Mt Kilimanjaro climbing on Circuit route
The Kilimanjaro adventure vacation begins with a rough 4X4 journey to western Kilimanjaro and Londrossi gate, the starting point for the Circuit route climb. The route takes advantage of remote and rarely used trails as well as visiting sections of the more popular Kilimanjaro routes.
A Mount Kilimanjaro climb on Circuit route isn't just ‘doing’ Kilimanjaro but seeing and experiencing its many different 'sides' and surprises. Circuit route climbers finish their Kilimanjaro climb with a greater knowledge and respect for the mountain and a feeling of personal triumph.
Due to the remote nature of the hiking, route changes may be deemed neccesary.
We accept small group bookings (max 4 climbers) with previous hiking experience at altitude.
Circuit route 10 days / 9 nights (8 mountain days)
Tour Ref: CP-7
Day 1: Arrive in Moshi and meet your guide for the climb briefing
Day 2: Drive to Londorossi Park Gate (2100m) for registration. The journey offers magnificent views of the Great Rift Valley mountains of Mt. Meru and Longido and the Shira zone of parasitic cones which extend along the north of the road. Begin hiking along a forest trail to reach Mti Mkubwa (big tree) campsite for dinner and overnight (2,750m. 3-4 hrs).
Day 3: Leaving the forest to enter the moorland zone, where large heathers and shrubs can be seen, the trail gets steeper towards Gane and Marshall One Valley. After resting, a gentle grade hike then takes you across the high altitude Shira Caldera to Shira 1 camp site (4-5 hours, 3,500m). The nearby Shira Ridge (the remains of the Shira Crater rim) is a reminder of the first eruption of Kilimanjaro. Mawenzi was the second and Kibo was the last. The eruption of Kibo ‘pushed up’ higher than the others, filling the Shira Caldera in the process to create the Shira Plateau, now a large area of moorland.
Day 4: The trail turns northward across moorland meadow to a remote area rarely visited, (with unusual views of Kibo) to reach Moir Hut for dinner and overnight camping (3-5 hours, 4,200m). Enjoy the panoramic views at the campsite or take the opportunity to explore the Lent Group (up to around 4,500m) before dinner and overnight camping.
Day 5: Leaving the moorland zone, from Moir Hut, the trail continues around the Lent Group through the rocky and barren alpine zone to ascend to 4,300m for the trek around Kibo. With views of the northern ice fields above, Kamwanga and Msanga rivers below, Kenya in the far distance and probably no other human being, gives a feeling of great expanse and isolation. Finish the day at Pofu Camp (3-4 hours, 4,200m).
Day 6: Experience breakfast with solitude and the rising sun before leaving Pofu camp. As you climb, the jagged rock spires of Mawenzi peak get closer and ‘The Saddle’ comes into view as the northern trail intersects with the Marangu route and then on to Rongai route after a short ascent. Finish the day with dinner and camping at Third Cave (6-7 hours, 3,900m).
Day 7: Begin hiking from Third Cave to reach School Hut (4750m). However, If the weather is bad or water is scarce (depending on the time of year), your guide may decide to continue to Kibo Hut for dinner and overnight camping. Before ending the day, your guide will give you a summit briefing and discuss the final preparations for the summit attempt. Rest in your tent.
Day 8: A gentle wake-up is accompanied by a hot drink, snack and encouragement to prepare for the summit attempt via Kibo. The ascent begins around midnight while the scree (small stone) is still frozen. There is a steep zig-zag climb from Kibo to Gilman’s Point (5-6 hours). Reaching Gilman’s Point to watch the sunrise is achievement enough for some climbers. Others will continue climbing after a short rest. The route flattens out along the crater rim, offering views of the glaciers and vents, before ascending on the final approach the ice capped summit of Uhuru Peak (5,895 m, 1-2 hours). After celebrating and taking photos (it is too cold to linger), begin the descent from the summit to return to camp for breakfast and a short rest (High Camp if legs are tired, or to Barafu camp). Continue heading down the trail to Mweka campsite for dinner and a final night on Kilimanjaro (3100m). This is a long and demanding day (12-14 hours hiking) but is well worth it for the satisfaction, achievement and experience of reaching the world’s highest free-standing mountain and one of the seven continental summits.
Day 9: After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 4 to 5 hour scenic hike on a rocky and well marked trail to reach Mweka National Park gate. Pick up your certificates before joining your vehicle for the journey to the hotel in Moshi for overnight.
Day 10: Departure or continue with another adventure activity.
To book a Mt Kilimanjaro climb on Circuit route, please use the Enquiry form to request a quote
Page update 06/06/2012
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