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The Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit route is one of the best routes and also the newest official route to ascend Mt. Kilimanjaro. This special route is also the least used and the longest route perfect for those seeking remote and long Mt Kilimanjaro hiking. Trekking through this trail guarantees excellent acclimatization changeover and exceptional views from the northern slope of the mountain. The Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit itinerary follows the Lemosho route for the first few days, then ascending the Shira Ridge to cross the high Shira Plateau. Trekkers will leave the Lemosho route to turn northwards and follow the main circuit when approaching near the Lava Tower. Circling clockwise from Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp, trekkers will pass through School Hut before finally summiting from the east. The descent is made via the Mweka route, where it is likely for trekkers to encounter other trekkers from the Lemosho, Shira, Umbwe, Machame or the Marangu routes.
|Day 01 Arrival in Kilimanjaro; drive to Moshi||950m/3,117ft|
|Day 02 High-Altitude Transfer &Trekking to Shira 1 Camp||3,505m/11,500ft||2 hrs|
|Day 03 Trekking from Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp||3,900m/12,796ft||3-4 hrs|
|Day 04 Trekking from Shira 2 Camp via Lava Tower to Moir Hut||4,630m/15,191ft||6-8 hrs|
|Day 05 Trekking from Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp||4,020m/13,190ft||5-7 hrs|
|Day 06 Trekking from Buffalo Camp to Rongai Third Cave Camp||3,870m/12,697ft||4-6 hrs|
|Day 07 Trekking from Rongai Third Cave Camp to School Hut||4,750m/15,585ft||4-5 hrs|
|Day 08 Trekking to Uhuru Peak and Descent to Millennium Camp||5,895m/19,341ft||12-15 hrs|
|Day 09 Descent from Millenium Camp to Mweka Gate||1,640m/5,381ft||4-5 hrs|
|Day 10 Final Departure||-|
On arrival at the international airport in Kilimanjaro, you will be met by a Himalayan Glacier representative who will escort you to your designated hotel in Moshi. Later, in the evening, there will be a pre-trip discussion with our manager. You may ask as many questions to your trip guide and get a clear vision about your upcoming trip.After the discussion, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Himalayan Glacier. For dinner, we will try excellent Tanzanian cuisine which will introduce us to the country’s food culture.
In the morning, your guide will arrive at the hotel along with a support crew who will meet you and have a short final orientation. After breakfast at your hotel, you will drive off to Londorossi Gate (2200m), the western entrance of Kilimanjaro National Park. After acquiring climbing permits and registering with the search and rescue service, you will continue towards the drop off points by off-road vehicles. The drop off point (Lemosho Glades) at an altitude of 3500 meters is the point where you will be able to see the magnificent views of the Shira Plateau for the first time. From the drop off point, you will begin trekking with a moderate gain in altitude towards the first high-altitude camp Shira 1. The walk is not too physically challenging but you will be able to begin getting acclimatized. By the time you reach the camp, your crew will already have the tents set up.
Since it is your first day at this altitude, we strongly advise you to pay attention to the following instruction:
• Stay away from drinking caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
• Drink as much boiled water as possible, at frequent intervals. It is best for your body if you drink at least 4 liters each day on your trek.
• To lessen symptoms of altitude sickness, take a Diamox pill. If you are allergic to certain medicines, it is recommended that you consult your doctor prior to your trip.
• If you experience any discomfort associated with your breathing and start feeling sick or get a headache, tell your guide about your condition immediately.
You will cross the Shira Plateau to reach the Shira 2 Camp with a modest altitude gain of 300m. It is a short hike today to the summit of the awe-inspiring Shira Cathedral, which is one of the most amazing natural landmarks on Kilimanjaro. It is then a gentle walk east on moorland meadows towards Shira 2 Camp. You can enjoy the abundant wildflowers and unique Senecio trees and if the weather is favorable, you will be able to see Mt. Meru which is 80 km away in Arusha National Park. Mt. Meru is the 5th highest mountain in Africa. After having lunch at the camp and resting for 2 hours, you will set out for a short acclimatization hike a little higher up the plateau towards the Lava Tower. From the acclimatization point which is 300m higher, you can enjoy the stunning view across the valley below and Western Breach of Kilimanjaro. Coming back to the camp, you will have your dinner and sleep in the tent and rest for the following day’s trek. The plateau is exposed, so be prepared for a cold night with temperatures getting below zero.
Hiking distance: 7 km (+2 km acclimatization hike)
Leaving Shira 2 Camp[, you will leave the Lemosho route and join the Machame route and follow it for a short time. It is a long trek today heading east and passing through the ‘garden of Senecios’ before entering the high alpine desert zone. This part of the route is rife with many ups and downs and may bring some discomfort. The entire morning is spent hiking up to Lava Tower and the iconic Shark’s Tooth rock formation at 4630 m. You will have your lunch here and spend at least two hours to get properly acclimatized before proceeding further. After lunch and resting for 2 hours you will join the northern circuit heading down to Moir Hut Camp, a little-used site beneath the scenic Lent Hills. Your guide may decide to bypass the Lava Tower route and take the porter trail instead if someone in the group does not feel well due to inadequate acclimatization.
Today’s trek is rather long and at the same time an easy hike. The initial walk involves a moderately steep climb out of the Moir Valley. Trekkers may take a short detour to climb the summit of the Lent Hills before returning to the northern circuit. The path crosses a rock field and a trail full of inclines and declines just like on the way to Lava Tower on the previous day, without any steep altitude gains. This route passes close to the Kenyan border crossing several valleys on Kilimanjaro’s north side with amazing views of the Tsavo and Amboseli Valleys. Following a series of ups and downs and skirting around the northern slopes of Kibo, you will arrive at the Buffalo Camp (4020 m).
Leaving the Camp continuing to circle around the mountain’s north side, you will climb up the Buffalo ridge which offers magnificent views of Kenya. You will then descend down to the Porfu Camp where you will have your lunch. After lunch, you will continue eastwards crossing many more valleys with a feel of mountain wilderness. The vegetation begins to thin with drier conditions on this part of the trek. You will finish trekking up the northern slope of Kilimanjaro and stop for the night in Rongai Third Cave Camp where the route will join the traditional Rongai route. The day’s trek is shorter as compared with the previous day’s hike and by the time you reach the 3rd Cave Camp, you will be feeling well acclimatized to the altitude. You will have your dinner in the evening and retire early in your pitched tents.
Today, you will continue climbing higher on the eastern side of Kibo, crossing the saddle, the alpine desert that lies between Mawenzi and Kibo. Although the actual trekking is not very difficult, the route is dry, barren and rather inhospitable, so it is best recommended to walk at a moderate pace. Once you reach the School Hut Campsite (4715m) at the foot of the Kibo crater, you will be served with hot lunch. You will spend the remaining day resting in preparation for the final ascent without indulging in any strenuous activities. You may have a short hike at a higher elevation in the afternoon which will help your body acclimatize. After an early dinner, you will go to bed and sleep before beginning the final summit attempt of the Uhuru Peak at around midnight.
Day eight will begin around midnight when your guide will wake you up. You will have tea and biscuits and then shuffle off into the night to begin your push to the summit. Ascending in the dark crossing a rocky path to the first checkpoint, Hans Meyer Cave (5150m) is a mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. After resting for a while, you will continue on a zigzag path that increases in steepness up to Gillman’s point (5681m), which is located at the crater rim. Here, you will be rewarded with a tantalizing sunrise coming over Mawenzi Peak. From this point on, you will usually experience a snow-covered trail until the top. The trail becomes less steep and continues along the crater rim to Stella point (5752m) to Uhuru Peak – the highest point of Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa, also known as the ‘Roof of Africa’. Reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro is a lifetime accomplishment and you will be able to spend a short time on the top. After spending some taking photographs on the summit, you may descend to the nearest glacier if you wish. Then you will return to Barafu Camp which will take around 3 hours. Here at the camp, you will rest and enjoy your hot lunch in the sun and after resting for a while, you will descend further to the Millenium Camp (3820m) to spend the night.
Waking up in the morning in the camp situated in a tropical forest, you will be relieved with the normal elevation and the satisfaction of making it to the top. Following a well-deserved breakfast, you will have a big celebration with your staff, present your tips to the guides and other crew members. Then you will descend down for three hours and head towards the park’s exit Mweka Gate (1640m). Hikers will be congratulated and given a chance to share their opinions on the climb in the guestbook. In the end, you will be presented with commemorative certificates in our office and transferred back to your hotel room. There will be a farewell dinner in the evening to celebrate the successful completion of our journey.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your international departure back home. The hotel check-out time is 11.00 am but if you have an evening flight and wish to check out from the hotel at a later time, there is an option to extend your hotel stay for an extra charge. If you wish to extend your stay in Tanzania for a few more days, then you have the option to go on a Tanzania safari or relax on the beaches of Zanzibar.
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The Kilimanjaro Climb is totally a tent and camp trek. We sleep in camps, cook and eat at camps. Our well trained and experienced mountain trekking cooks and the team prepare delicious & hygienic breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Most meals are European and Indian curry style. We serve hot meals for breakfast and dinner but sometimes packed lunch that includes sandwich, egg, chicken, nuts, fruit, cake, juice, hot tea, etc. will be provided. There will also be a welcome dinner with authentic Tanzanian cuisine and a continental farewell dinner after the trip to all our guests.
Kilimanjaro climb is a camping-style climb where you cannot expect a hotel or guesthouse unlike expecting warm lodges during the trek to Everest Base Camp Trek in the Himalayas. Our camping crew will carry all the logistics that we need on the mountain for sleeping. Usually, we have a tent sharing basis for two people which is comfortable and enough space to keep your stuff inside the tent. If you want a single tent, it is possible for you to get, but will be charged a single supplement for USD 499 that includes two nights in Moshi hotel.
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