How Does The Northern Circuit Route Differ From Other Kilimanjaro Routes?

How Does The Northern Circuit Route Differ From Other Kilimanjaro Routes? The Northern Circuit Route Kilimanjaro differs significantly from other Kilimanjaro routes in terms of the topography, altitude gain, and acclimatization. The only route that provides hut accommodations rather than camping is the Marangu Route. The Machame Route is a well-known and difficult route that provides breathtaking vistas and diverse scenery. Shira Plateau and Barranco Wall are part of it. The route is notorious for its rocky, steep terrain, which makes it a challenging but worthwhile option for seasoned hikers.

A more recent and less congested option is to take the Lemosho Route, which is renowned for its varied scenery and lush jungle. The more gradual nature of the path enables better acclimatization and raises the likelihood of summit success.

The only path that reaches Kilimanjaro from the north is the Rongai route, which is also well-known for its stunning natural areas. It provides climbers with the opportunity to witness a variety of wildlife, including buffalo, elephants, and monkeys.


One of the most suggested Kilimanjaro Routes to reach the Uhuru peak is the Northern Circuit Route. Compared to other Kilimanjaro routes, the northern circuit has a success rate between 90% and 95%. It provides two options for the Northern Circuit: the 8-day Standard Northern Circuit and the 9-day Best Northern Circuit. Your chances of success will increase, and you’ll have more time for adequate acclimatization on the 9-day route.

The Northern Circuit Route’s longer path will offer you more time for appropriate acclimatization, which will help you reach the peak. You can choose to spend more time in the mountains or sleep at a lower altitude. Comparatively speaking to the other Kilimanjaro routes, the Northern Circuit is less congested.


Generally, every Kilimanjaro climbing route has its own special characteristics and difficulties. You must decide which route to take based on your prior trekking experience, level of fitness, and personal preferences. Nonetheless, in our opinion, the Northern Circuit route provides some particular experiences.


The Northern Circuit Kilimanjaro route is renowned for its varied landscapes and opportunities to see wildlife. It is regarded as one of Kilimanjaro’s most picturesque treks, with a diversity of scenery that includes lush rainforest, high-altitude desert, and alpine meadows. Beautiful views of Mount Meru’s surroundings and the Great Rift Valley are all enjoyed when climbing via this route.

 The Northern Circuit Route also travels through regions where a variety of species, such as elephants, buffaloes, and other creatures that inhabit the dense jungle, can be found in addition to the picturesque highlights.

 A variety of bird species, such as the African crowned eagle and the silvery-cheeked hornbill, may also be seen by trekkers via The Northern Circuit Route. The path also provides a chance to observe some of the renowned Serengeti animals, such as giraffes, zebras, and wildebeest.


The Northern Circuit Route’s acclimatization period might change depending on a person’s level of fitness and ability to adapt to high elevations. With a suggested trekking period of 9–10 days, this path is the longest on Mount Kilimanjaro.

Climbers gradually ascend through various height zones while trekking, allowing their bodies to acclimate to the rising altitude. One of the best routes for acclimatization is the Northern Circuit, which has a great acclimatization profile and a long, moderate rise.

The Northern Circuit Route is often completed by climbers in 9–10 days, providing enough time for acclimatization. A speedier ascent, however, may be chosen by certain seasoned climbers, thereby raising the danger of altitude sickness.


The Northern Circuit Kilimanjaro Route is renowned for being one of the less-traveled routes, providing climbers with a more privileged experience. This is one of the longer routes on the mountain, and it usually takes 8–9 days to finish. While many climbers choose shorter, quicker routes, this implies that fewer people frequently take this route. The Northern Circuit Route is also relatively new in comparison to some of the other Kilimanjaro routes. Since its introduction, it has grown in popularity with climbers looking for a more exclusive and off-the-beaten-path experience. Also, it offers the chance to explore some of the mountain’s less-traveled regions, such as the isolated northern slopes.

How Does The Northern Circuit Route Differ From Other Kilimanjaro Routes?
Northern Circuit Route


On Kilimanjaro, the Northern Circuit route is renowned for its fascinating topography, which offers climbers a wide variety of scenery to experience as they progress to the summit. Below are climate zones that can be seen and experienced when climbing the Mount Kilimanjaro via The Northern Circuit route:

Forest Zone: The climb begins in a lush forest area where climbers can take advantage of the towering trees’ shade and see animals like monkeys and birds.

Moorland zone: When climbers go higher, the landscape shifts to a moorland zone, which is characterized by grassy plains and heather-covered hills.

 Alpine desert zone: As climbers enter the alpine desert zone, the landscape becomes more rocky and desolate, but they can still see the nearby mountains and valleys.

The Lava Tower: a large volcanic rock formation that climbers pass through on day three of the trek, is one of the most recognizable features along this path.

Crater rim: Climbers make their final trek to the summit via the crater rim, which provides breathtaking views of the crater and glaciers below. This route also takes climbers to Kilimanjaro’s remote northern slopes, where they can explore a more difficult and unexplored region.


On Kilimanjaro, the Northern Circuit route offers unique cultural encounters that other mountain routes do not. Which are:

Visiting nearby villages: Climbers on the Northern Circuit route have the opportunity to stop by nearby villages and speak with residents who live in Kilimanjaro’s shadow along the way. This offers a distinctive look into the day-to-day existence of the local residents.

The Chagga people are one of Tanzania’s major ethnic groupings and are well-known for their traditional farming methods. Climbers have the chance to interact with people and learn about their culture and way of life while traveling along the Northern Circuit route, which passes through the Chagga heartland.

Visits to local schools and orphans are sometimes incorporated into tour itineraries by some travel operators.   Climbers can interact with local kids in this way and learn about their access issues to healthcare and education.

The Northern Circuit route travels through some of Tanzania’s most biodiverse regions, including Kilimanjaro National Park, so you can learn about the local animals and conservation activities. Climbers can gain knowledge about the initiatives being taken to safeguard the region’s distinctive flora and fauna.

Participation in cultural events: Climbers may have the chance to take part in regional celebrations and events, such as harvest festivals or traditional dance performances, depending on the time of year.


The questions and answers below are specific to the Northern Circuit Route.

What is the distance of the Northern Circuit Route and how many days does it take?

The Northern Circuit Route is 88 kilometers (53 miles) in length. The Northern Circuit Trail can be completed in as few as 8 days, while shorter ascents require several days of arduous trekking. Once arrival and departure days have been tallied, there have been 10 or 12. To enhance your chances of success, it is actually recommended to travel this path over the course of nine days since it is one of the longest on the mountain.

What is the Northern Circuit Route Summit Success Rate?

The Northern Circuit, which is Kilimanjaro’s longest ascent path, offers the finest opportunity for acclimatization. Although there are no official figures, all operators have an average success rate of 90%. The Northern Circle Route has a success rate on summits of over 98% nonetheless!

What is the scenery like on the Northern Circuit Route?

The main approach will lead you across the Shira Plateau and through the dense Lemosho forest. The landscape then becomes more desolate and austere as the climber turns around to reach the isolated and rarely traveled north side of Kilimanjaro. Because of its isolation, this area is frequently visited by shy eland as well as lone buffalo who come to lick minerals from the natural caves on the steep slopes of Kilimanjaro.

When is the best time to trek the Northern Circuit Route?

The Northern Circuit Trail is best hiked between July and September, when the weather is most consistent and encountering rain is less likely. Yet, given its proximity to the equator, the peak can be climbed at any time of the year. It is recommended to avoid the months of April and May because they are wet.

How hard is the northern circuit route?

Compared to the other routes, the Northern Circuit is not particularly challenging. While rising, it is somewhat taxing. Both the Northern Circuit Route 8 Day and Northern Circuit Route 9 Day treks have longer itineraries. This will enable you to extend your acclimatization day on Kilimanjaro beyond the days allotted for the normal route. You will be able to spend more time in the mountains and sleep at lower heights. Spending longer time on the mountain will help you acclimate to the greater elevation, and you’ll have a 90% to 95% chance of reaching the top of Uhuru.


The Northern Circuit Route Is ideal for those seeking a longer, more varied, and less congested hiking experience. The route offers improved acclimatization opportunities and increased summit chances. The Northern Circuit Route is distinctive and difficult in comparison to other routes because of its varied terrain, magnificent views, and high success rate. The Northern Circuit route is unquestionably a worthwhile option if you’re seeking a trekking excursion that offers a more tranquil and quiet experience on this less traveled route.

book a trip