Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro via The Lemosho Route
The Lemosho Route offers a newer and more remote trek, boasting unparalleled beauty albeit with a slightly longer duration and a modest increase in cost. This path commences from the Western side of the mountain at the Londorossi Gate, a more distant drive from town, and was introduced as an alternative to the Shira route.
The journey begins amidst lush forests and moorlands, traversing the Shira Plateau on day 3 to intersect with the Machame Route at Lava Tower before descending toward Barranco Valley via the Southern Circuit. Along the way, fortunate travelers might catch glimpses of buffalo, elephants, and other wildlife. Thanks to its longer timeframe that facilitates acclimatization, this route enjoys a higher rate of summit success.
Duration: 7 – 8 days
Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, a warm reception awaits as you’re transported to the Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel, a 4-star B&B establishment that promises comfortable overnight accommodations. Your head guide will provide an informative briefing, oversee gear check, and assist in securing any necessary equipment rentals.
DAY 1: LONDOROSSI GATE – MTI MKUBWA CAMP
4.8km / 3mi | 3-4 hrs | Rainforest
Elevation: 2389m/7838ft to 2785m/9137ft
Altitude gained: 396m
Embarking from Moshi, a picturesque 45-minute drive escorts you through welcoming mountainside villages to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. Here, we patiently await permit issuance amidst the bustling operations of numerous crews preparing for their adventures ahead. As you relish the splendid rainforest scenery and navigate winding trails, your guide will impart insights into the local flora, fauna, and wildlife. Given the potential mud and slipperiness at lower elevations, equipping yourself with gaiters and trekking poles is strongly recommended.
DAY 2: MTI MKUBWA CAMP – SHIRA I CAMP
17km/5mi | 6-8hrs | Moorland
Elevation: 2785m/9137ft to 3895m/12,779ft
Altitude gained: 1110m
After a restful night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, we bid adieu to the rainforest and progress along an ascending path. Exiting the forest, the trail ascends steadily, rewarding us with expansive views as we ascend to the rim of the Shira Plateau. Temperatures begin to drop as we gain elevation.
DAY 3: SHIRA 2 CAMP – LAVA TOWER – BARRANCO CAMP
10.1km/6mi | 5-7hrs | Semi-Desert
Elevation: 3895m/12,779ft to 3986m/13,077ft
Altitude gained: 91m
Although you end the day at roughly the same elevation as your starting point, this day holds paramount significance for acclimatization. Continuing eastward from Shira Plateau, we ascend a ridge, passing the junction leading towards Kibo Peak. Proceeding southeast, we make our way to the Lava Tower, often referred to as the “Shark’s Tooth” (elevation 4650m/15,250ft). Following the tower, a second junction appears, guiding us to the Arrow Glacier. Descending thereafter, we find our night’s respite at Barranco Camp.
DAY 4: BARRANCO CAMP – KARANGA CAMP
5.2km/3mi | 4-5hrs | Alpine Desert
Elevation: 3986m/13,077ft to 4034m/13,253ft
Altitude gained: 48m
With breakfast energizing us, we press onward along a steep ridge to the captivating Barranco Wall. Navigating this structure showcases the impressive prowess and agility of our crew as they make light work of the challenge. This path leads us to the Karanga Valley and the junction that intersects with the Mweka Trail. This day, highlighted by its remarkable Wall ascent, concludes with our stay at Karanga Camp.
DAY 5: HIKE KARANGA CAMP – BARAFU CAMP
3.3km / 2 mi | 4-5hrs | Alpine Desert
Elevation: 4034m/13,253ft to 4662m/15,295ft
Altitude gained: 628m
Ascending once more, we set our sights on Barafu Camp. Upon arrival, the South Circuit journey is accomplished, affording us varied, awe-inspiring summit vistas. Following an early dinner, preparations for the impending summit night commence, all within the confines of Barafu Camp.
DAY 6: BARAFU CAMP – SUMMIT
5km / 3mi up | 5-7hrs | – MWEKA CAMP: 11.5km / 8mi down | 5-6hrs | Glaciers, Snow Capped Summit
Elevation: 4662m/15,295ft to 5895m/19,341ft
Altitude gained: 1233m
Descent to 3090m/10,150ft
Altitude lost: 2789m
As morning graces us with its presence, excitement surges, signaling an early commencement between midnight and 2 a.m. This stretch constitutes the most demanding phase of the expedition, both mentally and physically.
Advancing towards the summit, we navigate between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers, focusing on maintaining warmth and determination in the face of impending achievement. A zigzag path in a northwesterly direction guides us through rugged scree, propelling us toward Stella Point on the crater rim. A rewarding sunrise awaits during a brief respite here. Expedient hikers may even catch the sunrise from the summit. From this juncture, the final ascent to Uhuru Peak unfurls, a journey accompanied by snow-covered terrain.
Heartfelt congratulations are in order as you stand at Uhuru Peak, the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the entire African continent. Photos, jubilations, and perhaps a few tears of joy mark this momentous achievement. A pause grants you the chance to soak in this accomplishment, preparing you for the descent to Mweka Camp. Lunch and a brief respite at Barafu are suggested, with gaiters and trekking poles highly recommended to navigate loose gravel and volcanic ash terrain. The comfort of Mweka Camp awaits, where a well-earned evening of rest beckons.
DAY 7: MWEKA CAMP – MWEKA GATE – MOSHI
9.1km/5.7mi | 3-4hrs | Rainforest
Elevation: 3106m/10,190ft to 1633m/5358ft
Altitude lost: 1473m
Breakfast precedes a heartfelt ceremony that forges appreciation and camaraderie with your crew. As farewells are exchanged, the descent carries us to the Mweka Park Gate, the endpoint where summit certificates await. Given the warmer weather and the terrain’s characteristics of wetness, mud, and steepness, the use of gaiters and trekking poles is strongly recommended.
From the gate, transportation via vehicle awaits in Mweka village, ushering you back to your Moshi hotel (approximately a 30-minute journey). Here, a much-anticipated hot shower, a sumptuous dinner, and celebrations are the order of the day.
Enjoy the comforts of the Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel, a 4-star B&B establishment, prior to embarking on your journey home, engaging in a safari adventure, or indulging in a rejuvenating retreat to Zanzibar.
CERTIFIED ETHICAL CLIMBING:
We staunchly believe that the tourism industry bears a dual responsibility: safeguarding the planet’s natural habitats, cultural heritage sites, and local communities while fostering lasting impact. This commitment fuels our active advocacy of environmental sustainability and social responsibility.
Our participation as Partners for Responsible Travel underscores this commitment. We are proud supporters of The Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP), an initiative conceived by the International Mountain Explorers Connection (IMEC). KPAP serves as a beacon of awareness, ensuring fair and ethical treatment of porters on Kilimanjaro while guiding climbing companies in implementing equitable practices.
Rigorous audits underpin our every climb, confirming the provision of just salaries, gratuities, nourishment, equipment, and suitable sleeping conditions to our crew members. This effort finds resonance in the acclaim of our clients. Discover their testimonials on our TripAdvisor profile, attesting to our dedication.