9 days Northern Circuit Route

Tour Overview

9 days Northern Circuit Route

9 days Northern Circuit Route is not just the newest official route to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro; it is also the longest and most beautiful. And remember the longer the route, the higher the chance of overall success.

This extended climb begins with a drive from Moshi to the Londorossi Gate, where you start. From there the Northern Circuit follows the Lemosho route for the first few days, moving through the lush rainforest below the mountain itself, and then ascending the Shira Ridge to cross the high Shira Plateau. When you come near Lava Tower you leave the Lemosho route and turn north to follow the Northern Circuit proper.

This detour allows the trek to circle around to Kilimanjaro northern slopes, crossing them to the east. The northern side of Kilimanjaro is more remote, and so have the benefits of offering less traffic from other climbers, and much more untouched, untrammeled surroundings. The result is a unique climbing experience and a truly fantastic trek.

There are a few options as to the best route to the summit, depending on the season and local conditions at the time. All routes though converge again at Gilman’s Point to approach the summit itself. Descent is via the Mweka route, where you will likely see other trekkers who went up on either the Lemosho, Shira, Umbwe or Machame routes.

The Northern Circuit is the longest and also the most remote route.  The longer itinerary means that it has a good acclimatization profile.  You can naturally “walk high, sleep low” which helps with acclimatization.

Even though you don’t have to climb the Great Barranco Wall on this route, you will still have a tough summit night approaching via Gilman’s Point.

You will be trekking for long periods of time so a good level of fitness is recommended.


Tour Itinerary

Day 1:-Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa

The first day of 9 days Northern Circuit Route. We depart Moshi for 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 undisturbed forest which winds to the first camp site.

  • Elevation: 7,742 ft to 9,498 ft
  • Distance: 6 km/4 miles
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest
Day 2:-Mti Mkubwa to Shira 1 Camp

Second day of our 9 days Northern Circuit Route, We 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

  • Mti Mkubwa to Shira 1 Camp
  • Elevation: 9,498 ft to 11,500 ft
  • Distance: 8 km/5 miles
  • Hiking Time 5-6 hours
  • Habitat: Heath
Day 3:-Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp

Third day of 9 days Northern Circuit Route, We explore the Shira Plateau. It is a gentle walk east on moorland meadows towards Shira 2 Camp. The heath zone displays abundant wildflowers and unique Senecio trees.

  • Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp
  • Elevation: 11,500 ft to 12,500 ft
  • Distance: 7 km/4 miles
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Heath
Day 4:-Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower

Forth day of 9 days Northern Circuit Route, 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.

  • (Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower) Elevation: 12,500 ft to 15,190 ft
  • (Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower) Distance: 7 km/4 miles
  • (Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower) Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • (Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower) Habitat: Alpine Desert
  • (Lava Tower to Moir Hut) Elevation: 15,190 ft to 13,580 ft
  • (Lava Tower to Moir Hut) Distance: 7 km/4 miles
  • (Lava Tower to Moir Hut) Hiking Time: 2-3 hours
  • (Lava Tower to Moir Hut) Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 5:-Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp

Firth day of our 9 days Northern Circuit Route, We trek out of Moir Valley with a moderately steep climb, then hike to the summit of Lent Hills before returning to the main trail. The path crosses a rock field and gently undulates before reaching Buffalo Camp. This section of the trail offers great views across the plains that lie north of Kilimanjaro and stretch out to the Kenyan/Tanzanian border.

  • Elevation: 13,580 ft to 13,200 ft
  • Distance: 12 km/7 miles
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 6:-Buffalo Camp to Third Cave

Sixth day of 9 days Northern Circuit Route, As we head up Buffalo Ridge, the terrain becomes increasingly sparse. This route is rarely travelled and we will enjoy its mountain wilderness feel. We trek through remote valleys on to the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro until we arrive at Third Cave.

  • Elevation: 13,200 ft to 12,700 ft
  • Distance: 8 km/5 miles
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Heath
Day 7:-Third Cave to School Hut

Seventh day of 9 days Northern Circuit Route, We climb steadily up and over the “Saddle,” which sits between Kibo and Mawenzi. We continue on to our camp, School Hut. Once here we rest, enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day.

  • Elevation: 12,700 ft to 15,600 ft
  • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert
Day 8:- School Hut to Uhuru Peak

the eight day of 9 days Northern Circuit Route, Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This 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. We 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. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. 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, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

  • (School Hut to Uhuru Peak) Elevation: 15,600 ft to 19,341 ft
  • (School Hut to Uhuru Peak) Distance: 6 km/4 miles
  • (School Hut to Uhuru Peak) Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
  • (Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp) Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065
  • (Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp) Distance: 12 km/7 miles
  • (Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp) Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • (Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp) Habitat: Artic
Day 9:-Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us back to the hotel in Moshi. End of 9 days Northern Circuit Route

  • Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
  • Distance: 10 km/6 miles
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

Itinerary Map



The price per person for group expeditions are fixed based on a group size. However, we have optional arrangements for individual private and tailor-made preferences best suited for you, your family and friends.


9 days Northern circuit (Joining group price 2080$)

Number of PeoplePrice Per Person


  • Private transport to & from Kilimanjaro International Airport to your Accommodations in Moshi.
  • 2 nights of accommodation Parkview Inn in Moshi
  • Transportation to & from the Kilimanjaro gate
  • Park entry fees,
  • Camping fees
  • Team Kilimanjaro Rescue fees
  • Oxygen cylinder
  • 18% VAT on tour fees & services
  • 4 Season mountain tents
  • 3 hot meals daily while on the mountain
  • Enough treated & filtered drinking water throughout the trek
  • Friendly and professional mountain guides, cook and porters
  • Hot water for washing
  • Fair wages for the mountain crew as approved by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (KINAPA), Kilimanjaro Association of Tour Operators (KIATO)
  • Government taxes
  • Ox meter
  • Emergency first-aid kit


  • Lunches, dinners and drinks at your hotel before and after climb.
  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Laundry (Available at hotel)
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Tips for guides, porters and cook

traveler photos from this trip

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Laura V
Laura V
A memorable week We did the 7-day Lemosho hike with Patrick & his team. We had an amazing experience and felt very cared for during the entire trip. Our “dream team” made it it to the summit of Kilimanjaro not only thanks to the amazing guides, Patrick and Lenard, but also thanks to the entire rest of the team. The food on the mountain, prepared by the legendary “Mr. Delicious” was incredible. We were comfortable and slept well each night. We would highly recommend Tanzania Joy Tours, as a trustworthy, transparent and enjoyable Kilimanjaro hike organizer. We are forever grateful for this unforgettable experience - thank you, thank you! Laura & Sofia
Yoann G
Yoann G
Une belle semaine et des minutes magiques passées sur le toit de l’Afrique. Première expérience de la haute altitude avec l’ascension du Kilimandjaro. Notre guide, Patrick, et toute son équipe (John, Mister Demicious, Bariki pour ne citer qu’eux) ont tout fait pour que cette expérience soit parfaite et ce fut le cas. Des souvenirs incroyables partagés entre amis. A noter toutefois que contrairement à ce que l’on peut entendre, gravir ce sommet n’est pas adapté à tout le monde.
charly v
charly v
Oh yeah !! Very nice experience with our guide Patrick and his team on the Lemosho route. The trek was fantastic and the team is a real family. Mr Delicious, our cook is probably the best cook of the Kilimanjaro !! Thanks for everything !!
Romain C
Romain C
A wonderful Kili climbing! I had a unbelievable experience climbing the Kilimandjaro with Tanzania joy tour and especially Patrick, John, Jeremy and all the rest of the team. I can only recommend them!
Pierre B
Pierre B
Wonderful experience Wonderful experience with patrick and his whole team. Tanzania needs to be discover and kilimandjaro especially. During the trip patrick’s cookers were amazing as well as his assistant guide, john. There welcomed us as a family and it was really appreciated by all of the group members. Hopefully they will get more business after covid . Blessed the whole team. Pierre
Marine S
Marine S
Une expérience inoubliable Nous avons vécu une aventure exceptionnelle et incroyable entouré d'une équipe qui a pris soin de nous et à tout mis en œuvre pour atteindre l'objectif ! Encore merci à toute l'équipe : Manase, Joseph, Stiven, Sebastia, Ombeni, Ezra, Joshua, Efata, Obed et Godlack pour leur accompagnement, leur soutien, leur gentillesse et leur professionnalisme. Cette aventure restera gravée dans nos mémoire pour toujours et nous repartons avec une famille du cœur agrandie ! Merci également à Emmanuel, toujours disponible et à l'écoute ! Nous vous recommandons Tanzania Joy Tours à 100%!
Most spectacular trip! My father and I traveled to Kenya and Zanzibar with Tanzania Joy Tours to celebrate my birthday and we had a spectacular, unforgettable trip. I fully recommend booking with this company if you desire a carefully planned and smooth trip to East Africa. First, we were met by our safari guide for the week in Kenya at the airport, where he held a sign with our names and received us right after our flight landed. We were whisked away on safari to four different parks and our safari dreams came to life. Emmanuel had worked very hard and thoughtfully to plan the perfect birthday trip. My birthday was spent in Amboseli National Park, where we watched the sunrise as lions and elephants crossed the roads in front of us. Our safari guide was very insightful, professional, and fun. We felt safe and comfortable at every point in our safari. When we landed in Zanzibar, we were once again greeted by our driver who had been waiting for us at the airport. Then, we proceeded to our beautiful beachfront hotel in Nungwi. The driver was aware that it was my birthday and even had the room decorated for me. Emmanuel also planned several excursions for us and each was better than the next. Each part of our stay in Zanzibar was fantastic as we snorkeled the Indian Ocean, shopped in Stone Town, and island-hopped around Zanzibar. One final detail was how Emmanuel's partners in both countries organized our arrival and departure COVID-19 tests required by each destination. Everything felt safe and stress-free. BOOK WITH TANZANIA JOY TOURS!
Micael R
Micael R
Expérience inoubliable au Kilimandjaro Nous avons apprécié la disponibilité de toute l'équipe et nous nous sommes sentis en sécurité tout au long de l'ascension. Kelvin, Peter et toute leur équipe ont été au top et nous avons atteint le sommet au terme d'une belle aventure de 6 jours. Très bonne organisation et communication de la part de Tanzania Joy Tours, nous avons apprécié la clarté et la précision des informations sur l'équipement, la réservation et le paiement. Nous adressons le plus grand merci à toute l'équipe et recommandons TJT à toute personne désireuse de vivre une expérience inoubliable au Kilimandjaro.
Daniela R
Daniela R
Amazing Safari & Kilimanjaro experience! After a lot a research, we decided to go with TJT for the safari and Kilimanjaro and we couldn’t be more happy about it. Both experiences were absolutely amazing. Since before the trip Emmanuel, the owner, detailedly answered all our questions and tailored our tours to our preferences. Once there, the guides introduced themselves one day before to make sure we had a clear overview of our coming days. Our safari experience with Praygod couldn’t have been better. His company is a delight. He is super knowledgeable, always with a smile on his face and an answer to all our questions. He is super professional, and we genuinely enjoyed his company and our evening discussions not only about the animals but also about his country in general accompanied with the delicious feast Victor had always ready for us (we already miss his cooking). Praygod always look after what we wanted to see the most and because of him we were witnesses of the most unbelievable wild life.Then after 5 days of spotting the most amazing animals (because Praygod was always on point when it comes to where to find the best scenes), we met our new team for climbing the Kilimanjaro. Ringo was our guide, with several years of experience, he made sure we made it to the top and made the whole journey fun and enjoyable. His assistant Jackson was super kind and also a key to our summit success. Ringo would always made us feel like we could do it and had words of encouragement whenever we were down, or feeling a bit insecure. All in all the team of porters and cook were also amazing and made this challenging experience as something we will remember forever. We can’t recommend this company enough. We felt that everything was always well-taken care of during the whole journey, from planning to after the tours. If you are looking for an stress-free, fun, and unforgettable experience we definitely recommend you to book with them. Moreover, we were not part of big groups which made the experience more personal and enjoyable. We would definitely recommend to friends and family, and will book again with them if we ever go back.
Tanzania joy tours excellent Formidable équipe. A l écoute du début jusqu a la fin. Kelvin est un excellent guide. La montée s est faite tranquillement avec de très bon conseils physiquement et mentalement. Je recommande cet organisme et cette equipe


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