Mount Kilimanjaro 5895m – 12 Days JUNE-OCTOBER
Trek to the roof of Africa to the summit of the highest freestanding mountain in the world, at 5895m. From the dusty African plains to the spectacular snow capped glacial summit, this bucket list adventure will challenge you both physically and mentally. The trekking distance for the Northern Circuit is 97km or 60 miles and has one of the highest ascent rates.
This trip offers participants the chance to test their endurance at high altitude on the Northern Circuit Route. To climb Kilimanjaro, you need to be physically fit, have strong mental stamina and be capable of strenuous exercise for several days’ duration. You will be supported by our fantastic Freedom Trail Treks Leader and a team of enthusiastic guides and porters! We can offer it in 11 days not including a relaxing day in Moshi on arrival, 12 days as per the itinerary or 13 days to include the safari extension.
Mt Kilimanjaro is one of the Seven Summits. These are the highest mountains of each of the seven continents.
We offer: Kilimanjaro, Elbrus and Aconcagua.
Elbrus – August / September
Aconcagua – December / January
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Intense
Group Size Medium Group
Days Total: 12
Trekking days: 9
Activity Level: Extreme
Accommodation: Camping & Hotels
- Climb the worlds highest free standing mountain, reaching 5895m.
- A world heritage site and wonder of Africa
- Bucket list adventure and cultural experience
- Trek through five distinct climate zones, from rocky mountains, to green pasture lands to snow caps.
- Spectacular views
- We start along the Lemosho Route and up to Lava Tower before contouring around the northern flanks of the mountain. We briefly touch the Rongai Route before summiting via Gilman’s Point and descend on the Marangu Route.
- Transfer from Kilimanjaro airport to Moshi and return
- All meals except where specified, accommodation and camping equipment
- Mountain Leader
- Local guides, porters and cooks
- Back-up equipment
- Any meals specified ‘not included’ in the itinerary
- Travel insurance
- Personal spending money, souvenirs and drinks
- Personal mountain snacks
- Tips for the local guides and support crew
- Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
Arrive into Kilimanjaro airport and transfer to our Hotel in Moshi.
After a briefing from your leader enjoy a free afternoon/ evening.
Transfer: Approx. 1 hour
Today we rest, relax and explore Moshi.
Meet with the guides & chef before a mountain briefing and kit check.
MOSHI (900M) – LONDOROSSI GATE (2385M) – MTI MKUBWA/ BIG TREE CAMP (2780M)
We leave the Hotel and drive to the Londorossi Gate (2385m), which can take 3.5 hrs but if there’s been a lot of rain the last section is on foot due to poor roads. We then meet the team of porters, guides and head upwards through the pristine forest to Mti Mkubwa Camp at 2780m.
Trek: 6km 2-3 hours
MTI MKUBWA (2780M) – SHIRA 1 CAMP (3500M)
We make our way further through the forest then out on to open heathland which is a savannah of tall grasses, heather and volcanic rock. The land undulates gently and after crossing several streams, we reach the Shira Ridge and descend gently to Shira 1 Camp at 3500m.
Trek: 8km 5-6 hours
SHIRA 1 CAMP (3500M) – SHIRA 2 CAMP (3840M)
This is a relatively short day from Shira 1 to Shira 2 but an important day in terms of rest and acclimatisation. We’ll explore the vast Shira Plateau as we enjoy the gentle walk across the heathland meadows of wildflowers and Senecio trees whilst looking up at the mass of Kibo seemingly only a stone’s throw away and the clouds which will be below you.
Trek: 7km 3-4 hours
SHIRA 2 CAMP (3840M) – LAVA TOWER (4600M) – MOIR HUT (4200M)
This is an important day in terms of acclimatisation as we continue across the Shira plateau to the Lava Tower, which is a 100m volcanic rock skyscraper of a formation and our high point at 4600m not just for the day but also up until our summit attempt. We then divert from the main trail and drop in altitude to Moir Hut at 4200m which is a seldom used camp at the base of the Lent Hills.
Trek: 14km 6-7 hours
MOIR HUT (4200M) – BUFFALO CAMP (4000M)
We trek out of camp and the Moir Valley starting with a bit of a steep climb and then we have a detour option to the summit of Little Lent Hill at 4700m, which is great for acclimatisation before returning to the main circuit trail. The path crosses a rock field and undulates up and down before reaching Buffalo Camp at 4000m. The views this day are simply stunning across the plains to the north of Kilimanjaro to the border and Kenya’s famous Amboseli national park.
Trek: 12km 5-6 hours
BUFFALO CAMP (4000M) – RONGAI THIRD CAVE (3800M)
We leave camp and head up the Buffalo Ridge in the morning and usually have some lunch at Porfu Camp before we start our trek around the northern slopes heading towards the eastern side of the mountain. The terrain becomes increasingly sparse and dry with little shrubs. This route is rarely travelled and feels remote, wild and free as we then reach our camp at what’s known as Rongai’s Third Cave at 3800m.
Trek: 8km 6-7 hours
THIRD CAVE (3800M) – SCHOOL HUT (4800M)
We climb steadily up and over the Saddle, which sits between Kilimanjaro’s two peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi through an environment akin to the moon or a high-altitude desert. We then continue to our high camp at School Hut. We then have plenty of time to rest in the afternoon and to prepare for early start and summit day.
Trek: 6km 4-5 hours
SCHOOL HUT (4800M) – UHURU PEAK (5895M) – MILLENNIUM CAMP (3850M)
Around midnight, we begin our push to the summit. This is a night-time ascent on rock, scree and occasionally snow to the crater rim and beyond to the summit.
We wake about 23.30 and have some snacks before starting our trek. It’s not a steep climb from beginning to end but undulates and changes throughout. We stop for rests along the way and the pace is slow. The final slope to the crater rim is steep and has loose scree and you can expect cold temperatures and wind chill throughout, however as you approach the crater rim you will start to see the sun rising over the African plains thousands of feet below. We continue the final 45-minute climb up from the crater rim to the summit of Kilimanjaro.
After some time on the summit we then descend to Barafu and then walk down along a gentle path to Millennium Camp.
Trek up: 6 km, 6-8 hours
Trek down: 10 km, 4-6 hours
MILLENIUM CAMP (3850M) – MWEKA GATE (1640M) – MOSHI HOTEL (900M)
Descending through the lush forest to Mweka Gate where we sign out of the national park and pick up our summit certificate. This is a walk surrounded by monkeys, lush ancient forests and can be slippery underfoot especially with tired legs!
After a rest at the gate we’ll say thank you and farewell to our team of porters before transport back to the Moshi hotel, arriving back mid-afternoon for a hot shower, cold drink and an overnight in the hotel.
Trek: 10km 4 hours
Transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport
We say our goodbyes and head home!
Experience the wild side of East Africa on a four day, three-night safari to Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara!
You will be accompanied by a Freedom Trail Treks Leader, a local guide and a wonderful team of porters, cooks and drivers.
You will need to have a good level of fitness for this challenge. However, it is more about endurance rather that speed. You will be trekking for long days over undulating terrain. We will provide you with a training guide that will make sure you arrive in the best shape possible.
Over the 12 days on the mountain you will pass through a variety of different eco systems. From forests, moorland and rocky trails, to snowcapped glaciers you will experience it all. Lower down the terrain will be muddy and wet, higher up it will be barren.
In Moshi you will stay in a lovely 3* hotel with a swimming pool. On the mountain you will be in two man tents.
You should be prepared for all weathers on this challenge. The temperature on the mountain can range from scorching hot to bitterly cold! It can be humid and it can rain. Make sure to bring everything on the kit list so you don’t get caught out.
We will have a fantastic cook with us on the mountain. The food is fresh and plentiful, with a high carbohydrate content. You should expect lots of porridge, bread, soup, potatoes, pasta and meat dishes with fruit and vegetables.
If you have a dietary requirement please let us know well in advance and we can make arrangements.
You should also bring lots of extra snacks from home to keep up your energy levels!
It’s important to stay hydrated and you should be consistently drinking water whilst trekking. There will be sterilised water provided throughout the day to keep your water bottle topped up. You should bring 3 litres water capacity.
Symptoms of altitude sickness usually develop between 6 and 24 hours after reaching altitudes more than 2,500m above sea level.
Symptoms are similar to those of a bad hangover and include:
- feeling and being sick
- loss of appetite
- shortness of breath
The Northern Circuit allows for excellent acclimatisation to the altitude as you will contour around the mountain instead of going straight up. We will trek up high in the day then descent slightly at night as this will help your body adjust.
Your leader/guide will always be walking at the font of the group and making sure you are going at a very slow pace, the slower you trek the less likely you are to feel unwell.
There is no way of knowing how you will respond to altitude. If you are suffering badly with the effects you may need to be walked down the mountain.
You will need a valid 10-year passport with at least 6 months remaining.
You will also need to obtain a tourist visa to enter Tanzania. We recommend you apply for an e-visa online in advance of your trip, you can get one at the airport on arrival but there can be a long wait.
Make sure to check the foreign travel advice given here
It is essential you have adequate travel insurance including trekking at altitude.
Your luggage will be transported between camps by the porters. There is a weight limit of 12kg and it must be a soft sided rucksack/kitbag (no suitcases!).
You will not have access to your main luggage during the day on the trek so you will need a smaller day sack to carry extra layers, water, snacks, suncream etc.
You will need to ensure you have had the required vaccinations prior to travel. You should consult your GP or Travel Clinic and can also find guidance on the NHS Fit for Travel webpage.