10 Days Northern Crater Route

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Camping, Trekking
  • Activity Level
  • Group Size Medium Group
All about the 10 Days Northern Crater Route.
About Northern Crater Route
The Northern Crater route is the newest, most exciting route on Kilimanjaro. The trek follows the Lemosho trail in the beginning, approaching Kilimanjaro from the west. However, instead of following the southern traverse like all the other west approaching routes, the Northern Crater traverses the mountain around the quiet, rarely visited northern slopes.The Northern Crater route is a nine day climb, which is the longest route in terms of time and distance travelled. The days spent at around 13,000 feet are great for acclimatizion, resulting in the highest success rates for all routes on Mount Kilimanjaro.With a high success rate, incredible varied scenery and a very low number of visitors, the Northern Crater route is certainly one of the best routes on Kilimanjaro.
The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • 2 Airport Transfers, from JRO Kilimanjaro Airport to Moshi when you arrive, then transfer back to the Airport for your flight home.
  • 2 nights Hotel Lodging on Bed and Breakfast basis, Double or Triple Occupancy (3 star hotel you will need to pay extra if you want to have a 4 or 5 star hotel)
  • 3 Delicious meals a days plud snacks if applicable, boiled and filtered drinking water while on the mountain.
  • Warm water for washing to be provided every morning and evening.
  • Oxygen Cylinder – only for emergency
  • English Speaking Guides (Wilderness First Responder certified), cook and porters
  • Staff salaries and fees.
  • All huts and camping fee
  • Transport to/from national park gates.
  • Emergency telephone between the guides and our office in Moshi town.
  • 3 litres of bottled drinking water to be provided on the first day your hike, on the mountain porters will fetch water from the streams to be boiled and filtered for you
  • Camping equipment on Machame/ Shira/ Lemosho/ Rongai & Umbwe routes (tents)
  • Portable oxygen for emergencies (returnable on completion of climb)
  • Certificate of successful completion
  • Tanzania government taxes.
What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Prices do not include sleeping bags
  • Gratuities (tips for guides and porters)
  • Soda/alcohol unless otherwise noted (plenty of water will be provided for hydration)
  • Health insurance
  • International airfare
  • Laundry
  • All Meals and drinks in Moshi town
  • Round-trip airfare to and from Kilimanjaro (JRO airport)
  • Travel and visa documents
  • Optional travel insurance
  • Additional equipment rental (walking sticks, sleeping pads, etc.)
  • Personal items
  1. Day 1 Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa
    • Elevation: 7,742 ft to 9,498 ft
    • Distance: 6 km/4 miles
    • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
    • Habitat: Rain Forest

    We’ll leave Moshi and head out to Londorossi Gate; scenic drive that is about four hours long. On arrival, and the completion of park entry formalities at the gate there will be short drive to reach Lemosho trailhead. Here, you’ll hike through the rainforest as you head to Mti Mkubwa campsite.

  2. Day 2 Mti Mkubwa to Shira 1 Camp
    • Elevation: 9,498 ft to 11,500 ft
    • Distance: 8 km/5 miles
    • Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
    • Habitat: Heath

    Your hiking experience will continue along the trail that leads out of the forest and into the savannah of tall grass and volcanic rocks concealed under lichen beards. We will make your way across the rolling hills, and jump over couple of streams before we reach Shira Ridge, from where we’ll start gentle descent to Shira 1 camp. This camp gives you  opportunity to enjoy the first view of Kibo, a breathtaking scenery by looking across the plateau.

  3. Day 3 Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp
    • Elevation: 11,500 ft to 12,500 ft
    • Distance: 7 km/4 miles
    • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
    • Habitat: Heath

    We’ll explore the Shira Plateau today. The walk in the Moorland meadows is gentle as you head east towards Shira 2 Camp. The heath zone offers fantastic scenery of numerous wildflowers and unique Senecio trees.

  4. Day 4 Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower / Lava Tower to Moir Hut
    • Elevation: 12,500 ft to 15,190 ft
    • Distance: 7 km/4 miles
    • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
    • Habitat: Alpine Desert

    • Elevation: 15,190 ft to 13,580 ft
    • Distance: 7 km/4 miles
    • Hiking Time: 2-3 hours
    • Habitat: Alpine Desert

    We’ll continue hiking up a ridge, following the path southeast towards Lava Tower, a 300ft tall volcanic rock formation. We will divert from the trail and branch out towards Moir Hut, a barely used camp that lies at the base of Lent Hills. Various hikes are available on Lent Hills, which will make the walk perfect acclimatization opportunity.

  5. Day 5 Moir Hut to Pofu Camp
    • Elevation: 13,580 ft to 13,200 ft
    • Distance: 12 km/7 miles
    • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
    • Habitat: Alpine Desert

    As we leave Moir Valley, we take moderately steep hike, followed by climbing to the top of Lent Hills. Afterwards  we’ll return to the main path, crossing a rocky field and elevating gently, before reaching Pofu Camp. This portion of the path provides spectacular views across the plains that lie north of Kilimanjaro and stretch out to the Kenya/Tanzania border.

  6. Day 6 Pofu Camp to Third Cave
    • Elevation: 13,200 ft to 12,700 ft
    • Distance: 8 km/5 miles
    • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
    • Habitat: Heath

    The terrain becomes increasingly bare as you head up Pofu Ridge. This route is barely used, so it offers climber an authentic feel of the mountain’s wilderness. You will hike through remote valleys on the northern slopes of Kilimanjaro until we reach the Third Cave.

  7. Day 7 Third Cave to School Hut
    • Elevation: 12,700 ft to 15,600 ft
    • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
    • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
    • Habitat: Alpine Desert

    Slowly but surely we will climb up and over the “Saddle”, situated between Kibo and Mawenzi. Hiking continues toward camp at School Hut, where you will have rest and enjoy hot dinner, while prepareing for summit day.

  8. Day 8 School Hut to Uhuru Peak / Uhuru Peak to Crater Camp
    • Elevation: 15,600 ft to 19,341 ft
    • Distance: 6 km/4 miles
    • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
    • Habitat: Arctic

    • Elevation: 19,341 ft to 18,865 ft
    • Distance: 1 km/.6 miles
    • Hiking Time: 0.5-1 hours
    • Habitat: Arctic

    We’ll begin attempt for the summit during normal morning hours. This portion of the hike is the most mentally and physically challenging, and we will continue at slow and steady pace for several hours, but you will be taking short and frequent breaks. The trail will twist through heavy scree as you do a steep climb to the crater rim. From Gilman’s Point (18,600ft), signs of the summit are visible from a distance. The hike continues around the crater rim, until finally you get to Uhuru Peak – the Roof of Africa and the highest point on Kilimanjaro and all of Africa.

    We’ll descend short to Crater Camp, where we’ll be joined by the rest of the crew. Here you will have the option to hike to Reutsch Crater and the Ash Pit, or just to explore the areas around Furtwangler Glacier. It can be dangerous to sleep at this high altitude because serious AMS can happen as a result of inadequate altitude acclimatization. For this reason, the guides will monitor you very closely.

  9. Day 9 Crater Camp to Mweka Camp
    • Elevation: 18,865 ft to 10,065 ft
    • Distance: 12 km/7 miles
    • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
    • Habitat: Artic

    From Crater Camp, the descent towards Mweka Hut campsite will continue, with a stopover at Barafu Hut for lunch. The rocky trail can be hard on the knees, so the trekking poles are helpful. Mweka Camp is located at the upper forest, so the mist or rain are pretty common in the late afternoon. The last dinner on the mountain will be served here, with opportunity for well-deserved sleep.

  10. Day 10 Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate
    • Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
    • Distance: 10 km/6 miles
    • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
    • Habitat: Rain Forest

    Today we’ll continue with descent to Mweka Gate, where the summit certificates will be issued. It can be muddy and wet at lower elevations, as we resume for another hour toward Mweka Village, where a vehicle will be waiting to take you back to your hotel in Moshi.