The Northern Circuit is considered the finest of all the routes to ascend Mount Kilimanjaro. This trek offers a perfect blend of the best features from the other routes, making it a magnificent hike. If you desire breathtaking views, serene surroundings, a robust challenge, and the chance to witness wildlife, this route is the perfect choice.
The Northern Circuit follows the same trail as the Lemosho route for the initial days but then diverges to the less traveled northern trails. As a result, the path is free from the hustle and bustle of other trekkers, making the campsites serene, tranquil, and nearly deserted.
Due to its longer duration, the Northern Circuit offers trekkers the opportunity to explore more of the mountain. They get to hike across the magnificent Shira Plateau, catch glimpses of Kibo Peak and Uhuru Summit, and enjoy panoramic views of the open plains to the north, which are seen by only a few hikers while climbing Kilimanjaro.
The Northern Circuit Route boasts the highest success rate of 98% for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, approaching the mountain from its southern side. As the newest and longest route, it offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of the entire mountain and takes 8 to 9 days to reach the summit.
This route provides ample time for acclimatization, thanks to its extended length and hovering around the same altitude, resulting in a higher success rate compared to other routes on the mountain.
Starting at the Londorossi Gate, the trek takes you through the rainforest and up the western flanks of Kilimanjaro, leading you to the Shira Ridge. From here, you will continue on to the Shira Plateau, before heading north for a clockwise circle around the mountain, visiting Moir Hut, Buffalo Camp, and School Hut. Finally, the summit is reached from the east.
Although the Northern Circuit route requires a bit more time, the extra days allow for a unique and unforgettable experience on Kilimanjaro. While other routes can be completed in 6 to 7 days, the Northern Circuit route may take up to 9 or more days, which may not be feasible for everyone’s schedule. However, for those who can make it work, the journey is well worth it.