Lemosho route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west. It crosses from Shira Ridge to Shira 2 camp offering the hikers a pleasant hike. Till it joins the Machame route on day three, the visitors would experience the low traffic. Then both the route take the same track while passing some of the southern circuit splendors like the Lava Tower, Barranco and Barafu. The minimum days to trek in this route is 7, but 8 days is recommended as it will give more chance to acclimatize and achieve the summit. Lemosho is considered to be one of the most scenic routes to Kilimanjaro.
The spectacular sights of the rain forest, Shira Plateau and all the other view points of the southern circuit add to its scenic views. Lemosho has low crowds until it combines with Machame.and Lemosho route is highly recommended and it has an abundance of wildlife such as elephant, buffalo, eland and lion which come over to forage during dry season from Longido game controlled area.
Day 1: Arusha (1400m) – Londorossi Gate (2100m) – Mti Mkubwa camp (2750m)
We depart from Arusha to Londorossi Gate, which takes about 4 hours, where you will complete entry formalities. Then drive to the Lemosho trailhead (another hour to reach the trailhead). Upon arrival at trailhead, we eat lunch, and then commence through undisturbed forest which winds to the first camp site. The porters, who arrive at the campsite before the clients, will set up your tent and boil water for drinking and washing. The chef will prepare a snack then dinner for the clients. At nighttime, mountain temperatures may drop to freezing so be prepared!
Day 2: Mti Mkubwa Camp-(forest camp) – (2750m) – Shira 2 Camp (3840m)
- Distance: 18 km
- Hiking Time 8-10 hours
- Habitat: Moorland
We continue on the trail leading out of the 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. From here, it is a gentle walk east toward Kibo’s glaciered peak, across the plateau to Shira 2 camp on moorland meadows by a stream.
Day 3 Shira (3840m) – Lava Tower (4630m) – Barranco Camp (3950m)
- Distance: 10 km
- Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
- Habitat: Semi Desert
From the Shira Plateau, we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth.” Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft. We now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
Day 4: Barranco Camp (3950m) – Barafu Camp (4550m)
- Distance: 9 km
- Hiking Time: 8-10 hours
- Habitat: Alpine Desert
After an early morning breakfast, it is now time to conquer the Great Barranco Wall! Although it may look intimating at first glance, hikers state that this Class 2 hike is usually much easier than they anticipated. At the top of the Wall, you will have a view of Heim Glacier and will be above the clouds. The trail then winds up and down in the Karanga Valley and intersects with the Mweka Route, which is the trail used to descend on the final two days. As you continue hiking for two hours, you will reach Barafu Hut. This is the last water stop for the porters because there is no accessible water at Barafu Camp (4550m).
The word “barafu” in Swahili means “ice” and this camp is located on a rocky, exposed ridge. Tents will be exposed to wind and rocks so it is important for hikers to familiarize themselves with the campsite before dark. An early dinner will be served so hikers can rest before attempting the summit the same night. Your guide will brief you in details on how to prepare for summit night. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.
Day 5: Summit Attempt Barafu camp (4550m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mweka (3100m).
- Hiking time: 8h to reach Uhuru Peak, 7 – 8h to descend to Mweka
- Distance: Approximately 5 kms ascent. 12 kms descent
- Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. You will head in a north-westerly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. For many climbers the 6-hour walk to Stella point is mentally and physically the most challenging on the route.
At Stella Point (5685m) you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point you will normally encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your live. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit.
The walk back to Barafu from the summit, takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned but short rest and hot lunch in the sun after eating you’ll collect the rest of your gear, before heading down to Mweka hut (3100m).
The route is not difficult and will take you down the rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner and wash on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Day 6- Mweka camp (3100m) – Mweka Gate (1980m)
- Hiking time: 3 hours
- Distance: Approximately 10.5 kms
- Habitat: Forest
Following a well-deserved breakfast, your staff will have a big celebration full of dancing and singing. It is here on the mountain that you will present your tips to the guide, assistant guides, chef(s), and porters. After celebrating, you will descend for three hours back to Mweka Gate. The National Park requires all hikers to sign their names to receive certificates of completion. Hikers who reached Stella Point (5685m) receive green certificates and hikers who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. You will be served a hot lunch then you will drive back to Arusha for long overdue showers and more celebrations.
Lemosho Route 6 days Rates Include
- Accommodation the night before and after the climb
- Quality, waterproof, four-season private mountain sleeping tents
- Professional, experienced, mountain guides
- All Park fees
- Rescue fees
- All meals while on the Mountain
- Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
- Quality Mess tents with table and chairs
- Large portions of fresh, healthy nutritious food
- Clean, purified drinking water
- Crisis management and safety procedures
- Fair and ethical treatment of porters
- Airport transfers
Lemosho Route 6 days Rates Exclude
- Tanzania Visa
- Gratuity/ Tipping
- Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)
- Meals not listed above