General information about Kilimanjaro Mountain

Mount Kilimanjaro is the top of Africa. The mountain is located in Kilimanjaro Region in Tanzania. Raised as the result of volcano action, the mountain has the height of about 5,895 meters. Its crown is capped by snow and frequently fringed by clouds. Mt Kilimanjaro is one of Africa’s classic structures which attract number of tourists across nations globally.

At the height of 19,344 feet, Mt. Kilimanjaro it is the highest mountains in Africa and the highest summit in the world that can be reached by walking and overhand climbing. This gives travellers the mind-blowing experience. Deciding to trek Mount Kilimanjaro, you will make your travel to Tanzania a pleasing experience ever expect to see it again in life.

GVTS guides and porters will lead amazing high-quality service as you will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Apart from just climbing the mountain, with us expect to go on a wildlife safari and enjoy a beach vacation on the paradise island Zanzibar. GVTS operations office is located at Arusha and Kilimanjaro, so we will be always in full command for your hiking and safari adventures.

Mountain Kilimanjaro is a free standing mountain in the world. The mount is a dormant volcano mountain but not an extinct one. Ominous grumbles can sometimes be heard – and volcanic gases emerge from fume holes at the crater. Although just three degrees south of the Equator, the temperature being higher because of the geographical location,  the peaks of the mountain have caps of snow and ice coverage all the year round. As Kilimanjaro Mountain possesses different environmental zone, climbers will normally pass from a tropical to an attic environment in just a few days. Being among climbers, you will pass through lush rain-forest before reaching heather and open moorland where giant lobelia and huge, cactus – like plants grow. The two peaks of the mountain, KIBO and Mawenzi are separated by lunar landscape, the saddle that stretches between the two ends. The highest point on Kibo, and indeed the whole of Africa, is Uhuru Peak, with spectacular glaciers and stupendous views of the plains, five kilometers below. One of the main reasons people travel to Tanzania just to experience these unique features. The pinnacle – shaped peak of Mawenzi are for mountaineers only.

With the help of porters and a guide, it is possible to walk all the way to the summit of Kibo without holding specialized mountaineering equipment – or experience – and Kilimanjaro can be captured by any reasonably fit person. The whole climb normally takes five or six days depending on the route chosen and involves four or five overnights stays in mountain huts or tents.

Northern Circuit Route – 9 Days / 8 Nights

Snapshot of the Route


  1. Arrival                                                                                                                 Day 1
  2. High-Altitude Drop Off Destination And Trekking To Shira 1 Camp   Day 2
  3. Shira 1 to Shira 2 Trek                                                                                      Day 3
  4. Shira 2 to Moir Hut via Lava Tower Trek                                                     Day 4
  5. Trekking from Moir Hut to Buffalo Camp             –                                     Day 5
  6. Trekking from Buffalo Camp to 3rd Cave Camp                                          Day 6
  7. Trekking from 3rd Cave Camp to School Hut                                             Day 7
  8. Ascent to Uhuru Peak and Descent to Millennium Camp                          Day 8
  9. Return to Mweka Gate from Millennium Camp             –                            Day 9
  10. Departure                                                                                                            Day 10

This Northern Circuit is the newest longest route on Mount Kilimanjaro.  Northern circuit is well-known for its excellent acclimatization and breathtaking views of the Kilimanjaro northern slopes. Currently, very limited number of travelers has set foot on this trail, and the route is hardly ever crowded. Northern Circuit is recommended to those who enjoy long trekking practices in remote wilderness with a minimal number of other trekkers around. Climbing Kilimanjaro through Northern Circuit will take you at least eight days that is why the route boasts very high summit success rate. 9-day extended version with crater camping is also available.

Trekking Interventions in Days

Upon your Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), you will meet GVTS Travel representative who will take you to the hotel in Moshi town – Kilimanjaro Region. The hotel will provide you all the essentials for a comfortable accommodation (rooms with hot water, well-mannered staff, a swimming pool as well as Internet access among others). In the evening before supper, you will receive your tour briefing from our managers who will also make sure you are ready to begin your climb on the other day.

A guide and mountain support crews / porters will arrive at your hotel in the morning of day 2 in order to meet you and hold a quick briefing about your trekking safari before starting trekking a day after. Immediately After the briefing, you will be picked by GVTS’s vehicle and travel to Kilimanjaro National Park’s western entrance, Londorossi Gate which is situated at the height of 2,200 m above mean seal level. This will take you roughly 3 to 4 hours.

After the quick formality of acquiring climbing permits and registering processes with the search and rescue service, you continue with your safari upwards towards a drop off point by off-road vehicles at a distance of about 3,500 meters. Once covered mention distance you will start see stunning views of the Shira Plateau for the first time.

The route from your drop off point to your first high-altitude camp Shira 1 has a small increase in altitude and is not too physically challenging. Due to this factor, you will be able to properly begin the process of acclimatization. By the time you reach the camp, GVTS professional mountain crew will prepare everything necessary for you at that time, put tents and other facilities and cook dinner for you.

For those who will be the first time being at such altitude and specifically that route, GVTS is intensely recommended you to adhere to the following instructions at that point and as you will be moving on:

    1. Refrain from consuming alcohol and caffeine at all.
    2. Compel to drink over 4 liters of bottled water daily little by little frequently
    3. Take a Diamox pill such as Acetazolamide in the morning before start ascending in order to help you alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness.

NOTE:           Pay attention to your own body and tell your guide if you start feeling any symptoms of altitude sickness or any kind of discomfort. Nightly discomfort often accompanies acclimatization. However symptoms such as headaches and nausea are common, once filling abnormal make sure you inform your guide immediately.


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION             3,500 m to 3,505 m
      • HIKING TIME:                                            1 hours
      • DISTANCE:                                                   4 km
      • DIFFICULTY:                                                Low
      • HABITAT:                                                       Meadows

After early wake up and breakfast in day 3 you will start trekking another uncertain altitude gain of 300 m as you will be moving from Shira 1 to Shira 2 Camp. The moderate physical demands of the trekking will leave you with both time and energy to enjoy Kilimanjaro’s flora and- when the weather is favorable- Mount Meru, which is the 5th-highest mountain on the continent, will be seen far from you.

A further acclimatization walk towards Lava Tower will be accomplished, lunch will be served. Once lunch services will be done, you will be given not more than 2 hour for resting. This resting period will allows you to experience a further gain of 300 m.

The acclimatization hiking will take place as the change in elevation will start to occur from Shira 2 Camp at the height of 3,900 m – Destination point of route to Lava Tower at the height of 4,110 m. The hiking distance will be 2 km while the hiking time will be from 1 to 2 hours.


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION             3,505 m to 3,900 m
      • HIKING TIME:                                           3 -4 hours
      • DISTANCE:                                                 7 km
      • DIFFICULTY:                                              Low
      • HABITAT:                                                    Moorland

From an early wake up just after breakfast, you will leave the altitude of 3,900 m at Shira Camp and ascending towards Lava Tower’s which is situated at 4,630 m. This part of the route is widespread and it has ups and downs. Having this features, the route may bring to you some discomfort. You will need to spend one or two hours at higher altitude in order to properly acclimatize yourself and become fit for next trekking. Your lunch break will be take place at Lava Tower.

Just after a enough break time for lunch, you will continue with your afternoon trekking part of the route by climbing slightly before descending to Moir Hut Camp. GVTS guide will decide to bypass Lava Tower altogether and taking the porter trail instead, if you will not appear to have acclimatized properly. In this case the highest altitude reached will be 4,400, rather than 4,630 metres. Now this will depend on your choice as well as the fitness of your body


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION             3,900 m to 4,630 m and 4,630 m to 4,200 m
      • HIKING TIME:                                           5-7 hours
      • DISTANCE:                                                 14 km
      • DIFFICULTY:                                             Medium
      • HABITAT:                                                   Moorland

On this day 5, you will have a rather long but to same extent an easy trek. Immediately after a short steep climb out of Moir Valley you will start going around the northern slope of Kilimanjaro, and just like on the way to Lava Tower. The path will be full of highs and lows as well as without any steep gains in altitude. This route passes closer to the border with Kenya, so you will be treated to amazing views of the Tsavo and Amboseli Valleys located in Kenya.


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION             4,200 m to 4,020 m
      • HIKING TIME:                                            5-7 hours
      • DISTANCE:                                                  12 km
      • DIFFICULTY:                                              Medium
      • HABITAT:                                                     Moorland

This day 6 trekking will be purposely for you to finish trekking up the northern slope of Kilimanjaro and stop for the night in 3rd Cave Camp. While being in this route, expect to meet up with the traditional Rongai route. Trekking for this day will be shorter than on other days before. Being shorter your body will already have become completely acclimated to an altitude of 4,000 meters, which will contribute to your general feelings of well-being and confortable.


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION                     4,020 m to 3,870 m
      • HIKING TIME:                                                   4-6 hours
      • DISTANCE:                                                          8 km
      • DIFFICULTY:                                                       Low
      • HABITAT:                                                             Moorland

On day 7, your journey will start by trekking to the School Hut Summit Camp (4,750 m). The actual trekking will not be very hard. GVTS guide will lead you towards choosing an appropriate pace in order to keep you strong for the trekking to Kilimanjaro’s summit ahead of you. When you reach the camp, GVTS is recommending you to sleep well and early. It will be sounding good if you will avoid strenuous activity. Remember to drink as many fluids as you can, because that very night you will complete the trekking to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m).


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION             3,870 m to 4,750 m
      • HIKING TIME:                                           4-5 hours
      • DISTANCE:                                                  5 km
      • DIFFICULTY:                                              Medium
      • HABITAT:                                                     Alpine desert

This day will be your remarkable day as you will go to summit the roof of Africa. Safety being the primary consideration for GVTS during any summiting attempt. Worry note, you will be given a guide who will be full time responsible for taking care of you. His main role will center along monitoring your health as you will be trekking on to Uhuru Peak’s 5,895 m. Expect to start your climb from School Hut’s 4,750 m around midnight, though relatively easy technically, poses a challenge due to high altitude. A walk upon the nearest glacier is an option upon successful summiting. Just after summiting you will then descends to Barafu Camp for two hours specifically for lunch and rest break as well. Your day trekking will ends at Millennium Camp’s 3,820 m.



      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION   :         3,750 m to 5,895 m and then 5,895 m to 3,820 m
      • HIKING TIME:                                           10 -13 hours
      • DISTANCE:                                                 16 km
      • DIFFICULTY:                                              High
      • HABITAT:                                                    Arctic

Millennium Camp is situated among tropical rainforest. The lower altitude and feelings of accomplishment from having reached the summit make for a good night’s rest there. Hot breakfast will be followed by your final descent to the Park’s exit gate- Mweka, at 1,650 m. This final stop before your transfer to parks offices to receive your accomplishment certificates presents a good opportunity to recap the adventure with your support team. Finally, you will be driven to your hotel for a well-deserved rest.

Acclimatization hike will involve change of elevation from 3,820 m at Millennium Camp to 1,650 m at Mweka Gate — the destination point of the day route. The Acclimatization Hike will also involve 12 Km hiking distance and 4 to 5 hours hiking time.


      • THE CHANGE OF ELEVATION   :              3,820 m to 1,650 m
      • HIKING TIME:                                                 4 – 5 hours
      • DISTANCE:                                                       12 km
      • DIFFICULTY:                                                   Low
      • HABITAT:                                                         Rainforest
    1. All Park fees, Rescue fees, Camping fees and Picnic lunches.
    2. All transfers as Indicated in the itinerary for this package,
    3. Hotel overnight after trek in Arusha.
    4. Accommodations based on double occupancy – Sleeping in the dome tents.
    5. Meals as per the above itinerary – 3 Meals a day for both Vegetarians and Non vegetarians.
    6. Services of GVTS staff throughout. The cook will be responsible for your 3 delicious meals a day.
    7. Services of a Senior GVTS Trekking Guides and assistance guide.
    8. All baggage handling – Recommended weight for clients’ backpack to be carried up the mountain is 15kgs. Kindly allow 5 kg for personal daypacks including Cameras.
    9. We will provide you 1 licensed guide and 1 assistant guides who have received training from Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park Instructors for this trekking.
    10. Transfers to the gate before and After Trek to Arusha.
    11. Services of Nature Safaris Camping equipment. These are Tents, Sleeping mattress, camping table and chairs etc.
    1. Soft drinks, beer, wine and spirits (as well as gifts like local crafts etc)
    2. Any local and international flights tickets (airline).
    3. Tips for staff such as guides, porters and the cook staff
    4. Fees for passport, visas, immunizations and insurance
    5. Meals and expenses en route to Tanzania
    6. Laundry, phone and other items of a personal nature
    7. We advices our clients to bring their own first Aid Kit.

For Budget Camping Safari:      food supplied (Menu)

Breakfast package will include: 

Fruit, Fruit juice, eggs, bread/French toast/plain toast/pancakes.margarine/jam/honey/peanut-butter,cereals/porridge,Milo Pancakes, Oats, Omelette’s, tea/coffee

Picnic lunches:  

Sliced carrot & cucumber strips, seasonal fruits, boiled eggs, vegetable/meat cutlets, sandwiches (egg/cheese/tuna/tomato)


Soup (Mushroom/cucumber soup, Pumpkin soup/chicken/vegetable) bread, a meat dish, rice/pasta/potatoes, Fish curry/Noodles, vegetable dishes(Vegetable Kish etc, fruit, some local dishes which we are sure they will be more interested to you.

Desserts:    Bush made cake accompanied with local Brewed Tanzanian coffee, Tea, Cup of hot Chocolate, Milo’s etc.



Below is the list of the gears that you should bring with you for trekking.


Mt. Boots, Socks – at least 4/5 pairs (This must be thin and thick ones) 1 pair of gaiters, Sandal/open shoes,(optional)


1 thermal (warm) trousers, 1 thermal (warm) long underwear, 1 wind/water proof trousers.


2 or 1 long sleeved thermal shirts, 1 thermal T-shits, 1 thermal jacket or sweater, 1 down jacket, preferable wool attached one.


1 pc of roll foam or air mattress and 1 warm sleeping bag.


1 head lump and spare batteries, 1 pair or 1 pc of walking sticks, 1 pair of sunglasses or ice goggles, Sun block cream or Lotion, Lipstick cream, First Aid Kit, Camera + films with its spare batteries, passport book, a day pack, a rucksack or safari bag.


Drinking water bottle (NALGEN) or any other brand like SIGG or optional, camel pack.

Note: These Items can be also hired here in Arusha or Kilimanjaro before your Trek,