Home > 11 Days Northern Circuit Route, Mount Kilimanjaro Trek

11 Days Northern Circuit Route, Mount Kilimanjaro Trek

Country

Tanzania

Duration

11 Days

Price

On Request

Difficult Level

Medium

Overview

The Northern Circuit route is our most favourite route on mount Kilimanjaro trekking. When you are on this route, you will enjoy the Northern Circuit’s tranquility and stunning panoramic scenery.

The northern circuit route starts on the west of Mount Kilimanjaro. From the west, this route will take you on the north around Mt. Kilimanjaro. You will traverse nearly the entire mountain before reaching the Uhuru peak, the Summit.

The Northern Circuit route is the most scenic path available and has almost no traffic on its northern face. 

Highlights

  • Go for the challenge on once in a lifetime adventure
  • Take in amazing views of Mt Kilimanjaro’s peak
  • Discover the high-alpine deserts of mount Kilimanjaro
  • Enjoy the beautiful view n the Uhuru Peak (The summit of mount Kilimanjaro)

Summary

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Duration

11 Days

Minimum age

The minimum age required for this tour is 12 years.

Destinations

Mount Kilimanjaro

Accommodation

Mid-range lodges and tented camps

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Customization

This tour can be customized

Popular Activities

Hiking & Trekking

Start & End

This tour will start in Arusha, end in Arusha

Departure Dates

Flexible for any departure date

Tour Type

Private group tour

Day to day itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

You will meet with the Ultimate Serengeti staff member at the airport and escort you to the Lodge for your overnight stay.

Day 2: Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa Camp

After breakfast in the morning, Your mountain climbing guide will take you to Londorossi Gate, which takes about 4 hours, where you will complete entry formalities. Then drive to the Lemosho trailhead. Upon arrival at trailhead, we begin hiking through an undisturbed forest that winds to the first campsite.

Day 2 Highlight

  •  Elevation: From 2,360 meters to 2,895 meters
  • Trekking distance: 6 kilometers
  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Environment: Montane forest
  • Difficulty level: Low
  • Accommodation: Mti Mkubwa Camp

Day 3: Mti Mkubwa Camp to Shira 1 Camp

On this day you will continue on the trail leading out of the rain forest and into a savannah of tall grasses, heather, and volcanic rock draped with lichen beards. As we ascend through the lush rolling hills and cross several streams, we reach the Shira Ridge before dropping gently down to Shira 1 Camp. Here we catch our first glimpse of Kibo across the plateau.

Day 2 Highlight

  • Elevation: From 2,895 meters to 3,500 meters
  • Distance: 8 km.
  • Hiking Time 5-6 hours.
  • Habitat: Moorland.
  • Accommodation:  Shira 1 Camp

Day 4: Shira Camp 1 to Shira 2

This is the day of exploring the Shira plateau for a full day. It is a gentle walk east toward Kibo’s glaciered peak, across the plateau which leads to Shira 2 camp on moorland meadows by a stream. Then we Stay at Shira 2 camp.

Day 3 Highlight

  •  Elevation: From 3500 metres to 3810 metres
  • Trekking distance: 7 kilometres
  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Environment: Moorland
  • Difficulty Level: Low
  • Accommodation: Shira 2 camp.

Day 5: shira 2 camp to Moir Hut via Lava Tower

We continue to the east up a ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower – a 300 ft tall volcanic rock formation. Then we divert from the main trail to Moir Hut, a little-used site on the base of Lent Hills. A variety of walks are available on Lent Hills making this an excellent acclimatization opportunity. Shira Plateau is one of the highest plateaus on earth.

Day 5 Highlight

  • Elevation: From 3,810 meters to 4,200 meters
  • Trekking distance: 14 kilometers
  • Trek time: 6 to 7 hours
  • Environment: Moorland.
  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Accommodation: Moir Hut

Day 6: Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp

This trekking day will start on a moderately steep climb leaving behind Moir Valley, then hike to the summit of Lent Hills before returning to the main trail.

You will cross a rock field and gently undulate before reaching your next camp for overnight. This section of the trail offers great views across the plains that lie north of Kilimanjaro and stretch out to the Kenyan/Tanzanian border.

Day 6 Highlight

  • Elevation: 4,200 meters to 4,020 meters
  • Distance: 12 km/7 miles
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
  • Difficulty Level: Medium
  • Accommodation: Buffalo Camp

Day 7: Buffalo Camp to Third Cave

On this day, the terrain becomes increasingly parse after heading up the Buffalo Ridge. This route is rarely traveled and we will enjoy its mountain wilderness feel. We trek through remote valleys onto the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro until we arrive at the next camp for overnight.

Day 6 Highlight

  • Elevation: 4,020 m to 3,870 m
  • Distance: 8 km.
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours.
  • Habitat: Moorland.
  • Difficulty level: Low
  • Accommodation: Third Cave Camp

Day 8: Third Cave to School Hut

From the third cave camp, you will trek steadily up and over the “Saddle,” which sits between Kibo and Mawenzi. You will continue until you reach the next camp. Upon your arrival, enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day.

Day 7 Highlight

  • Elevation: 3,870 meters to 4,750 meters
  • Trekking distance: 5 kilometres
  • Trek time: Around 4 – 5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine-desert
  • Difficulty level: Medium
  • Accommodation: School Hut Camp

Day 9: Crater Camp to Uhuru Peak, Descent to Millennium Camp

You will begin your approach to the summit around midnight or very early in the morning.

This is the day of is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. You will ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks.

At Gilman’s point (18,600 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. From Mawenzi, your next surprise will be Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

After enjoying your moment and celebrating reaching the summit, you will descent continuing straight down to the Millennium Camp. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful.

Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, you will enjoy your last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Day 9 Highlight

  • Elevation: From 3,750 metres to 5,895metres (ascending) and from 5,895 meters to 3,820 meters (descending)
  • Trekking distance: 16 kilometres (6-kilometre ascent / 10-kilometre descent)
  • Trek time: 12-15 hours (6-7 hours ascent / 6-8 hours descent)
  • Difficulty level: High
  • Habitat: arctic
  • Accommodation: Millennium Camp

Day 10: Millennium Camp to Mweka Gate

After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).

Ultimate Serengeti vehicle will be waiting for you at Mweka gate to drive you back to your hotel ready for your next arrangements.

Day 11: Departure or Wildlife Safari

After breakfast, the Ultimate Serengeti guide or staff will transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) for your flight back home.

If you would prefer to go for a safari, the Ultimate Serengeti safari guide will pick you up from the hotel start your next adventure in Tanzania.

Inclusions

Price includes

  • All meals and accommodation during the tour.
  • Professional, experienced, mountain guides/safari guide
  • All Park fees
  • Guides, Porters, cook salaries, and park fees.
  • Clean, purified drinking water.
  • Fair and ethical treatment of porters.
  • Sleeping tents
  • Sleeping Mattress.

Price Excludes

  • Personal Expenses.
  • Optional tours.
  • Tips and any items of personal nature

Good to know

Getting there

Country information

Overview

  • Official name: United Republic of Tanzania
  • Country Currency: Tanzania Shilling
  • Population: 56 million (estimated)
  • Capital: Dodoma
  • Political stability: Stable (No historical civil wars since its independence in 1961)
  • Location in Africa: East Africa
  • Dialing code: 255
  • Timezone: GMT +3
  • Language: Swahili and  English. Kiswahili is the official language, although English is widely spoken in commercial areas including the major parks and reserves. The terms Swahili and Kiswahili are used interchangeably, though the term Swahili normally refers to the people while Kiswahili refers to the language.
  • Total Area: 945,087 sq km (364,900 sq miles)
  • Religion: Christian, Muslim, and traditional beliefs
  • Longest distances: 1,223 kilometers (760 miles) from north to south; 1,191 kilometers (740 miles) from east to west

Electricity supply, travel plugs & adapters

  • Plugs & Adaptors: Tanzania use plug type G and plug type D
  • Electrical supply: 240V

Transactions, Credit Cards & ATMs

  • Most tourist-class hotels quote rates in US dollars, and many will expect to be paid in USD currency.
  • Airport taxes and national park fees are paid in US dollars.
  • ATMs are available in all big Towns and Cities.
  • You can use your credit card to withdraw money from ATMs (You will get only local currency)
  • Most ATMs accept visa and master cards only
  • You can also use your credit card in some places, but you might be charged a fee of 4% to 5% of the transaction.
  • You can use your credit card for making payments to some of the big hotels, but most small hotels and restaurants accept cash only.
  • Foreign currency can be changed into Tanzanian Shillings at any bank or any Bureau de change (forex bureaux)
  • Bring banknotes printed in 2006 or later as notes printed before 2006 are rejected by most banks and bureau de changes.
  • Most banks operate from 08.30 am to 17.00 on weekdays and 9:00 am to 12:00 pm on Saturday.

Tanzania Visa

Most travelers coming from America, Europe, and Asia will require a Visa before they visit Tanzania. If your country is on a list of the visa-free country for Tanzania, you won’t be required to apply for a visa, you will have to undergo immigration formalities at the entry point upon arrival.
Learn more about visa applications, a list of visa-free countries, types of visas, and more on this link

Weather & Climate Conditions

Tanzania has a tropical climate with variations depending on altitude. In the higher regions temperatures can range from 10-20°C throughout the year whereas in the lower regions temperatures rarely fall beneath 20°C. Humidity increases closer to the coastal regions. The hottest period of the year tends to be from October to February. The two main rainy seasons are between March to May and November and February.

Mount Kilimanjaro Packing List & Required Documents

Trekking Gear

  • Day pack (30 L)
  • Day pack cover
  • Waterproof duffle bag (porters carry)
  • Medium/Heavyweight down jacket
  • Fleece jacket or vest (1)
  • Synthetic hiking pants (1)
  • Rain jacket
  • Rain pants
  • Wind jacket
  • Synthetic long underwear (1-2)
  • Fleece leggings or pants for summit night
  • Synthetic T-shirt (2)
  • Wool or synthetic hat
  • Sun hat
  • Ski gloves & glove liners
  • Waterproof hiking boots (which can accommodate thick hiking socks and liners)
  • Nylon-wool blend socks (2-3)
  • Sandals/Crocs/Old Sneakers (for walking around the lodges/restrooms in the evening)
  • Water bottles (2) or bladder may be substituted for one water bottle
  • Headlamp
  • SPF 50+ sunscreen
  • 100 percent UV protection sunglasses
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Personal toiletries and medicine
  • Sleeping bag w/ 0ºF rating
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bug spray
  • Toilet paper in a ziplock bag
  • Bandana or Buff (for dust and wind)
  • Extra ziplock baggies for toilet paper waste on the trail
  • Yaktrax
  • Universal outlet adapter
  • Extra batteries or power pack to charge the phone and/or electronics

Documents and Logistics

  • International flights booked and confirmed to Kilimanjaro International Airport
  • Passport valid for 6 months after arrival date
  • Photocopy of passport
  • USD for 15 or 30-day Tanzania Visa (available upon arrival for US citizens)
  • Medical insurance card
  • Cash for tipping guides, buying souvenirs, incidental costs, etc.
  • Yellow fever vaccination card (if applicable, not required for travelers coming from the USA)

Additional travel information

  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Vegetarian option is available, please advise at time of booking if required

Malaria, Immunization & other safety information

 

Malaria

Tanzania has a tropical climate and different bacteria, flora, and fauna. It is advisable to take a few health precautions when traveling to make sure your trip goes as comfortably and smoothly as possible. Malaria is usually top on the list of visitors’ worries, and prevention goes a long way towards keeping you protected. Make sure to visit your doctor to get a prescription for the anti-malarial drug the best suit you.

Food & Hygiene

If you eat every meal you are offered, anywhere in the tropics, you will undoubtedly become ill. Be selective. Possible disease hazards range from minor bouts of travelers’ diarrhea to dysentery and more serious parasitic diseases that may ruin your trip, so precautions are worthwhile. Always choose food that has been freshly and thoroughly cooked, and is served hot.

Water Purification

Only drink water that you know is safe. Don’t drink tap water or brush your teeth with it, stick to bottled or canned drinks – well-known brands are safe. Have bottled mineral waters opened in your presence, and regard all ice as unsafe.

Immunization

Vaccines commonly recommended for travelers to Africa include those against Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Yellow fever, Rabies, and Meningitis.

It is always best to seek advice on immunization well in advance, if possible around 6 weeks before departure.

Wildlife Viewing

All Tanzania national parks are protected by park rangers. If you are on an organized safari then you will be very safe as your guide will always be there to ensure your overall safety. The only thing you have to do is to follow the park’s rules that you will be directed by your guide.

Payment & Cancellation Policy

 Payments  & Tour Confirmation

  • This tour will be confirmed upon the receipt of 20% of the total price, the remaining payment should be paid 45 days before this has departed.
  • Full payment is required if this tour has been booked in less than 45 days before departure.

Cancellation Policy

  • Cancellation will be confirmed in writing or by emails and it will be in effect upon receipt.
  • 50% loss of deposit will be effective if the tour will be canceled 45 days prior to the tour start date.
  • 50% loss of deposit will be effective if the tour will be canceled less than 45 days prior to the tour start date.
  • 100% loss of deposit will be effective if the cancellation received 20 days prior to the tour start date.
Visit our Terms and Conditions page for more details

Travel insurance

We advise you to take out Travel Insurance to cover for any unforeseen circumstances. We recommend World Nomads’ travel insurance but feel free to use any insurance company of your choice.

Frequently asked questions

Is it safe to visit Tanzania?

Tanzania is a politically stable, multi-democratic country with no recorded civil war since its independence in 1961. Tanzanians are warm-hearted and generous people who eager to help visitors get the most out of their stay. Hotels are safe and have watchmen.

As in all countries, a little common sense goes a long way and reasonable precautions should still be taken, such as not walking alone at night, not walking with a large amount of cash in streets as well as locking valuables in the hotel.

How much does a Tanzania Safari Cost?

Personal interests, the company you use and the time that you are planning to visit can determine how much you are expected to spend on safari in Tanzania.

If you are planning for a standard guided safari, the price per day can go as low as $200 per person sharing, for vising parks like Serengeti and Ngorongoro.

The debate of how much can a safari cost also goes with the level of service. From the above example, a typical budget safari can even go as low as $150 per day per person sharing, and it can go up to $1500 per day per person sharing, for luxury or high-end safari.

Please contact us to get the actual price based on your itinerary.

How can I get a Tanzania visa?

You can get a Tanzania visa by using an online application procedure through the immigration website. We advise each visitor who is planning to visit Tanzania to apply for a visa in advance of their trip. All visa applications should be done on the Tanzania immigration office website (www.immigration.go.tz ). You should also note that the only website to apply for Tanzania’s online visa is www.immigration.go.tz. Tanzania immigration does not recognize any agent or website that claims to be a Tanzania visa application center.

Upon the submission of your application, you will expect to get feedback from two to three weeks, so make sure you apply as soon as possible before the departure date of your trip.

You can also get a visa on arrival, but we highly recommend the online application so as to avoid some delays at the airport as the procedure might take up to two hours.

An ordinary single-entry (tourist) visa costs $50 and $100 for a multiple entry visa.

What are the don’ts and do’s when visiting Tanzania?

Tanzania is a developing country with many kinds of people, the educated and the uneducated, and so on. If you are coming from a developed country, don’t come with the mindset that you know everything as there also people who are well educated there. Generally, just behave in a proper manner like talking & smiling to people, helping them and so on. These are very few practices but they will help you to have a great experience when you visit.

The most important thing is to follow the rules especially when you are in the parks and in this case, just listen to your guide on what you are supposed to do. Off-course we don’t ask you to accept everything, there are other situations that might need you to take action by using common sense.

However, this should not bring fear to you, Tanzanian people are overall a very nice people. We just want to prepare you to have the best experience when you visit this beautiful country.

When is the best time of the year to visit Tanzania?

Most national parks in Tanzania are accessible throughout the year. If you want to have the best wildlife safari experience, it better to visit in the drier season. It is easy to sight animals in the drier season because of short grasses, which make it easy to spot small or short height animals.

The best time to visit Tanzania for a wildlife experience is from June to October which is a dry season. January and February (hot season) can also provide the best animal sighting options though in some of the parks it might not as best as in the dry season.

The best time to climb mount Kilimanjaro is from January to March and also from June to October.

The best time to visit Tanzania is highly affected by the type of trip and activities that you want to experience in Tanzania.

Please contact us to get an idea of which time in a year you should visit Tanzania based on your interests.

Are there any flights to Tanzania?

From Europe to Tanzania

There are several flight options from Europe to Tanzania. If you are coming from Europe, there are only two direct routes from Europe to Tanzania. You can either use KLM Royal Dutch Airlines that fly daily to Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro from Amsterdam or Turkish Airlines from Istanbul Ataturk International Airport.

Apart from direct flights, there are dozens of alternative e-routes like Addis Ababa, Cairo, or Nairobi.

Nairobi options tend to the most favorite for alternative routes. Kenya Airways has direct flights from London or Amsterdam to Nairobi, and it has daily departures from Nairobi to Tanzania. Other Nairobi options include Swiss Air from Zurich, British Airways from London, and Air France from Paris.

You can also connect to Dar es salaam through Ethiopian Airways via Addis Ababa, Oman Air from Muscat, Qatar Airways from Doha, Etihad Airways from Abu Dhabi, Egypt Air from Egypt, and Emirates from Dubai.

 North America to Tanzania

Travelers from North America can get into Tanzania by flying directly to Johannesburg from New York (JFK) or Washington-Dulles with South African Airways. You can also fly from Atlanta with Delta Air Lines then connect with South African Airways to Tanzania.

Alternatively, You can en route through Instabul or Amsterdam. Turkish Airlines has direct flights from more than 10 cities in North America to Instabul, then from Istanbul, you get a direct flight to Tanzania. This also applies to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, but you will have to use Amsterdam as your en route to Tanzania.

Asia to Tanzania

If you are coming from Asia, visitors can a link with Air Tanzania which flies directly from Mumbai to Dar es salaam.

Kenya Airways has up to three direct flight links with Bangkok, Hanoi, and Mumbai to Tanzania.

There are also optional en routes via a hub in the middle east using Emirates, Etihad, Omar Air, or Qatar Airways.

From South America and Australia

There is no direct flight from these two continents. The most common option is to en route via Johannesburg, then to Tanzania by using South African Airways.

Alternatively, other best options are either Europe or the Middle East by using Ethiopian Airways, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, KLM, Etihad Airways, or Qatar Airways.

Your Tanzania safari starts here!

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