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Climb Kilimanjaro Summit


Trekking  |  Climbing   |  Mountain Biking  |  Safari Tours  |   Overland ToursSightseeing  |  Sacred/Pilgrimage




Mount Kilimanjaro stands on the East African plateau, on the Tanzanian side of the Kenya border, overshadowing its smaller sister volcano, Mount Meru. Mount Kilimanjaro is deemed to be a dormant volcano, created during the formation of the Great Rift Valley in the Pleistocene era.


Kilimanjaro National Park comprises all of the mountain above the tree line. The name 'Kilimanjaro' has varying interpretations, from "Mountain of Greatness", Mountain of Whiteness", "Mountain of Caravans", and "Small Mountain of Caravans" which are all names derived from the Swahili, or Chagga dialects. In addition, there is a word in Swahili, “kilima” which means top of the hill. An additional claim is that it comes from the word "kilemakyaro" in the Chagga language, meaning "impossible journey".


The Northern Circuit Route is the newest route to open on the mountain and head around kibo through very quiet and non-tourist areas until it eventually joins in with the Rongai Route for part of the way. The ascent is up via Gilmans point and then down via Barafu and Mweka Camp.


Northern Circuit Route  itinerary


Day 1: Arrive

Arrive Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to hotel. Overnight hotel.


Day 2: Morum Barrier Gate  (3,768 m.) Shira Camp I (3,720m)
Departure from Moshi will be at around 7:30am for Londorossi gate, about 4 hours away, where you will complete entry formalities. We will then start the hike up to Morum Barrier Gate about an hour away. Once there, we will enjoy lunch and then hike up through the shrub land and moorland to reach the first camp, about 2 hour away. The view of Kibo from across the plateau is stunning.

Day 3:
Shira Camp I (3,720m) - Moir Camp (4,205m)
Today we trek across the Shira plateau in an easterly direction to Moir's camp. Shira plateau is the remains of a once volcanic crater, which after Kibo's last eruption was filled with volcanic lava. We head away from the main tourist trails as we head around the flanks of Kibo. The trek is about 4-5 hours over easy terrain. Moir camp is an isolated and seldom used camp affording views over the Shira Plateau.

Day 4:
Moir Camp (4,205m) - Buffalo Camp (4,150m)
Today we head out across the moorland and into the stark alpine desert heading up a ridge , on off the main trail along the quite and seldom used Northern Circuit Route.
The trail heads across massive beds of shale. The final section of today's walk is undulating until we reach the location of Buffalo Camp (4150m). the views across the vast Kenyan plains that stretch out far below re incredible.The total trekking time is about 5 – 7 hours.

Day 5: -Buffalo Camp (4,150m) - Kikelewa Caves (3600m)
From Buffalo Camp we climb up to the top of 'Buffalo Ridge' and the descend to reach Pofu, where there is a small spring and some vegetation. The trail continues eastwards through a landscape that has increasingly sparse vegetation to eventually reach Third Cave Camp (3600m) or Kikelewa, at 3900m. Approx 5-7 hours walking.

Day 6:
Kikelewa Cave (3600m) - Mawenzi Tarn camp (4330m)

Today we will find ourselves joining with the Rongai route. It is a short but steep climb up grassy slopes offering superb views of this wilderness area. Here, we will leave the moorland region behind and quickly enter into the lunar alpine desert stretched out between the imposing peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo. We will camp at Mawenzi Tarn spectacularly situated in the shadows of Mawenzi.

Day 7 :
Mawenzi Tarn camp (4330m) - Outward Bound Camp (4,750m)
The trekking time today is 5 - 7 hours, with a steady ascent across the wide saddle with it sstark contrasts, between Mawenzi and Kibo. We will then ascend further up to Outward Bound Camp or School hut.
The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent, which begins around midnight.


Day 8: Outward Bound Camp (4,750m) - Uhuru Peak (5,895m)  - Mweka Camp (3,100m)
A midnight wake-up call is the start of a long trek. You begin trekking at 1am up the winding path of endless switchbacks. From your camp to the rim of the crater (Gillman’s Point (5,712 m) to Uhuru Peak, the trekking time is about 7 - 8 hours. Today is by
far the steepest and most demanding part of the climb so that we can be up on the Crater rim by sunrise. The slope is steep, with switchbacks over loose rock and scree with some boulders as you near Gilman’s Point.


You will stop at Hans Meyer cave on the way, the famous place where Kilimanjaro's first western climber described in his journals. Once you arrive at Gilman’s Point at the edge of the crater, the trail to the summit is less demanding, and is reached after a further 1½-2 hours along the snowy crater rim. After a short time at the summit, re-trace your steps back along the crater rim to Stella Point and then descend down through Barafu Camp where you will have a chance to rest before heading down towards Mweka hut (3100m).  The camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. 


DAY 9: Mweka camp (3100m)- Mweka Gate (1980m): After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 3-hour scenic hike back to the Park gate. It is recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. At Mweka gate you will have to sign your name and details in a register in order to receive you summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy 3 km (1 hour) hike. In the Mweka village you will meet up with your team and bus, and head back to the hotel a long over due hot shower.


Day 10: Depart

After breakfast, transfer to Kilimanjaro airport for your departure flight home.


End of services




For details of costs, or to send an enquiry, click on the e-mail link telephone and email link on the right




Location: Tanzania

Total Tour Duration: 10 Days

Accommodation: Hotel, Tents

Minimum Group Size: 1

Departures: All Year

Best : Dec – March, June to October



Distance: approx100km

Group size: minimum of 1 person

Altitude : High - risk of altitude sickness

Non technical trek

Fully guided by registered mountain guide

Porter climber ratio: approx 4 to 1



Northern Circuit

Machame Route

Umbwe Route

Rongai Route

Shira Route

Lemosho Route

Marangu Route

Kilimanjaro short treks

Full Moon dates

Trekking Map

Meals on the Mountain

For details of costs, or to send an enquiry, click on the e-mail link below:

Lemosho Route


Mt Kilimanjaro Difficulty Indicator: 

Extended trek with some climbing required over rock, or snow. High altitude trekking but not technical expertise required. Altitude climbed per day is 1000m



Other tours in Africa: 

Rwanda Gorilla

Uganda Gorilla

Uganda Rwanda Safari

Kibeho Pilgrimage

Kenya Safari

Cycling in Kenya

Mt Kenya

Tanzania Safari


Mt Meru





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Last modified: December 02, 2019 

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