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Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit

From US$ 2,048 per person
Excellent 4.8
Based on 3 Reviews
  • No booking or credit card fees
  • E-ticket/Mobile voucher
The Kilimanjaro Machame route is by a wide margin the least-used route on Kilimanjaro, getting you far away from other hikers. The trailhead is at high elevation, and thus we start slow and easy on this route. The trail begins on the Shira Plateau, and the hike across the plateau is said to be one of the most stunningly beautiful hikes in Africa.

Once you reach the park gate, climbers are requested to make their final preparations for the climb and sign the national park registration book. Porters will be seen arranging their packs containing the food, water, and other equipment. Make sure that you have all your day pack items with you as the porters travel very quickly. Your guide will be pleased to assist with any additional information.

The terrain lower down is absolutely gorgeous and fascinating. Higher up, the views are vast. There is little to do at the camps themselves, so take advantage of the slow pace to absorb the scenery and take every photo opportunity.

When arriving at the Horombo Huts (3,690 m/12,100 ft), if needed, we will take an extra day here for acclimatizaton. At Horombo, you can either rest at the huts or take a stroll up to the Mawenzi basecamp and then return to the Horombo Huts. This extra day will help your acclimatization, and further your understanding of the mountain’s weather and altitude. After your pause, you will continue up to the Kibo Huts on your fourth day for your midnight start to the summit.

The hike to the summit starts around midnight depending on your route and speed of your group. You will go as high as you feel fit. Some people stop at the crater rim, and others continue to the very highest point on the mountain. Your guides will then take you down as quickly as possible to minimize any altitude problems. You will continue past your last campsite to the next one for overnight.

Climbing Kilimanjaro requires no technical climbing experience, and any moderately fit person can summit the mountain.

The average hiking day begins between 8-9am and is about 5 to 6 hours, walking very, very slowly. The distances you will hike each day are very moderate so as to acclimatize a little at a time. Your guides will repeat over and over, "pole pole" (po-ly, po-ly), which means "go slowly" in Swahili.

If you arrive at the Kilimanjaro Airport, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Moshi or Arusha. We recommend at least one rest day before starting your trek. If you are transferring from Nairobi, this can act as your rest day. If you have time, enjoy a guided walk through the local rice fields and rainforest, do a little shopping in the town of Moshi, relax at the swimming pool, or get a massage.

Your guide will provide a briefing the evening before your trek, and you must separate one bag for the trek from your other luggage. Extra luggage can be stored in a locked storage room at your Moshi hotel at no charge.

The next morning, enjoy a hearty breakfast before last-minute trip preparations at the trekking office. Depending on the route you take, the drive to the trailhead can take up to one hour and can be very bumpy.
Day 1 - Airport to Springlands hotel
Arrive at Kilimanjaro airport and then transfer to Springlands hotel or similar for overnight bed and breakfast.

Day 2 - Moshi to Mkubwa camp
Moshi to Londorossi Gate (2,250 m/7,380 ft) to Lemosho Glades (2,000 m/6,560 ft) to Mkubwa Camp (2,750 m/9,020 ft).

Day 3 - Mkubwa Camp to Shira Camp 1 (3,500 m/11,485 ft)
The trail gradually steepens, enters the giant heather moorland zone, then crosses the Shira Ridge at 3,600 m/11,810 ft. and drops gently to Shira Camp 1 located by a stream on the Shira Plateau.

Day 4 - Shira 1 camp to Moir camp (13,800 ft. / 4,205m)
Trek across the Shira plateau, east toward Kibo’s glaciered peak. Shira is one of the highest

Day 5 - Moir Camp to Buffalo/Pofu Camp (13,200 ft. / 4,025m)
Begin the morning trek heading out of the moorland and into the stark alpine desert, on a steep ridge off the main trail, and begin our venture on the Northern Circuit Route. The total trekking time is about 5 – 7 hours. From the Pofu Campsite you will enjoy a magnificent view into Kenya's wild lands to the north.

Day 6: Buffalo/Pofu camp to Kikelewa/third caves camp (11,800 ft. 3600m)
Proceed onward through valleys and over ridges through the alpine desert and moorland, continuing our circuit to the east, enjoying a vast mountain wilderness to ourselves. Trekking time today is 5 - 7 hours.

Day 7 - Kikelewa/third caves camp to Mawenzi Tarn Camp (14,160 ft./ 4,315m)
Trek 3-5 hours steadily upward to reach a placid mountain tarn (lake) at the foot of the majestically rising steep ridges of Mawenzi, Kilimanjaro second highest volcano. The camp here is nestled along the tarn in a protected alcove with magnificent views towards the steeply rising rocks of Mawenzi.

Day 8 - Mawenzi Tarn Camp to Outward Bound Camp (15,585 ft./ 4,750m)
The trekking time today is 5 - 7 hours, though a relatively easy hike across the wide saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo. The trek takes you across the massive saddle- the crossing is impressive and the landscape spectacularly stark. The temperatures turn cold as you near the foot of Kibo, reaching Outward Bound Camp after 5-7 hours of trekking. Prepare all your gear for the day ahead, and turn in early to rest. A resupply of fresh food and supplies will reach camp on this afternoon.

Day 9 - Otward Bound Camp to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft./ 5,895m) down to Millennium CAMP (10,200 ft./ 3,110m)
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 (18,750ft./ 5,712 m)) to Uhuru Peak, the trekking time is about 7 - 8 hours. 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 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 (depending on the season). After a short time at the summit, re-trace your steps back to Gilman’s Point, then summon your strength again for further descent to Mweka Camp for the night.

Day 10 - Mweka camp to Mweka Gate back to Springlands hotel or similar (6,000 ft. /1,830m)
Descend straight to the gate (2-3 hours), where you’ll have lunch and will be awarded climbing certificates. Overnight at Springlands hotel or similar; bed and breakfast.

Day 11 - Day of departure
what’s included
  • Certified, experienced, English-speaking guide
  • National Park gate Fees.
  • Transport from Moshi to starting point on mountain and return to Moshi.
  • Hut/camping fees and tents
  • Porters’ Salaries
  • Rescue fees ( required by the national Park)
  • All Meals on the mountain.
  • Two nights’ accommodation in Moshi bed and breakfast, double or triple occupancy
  • Tents foam sleeping pads, cooking equipment’s and eating utensils.
  • Oximeters are available upon request.
what’s excluded
  • Tips for Guides and porters
  • Mountain equipment (eg. sleeping bags)
  • Some equipment is available for rent. (ask for price list)
  • Lunches and dinners at Springlands Hotel.
Tour details
Availability Available Daily
Booking Type Instant Booking  
Duration 11 days
guiding method Live guide/instructor
guide language English & Tanzanian
meeting/Start point Tanzania, Tanzania
customer reviews
4.8 - Excellent Based on 3 reviews
Kilimanjaro - Machame route
From United Kingdom (UK) At
5 - Excellent
“A very well organised trek with a very good friendly crew,good food,total age of the 4 of us 239 years and they got us all to the summit.I have trekked in the himalaya and south america and this was the best crew I have used.”
Kilimanjaro - Machame route
From United Kingdom (UK) At
4.5 - Excellent
“Three of us climbed the Machame route in the beginning of November (we are aged 50, 52 and 74). The friendly team on the ground sorted out our gear hiring requirements and generally made sure we were ready to go. The guides were professional, helpful, patient and caring and, together with their team, were absolutely phenomenal all round. On summit night a second assistant joined us on the walk and his help was invaluable as two of us suffered with symptoms of altitude sickness and his presence meant that we each had our own guide. Even though our summit took longer than usual because of us not feeling great they made sure that we all made it to the top and back to base camp safely.

I would highly recommend Winford and his team. They did an amazing job in some trying weather conditions and we are very grateful to them for helping us realise our dream.”
Kilimanjaro - Machame route
From Canada At
5 - Excellent
“The staff at Zara are wonderful, very friendly and welcoming. The guides that Zara use are professional and speak excellent English. They choose their "team", as I found it interesting to learn that the porters are independent and just contracted work. It's up to the guides to chose who they can rely on. The porters work so hard and are the salt of the earth. I was so impressed. I have met many very happy people who have climbed multiple times and always use Zara. You become part of the famly here. You're never forgotten and you are well looked after. I highly recommend Zara Tours. They get an A++”
other information
Zara Tours / Product Category: Trekking
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