The Lemosho route is one of the newer routes on the mountain, and a superb choice for your climb. It is our preferred route due to its ideal balance of low traffic, beautiful scenery and a high summit success rate. Most of our clients use this route and love it. The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west, beginning with a long drive from Moshi to Londorossi Gate. From there, the first two days are spent trekking through the rainforest to Shira Ridge. Unlike the popular Machame route, which simply intersects the Shira Plateau, the Lemosho route crosses the entirety of the plain from west to east in a pleasant, relatively flat hike. An added bonus is that climbers will encounter low traffic until the route joins the Machame route. Afterwards, Lemosho follows the same route through Lava Tower, Barranco and Barafu, known as the southern circuit. Descent is made via the Mweka route.
- Day 1: Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa Camp; Elevation (ft): 7,742 ft to 9,498 ft; Distance: 6 km; Hiking Time: 3-4 hours; Habitat: Rain Forest.We depart Moshi for Londorossi Gate, which takes about 4 hours, where you will complete entry formalities. Then drive to the Lemosho trailhead. Upon arrival at trailhead, we eat lunch, then commence our hike through dense rain forest to the first camp site.
- Day 2: Mti Mkubwa Camp to Shira Camp 1; Elevation (ft): 9,498 ft to 11,500 ft; Distance: 8 km; Hiking Time 5-6 hours; Habitat: Heath.We continue on the trail leading out of the rain forest and into a savannah of tall grasses, heather, and volcanic rock draped with lichen beards. As we ascend through the lush rolling hills and cross several streams, we reach the Shira Ridge before dropping gently down to Shira 1 camp. The view of Kibo from across the plateau is amazing.
- Day 3: Shira Camp 1 to Moir Hut; Elevation (ft): 11,500 ft to 13,800 ft; Distance: 11 km; Hiking Time: 5-7 hours; Habitat: Heath.We explore the Shira plateau for a full day. It is a gentle walk east toward Kibo’s glaciered peak, across the plateau which approaches Shira 2 camp on moorland meadows by a stream. Then we continue to Moir Hut, a little used site on the base of Lent Hills. A variety of walks are available on Lent Hills making this an excellent acclimatization opportunity. Shira is one of the highest plateaus on Earth.
- Day 4: Moir Hut to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp; Elevation (ft): 13,800 ft to 15,190 to 13,044 ft; Distance: 10 km; Hiking Time: 6-8 hours; Habitat: Alpine Desert.From the Shira Plateau, we continue east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we walk, our direction changes to the southeast towards Lava Tower, called the "Shark's Tooth." Shortly after, we come to the second junction which brings us near Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000 ft. We now continue down to Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,044 ft. Although we end the day at the same elevation as we started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help prepare for summit day.
- Day 5: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp; Elevation (ft): 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft; Distance: 5km; Hiking Time: 4-5 hours; Habitat: Alpine Desert.Our first challenge is a climb and scramble over the volcanic rock of the 1,200 ft Barranco Wall. On reaching the top, we have a well earned lunch break and enjoy fantastic views of Barafu and Mount Meru. We continue across the ridges and valleys to the Karanga Valley campsite. This is a short day meant for acclimatization.
- Day 6: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp; Elevation (ft): 13,106 ft to 15,331 ft; Distance: 4 km; Hiking Time: 4-5 hours; Habitat: Alpine DesertAfter breakfast, we leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to Barafu Hut. At this point, we have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy an early dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are visible from this site.
- Day 7: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Point to Mweka Hut; Elevation (ft): 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft; Distance: 17 km; Hiking Time: 11-14 hours; Habitat: ArcticVery early in the morning (midnight), we put on many layers of clothing and begin our climb to the summit. We head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point (18,600 ft), we stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. From Stella Point, we have just one more hour before reaching the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit. From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
- Day 8: Mweka Camp to Moshi; Elevation (ft): 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft; Distance: 10 km; Hiking Time: 3-4 hours; Habitat: Rain ForestAfter breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to hotel in Moshi.