Adventure Hikking Trekking Kilimanjaro Hiking 9 Days Northern Circuit Route

Duration
10 Days
Destination
Mt Kilimanjaro
Travellers
50+
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  • Tour Plan
  • Kilimanjaro Climbing Cost
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Kilimanjaro Climb in 9 Days


The Northern Circuit is the newest route up Kilimanjaro and also the longest. Because of its length, the Northern Circuit has the highest summit success rate. The route follows the same as the Lemosho Route for the first two days and then veers off to circle around the quieter northern slopes to the east side of the mountain. Northern Circuit approaches the summit via Gilman's Point before descending on the same route as the Machame and Lemosho.

Tour Map

What's included

Destination
Mt Kilimanjaro Discover Mt Kilimanjaro
Additional Information
Visas: Visas are required for all visitors
Price includes
  • All Government taxes and levies including 18% VAT.
  • All meals while on the mountain
  • All transfers to the mountain and back to your Moshi hotel
  • Community Development Fund
  • Conservation Fund
  • Fair Wages
  • Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
  • Increases in airfares or Government imposed taxes
  • International Air, unless expressly paid for
  • Kilimanjaro Certificates after Trek
  • Kilimanjaro National Park Entrance fees
  • Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food
  • Medical insurance and emergency insurance
  • Professionally guided tour
  • Quality mess tents with table and chairs
  • Quality, waterproof, four seasons private mountain sleeping tents
Price does not include
  • Laundry Services
  • Other International flights
  • Services not specifically stated in the itinerary
  • Tips to Mountain Crew
  • Visa arrangements
  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
  • Day 9
Day 1

Moshi to Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa

Your journey begins with a scenic drive from Moshi to Londorossi Gate, where you complete registration and acquire permits. From there, you proceed to the starting point of the Northern Circuit Route. The first day involves a moderate trek through lush rainforest, gradually ascending to Mti Mkubwa (Big Tree Camp) at 2,750 meters. This initial hike provides an opportunity to acclimatize to the altitude and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Kilimanjaro’s lower slopes.

  • Elevation: 2,100m to 2,750m
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Habitat: Rainforest
Day 2

Mti Mkubwa to Shira 1 Camp

Leaving the rainforest behind, you emerge into the moorland zone, characterized by open grasslands and heather. The trail ascends steadily, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. You trek for approximately 6-7 hours, covering a distance of about 8 kilometers, until you reach Shira 1 Camp at 3,500 meters. Here, you are treated to expansive vistas of the Shira Plateau and its unique geological features.

  • Elevation: 2,750m to 3,500m
  • Hiking Time: 6-7 hours
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Habitat: Moorland
Day 3

Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp

Today’s hike is relatively short and serves as an acclimatization day. You traverse across the vast Shira Plateau, gradually gaining elevation. The terrain transitions from moorland to alpine desert, offering a stark yet mesmerizing landscape. After 4-5 hours of trekking over approximately 10 kilometers, you arrive at Shira 2 Camp, located at 3,850 meters. Spend the afternoon resting and taking in the breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro’s summit.

  • Elevation: 3,500m to 3,850m
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Habitat: Moorland to Alpine Desert
Day 4

Shira 2 Camp to Moir Hut

The trail leads you further along the Northern Circuit, skirting the slopes of Kilimanjaro’s northern face. Today’s hike takes you through high-alpine desert terrain, characterized by rocky outcrops and sparse vegetation. You ascend steadily towards Moir Hut, situated at 4,200 meters. The 5-6 hour trek covers approximately 7 kilometers and provides ample opportunities for acclimatization as you gain altitude.

  • Elevation: 3,850m to 4,200m
  • Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
  • Distance: 7 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Habitat: High-Alpine Desert
Day 5

Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp

Leaving Moir Hut behind, the trail ascends steeply towards Lava Tower, a prominent volcanic formation. As you approach Lava Tower, you may notice a change in the landscape, with rugged terrain and panoramic views stretching across the plains below. After reaching Lava Tower, you descend to Buffalo Camp, located at 4,020 meters. Today’s hike takes approximately 5-6 hours over a distance of about 10 kilometers.

  • Elevation: 4,200m to 4,020m
  • Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
  • Habitat: High-Alpine Desert
Day 6

Buffalo Camp to Third Cave Camp

The trek continues along the Northern Circuit, offering diverse landscapes and stunning vistas. You descend from Buffalo Camp, passing through the scenic Tarn Valley and crossing several streams. The trail gradually descends to Third Cave Camp at 3,870 meters, where you will spend the night. Today’s hike takes around 5-6 hours, covering approximately 8 kilometers, and provides opportunities for acclimatization as you descend in altitude.

  • Elevation: 4,020m to 3,870m
  • Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Habitat: High-Alpine Desert
Day 7

Third Cave Camp to School Hut

As you near the end of the Northern Circuit, the trail ascends steadily towards School Hut, the base camp for the summit attempt. You trek through rocky terrain and sparse vegetation, with panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. School Hut, located at 4,800 meters, serves as a resting point before the final ascent. Today’s hike takes approximately 4-5 hours over a distance of about 8 kilometers, allowing time for rest and preparation for the summit push.

  • Elevation: 3,870m to 4,800m
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 8

School Hut to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Summit day begins in the early hours of the morning, as you embark on the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. The trail follows steep and challenging terrain, culminating in a final push to the summit. As the sun rises over the horizon, you reach Uhuru Peak at 5,895 meters, where you can celebrate your accomplishment and enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. After spending time at the summit, you begin the descent back to School Hut and continue further down to Mweka Camp at 3,080 meters. Today’s hike is demanding and takes approximately 12-15 hours, covering a distance of about 20 kilometers.

  • Elevation: 4,800m to 5,895m (summit) then down to 3,080m
  • Hiking Time: 12-15 hours
  • Distance: 20 km
  • Difficulty: Very Strenuous
  • Habitat: Arctic to Rainforest
Day 9

School hut To crater camp 5700m

Today it’s our difficult and challenging part of our hike we will start by gradual ascent through volcanic screed meet zigzag trail which starting to get steep and keep moving to carter rim at Gilman’s point 5685m, where we will break for a while to get some pictures and light food before heading to Stella point 5756m where we will gate into crater from this point. You will rest for a while and after you will have an optional hike to explore the inner crater and ash pit which is raised circular inner rim the inside of which slopes down to a flat floor and then 200m deep inverted cone at the very center of volcano, Also mount Kilimanjaro has one of the mostly perfect formed volcanic ash pit of any mountain in the world.

  • Distance: 5km/3miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Eleven:
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 9

Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

The final day of the trek involves a descent through the lush rainforest to Mweka Gate, where you officially complete your Kilimanjaro climb. The trail winds its way down the mountain, offering glimpses of exotic flora and fauna along the way. Upon reaching Mweka Gate, you receive your summit certificates and bid farewell to your guides and fellow trekkers. A transfer will be waiting to take you back to Moshi, where you can reflect on your incredible journey and celebrate your achievement.

  • Elevation: 3,080m to 1,640m
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Habitat: Rainforest

The true price of a cheap Kilimanjaro climb

If you are planning for Kilimanjaro Climbing Adventure and you have many quotes with variable prices, you might be confused and worried!

What does it cost to climb Kilimanjaro and what should a Kilimanjaro climb cost you?

The prices for Kilimanjaro climbs vary wildly. To climb Kilimanjaro can cost you anything from $1000 to $4000 and above.

(There are some operators advertising cheap Kilimanjaro climbs that cost below $1200. Don't go there. Actually, don't go below $1700. You'll see why.)

That is the cost of your Kilimanjaro climb itself. It does not necessarily include you accommodation before and after, it definitely does not include the equipment you need to buy, the vaccinations, the flight...

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is not a cheap holiday!

Of course you try to save money where you can. The temptation is big to go hunting for the cheapest Kilimanjaro climb.

DON'T! Do not start your search for a Kilimanjaro climb by looking at the cost first.

If you do, you may end up paying the ultimate price, or someone else may have to pay it for you...

Every year both climbers and porters die on Kilimanjaro. Needlessly.

Also, was it really such a great buy if you then fail to make it to the summit? Would you really feel good to know that children have to go hungry or aren't able to continue their education, just so you could save a few bucks?

I didn't think so.

Few tourists are aware why the cost of climbing Kilimanjaro is so high and where the budget operators cut corners to drop the prices. Let's look at where your money actually goes, what you pay for, and why.

The true cost of a Kilimanjaro climb

Several hundred climb operators are competing for business on Kilimanjaro, which has resulted in a cut throat price war. Good for you, you may think. Drops the prices.

Well, sure, it does,. But if operators drop prices they also have to cut expenses to stay profitable.

The steep Kilimanjaro National Park fees are something that nobody can change. For a six day/five night camping trek you pay about $800 in fees alone!

So where can operators save? And how does it affect you?

The links and information below will shed some light on that.

The very first place where budget Kilimanjaro operators will cut costs is staff expenses. And I am not talking about the lovely lady in the office who takes your booking. I am talking about the porters.

Booking a cheap Kilimanjaro climb? The money you save is coming straight out of the pockets of your Kilimanjaro porters, and porters' wages are not the only place where money is saved at their expense. Read that page before you book a cheap Kilimanjaro climb!

Of course, all other staff on a budget climb are also paid less and treated with less respect. Few staff on Kilimanjaro climbs have permanent or at least reliable employment. Most of them freelance.

If someone does not get decent pay, does not get appreciated and has no idea who he will work for next time, how do you think that affects their motivation? How much will they care if you reach the summit or not? And whether you enjoy the experience or not?

Also, your safety depends on how many guides/assistant guides are on your team and how well trained they are by the company.

Hopefully you will have a great Kilimanjaro climb in good weather and without any complications. But if things turn pear shaped, the one thing you want to be sure of is that your Kilimanjaro guide is one of the best!

A trick of the trade to make Kilimanjaro climbs LOOK cheap is to not include all costs up front. I already mentioned porter wages and tips on the Kilimanjaro porters page, but there are other costs and fees that can be dropped. You will still have to pay the money when you get there! Read carefully about what is included in a climb when comparing prices and be wary of those hidden costs.

Another place where money can be saved is equipment and food. Neither is a luxury!

This is not about comfort for softies and weaklings. This is about making it to the summit or not. If you can't sleep at night because you are cold and miserable, then you won't be making it to the summit.

Quality equipment that keeps you warm and dry even in the worst weather costs money. And there is so much other equipment, for the kitchen, the mess tent and more, that budget operators can leave behind to cut costs. It makes the trek physically harder on you and decreases your chances to reach the summit.

The cost of food on a Kilimanjaro climb is not a major factor. Food can be bought cheaply in Tanzania. But carrying food up the mountain costs money. So the quality fresh stuff, the fruit and vegetables, are the first to get cut from the shopping list of a budget operator.

You need quality food to sustain you for the rigour of the six or more days ahead of you. It should be high in fluids and high in carbohydrates. (Important at altitude!)

And it should taste good! You will have no appetite. Loss of appetite is one of the symptoms of being at altitude. But you have to eat. Your body needs the fuel! So the food better be nice. You want your operator to pay attention to this.

How well is the cook trained? And the rest of the staff? What about food hygiene? Training costs money.

Don't be surprised if you end up with a bad case of traveller's diarrhea if climbing with a budget operator. It happens very easily and it doesn't exactly increase your summit chances.

And what about the rubbish? Do you think a budget operator will spend money on making sure it is all carried back down the mountain again? Or voluntarily spend money on clean up crews? Just wait till you see the busier trails and campsites on the mountain.

Environmentally responsible behavior also costs money.

There are a thousand little things where a budget operator can cut corners and save money. I haven't mentioned a fraction of them and most of them you will never notice or be aware of. The things I can make you aware of may seem like little things to you, something you'll cope with, something you can do without. But it adds up!

What it comes down to is that your chances of reaching the summit and your chances of coming back down alive increase and decrease with the cost of your Kilimanjaro climb.

You want to book a climb that is run by mountaineers, people who understand mountains, who understand the risks and know how to manage them. People who care about you, about how much you'll enjoy the trek, about their staff and about the mountain.

You will not find those people for $1200. In fact, you won't find them for under $1700. For a six day Kilimanjaro climb, booked in advance, that is the absolute minimum cost that you should budget for, and you will be sacrificing quality of experience at that level (e.g. you will be climbing on a more crowded or less scenic Kilimanjaro route).

Kilimanjaro climbs that cost less are guaranteed to cut corners. But not every climb above $1700 is guaranteed to be a quality, safe one! Not by a long shot. You better do some thorough research if you want to book in that range!

There are other factors that determine the final cost of your Kilimanjaro climb and that allow you to save some money.

The larger the climb group, the lower the price per person. There are operators who put over 20 people in one group. Add to that at least two porters per person, cooks, assistant guides and guides... And you have a whole army trekking up that mountain! I think I'd rather spend a few dollars extra...

A private climb with two people is very expensive, but a group of up to twelve people is bearable and affordable. At least that's how I experienced it.

What will also determine the overall cost is the route you'll be taking.The more scenic and less crowded routes are more expensive. That's discussed in the section about Kilimanjaro climb routes. So $1700 might be a half decent climb up the Marangu route, but you won't be finding that on the Lemosho route.

And last but not least, booking from overseas is more expensive than booking when you get there. BUT, you have the piece of mind of knowing when your trek will depart, that it will indeed depart, and you have the time to do research and ensure you are with a responsible operator. (About 90% of Kilimanjaro climbers book from overseas.

More about Mt Kilimanjaro

MT KILIMANJARO

Kilimanjaro. The name itself is a mystery wreathed in clouds. It might mean Mountain of Light, Mountain of Greatness or Mountain of Caravans. Or it might not. The local people, the Wachagga, don’t even have a name for the whole massif, only Kipoo (now known as Kibo) for the familiar snowy peak that stands imperious, overseer of the continent, and the summit of Africa.   Kilimanjaro, by any name, is a metaphor for the compelling beauty of East Africa. When you see it, you understand why. Not only is this the highest peak on the African continent; it is also the tallest free-standing mountain in the world, rising in breathtaking isolation from the surrounding coastal scrubland – elevation around 900 metres – to an imperious 5,895 metres (19,336 feet).   Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s most accessible high summits, a beacon for visitors from around the world. Most climbers reach the crater rim with little more than a walking stick, proper clothing and determination. And those who reach Uhuru Point, the actual summit, or Gillman’s Point on the lip of the crater, will have earned their climbing certificates. And their memories.   But there is so much more to Kili than her summit. The ascent of the slopes is a virtual climatic world tour, from the tropics to the Arctic. Even before you cross the national park boundary (at the 2,700m contour), the cultivated foot slopes give way to lush montane forest, inhabited by elusive elephant, leopard, buffalo, the endangered Abbot’s duiker, and other small antelope and primates. Higher still lies the moorland zone, where a cover of giant heather is studded with otherworldly giant lobelias.   Above 4,000m, a surreal alpine desert supports little life other than a few hardy mosses and lichen. Then, finally, the last vestigial vegetation gives way to a winter wonderland of ice and snow – and the magnificent beauty of the roof of the continent.
Testimonials

What our Travelers are saying

Elisa M
Elisa M
2024-04-06
Verified
Great Tour Company me and my girl friend went on 7days safari with Awe Safari, to Tarangire, Ngorongoro crater and Serengeti national park, Ray and his Company (Awe Safari) was wonderful and he was also funny Guide and knowledgeable, we had a great time and enjoyable trip, we saw all the animals that we expected to see, Ray went out of his way to make sure that everything is clear and well done, we'll go back again for wildebeest to Zebras Migration in Serengeti national park, I highly recommend this great company for both Kilimanjaro trekking and wildlife Safari, cheers and see you again
Cecilia C
Cecilia C
2024-04-02
Verified
Excellent Safari with Raymond! We went on a safari with Raymond and had a truly amazing time! Raymon was so kind, funny, and knowledgeable. We learned so much and saw so many animals - all of the big 5 while with him! We always felt safe and had a wonderful time. We still think so fondly of our time with Raymond!! Thank you!
Gregg Yan
Gregg Yan
2024-04-01
Verified
Excellent Value for Money Ray Shirima knows where the animals are. He'll get you to them safely. His tours are A-Grade and well worth your time and treasure.
Linda G
Linda G
2023-08-25
Verified
Ray is an amazing guide! Me, my boyfriend and some friends went on a 4-days safari trip. It was one of the best days in my life! The owner Ray is an amazing guide. I highly recommend this company! /Linda from Sweden
VIRGINIA O
VIRGINIA O
2023-02-12
Verified
A fabulous Safari! We went on a 6 day safari with Ray in Jan 2023. Ray is a very friendly young man with a great sense of humour. He is an experienced and knowledgeable guide with a keen eye for spotting elusive wildlife; he is a skilllful driver. He made every effort to make sure we were comfortable and had plenty of time to view and take pictures of the animals. He was accompanied by a chef, Victor, who prepared delicious Tanzanian meals, including a hot lunch. We certainly recommend Ray and Awe Safaris. Virginia O'Brien and Bob Audet
Ivan R
Ivan R
2022-03-15
Verified
Almost there... Almost there... words, words I will never forget. Kili was my dream and after those words, I overcame it with the help of AWE Safari. it was hard and at the same time mental rest from the worries of everyday life. For the rest of my life I will remember that experience and thank Peter, Ino, Majka and of course Ray for organizing and finishing my dream to the end.
kitty_knows
kitty_knows
2021-08-14
Verified
Inside knowledge pays off when you travel this far We did the 5-day camping tour including Tarangire, Serengeti and Ngorongoro. It took us ages to find the operator we wanted to go with. Firstly, because this kind of activity is expensive in Tanzania (the National Parks take a huge chunk of money), secondly because there are so many fake and frankly strange reviews that give little info and, thirdly because the Covid pandemic meant a wildly reduced offering. It is very difficult to imagine what you will really experience on a safari when you have never done one before and all the offers look similar. A lot of operators don’t have proper websites, which is a worry when you try to book. Here is what we luckily found out: Unless you have very specific needs regarding accommodation, tent and foods, the experience of the guide makes the difference between amazing experience, value for money and “ok”. With Ray we had a once-in-lifetime!!! And I will come back to Tansania to have a safari with him again, and I will continue to recommend him to friends and colleagues. The trick on a safari is to know where to go and when to have the best chance of seeing an animal before all the other guides find it. Inevitably, most of the cars in each park will converge on a spot. But if you have a guide like Ray you will have five or ten minutes to yourself before that happens. And this is what sets apart an experienced guide from a novice. The novice (or perhaps the lazy guides) can follow the other cars and their clients will end up seeing the same animals. But no money in the world can weigh up observing a heard of elephants or a mother lioness with her cubs in total calm with nobody else around. No chatter, no screaming children, no posing for pictures just watching. I must stress that this is also dependent on luck. And you will need a lot of it. You never know what you see on any given day. We saw absolutely everything Serengeti had to give. It was just nice. To close my review I will say that a good guide is kind to his clients, kind to all the other workers and kind to the animals. Ray is all of this. So big thumbs up. And hope to be back in Tansania soon!!!
Lone Asif
Lone Asif
2020-12-11
Verified
Lifetime experience We had an amazing trip with Raymond Ray is a wonderful guy he knows everything .Everything was good like Car ' food ' camp ' and also price was affordable Ray is good speaking guide and also very helpful We had a great time with him .Ray is a very knowledgeable about the animals and environment and very good finding the animals .. You don't need to search more just do it with Raymond , you won't regret I highly recommend Raymond for everyone Will sure come again Best regards Lone Asif
Aytekin Bal
Aytekin Bal
2020-11-25
Verified
Raymond is the right one... We had a great experience with Raymond. He is more than a guide… You become like friends in short time.. You dont need to search more. Just do it with Raymond, you won't regret...
Peoscar
Peoscar
2020-11-21
Verified
Highly recommended Back in November of 2017 me, my wife and a friend couple was in Tanzania and had the pleasure of meeting Ray. He was our tour guide through a 4 day safari that can only be described as amazing! I'm really thrilled to hear that he has opened his own company!!! I would recommend his services to anyone. Top of the line; both in terms of professionalism and friendliness!
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Kilimanjaro Hiking 9 Days Northern Circuit Route

Duration
10 Days
Destination
Mt Kilimanjaro
Travellers
50+

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