Climb Mount Kilimanjaro via Lemosho Route

Duration of climb: 6 ~ 7 days

The Lemosho route is an unspoilt, remote, little used and beautiful way up to the Shira Plateau. The route is one of the few where groups may be accompanied on the first day by an armed ranger, as the forests around the Lemosho Glades are inhabited by buffalo, elephant and other wildlife.

The minimum duration for the Lemosho route is 6 days, however we strongly recommend hiking the route in 7 days. The additional 7th day will give your body more time to acclimatize, reducing the effects of altitude sickness and give you more time to rest before attempting the summit.

Day one

Londorossi Gate (2100m) – Mti Mkubwa camp (2821m)

Hiking time: 3 ½ hours
Distance: Approximately 5.4 km
Habitat: Montane forest

Your day starts early with a briefing, Your day starts early with a briefing, followed by breakfast and a 2-hour drive from Moshi (910m) to the Londorossi Park Gate (2100m).

The guides and porters prepare and pack the supplies and your equipment in the village. Following registration we continue by vehicle, a further 12km on a forest track that leads to the Lemosho starting point (2244m). This can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours, depending road conditions.

The road to the Lemosho starting point is particularly inaccessible during the wet season and climbers should be prepared to walk the final 2-5 kilometres of the road, following heavy rains. The journey time to reach the start point is quite long and joined with the possibility of not reaching the end of the road by vehicle, head torches may well be needed to reach Forest camp on day 1.

Trek from the Lemosho start point (2424m) to the Forest camp (2821m) where you spend your first night in the mountain. You are advised to stop regularly today and to move quietly in the hope of sighting wildlife near the trail. Sightings of small antelope are virtually unique to the Lemosho and Rongai routes. Your porters (arriving at the camp site long before you) will have your tent set up on your arrival.

In the evening the porters will bring a small bowl of washing water to your tent and the cook will prepare dinner, before you retire to your tent for the night. Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at this campsite.

Day two Forest camp (2821m) – Shira 2 Camp (3875m)

  • Hiking time: 8 hours
  • Distance: 15.6 km
  • Habitat: Moorland You rise early at Forest camp and, after breakfast, you trek a hour or so to the end of the forest and then the trail gradually steepens and enters the giant heather moorland zone. Several streams are crossed. After 8.1 km we reach Shira 1 camp (3504m) located on the Western edge of the Shira Plateau where we stop for lunch.

After lunch we hike across the Shira plateau for another 7.5km to the Shira 2 Camp, situated on the moorland meadows (3875m). By now you will be able to see, in an easterly direction, the Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. The porters will provide a small bowl of washing water to each hiker, before the cook serves dinner. The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing.

Day three - Shira 2 Camp (3875m) – Lava Tower (4642m) – Barranco camp (3984m)

  • Hiking time: 8 hours
  • Distance: Approximately 10.3 km
  • Habitat: Semi desert

Trek from Shira 2 Camp east towards Lava Tower (4642m)

As the hike progress the surrounding area turns into a semi desert and rocky landscape. Shortly before reaching Lava Tower the Lemosho route links up with the Machame route. The last part of the hike, (just before reaching Lava Tower), is definitely the toughest part of your hike so far. It is normally around this point, where for the first time, some hikers will start to experience the symptoms of breathlessness, irritability and headaches. You will arrive in time for lunch at Lava Tower (4 642m) after hiking a distance of about 6.6 km.

After lunch you descent again by almost 680m to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, the true acclimatisation benefit of this day becomes clear. This descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours (3.3 km) and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall.

The descend is tiring and should not be underestimated. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you get some much needed relaxation before dinner.

Day 4 ~ 7

The progression from here is identical to day 3 on Machame Route

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