you have a fantastic journey and a great chance of summiting successfully.
The climb begins at Londorossi Gate, at an altitude of 2360 meters, with an approach far to the west of the mountain. It follows the Lemosho route, passing through majestic rainforest where some of the region’s most unique wildlife can often be seen. The route continues up to the mountain’s third summit at Shira Ridge. From there you will cross the famed Shira plateau and see the awe inspiring Shira Cathedral before turning north onto the Northern Circuit proper. The northern slopes of Kilimanjaro are far more remote and have the benefit of less traffic from other climbers. On a clear day the views stretch over the Amboseli Plains of Kenya. The trail then joins the Rongai and Marangu routes in the east for the final summit ascent via Gillmans Point. After reaching the summit, you will descend by the Mweka trail, rather than retracing your steps along the ascent route.
The Northern Circuit is a good nine day hike for those who have not trekked much at high altitudes, with an effective extra day’s acclimatization, giving a better success rate. Experienced trekkers may opt for the more difficult 8 day ascent along the Northern Circuit.
- Quieter than other routes
- Very high success rate
- Good acclimatisation profile
All trekkers need to organise their own flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). From JRO we will arrange a private transfer to your hotel. That night or early the next morning you will meet your local ZAFS representative and have a full pre-climb briefing.
4WD transfer to Londorossi Park Gate for registration. Our porters prepare and pack our supplies and luggage before we start our ascent along the forest trail to Mti Mkubwa (Big Tree) campsite at 2895m. We will stay here overnight.
Our journey continues eastwards across the Shira Plateau with spectacular views of Shira Cathedral. We cross moorland meadow to reach Shira 1 Camp for dinner and overnight camping at 3500m. By now we will be able to see the stunning glaciers of the Western Breach. It will be colder tonight than the previous night with temperatures possibly falling below freezing.
Today we walk to the summit of Shira Cathedral, a huge buttress of rock surrounded by steep spires and pinnacles. There is a tangible sense of wilderness here, especially when the afternoon mists roll in. From our camp near Shira Hut, we take in the unforgettable views of Mt Meru.
We leave the moorland behind now and a gentle grade walk takes us across the high altitude Shira Caldera to Shira Cave with fabulous views of Arrow glacier. We will camp here for the night at 4200m.
We climb out of the Moir Valley and take a short detour to reach the summit of Lent Hills (4700m). After admiring the views we return to the trail and heads eastwards around the Northern Circuit trail. The final section of today’s walk undulates until reaching the location of Pofu Camp.
From Pofu Camp we cross numerous small valleys as the trail continues through a landscape that has increasingly sparse vegetation to eventually reach Third Cave Camp.
Today there is a steady ascent to reach the Saddle, a lunar landscape between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. From here we continue upwards and reach School Hut in the early afternoon. The remainder of the afternoon is spent resting and preparing for the summit day.
We start the final and most demanding part of the climb around 1 am on a switchback trail through loose volcanic scree to reach the crater rim at Gillman’s Point. We rest here for a short time to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over Mawenzi. We then head on to Uhuru Peak, passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. We retrace our steps along the crater rim to Stella Point and then descend down through Barafu Camp, where our porters will meet us with a packed lunch. We will then continue to descend to reach Millennium Camp.
Your final day on the trek. Departing after breakfast, we descend a further 1300m to the Mweka Park Gate to pick up your summit certificates from the Park Headquarters. We will then transfer toy our hotel for a well-earned shower and celebration.
Includes & Excludes
The Trip Cost Includes:
- 2 nights hotel accommodation before and after your climb on bed & breakfast basis
- Airport transfers
- Transfers to and from the mountain
- National Park entry, and climbing fees
- Rescue fees
- A fully supported climb (average ratio of support staff to climbers is 4:1)
- All meals and drinking water on the mountain
- Private portable toilet
- Access to first aid kit and emergency oxygen
- A certificate documenting your summit ascent
- High-quality mess and sleeping tents with a comfortable foam mattress
The Trip Cost Excludes:
- International flights and visas
- Tips for your guide and crew
- Travel insurance (you must be insured for trekking up to 6000m)
- Your personal trekking gears
- Snacks on the mountain
- Meals and drinks not on the mountain
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Fixed Group Date
|August 10, 2024 - August 18, 2024
|August 29, 2024 - September 6, 2024
Frequently asked questions
Any fit person can do this trek, even if you do not have any previous experience. If you can walk a 10-14 km/6-7 miles per day, this climb should be do-able for you. From our experience, those with a good fitness level who get proper acclimatisation always reach the summit. If you have concerns regarding your fitness level then you can choose to opt for the longer day routes with less daily trekking distance. Essentially, you should be aware of what to expect and mentally prepare for it. Then, as long as you will to, you can.
The Northern Circuit is recommended for those who have a little more time, want to explore the mountain more than other routes allow, and wish to avoid the crowds.
On more than one occasion this route will take you high before dropping you back down to sleep low which is a key method in acclimatising better. It is the longest route and so there are more days for your body to adjust to the high altitude.
1. AIRPORT TRANSFER – When you arrive at Kilimanjaro, one of our drivers will pick you up in a spacious and comfortable Toyota Alphard and take you to your hotel. They’ll be waiting outside the arrivals exit at the airport holding a ZAFS signboard with your name / group name so they’ll be easy to locate.
2. TRANSFER TO TREK GATE – We will use Toyota Hiace or Coaster, which are better suited for navigating the wilderness terrain en route to Mt. Kilimanjaro. These cars are built to handle rough trails and ensure your safety.
3. TRANSFER BACK TO AIRPORT – We will provide you with a return transfer to the airport in a Toyota Alphard. You’ll be notified with your pick-up time so that you are dropped in time for your flight back.
The closest airport to land for your Kilimanjaro experience will be Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) which is a 45 mins drive from Moshi town where you will be staying overnight before and after your trek.
You can even take a flight to Dar es Salaam and then a connecting domestic flight to JRO.
Arrive at least a day in advance for your pre-trek briefing, gear checks, meeting the team/guides and a visit to Gilmans Rental Store for any items you may need to rent for the trek.
However, it is our ZAFS recommendation that you arrive a couple days in advance or have a full day before your trek starts so you can do a day trip to Materuni Waterfalls along with its coffee tour for an acclimatisation day.
With our packages, you will be offered a hotel accommodation stay in Moshi town a night before and a night after your Kilimanjaro trek (two nights in total). We will accommodate you in our trusted choice of properties that we use in Moshi and we will ensure you have a comfortable stay will the necessary amenities.
By default, this will be a double occupancy room unless you request a single supplement at an extra cost.
It will be on a bed and breakfast basis but you can upgrade to half-board or full-board at an additional cost. However, we do recommend you try the local food around Moshi in various other restaurants and cafes too. Contact your ZAFS travel consultant for recommendations on this.
If you have items you’d like to leave behind in Moshi and don’t wish to take them with you on the trek then you can do so at the property you’ll be staying at in town. They will store it for you in a lockable safe room until you’re back down from the mountain.