The Lemosho route on Kilimanjaro is preferred by reputable operators due to its beauty, remoteness and success rate. In short, it maximizes the chances that a climber will reach the summit, and enjoy the experience overall. It is our favorite route on the mountain because of these reasons.
Londorossi Gate (2100m) – Mti Mkubwa camp (2 821m)
Hiking time: 3 ½ hours
Distance: Approximately 5.4 km
Habitat: Montane forest
Lemosho forestYour 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.
Forest camp (2821m) – Shira Cave camp (3875m)
Hiking time: 8 hours
Distance: 15.6 km
Shira plateauYou 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 Cave 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.
Shira Cave camp (3875m) – Lava Tower (4642m) – Barranco camp (3984m)
Hiking time: 8 hours
Distance: Approximately 10.3 km
Habitat: Semi desert
Lemosho habitatTrek from Shira Cave 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.
Lemosho route.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.
Start hiking from the Barranco camp at 8:00am and hike approximately 6.6km to Karanga camp, expect to arrive around 12h00 for lunch, dinner and overnight. (An after lunch acclimatisation hike could be a good idea should you feel up to it)
Hike 3.3km from Karanga camp to Barafu camp. You can expect to arrive to Barranco by around 11:00am which will allow much more time to rest, enjoy dinner, prepare your summit gear and rest till 23:30pm when you will be woken up for the start of the summit attempt. (An after lunch acclimatisation hike could once again be a good idea should you feel up to it)
Start the summit attempt just after midnight and expect to reach the summit by sunrise. Descend to Barafu camp and then to Mweka camp which you should reach by around 16:00pm.
From Mweka Hut to Mweka Gate.
Mweka Hut 3100m
Mweka Gate 1860m
Distance: 8.60 km
Leave Mweka Hut early in the Morning to Mweka gate
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