Duration: 8 days trekking; 6 and a half days ascending, 1 and a half days descending
Length: 98 km/61 mi total; 60 km/37 mi ascent; 38 km/24 mi descent
Elevation(m): 4,065 m to 3,915 m descent Londorossi Gate 2,250 m to Uhuru Peak 5,895 m and descent to Mweka Gate 1,980m
Elevation(ft): 13,340 ft /12,840 ft descent Londorossi Gate 7,380 ft to Uhuru Peak 19,340 ft and descent to Mweka Gate 6,500ft
The Lemosho Route is an unspoiled, remote, little-used, and beautiful way up to the Shira Plateau. 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 our groups, since there are still animals in the forest around the Lemosho Glades.
We do not place groups together. This way you are ensured the full attention of our guide, but with the added knowledge of our guides’ experiences. It also means that we can start the climb on the day you prefer.
Arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport. You will be met at the Airport and transferred to the hotel in Arusha/Moshi for your overnight and briefing by our mountain guide
Day 1: Moshi/Arusha to Londorossi Gate to Lemosho Glades to Mkubwa Camp
Elevation(m):915 m/1387 to 2,250 m to 2,000 m to 2,750 m
Elevation(ft): 3,000 ft/4921ft to 7,380 ft to 6,560 ft to 9,020 ft
Distance: 18 km,
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
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.
Day 2: Mkubwa Camp to Shira Camp 1
Elevatoin(m): 2,750 m to 3,500 m
Elevation(ft): 9,020 ft to 11,485 ft
Distance: 12 km
Hiking Time: 5 hours
The trail gradually steepens, enters the giant heather moorland zone, then crosses the Shira Ridge at 3,600 m/11,810 ft and drops gently to Shira Camp 1 located by a stream on the Shira
Day 3: Shira Camp 1 to Shira Camp 2
Elevation(m): 3,500 m to 3,840 m
Elevation(ft): 11,485 ft to 12,600 ft
Distance: 6 km,
Hiking Time: 2 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
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.
Day 4: Shira Camp 2 to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
Elevation(m): 3,840 m to 4,630 m to 3,950 m
Elevation(ft): 12,600 ft to 15,190 ft to 12,960 ft
Distance: 15 km
Hiking Time: 7 hours
After breakfast, you will hike east up a steepening path above the highest vegetation toward Kilimanjaro’s looming mass. After several hours, you walk through a rocky landscape to reach the prominent landmark called Lava Tower at 4,630 m/15,190 ft. This chunky remnant of Kilimanjaro’s earlier volcanic activity is several hundred feet high, and the trail passes right below it. For extra credit, the sure-footed can scramble to the top of the tower. After a lunch stop near Lava Tower, descend for 2 hours below the lower cliffs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall to Barranco Camp at 3,950 m/12,960 ft. 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 while you wait for your dinner. On this day, be careful to notice any signs of altitude sickness.
Day 5: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
Elevation(m): 3,900 m to 4,200 m
Elevation(ft) : 12,800 ft to 13,780 ft
Distance: 7 km
Hiking Time: 4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
After breakfast, we continue up a steep ridge to the great Barranco Wall, then you climb this imposing obstacle, which turns out to be easier than it looks. 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.
Day 6: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
Elevation(m): 4,200 m to 4,550 m
Elevation(ft) : 13,780 ft to 14,930 ft
Distance : 13 km
Hiking Time : 8 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
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 asparse landscape for another hour to the Barafu Hut where you will receive a hot lunch. The last water on the route is in the Karanga Valley; there is no water at Barafu Camp, even though Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice.” 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. After an early dinner, go to bed for a few hours of precious sleep.
Day 7 – Summit Day! Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp
Elevation(m): 4, 550m to 5,895 m to 3,100 m
Elevation(ft) : 14,930 ft to 19,340 ft to 19,340 ft
Distance: 7 km up, 23 km down
Hiking Time : 8 hours up, 7-8 hours down
Habitat: Scree and seasonal snow
You will rise around 11:30 PM, and after some steaming tea and biscuits, you shuffle off into the night. Your 6-hour climb 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 (5,685 m/18,650 ft) you stop for a short rest and a chance to see a supremely sanguine sunrise. 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. Depending on the season and recent storms, you may encounter snow on your remaining hike along the rim to Uhuru Peak. On the summit, you can enjoy your accomplishment and know that you are creating a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. After your 3-hour descent from the summit back to Barafu Camp, you will have a well-earned but short rest, collect your gear, and hike down a rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest to Mweka Camp (3,100 m/10,170 ft). This camp is in the upper forest, so you can expect mist or rain in the late afternoon. Dinner, and washing water will be prepared, and the camp office sells drinking water, soft drinks, chocolates, and beer!
Day 8: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate to Moshi/Arusha
Elevation(m): 3,100 m to 1,980 m to 890 m/ 1387 m
Elevation(ft): 10,170 ft to 6,500 ft to 2,920 ft/ 4921ft
Distance: 15 km
Hiking Time: 3 hours
After a well-deserved breakfast, it is a short, scenic, 3-hour hike back to the park gate. Don’t give your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely, but do remember to tip your staff at the 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. From the Mweka Gate, you will continue down to the Mweka Village, possibly a muddy, 3 km, 1 hour hike if the road is too muddy for vehicles. In the Mweka Village you will be served a delicious hot lunch after which you are driven back to Moshi/Arusha for an overdue hot shower and comfortable night in a nice hotel.
Depart for the airport or other destinations in Tanzania or Kenya. A trip to the beaches at Zanzibar is a good way to recuperate. We can arrange many reasonably priced trips and safaris to the Tanzania Nothern Parks such as trips to Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park and to Arusha National Park. Also we can arrange trips to Southern Circuit such as trips to Selous game reserve, Mikumi National Park and Ruaha National Park.
Extra Day for Acclimatization
You can spend an extra day at Shira Camp 2, Barranco Camp, or Karanga Camp for acclimatization purposes. If you want to add this day, and maintain an 8-day itinerary, you can omit day 3 and walk from Shira Camp 1 to Barranco Camp.
Note if you skip the rest day, you can visit Mawenzi Tarn on a 6-day itinerary.
Discounts available for groups of 4 persons and above
- Transport to and from mountain gates.
- All parks entry fees.
- All camping fees.
- Rescue fees.
- Guide and porters fees.
- Guide and porters salaries.
- All accommodations on the mountain based on three meals a day.
- Cook and all kitchen utensils.
- International and domestic flights (we can arrange on request)
- Accommodation on the first night upon your arrival before climb and on the last day after climb (book with us)
- Airport transfers (book with us)
- Tips, drinks and all items of personal nature
- Hard and soft drinks and tips
- Sleeping bags but we can provide for hire on request.
- All Mountain Gears (we can arrange hire of this)
All our tours are tailor made to suit our client’s needs, so should you require any changes or inclusions please complete the enquiry form below for more information. We also specialise in safaris throughout Tanzania and beach holidays in Zanzibar