8 Days

Lemosho Route

area to visit

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Day 1: Londorossi Gate (2,100m/6,890ft) to Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,750m/9,023ft)

Elevation Gain: 650 meters, 2,133 feet

Lemosho is ideal for climbers seeking a more private hiking experience. Although the trail joins with the more popular Machame route on day three, the first two days on the mountain are relatively quiet with few other trekking groups on the trail. On the first day, arrive at Londorossi Gate at about 11am. Spend about an hour at the gate while Kilimanjaro Budget Safaris registers your climb and the porters and guides make final preparations. Please note that the arrival time at the gate may vary depending on road conditions.

After registering at the gate, drive to the trailhead. Leave the gate at around 12pm for Mti Mkubwa Camp. Pass through the rain forests of Kilimanjaro viewing trees and birds along the way. Eat a picnic on the trail before continuing to Mti Mkubwa Camp. Arrive at the campsite in the late afternoon and relax for the rest of the day.

Day 2: Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,750m/9,023ft) to Shira 1 Camp (3,720m/12,200ft)

Elevation Gain: 970 meters, 3,177 feet

Leave the forest on day two for Kilimanjaro’s moorland. When the trail flattens out, you will have your first views of Kibo peak. After lunch, you will climb the Shira Plateau, created when Kibo’s lava flows filled up the Shira crater. Stop at Shira 1 Camp, where you will relax for the rest of the day.

Day 3: Shira I Camp (3,720m/12,200ft) to Shira II Camp (3,840 meters/12,532ft)

Elevation Gain: 120m, 332ft

This is an acclimatization day that allows you to take day hikes that explore the Shira Plateau. You will hike only a short while and gain just over 1000 feet in elevation.

Day 4: Shira II Camp (3,840m/12,532) to Barranco Camp (3,950m/12,960ft)

Elevation Gain: 110m, 428ft

Although this up and down day ends with an elevation gain of only 110 meters, by early afternoon you will have climbed 690 meters to a height of 4,530 meters before beginning your descent to Barranco Camp. This day is crucial for acclimatization.

After breakfast, continue east on the Shira Plateau for two hours before reaching the junction for Shira and Lemosho Routes. Continue on through the barren landscape for another thirty minutes before stopping for lunch. Shortly after lunch, reach the highest point of the day before descending quickly to Barranco Camp. From the high point, spot Lava Tower, a 300-foot lava formation jutting out of the mountainside. Optional detour via Lava Tower.

Barranco Camp is considered to be the most scenic campsite on the Machame Route. It is set in a valley among forests of Senecio kilimanjari. From the campsite, enjoy magnificent views of Mount Meru, Heim Glacier and Kibo’s southern face.

Day 5: Barranco Camp (3,950m/12,960ft) to Karanga Valley (4,200m/13,780ft)

Elevation Gain: 250 meters, 820 feet

Leave Barranco Camp after breakfast for Karanga Valley. The day begins with an hour and a half scramble up the Barranco Wall. This is the hardest part of the day and in some places you may have to use your hands to pull your body up. After reaching the top, make a short descent into the greener Karanga Valley. We generally camp on the ridge above the valley to allow for greater acclimatization.

Day 6: Karanga Valley (4,200m/13,780ft) to Barafu Camp (4,600m/15,100ft)

Elevation Gain: 400 meters, 1,320 feet

After breakfast, begin the hike to Barafu Camp. On the way to Barafu, view several of Kibo’s glaciers as well as the junction that connects the descent route, Mweka, with the Machame trail. During day four, hike by the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers. Although the trail to Barafu passes through alpine desert with little vegetation, there are stunning views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks along the way. Try to sleep as soon as you finish dinner as you will awake before midnight for your summit hike.

Day 7: Barafu Camp (4,600m/15,100ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895m/19,340ft) to Mweka Camp (3,100m/10,170ft)

Elevation Gain: 1,295 meters, 4,240 feet
Elevation Loss: 2,795 meters, 9,170 feet

Around midnight, begin the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. For the next six hours, hike by the light of your headlamp. The Machame ascent to the crater rim is the most challenging part of the entire six-day trek. The going is steep and slow until you reach the crater rim at Stella Point.

The hike from Stella Point to Uhuru Peak is a gradual climb and, as far as hikes go, not very difficult. The altitude, however, makes the hike long and difficult. The crater rim hike takes approximately forty-five minutes. Upon reaching Uhuru, take photos of your guide and group at the peak before beginning the descent to Mweka Camp. On the way down from Uhuru, enjoy breathtaking views of the mountain, crater, clouds and glaciers.

At Barafu Camp, eat breakfast, drink lots of tea, and take a short break. You still have another three hours to go before reaching Mweka Camp, day five’s destination.

Day 8: Mweka Camp (3,100m/10,170ft) to Mweka Gate (1,500m/4,920ft)

Elevation Loss: 1,600 meters, 5,250 feet

After breakfast, finish the trek with a descent to Mweka Gate. Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one, passing through Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest. Watch your step during the descent as the trail can be slippery. Kilimanjaro Budget Safaris vehicles will be waiting at the lower station of Mweka Gate to take you back to (Arusha / Moshi.). You will be able to buy t-shirts and sodas at the gate.


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