KILIMANJARO NORTHERN CIRCUIT

If you’re looking for peace, seclusion, and a ‘7 Summit’ in privacy, then the Northern Circuit on Kilimanjaro is for you. Be one of the first to climb up this relatively newa route ascending this beautiful mountain. Enjoy the Northern Circuit’s tranquility and stunning panoramic scenery. Starting from the west, this is the only route that travels north around Mt. Kilimanjaro. It traverses nearly the entire mountain before the summit push. Absolutely the most scenic path available, it has almost no traffic on its northern face. Your efforts will be rewarded with a breath-taking scene and an incredible sense of accomplishment upon reaching Uhuru Peak, the 19,341’ summit of the “Roof of Africa,” and the world’s highest free-standing mountain.

SUMMARY

TRIP TYPE: Trek

ACTIVITY LEVEL: Strenuous

TRIP LENGTH: 12 days/11 nights

SPACES AVAILABLE: 10-18

TRIP COST: $5,700/person/double occupancy

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Conquer one of the Seven Summits – Mt. Kilimanjaro – and the world’s tallest freestanding mountain
  • Experience 5 different ecozones on a mystical journey to the “Roof of Africa”
  • Extend your adventure with one of our fascinating safari add-ons

VIDEOS

TEASER VIDEO

TREK TIPS: KILIMANJARO

ITINERARY

Day 1: Welcome to Tanzania!

  • Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) Tanzania Africa
  • A World Wide Trekking representative will meet you and transfer to the luxurious Ndarakwai Ranch.
  • Welcome Reception Dinner
  • Overnight: Ndarakwai Ranch or comparable
  • Meals: D

Day 2: Tanzanian Walking Safari

  • After breakfast, we depart for a walking safari through the protected lands that surround Ndarakwai Ranch. These lands are home to elephants, zebras, elands, giraffes, wildebeests, gerenuks, lesser kudus, mountain needbuck, cheetahs and lions.
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch before returning to the ranch.
  • Kilimanjaro briefing and gear check.
  • Overnight: Ndarakwai Ranch
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 3: Londorossi Gate (7,824') to Big Tree Camp (9,120')

  • Transfer to Londorossi Gate, register with park authorities at the gate, and continue on to the trailhead.
  • Leave the trailhead and trek to Big Tree Camp.
  • Overnight: Big Tree Camp (9,120′)
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 4: Big Tree Camp (9,120') to Shira I Camp (11,482')

  • Our first full day on the mountain takes us up out of the rain forest and into expansive savannahs and grasslands. We’ll make our way through lush hills and up to the Shira Ridge before descending slightly into Shira I Camp.
  • Overnight: Shira I Camp (11,482′)
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 5: Shira I Camp (11,482') to Moir Camp (13,697')

  • Today we enjoy a beautiful trek heading east, first passing through the ‘Garden of the Senecios’, and then entering the alpine desert zone.
  • The morning is spend trekking up toward Lava Tower. Here we merge into the Northern Circuit, a we head down to Moir Camp at 13,697′.
  • Overnight: Moir Camp (13,697′)
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 6: Moir Camp (13,697') to Pofu Camp (13,205')

  • Today we have a moderately steep climb out of Moir Valley.
  • There is an option for a small detour here to climb the summit of Little Lent Hill at 15,337′ before returning to the Norther Circuit trail.
  • Our route follows a series of inclines and declines, skirting around the northern slopes of Kibo to Pofu Camp (31,205′). Enjoy expansive vistas across the plains that lie north of Kilimanjaro and stretch out to the Kenyan/Tanzanian boarder.
  • Today’s trek is great for the acclimatization process, as we will hike to a high altitude and then sleep lower.
  • Arrive at Pofu Camp for lunch and enjoy an afternoon of relaxation.
  • Overnight: Pofu Camp (13,205′)
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 7: Pofu Camp (13,205') to Rongai Third Camp (12,910')

  • Today we will continue east around the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro to Rongai Third Cave.
  • This trek is shorter than the previous day and by now you should be feeling well acclimated to the altitude.
  • We will arive at the Third Cave just around mid-afternoon.
  • Overnight: Rongai Third Cave (12,910′)
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 8: Rongai Third Camp (12,910') to School Hut Camp (15,560')

  • After breakfast, we will trek at a steady incline up and over the saddle between the peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi Peak.
  • We continue walking southwest up to School Hut Camp, inching closer to Uhuru Peak. Here, we’ll rest up for our final ascent to the “Roof of Africa”.
  • Overnight: School Hut Camp (15,560′)
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 9: Summit Day! (19,342')

  • We will wake early and prepare for our final ascent to the summit. We begin our climb in the dark, wearing headlamps until the pre-dawn light reflects off the African plans and high mountain glaciers.
  • Following a distinct ridge, we approach the rim of the crater and then traverse to the main summit of Uhuru Peak (19,342′), the highest freestanding mountain in the world and the highest point on the African continent!
  • From here we can view the Bismarck Towers, rock pinnacles along the rim, and the hanging Redman Glaciers. To our west, the second highest point in Tanzania, Mount Meru (14,977’), and the southern exposure reveals the sprawling plains of East Africa and the Mawenzi Peak (16,893’) of Kilimanjaro.
  • After enjoying the view from the roof of Africa, we descend to Kosovo Camp, where we will rest for the night.
  • Overnight: Kosovo Camp (16,000’)
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 10: Kosovo Camp (16,000') to Mweka Camp (10,104')

  • After a good night’s sleep following our long summit day, we will begin our descent. The trail for Kosovo Camp to Mweka Camp is rocky and steep is some locations, so trekking poles are a good idea here.
  • We’ll desend into the upper forest, where we’ll spend our final night on the mountain surrounded by lush greenery.
  • Overnight: Mweka Camp (10,104’)
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 11: Mweka Camp (10,104') to Mweka Gate (5,347')

  • The sun’s rays congratulate us with a spectacular light show as we awake below the towering mountain on the final day of our Kilimanjaro journey.
  • We descend through the lush green landscape of the Mweka Route into the thickest jungle we have encountered yet. We enter a primordial ecosystem where the 20 foot-tall fern trees create a prehistoric atmosphere.
  • After reaching the Mweka Gate, we will sign-out with the rangers and say farewell and thank you to our mountain staff.
  • Celebration Dinner.
  • Overnight: Lake Duluti Serena
  • Meals: B/L/D

Day 12: International Departures

  • After breakfast we head to the Cultural Heritage Center, the largest market in East Africa. The Cultural Heritage Center features the best variety of souvenirs including a large selection of Tanzanian gem stones and local arts & crafts.
  • We will have plenty of time to wanter around the Heritage Center, art gallery, and have lunch.
  • Add on a safari adventure or relaxing visit to Zanzibar Island or prepare for international departures.
  • On our way to the airport, we will pay a visit to the Human Outreach Project Kilimanjaro Kids Community for a site tour.
  • We will continue on the the day rooms at the airport, where you can relaz prior to your departure. Thank you for joining us!
  • Meals: B

Add-On Adventures

4-Day Classic Tanzanian Safari | From $2,800/person
Lake Manyara National Park | African tribes | Ngorongoro Crater National Conservation Area

4-Day Serengeti Luxury Safari | From $3,500/person
Serengeti National Park | Ngorongoro Crater National Conservation Area

6-Day Epic Tanzanian Safari | From $5,000
Serengeti National Park | Ngorongoro Crater | Tarangire National Park

10-Day Ultimate Tanzanian Safari | From $7,000
Serengeti National Park | Ngorongoro Crater | Tarangire National Park | African Tribes and more

Rwanda Gorilla Tracking | From $4,995
Silverback Gorillas | Volcanoes National Park

Zanzibar Island | From $1,800
Stone Town, a World Heritage Site | white sand beaches | turquoise waters

TRAVEL NOTES

Best Time of Year to Visit:

Our personal favorite time to travel is from mid-May through early August. The rainy season has just ended providing plentiful vegetation and biodiversity with less dust in the air. Additionally, late June through early August offers cooler temperatures. January, February, and September are the driest and warmest months in Tanzania, and therefore the busiest months. March through early June is a rainy season, and visibility is low, though the crowds are gone.

Arrivals and Departures:

This trip begins and ends in the Siha District of Tanzania, in East Africa. You will fly into and out of Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).

*Many guests prefer to arrive before, or leave after, the scheduled itinerary. We can help you make arrangements. Additional charges for early arrival, transportation, lodging, meals, and activities will apply.

Recommended Flights:

International airfares are not included in program pricing. Although there are many flight options to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), flying through Amsterdam offers the best route. Our travel expert, Danny Genung at Harr Travel is more than happy to review the many flight options from the U.S. to Kilimanjaro. You can reach him at danny@harrtravel.com or 909.266.0117.

The benefit of using a travel agent is that in the event of itinerary changes, the travel agent will find the best flight connections, and land arrangements, for you. Though third-party travel websites are convenient, we do not recommend using them due to instability in the itineraries. We also recommend that you protect your flight with travel insurance and a refundable ticket.

Customs, Visa, and Immigration:

Upon clearing customs in Tanzania, you will be required to purchase a 12-month multiple-entry tourist visa for $100. Please bring cash, as exact change is required. In addition, you will need a one-hundred dollar bill that is less than ten years old. Please keep your landing card (received in flight) and a pen handy for customs. You can complete a visa application (contact your country’s embassy for requirements) prior to your arrival, or fill one out at the airport. After you purchase your visa and clear customs, a World Wide Trekking representative will meet and transfer you to the lodge in Arusha.

*Please Note: Your passport must be valid for at least six months after your trip. Make two copies of your passport, leave one at home and bring the other with you to Tanzania along with two extra passport photos in case of an emergency. Ensure you provide a color copy of your passport to WWTrek 90-days prior to your departure date.

Accommodations:

Enjoy camping-style accommodations when climbing Kilimanjaro while we make every effort to impress. For us, it’s all about the details because the fine points make the difference. Sleep soundly in brand-new expedition tents from The North Face. Eat delicious, fresh food in our huge, luxurious dining tent complete with solar lighting. Experience peace of mind in our private toilet tents.

Transportation:

A World Wide Trekking representative will privately transport you from the airport to your lodge. During the trek, travel light while carrying just your daypack. Porters carry all other bags and equipment up and down the mountain.

Meals:

Proper nutrition plays a vital role in the success of all our adventures. Rest assured that our full kitchen staff including chefs, dishwashers, and servers prepare hearty, western-style meals every day. Typical meals include breakfast complete with coffee and tea, lunch, and dinner. Enjoy all of your meals in our luxurious dining tents complete with tables, chairs, dinnerware, and solar lighting.

Health & Safety:

Our stringent commitment to safety means you have access to our medically certified Professional Western Guide(s) before and throughout your trip. Our staff also carries emergency medical equipment such as satellite phones and medical kits.

Prior to the trip, you will need to get two prescriptions from your physician: Diamox for altitude sickness and Malarone for malaria. In addition, we recommend visiting your local travel vaccination clinic one month before your trip. Needed vaccinations include a current tetanus shot, annual influenza shot, Varicella, Typhoid, Hep A, and MMR.

For more information, feel free to contact Dr. Levy, our medical advisor, at 801.943.0264 or visit our trek tips series on YouTube.

Our Team:

Once you sign on with WWTrekking, we are here for you every step of the way! You will be assigned an adventure specialist who will help you prepare for your trip. Whether your questions or needs are regarding flights, packing, early arrivals, departures, accommodations or anything else, your adventure specialist is only a phone call away!

Once your trip begins, World Wide Trekking boasts an extensive support crew on all trips of 8 people or more. We provide medically certified, Professional Western guide(s) for all adventures of 8+ passengers as well as a plethora of local professionals to aid the group on the mountain including porters, a tent crew, chefs, servers, dishwashers, and toilet attendants. Additionally, you have access to a Local Operations Manager throughout your adventure.

Add-on Adventures:

Many guests prefer to arrive early or leave late so they can add another adventure into their vacation. We can help you make arrangements. Additional charges for early arrival, transportation, lodging, meals, and activities will apply. Below are some of our favorite and most popular add-on adventures.

Gratuities:

In many parts of the world, gratuities are given in appreciation for a job well done. Our guides will take care of tipping service personnel along the way so that you don’t have to think about it.

For any additional services outside of our itinerary, plan to tip 10% (transport, restaurants, baggage, lodges, etc). We will provide you a tipping guide once you sign up for a trip.

At the trails end you will have the opportunity to contribute to a group tipping pool that will be presented to your WWTrekking guides and trekking staff as we say our goodbyes.

Currency Exchange:

We recommend exchanging money at the airport as soon as you clear customs. We will offer additional exchange opportunities, but typically you will receive the best rates at the airport. Exchanging $100 should suit your needs for the trek and safari. We always recommend bringing $500 cash with you on your trip for incidentals.

Fitness & Nutrition Training:

We provide a complimentary 6-week extensive fitness and nutrition program to help our guests prepare for their journey ahead. The program is tailored specifically for our trips and includes virtual 1 on 1 coaching sessions with our Fitness and Nutrition Specialist.

Learn more here!

GENERAL INFORMATION

Country:

Tanzania is one of the world’s oldest inhabited regions. For three million years, man has roamed its regions, savanna to mountains, carving out an existence from the African countryside. Drawn to exotic Africa, explorers have tried to tame her wildness to no avail. The story of Tanganyika, Tanzania, is one of unaltered wilds and progressive politics. “Kilimanjaro,” according to the President of Mozambique, Chissano, “carried the torch that liberated Africa.”

Population:

49.25 million

Time Zone:

East Africa Time Zone – UTC+03:00

Capital City:

Dodoma, Tanzania

People:

Tribes of Tanzania

Sukuma comprise the largest tribe with three million Tanzanians. Living in the northwestern area of Tanzania, they speak Bantu and are traditionally cattle herders and farmers of subsistence crops such as cassava.

Nywamwezi, also known as  the “people of the moon,” are the second largest tribe in Tanzania. Similar to the Sukuma, they are also historically cattle herders, farmers, and Bantu speakers. Living in the northwest of Tanzania, near Lake Victoria, the tribe has about 1.5 million members.

Members of the third largest tribe of Tanzania reside on the south and eastern slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru and Mosh. The Chaga speak Kichagga, a Niger-Congo language. They were one of the first tribes to convert to Christianity. Among the richest and most powerful people in Tanzania, they hold a strong sense of identity. Known for their advanced farming techniques, trade, and politics, they thrive as a successful tribe.

Descended from Persia, the Shirazi encompass the majority of the people of Zanzibar island. They speak Swahili and practice Sunni and Shia Islam.

Culture & Religion:

Tanzanians bear a surprisingly strong national association, or ujamaa (family-hood). They rarely identify themselves by tribe upon an initial meeting. This collective attitude comes from the Julius Nyerere days and his push to unify over 120 tribes in a socialistic type society. This national mindset allows Tanzania a relatively peaceful existence with tribes coexisting. Christians and Muslims live side by side with minimal friction.

Money:

The official currency in Tanzania is the Tanzanian shilling abbreviated TZS. TZS replaced the East Africa shilling in 1966. Currency exchangers subdivide the shilling into 100 senti and it is written as x/y where x is the amount over one shilling and y is the senti. Due to the fluctuating exchange rates, we recommend searching online to find out the current rate.

HUMAN OUTREACH PROJECT IN TANZANIA

One of World Wide Trekking’s founding principles is giving back to the places we travel. Through our sister non-profit, Human Outreach Project, we are making a difference in lives around the globe, and connecting trekkers with voluntourism opportunities in local communities. We have a number of diverse projects in Tanzania that WWTrek guests can get involved with.

The Kilimanjaro Kids Community is HOP’s proudest achievement. This 4-acre orphanage sits in the shadow of Kilimanjaro and currently houses 12 Tanzanian children and 4 full-time staff. HOP has also been working at the Makuyuni Primary School to provide daily school lunches for the school’s 850 children, supporting the Mama Na M’toto women’s empowerment group in the village of Mto wa Mbu, as well as providing start-up funding to one of our long-time porters for his business, Bima’s Rice and Beans.