Exploring The Northern Circuit Route – Kilimanjaro’s Hidden Gem

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African Scenic Safaris

Last updated on June 10th, 2023 at 08:17 am

Northern Circuit Route

Approaching from the south direction, the Northern Circuit Route Kilimanjaro is a relatively new and less- crowded trek. It has the highest success rate of summiting the mountain, which is about 98%.

The Northern Circuit Route is gaining popularity among trekkers. Its unique features such as stunning views, comfortable camping facilities, and opportunities to spot Kilimanjaro’s wildlife have made it popular. A gradual ascent on Kilimanjaro’s Northern Circuit Route increases the chances of successfully reaching the summit. Even, the risk of altitude sickness is reduced while summiting.

Let’s go through the blog and understand the features of the Northern Circuit Route Kilimanjaro. We will also find some reasons behind its popularity among climbers seeking a more rewarding experience on Mount Kilimanjaro.

What Is The Northern Circuit Route Kilimanjaro

The Northern Circuit Route is the newest and longest route to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. This route is relatively remote and less traveled. It offers trekkers a unique and peaceful experience with stunning scenery. The route has got a higher chance of summiting due to its more extended acclimatization period.

Description Of The Northern Circuit Route

The Northern Circuit Route Kilimanjaro takes around nine days to reach the peak. Some variations take up to ten days. The route starts on the western side of the mountain at the Londorossi Gate. Then, it follows a path that circles the north before heading to the summit from the east. This Route is a challenging trek that requires a good level of fitness. You need the strength to hike for several hours each day at a high altitude. However, it offers a unique and unforgettable experience. The stunning scenery, a diverse range of ecosystems, and a sense of remoteness are some of the features unique to the Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit Route.

Comparison To Other Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes

Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes

Mount Kilimanjaro is a majestic mountain with an elevation of 5895 meters above sea level. It is a popular destination for trekkers and mountaineers from around the world. There are several routes to the summit. Each one has its unique characteristics and challenges.

Kilimanjaro Trek Showdown: Northern Circuit vs. Other Routes

Northern RouteMachame Route
Less steep and has a more gradual ascent. This makes it a good choice for those who want to acclimatize well.This route is more challenging as it involves steep inclines and long days of hiking.
Northern Circuit RouteMarangu /Coco-Cola Route 
It is one of the most scenic routes on Kilimanjaro. It offers stunning views of the mountain and the surrounding landscape.This route is less scenic as it involves walking through forests and moorlands.
Northern Circuit RouteLemosho Route
The Northern Route takes around seven days to complete. It is a bit easier than the Lemosho Route.It is one of the newer routes on Kilimanjaro and is known for its remote and wild landscapes. It is the longest route and takes around 8 days to complete.
Northern Circuit RouteRongai Route
The Northern Route is similar to the Rongai Route in terms of difficulty. It is more scenic and has a higher success rate. The Rongai Route is one of the quieter routes on Kilimanjaro.  It is known for its remote and untouched landscapes. It is also one of the easier routes, as it involves a gradual ascent to the summit

Overall, This Route is a good choice for those who want a slightly easier and more scenic route to the summit of Kilimanjaro. However, keep in mind that all Kilimanjaro Routes are challenging. It requires proper preparation and acclimatization is essential for a safe and successful climb.

Highlights Of The Northern Circuit Route

The Northern Circuit Route gives one of the best chances to summit the mighty Kilimanjaro. Some of the route’s highlights include beautiful scenery along the trek, a good acclimatization profile, and a very high success rate. Other key highlights and their’ description are described in the table below:

Longer routeThe Northern Circuit Route is the longest route on Kilimanjaro, taking approximately 9-11 days to complete.
More acclimatization timeThe longer route allows for more time to acclimatize to the altitude, increasing the chances of summiting.
Remote and less crowdedThe Northern Circuit Route is less traveled than other routes, providing a more remote and peaceful experience.
Varied landscapesThe route passes through a variety of landscapes, including rainforest, heath, moorland, alpine desert, and glaciers.
Wildlife viewingThe route passes through the Kilimanjaro National Park, providing opportunities to see wildlife such as elephants, buffalo, and monkeys.
Summit via Gilman’s PointThe route approaches the summit via Gilman’s Point on the crater rim, providing a different and less crowded perspective.

How To Prepare For The Northern Circuit Route

Northern Circuit Route

It is a challenging and rewarding trek that takes you to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Here are some tips on how to prepare for the Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit:

Physical Fitness: The Northern Circuit Route Kilimanjaro is a challenging trek, so it is important to be physically fit. You should aim to do regular cardiovascular and strength training exercises at least 3-4 times a week. It will gradually increase your endurance and stamina.

Altitude Acclimatization: Kilimanjaro’s high altitude is the biggest challenge you will face during the trek. To avoid altitude sickness, you should plan to acclimatize properly. For this, you can spend at least one or two nights at each altitude level on the route. It would be best if you also drank plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.

Gear and Equipment: You will need to have the right gear and equipment for the trek, including good-quality hiking boots, a warm sleeping bag, and layers of warm clothing. You should also invest in a good-quality trekking pole to help you balance difficult terrain.

Mental Preparation: Mount Climbing Kilimanjaro is not just a physical challenge, it is also a mental one. You should mentally prepare yourself for the challenge by setting realistic expectations and goals. Also, you can try staying positive throughout the trek.

Guided Tour: It is highly recommended to go on a guided tour with an experienced company that has a good track record of leading successful treks to Kilimanjaro’s summit. They will provide you with all the necessary information and support you need to prepare for and complete the trek.

What To Expect On The Northern Circuit Route Kilimanjaro

Northern Circuit Route Kilimanjaro

The Northern Circuit Kilimanjaro is a popular safari itinerary that takes visitors through some of Tanzania’s most famous national parks and wildlife reserves. Here is a breakdown of your journey to Mountain Kilimanjaro when following the Northern Circuit Route.  

  • The first few days of the trek are spent in the lush rainforest, where trekkers can see a variety of plant and animal life, including black and white colobus monkeys. As the route climbs higher, the landscape changes to moorland, with giant heather trees and unique flora and fauna.
  • On day five or six, the route reaches the Lava Tower, a rocky outcrop that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The route then continues to the Arrow Glacier campsite, which is around 4,800 meters (15,748 feet).
  • From here, the route follows the Western Breach, a steep and challenging ascent to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Trekkers pass through the alpine desert and then the Arctic summit before reaching the highest point, Uhuru Peak, at 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) above sea level.
  • After reaching the summit, trekkers descend the Mweka Route, passing through beautiful and varied landscapes before returning to the park gate on day nine or ten.

Are you ready to climb Northern Circuit Route with African Scenic Safaris?

No doubt, it is a hidden gem that offers a unique and less-crowded trek to the summit. At African Scenic Safaris, we offer exclusive Kilimanjaro Climbing Packages to help climbing enthusiasts successfully reach the summit of Kilimanjaro.

So, if you are seeking a less-crowded and more scenic to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, then the Northern Circuit Route Kilimanjaro is a perfect choice. So, don’t hesitate to explore this hidden gem and discover the Northern Circuit for yourself under the expert guidance of our guides.

Got a few minutes more! Check our other related posts below:

What Makes The Northern Circuit Route Different From Other Kilimanjaro Routes?

How to train for a successful Kilimanjaro Climb on Northern Circuit Route?

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