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  • Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro via Lemosho Route

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro via Lemosho Route


The Lemosho Route is an unspoilt, and beautiful way up to the Shira Plateau. A long, remote and little-used route which parallels the lower part of the Shira Route.

Above the plateau, you approach Kilimanjaro’s great western Breach, then follow the south circuit to reach the easier Barafu Route.

This is one of the few routes where an armed ranger accompanies groups, since there are still animals in the forest around the Lemosho Glades.

Day 1

Moshi/Arusha to Londorossi Gate to Lemosho Glades to Mkubwa Camp
Drive from Moshi or Arusha to the Londorossi Park Gate. From here follow a forest track in a 4WD vehicle for about 11 km/7 mi (45 minutes) to Lemosho Glades and a possible campsite. From the Glades, walk for 3 hours along beautiful forest trails to the Mti Mkubwa (big tree) campsite.
Elevation: 915m/1387m to 2750m - Distance: 18 km - Hiking Time: 4-5 hour

Day 2

Mkubwa Camp to Shira Camp 1
The trail gradually steepens, enters the giant heather moorland zone, then crosses the Shira Ridge at 3600m and drops gently to Shira Camp 1 located by a stream on the Shira Plateau.
Elevation: 2750m to 3500 - Distance: 12 km - Hiking Time: 5 hours

Day 3

Shira Camp 1 to Shira Camp 2
A gentle walk across the plateau leads to Shira Camp 2 on moorland meadows by a stream. A variety of walks are available on the plateau making this an excellent acclimatization day.
Elevation: 3500 - 3840m - Distance: 6 km - Hiking Time: 2 hours

Day 4

You start by hiking east up a steepening path above the highest vegetation, after several hours, you walk through a rocky landscape to reach the prominent landmark called Lava Tower. Then you descend for 2 hours below the lower cliffs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall to Barranco Camp at 3,950 m. There are numerous photo opportunities on this hike, especially if the walls are festooned with ice. Barranco Camp is in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Walls, which should provide you with a memorable sunset. On this day, be careful to notice any signs of altitude sickness.
Elevation: 3840m to 4630m, descend to 3950m - Distance: 15 km - Hiking Time: 7 hours

Day 5

Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
Continue up a steep ridge to the great Barranco Wall, topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you can now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. With Kibo’s glaciers soaring overhead, you descend into the lush Karanga Valley to the Karanga Valley campsite. From the camp, you can look east and see the jagged peaks of Mawenzi jutting into the African sky. After a hot lunch in camp, your afternoon is at leisure for resting or exploring. After two long days, this short day is very important for your acclimatization, since your summit push is about to start.
Elevation: 3,950m to 4200m - Distance: 7 km - Hiking Time: 4 hours

Day 6

Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
In the morning, you hike east over intervening ridges and valleys to join the Mweka Route, which will be your descent route. Turn left toward the mountain and hike up the ridge through a sparse landscape for another hour to the Barafu Hut. The famous snows of Kilimanjaro are far above Barafu Camp near the summit of the mountain. Your tent will be pitched on a narrow, stony, wind-swept ridge, so make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. Prepare your equipment and warm clothing for your summit climb, and drink a lot of fluids.
Elevation: 4200m to 4550m - Distance: 13 km - Hiking Time: 8 hours

Day 7

Summit Day! Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp
 You will start your final ascent about midnight climbing for about 6 hours northwest up through heavy scree between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers to Stella Point on the crater rim is the most challenging part of the route for most climbers. At Stella Point you join the top part of the Marangu Route, but do not stop here too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue, the hardest part is over and your final push is along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak.

3-hour descent from the summit back to Barafu Camp for a rest and continue to hike down a rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest to Mweka Camp. This camp is in the upper forest, so you can expect mist or rain in the late afternoon. The camp office sells drinking water, soft drinks, chocolates, and beer! (if stocks are available)
Elevation: 4550m to 5895m to 3100m - Distance: 7 km, 23km down - Hiking Time: 8 hours up, 7-8 hours down

Day 8

Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate to Moshi/Arusha
Today it is a short, scenic, 3-hour hike back to the park gate. At Mweka Gate, you can sign your name and add details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Climbers who reached Stella Point are issued green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak receive gold certificates.

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