MT. KILIMANJARO – LEMOSHO ROUTE
MT. KILIMANJARO – LEMOSHO ROUTE
9 DAYS / 8 NIGHTS ITINERARY ON KILI
The Lemosho route is the least exploited initial ascent route on the west side of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The starting point is expediently high and managed which makes it easy and gives one enough time to enjoy flora and fauna. Wildlife sighting is possible on the first to third day during trekking. On second day the route emerge up to the western edge of the Shira Plateau the oldest peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro. With clear weather trekkers can enjoy the first sight of glaciers on Kibo peak the youngest peak. Climbers 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. The minimum number of days required for this route is six days, although eight days is ideal.
Lemosho is considered the most beautiful route on Kilimanjaro, and grants panoramic vistas on various sides of the mountain. Thus, Lemosho is highly recommended.
HOURS 3 – 4
TERRAIN: Up and Down into the Rain forest (Mud or dust)
ZONE: Rain Forest
LEMOSHO TRAILHEAD (7,750 ft / 2,370 M) ~ FOREST CAMP (9,200 ft. / 2,800 m)
Departure from Moshi / Arusha at around 8:30am for Londorosi gate, the drive will be about 3 hours; to Londorosi gate all entry formalities are done. Once done with registrations drive to Lemosho trail-head for lunch and start trek (another hour to reach the trail-head). Since the trek begins in the rain forest one should be prepared for rain and mud. Overnight at Forest Camp (Mti Mkubwa Camp)
HOURS 5 – 7
TERRAIN: Up and down through roots and rocks
ZONE: Forest, Heather and Moorland
FOREST CAMP ~ SHIRA 1 CAMP (11,500 ft. / 3,500M)
Hike through rain forest for a while then into heather; have your camera handy for a stunning view of forest below and Mt. Meru in a distance. After several hours of hiking stop for lunch then continue steadily up hill onto shira plateau. With clear day you will spot glaciers on Kibo peak with stunning view of Shira Cathedral and Needle. Camp can be spotted at a distance. In the evening or morning hours view of kibo is outstanding.
HOURS: 3 – 4 to Shira II camp. 2hrs optional hike
TERRAIN: Fairly flat with few up hills
ZONE: Moorland to semi alpine
SHIRA 1 CAMP ~ SHIRA 2 CAMP (12,800 ft. / 3,950 m)
This is a short day with acclimatization option to Shira Cathedral. Shira Cathedral is higher than Shira II camp so highly recommended for acclimatization and superb view. Lunch will be served sometimes after visiting shira cathedral. Shira plateau is one of the highest plateaus on earth.
HOURS: 4 – 5
TERRAIN: Steady up hill and rocky
ZONE: Semi alpine to alpine
SHIRA 2 CAMP ~ LAVA TOWER CAMP (15,100 ft. / 4,602M)
Start the day by walking through gorges of rocks to Lava Tower; slow and steady. After about 3 hours of hike, Machame and shira trails intersect so likely to encounter lots of other hikers from Machame router. Then proceed slowly up to Lava Tower, a 300ft volcanic rock. Upon arrival lunch with be served and after a rest there is an option of scaling up the lava tower. Expect a cold evening or morning at this camp.
HOURS: 5 -7
TERRAIN: Down hill scree, rocks, up hill climbing
ZONE: Alpine to moorland
LAVA TOWER CAMP ~ KARANGA CAMP (13,100 ft / 3,980M)
Wake up early to start going down to Karanga camp through Barranco camp, lots of view and vegetation to take picture. Area around great barranco valley is rich of Giant Senecio and Lobelia Deckenii (this plant closes during the night and open up in the day light). This day hike involves climbing the great barranco wall “breakfast”. No need of technical climbing knowledge, it takes about 1HR30 to climb it; guides will assist trekkers. On a clear day once reached on top of the wall you will be amazed with the view of kibo glaciers. This day has proven to be very important for acclimatization as one gets to Karanga camp can feel the difference in altitude. Lunch will be served en route.
HOURS: 2– 3
TERRAIN: Up Hill few rocks
ZONE: Moorland to Alpine
KARANGA CAMP ~ BARAFU CAMP (15,180 ft. / 4,630 m)
From here the trail turns steadily uphill with few down and flats. The temperature will become colder as one reaches near Barafu Camp. Barafu Camp is set on a small, rocky, exposed flat area on a ridge, acting a base camp. Lunch will be serve upon trekkers arrive at the camp. Dinner will be served earlier to give trekkers time to have an early bed time.
HOURS: 5– 8
TERRAIN: Up Hill few rocks and scree
ZONE: Alpine desert and arctic
BARAFU CAMP ~ UHURU PEAK (19,340 ft. / 5,895 m) ~ CRATER CAMP (18,880 ft. / 5,755m)
Very early morning wake up depending on the group. Dress up for very cold weather and pack very basic things that you will need on this particular day. After breakfast start trekking pole pole up hill on scree and rocks path to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Ask your guide to provide you with lukewarm water before start. The temperatures range from just below freezing at early in the morning, to between 48 deg. F (9 deg. C) to 18 F. (-8 deg. C) during the day at the summit. After about 6 hours of walking, you will come to the edge of the crater; Stella Point, at 19,000ft (5,795M) on the crater rim is the end of the steep track. It takes about 45min to Uhuru Peak from Stella point on a less step up hill. The trek to Uhuru peak from Stella point involves lots of sight seeing; huge glaciers on the left and deep smooth crater on your right. At distance on the north one will be able to see northern ice field (biggest ice field on Mt. Kilimanjaro). After great momentous at the summit descend down to crater camp for rest and possible option excursion around crater camp.
HOURS: 6– 8 (3 to barafu, 4 to Mweka camp)
TERRAIN: Down Hill few rocks and scree
ZONE: Alpine desert, moorland, and heather
CRATER CAMP ~ MWEKA CAMP (10,150 ft. /3086M)
If capable wake up early, after breakfast start descending to Barafu camp while enjoying sunrise from the crater camp; a stunning photo of shadow of night trekkers at Stella point with sunrise behind them. Stop at Barafu camp for a major break / lunch then continue down to Mweka camp through high camp. Make sure you have reworked your shoe lace for proper adjustment to avoid toe injuries.
HOURS: 2– 3
TERRAIN: Down Hill on well made path
ZONE: Rain forest
MWEKA CAMP ~ MWEKA GATE (5,400 ft. /1645M)
Wake up time depends on what next after climbing Kilimanjaro; after breakfast start descending to the gate. At the gate there will be a minor ceremonial with will involve issuing certificates. Then shower.