You are currently viewing Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Part – 1

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro Part – 1

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Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was a dream for a long time. I started researching seriously from 2022 but finally could make it happen in 2024 January.ย  I booked the solo trip through a local company based in Moshi called Kiliafricatours. I choosed Northern Circuit Route, because it gives best chance of aclamatization , relatively quite and had beautiful scenic view.


I flew from Heathrow to Moshi by Turkish Air. There was stopover at Istanbul and then I reached Kilimanjaro International Airport at 3 AM in the morning. From airport I was picked up by the agency and was transferred to the hotel. I managed to fresh up got few hours of sleep , then had breakfast and met my guide and trekking crew. From the hotel after a brief photo session I was transferred to Londorossi Gate (2,100 meters) in the West, the same start points as the Lemosho Route. The drive to Londorossi Gate takes approximately two hours from Moshi and considerably longer from Arusha. Registration with the Kilimanjaro National Park authorities occurs at the gate and then you will be driven further up the mountain to the trailhead starting point. I was served lunch here before the short first day trek to Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,820 meters) begins. You may get lucky and spot large wildlife like elephant and buffalo that sometimes emerge from the rainforest onto the path as you trek towards your first camp. Though I was not that lucky.My dinner was served when at MtiMkubwa Camp




Distance: 8km/5miles,
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours,
Elevation: 7,742ft 9,498ft
Habitat: Rain Forest.


I spent the first hour trekking through the last section of rainforest path before entering the low alpine moorland zone which follows up onto the Shira Plateau. The trek was relatively short and gradual, ending at Shira Camp 1 (3,610 meters).





Distance: 5km/3miles,
Hiking Time: 5-6hours,
Elevation: 9,498ft to 11,500ft
Habitat: Heath.


On day three the trek crosses the Shira Plateau from Shira Camp 1 to Shira Camp 2 via Shira rock peak. Nine-day trekkers usually spend the night at Shira Camp 2 where they will join trekkers from the Machame Route. At Shira Camp 2 it is worth trekking a little higher up the plateau to enjoy the stunning view across the valley below and Western Breach of Kilimanjaro above. The plateau is exposed so be prepared for a cold night with temperatures getting below zero. Note: Trekkers on an eight-day hike will continue east up the Shira Plateau ridge and on to Lava Tower (4,600 meters) and then back down via the Northern Circuit to Moir Camp (4,200 meters). On the way to Shira Camp 2 , I insisted to take a detour to climb Shira Point peak / Cathedra Point. Cathedral Point 3962m is located on the Shira Plateau of Kilimanjaro. The Shira Plateau is one of the most fascinating and scenic areas of Kilimanjaro and at 3962m it is the oldest peak of Kilimanjaro. It is a very adventurous landscape to visit and explore the ridges and moors. Shira is a large rocky plateau whose landscape was shaped by the lava of Mount Kilimanjaro, which erupted when it was still an active volcano. The Shira Plateau allows you to get a taste of this spectacular Mt. and its many ecosystems, and also offers breathtaking views of the perpetually snow-capped peak of the world’s tallest free-standing mountain.




Distance: 7km/4miles,
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours,
Elevation: 11,500 ft to 12,500 ft
Habitat: Heath

The trek on this is long heading east which passes through the โ€˜Garden of the Seneciosโ€™ and then enters the high alpine desert zone. The morning is spent trekking up to Lava Tower and the iconic Sharkโ€™s Tooth rock formation at 4,600 meters, where I had lunch. After lunch you I joined the northern circuit heading down to Moir Camp at 4,200 meters (see map above). This is an important day in your trek I experienced high altitude and then sleep low, which is good for the acclimatization process.





Distance: 7km/4miles and 7km/4miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours and 2-3 hours
Elevation: 12,500 ft to 15,190ft to 13,580 ft
Habitat: Alpine Desert

This day is moderately involving the steep climb out of Moir Valley. Trekkers can take a small detour here to climb the summit of Little Lent Hill at 4,375 meters before returning to the Northern Circuit trail. From here the route follows a series of inclines and declines, skirting around the northern slopes of Kibo to Buffalo Camp (4,020 meters).The trek gives great vistas out across the plains that lie north of Kilimanjaro and stretch out to the Kenyan / Tanzanian border. You will arrive at Buffalo Camp just after midday, where you will have lunch and have time to rest after a long day hiking.


Distance: 12km/7miles,
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours,
Elevation: 13,580 ft to 13,200 ft
Habitat: Alpine Desert