8 Day Northern Circuit Route

8 Day Northern Circuit Route

Tour Highlights

  • The Northern Circuit route is one of the best routes on Kilimanjaro, offering nearly 360 degrees of beautiful scenery including the quiet, rarely visited northern slopes.
  • Arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport where you will be meet with Ensembles Explores Adventures representative, picked up there and transfer to hotel in Moshi town.
  • Northern Circuit route is one of our preferred routes due to its low traffic, beautiful scenery and a high summit success rate.
  • This route starts off from the west, beginning with a long drive from Moshi to Londorossi Gate. From there, the first two days are spent trekking through the lush rainforest to Shira Plateau.


Trekking Pole

Trekking Pole

Tented Camp

Tented Camp

Trekking Shoe

Trekking Shoe




Day 1


One of our drivers will greet you at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and drive you to your hotel. In the evening you will be briefed on the upcoming climb by your Tour Manager.

Day 2

High-Altitude Transfer and Trekking to Shira 1 Camp

Introductions and a short final orientation with your guides take place in the morning at your hotel before the 3 to 4-hour drive to Kilimanjaro National Park's West gate: Londorossi (2,200 m). The guides will take care of the Park permits and registration formalities.

A further 1-hour drive brings you to 3,500 m above sea level, which is where the trekking starts. The drop-off point affords stunning vistas of the Shira Plateau.

The further walk to your first overnight camp at Shira 1 camp presents a modest physical challenge and allows for easy acclimation due to the modest increase in altitude.
This will be your first night at high altitude, so adhere to the following rules from this point on:

  • Do not consume any alcohol or caffeine 
  • Keep hydrated by drinking no less than 4 l (about a gallon) of water a day 
  • We recommend that you take Diamox pills every morning prior to beginning the climb - this alleviates altitude sickness symptoms. Make sure to consult your physician on the use of Diamox before traveling.

Nausea and headaches tend to occur at higher altitudes, especially at night. Do not panic if you experience these or any other symptoms but make sure to appraise your head guide of the situation immediately.

Altitude gain: : Lemosho Glades (3,500 m) — Shira 1 Camp (3,505 m)

Walking distance: 4 km

Duration: 1 hour

Day 3

Shira 1 to Shira 2 Trek

This day brings yet another modest altitude gain of 300 m on the way from Shira 1 to Shira 2 Camp. The low physical demands of the trek will leave you with both time and energy to enjoy Kilimanjaro's flora and- when the weather is favourable- Mount Meru, which is the 5th-highest mountain on the continent.

A further acclimatisation walk towards Lava Tower will follow lunch and a 2-hour rest period. This allows you to experience a further gain of 300 m.

Altitude gain: Shira 1 Camp (3,505 m) — Shira 2 Camp (3,900 m)

Walking distance: 7 km

Duration: 3–4 hours

Acclimatization hike:

Altitude gain: Shira 2 Camp (3,900 m) — Destination point en route to Lava Tower (4,110 m)

Walking distance: 2 km

Duration: 1–2 hours

Day 4

Shira 2 to Moir Hut via Lava Tower Trek

The group leaves the altitude of 3,900 m at Shira Camp and heads towards Lava Tower’s 4,630 m after breakfast. This part of the route is rife with ups and downs and may bring some discomfort. You will need to spend one or two hours at higher altitude in order to properly acclimatize yourself, so the lunch break will take place at Lava Tower itself.

The afternoon part of the route climbs slightly before descending to Moir Hut Camp. Your guide may decide to bypass Lava Tower altogether, taking the porter trail instead, if any of the members of the group do not appear to have acclimatized properly. In this case the highest altitude reached will be 4,400, rather than 4,630 metres.

Altitude gain: Shira 2 Camp (3,900 m) — Lava Tower (4,630 m) — Moir Hut (4,200 m)

Walking distance: 14 km

Duration: 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.

Altitude gain: Moir Hut (4,200 m) — Buffalo Camp (4,020 m)

Walking distance: 12 km

Duration: 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.

Altitude gain: Buffalo Camp (4,020 m) — 3rd Cave Camp (3,870 m)

Walking distance: 8 km

Duration: 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).

Altitude gain: 3rd Cave Camp (3,870 m) — School Hut (4,750 m)

Walking distance: 5 km

Duration: 4–5 hours

Day 8

Ascent to Uhuru Peak and Descent to Mweka Camp

Safety being the primary consideration during any summiting attempt, one guide will be nominated per every two climbers. His main responsibility is the monitoring of his designated clients’ health on the trek to Uhuru Peak’s 5,895 m. The climb, which starts at School Hut’s 4,750 m around midnight, though relatively easy technically, poses a challenge due to high altitude. A walk upon the nearest glacier is an option upon successful summiting.

The group then descends to Barafu Camp for a two-hour lunch and rest break. The day ends at Mweka Camp’s 3,110 m.

Please keep in mind, that 9/10 accidents occur during descent. Mind your step to avoid potential falls, breaks and damaged toes.

Altitude gain: School Hut (4,750 m) — Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) — Mweka Camp (3,110 m)

Walking distance: 19 km

Duration: 10–14 hours

Day 9

Return to Mweka Gate from Mweka Camp

Millennium Camp sits amidst a tropical rainforest. The lower altitude and feelings of accomplishment from having reached the summit make for a good night’s rest there. Hot breakfast is followed by your final descent to the Park’s exit gate- Mweka, at 1,650 m. This final stop before your transfer to our offices to receive your accomplishment certificates presents a good opportunity to recap the adventure with your support team. Finally, you will be driven to your hotel for a well-deserved rest.

Altitude gain: Mweka Camp (3,110 m) — Mweka Gate (1,650 m)

Walking distance: 8 km

Duration: 4–5 hours

Day 10


Rest at your hotel until your transfer to the airport. Check-out time is 11:00 AM, however, if your flight is in the evening you can extend your stay for the day for a modest fee.

Itinerary Map


Itinerary Gallery

Booking Form

Include & Exclude


  • Accommodation on arrival and after the trekking
  • Transfer to and from the base of the mountain
  • Lemosho route trek as itinerary depicts 6 Days
  • Full board accommodation whilst on the trek
  • Meal plan as detailed: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch and D=Dinner
  • All entrance fees to include government taxes
  • Service of an English-speaking professional Mountain guide on the mountain, porters and skilled cook
  • All services begin and end at Kilimanjaro Airport as per the itinerary
  • Treated water on the trek
  • Return airport transfers from/to Kilimanjaro Airport
  • Fair salary of porters, cooker and guides


  • Tips for guides, cooker and porters
  • Medical evacuation,
  • International flights and taxes
  • Visas (50 US $ for Tanzania)
  • Items of a personal nature and any other extras not detailed in the above itinerary.

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