Lemosho Route (8 Days – Camping)

Lemosho Route (8 Days – Camping)

The Lemosho Route approaches Kilimanjaro from the west. It starts through green rainforest before climbing to the rim of a volcano, from which you’ll glimpse the peak for the first time. Kilimanjaro park authorities have created more trails to African’s highest peak. The Lemosho Route is a relatively new route and is preferred by reputable operators due to its beauty, remoteness and success rate. It will suit those seeking a slower climb on a route with fewer other climbers in stunning surroundings. The additional time taken on Kilimanjaro on this seven night route maximizes the chances that a climber will reach the summit and enjoy the overall experience.

Day 1

Londorossi Gate (2,250 m) – Mti Mkubwa Campsite (2,750 m) Hiking time: 3h

You will be driven this morning to the Londorossi Gate (2,250 m). From here the forest track, requiring a 4WD vehicle, leads to Lemosho Glades which is 2,100m above sea level and a distance of 11km from the gate. This trip takes roughly 45 minutes. We then walk along the forest trails to get to Mti Mkubwa (Big tree) campsite (2,750 m) which will take approximately 3 hours to reach. You’ll walk with an armed ranger as there is a lot of big game in the area. Unlike many of the other campsites it is pretty sheltered. Night temperatures can often drop to freezing at this campsite and it rains frequently.

Day 2

Mti Mkubwa Campsite (2,750 m) – Shira 1 Camp (3,500 m) Hiking time: 4h

The route today climbs up the edge of Kilimanjaro’s Shira volcano and the vegetation thins as you climb and high altitude plants take over. The trail gradually steepens and enters the giant heather moorland zone. Several streams are crossed before it gains the Shira Ridge (3,600 m) and then drops gently down to the Shira 1 camp located by a stream on the Shira Plateau (3,500 m). The Shira Plateau is one of the most fascinating and scenic areas on Kilimanjaro. It is well worth a visit just to explore the ridges and moorlands. The camp is near the rim of an ancient volcano and gives you the chance to see Kilimanjaro’s peak for the first time.

Day 3

Shira 1 Camp (3,500 m) – Shira 2 Camp (3,850 m) Hiking time: 1.5h

Your trek today crosses the Shira Plateau which is the flat caldera of an ancient volcano which would have been bigger than Kilimanjaro. In good weather conditions there are great views of Kibo and the glaciers on this section, although thick mist often covers the plateau interrupting the views. You will reach camp by lunchtime today and will have enough time to relax and also take a short acclimatization walk.

Day 4

Shira 2 Camp (3,850 m) – Barranco Camp (3,950 m) Hiking time: 6-7h

Your first acclimatization day; the morning begins with trekking up a steepening path above the vegetation towards Kibo. You will leave the moorland zone and enter the rocky landscape of the alpine desert zone until you reach the prominent rock standing over one hundred feet tall called Lava Tower at 4,630m where you will stop for a hot lunch. From the Lava Tower you will then descend below the lower cliffs of the Western Breach to Barranco Camp. You may begin to feel the symptoms of altitude sickness during this acclimatization trek, ensure you drink plenty of water, eat well and rest in the evening.

Day 5

Barranco Camp (3,950 m) – Karanga Camp (4,095 m) Hiking time: 4-5h

Day five begins with climbing the 300m high Barranco Wall. You will need to use your hands as you negotiate the large rocks and bolders of this face. The top of the wall is situated just below the Heim Glacier, where you can begin to appreciate the beauty and magnitude of Kilimanjaro and Kibo. You will once again descend, this time into the lush Karanga Valley to the Karanga Valley campsite. A hot lunch is served in camp and the afternoon is for resting or exploring the local area. This shorter day is designed to help with acclimatization and to rest before the build up to summit night.

Day 6

Karanga Camp (4,096 m) – Barafu Camp (4,600 m) Hiking time: 4-5h

The route from Karanga to Barafu is a short, undulating walk which joins the Mweka Route trail which you will follow for your descent. The trail turns north towards Kibo where you will hike up the ridge to Barafu Hut camp where you will receive a hot lunch. The campsite is situated on a narrow, wind-swept ridge, so be careful when walking around camp after dark. Use the afternoon to prepare your rucksack and clothing for your summit climb. Ensure you drink plenty of water and after an early dinner, try to sleep and rest before the final trek to the summit – Uhuru Peak

Day 7 – Summit day!

Barafu Camp (4,600 m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) – Mweka Camp (3,100 m) Hiking time: 10-14h

You will be woken at around 23:00, for tea and biscuits before you head off into the night. You will walk over scree and rocks for around 6 hours until you reach Stella Point (5,685 m) at the crater rim. This will be the most challenging part of the trek for most climbers with the highest chance of suffering from altitude sickness. From Stella Point you stop for a short rest before following the crater rim to Uhuru Peak the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Take in the view and ensure you have plenty of photographs before starting your descent back to Barafu Camp. After a short rest and some food you will and hike down the rock and scree covered path to the moorland zone and into the rainforest to Mweka Camp.

Day 8

Mweka Camp (3,100 m) – Mweka Gate (1,980 m) Hiking time: 3-4h

A sustained descent on a well-constructed path takes us through a lovely tropical forest alive with birdsong and boasting lush undergrowth with considerable botanical interest. Our route winds down to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate at Mweka, You’ll be driven back to your accommodation for celebration and a well-deserved hot shower!

Lemosho route map