Mount Kilimanjaro has several routes to the summit. Which one you choose depends on you. However, as experts on Kilimanjaro, we recommend the 10-Day Lemosho route. It is a total of eight days on the mountain. It has spectacular views, fewer people and a more than 90% success rate when you climb with Peak Planet.
Below is a list of the group climb routes we offer.
The Lemosho route is regarded as one of the prettiest routes on Kilimanjaro. The trek begins from the western side of the mountain. It starts at the Lemosho gate. This is also where the Northern Circuit route begins. The trek starts by climbing through the lush rainforest for a day and a half before reaching the wildflowers of the Moorland region. It then continues across one of the most beautiful areas on Kilimanjaro, the Shira Plateau, before traversing the mountain along the southern circuit.
The total time on the mountain is 8 days. We recommend hiking the 10-day Lemosho route as it provides plenty of time for acclimatization and it also keeps the daily hiking distances very reasonable.
The 10-day itinerary has an arrival and departure day built-in. That means that day one will not be on the mountain. Rather, you’ll arrive at the hotel in Moshi and have the trip briefing that day and start the hike the next morning.
When you arrive at the hotel look for your trip briefing time posted near the conference room. At the trip-briefing, we will perform a thorough equipment check. We will also give a health check to get your baseline stats. Additionally, we will confirm you have the appropriate mandatory medical coverage and travel insurance.
Kilimanjaro Day 1
The day will begin after breakfast. You’ll be driven to the Londorossi park gate of Kilimanjaro National Park. There you’ll register with the Park Service. After registration is complete you’ll be driven to the Lemosho trailhead. As you grab your gear, the porters and guides will weigh all the equipment.
You’ll immediately begin to climb up a well-maintained path with intermittent wooden stairs into the verdurous rainforest. This forest is home to a variety of wildlife, including the Colobus monkey. These monkeys are black with a long ‘cape’ of white hair and a white flowing tail.
After a short 2.9 miles, you’ll arrive at Lemosho Forest camp. It is also known as Big Tree camp or Mti Mkubwa camp. The elevation is 8,700 feet. You’ll have gained 1,700 feet and it takes about 2-3 hours.
Kilimanjaro Day 2
The morning begins with breakfast followed by a short hike up a steady ascent through the rainforest. After a few hours, you’ll emerge from the rainforest and have amazing views of the clouds below. You’ll stop for lunch here. The afternoon trek continues up to the Shira Plateau to Shira I camp at 11,600 feet. Weather permitting you may now see the summit of Kilimanjaro. Hiking this day usually takes about 6-7 hours, covers 4.9 miles and ascends 3,000 ft.
Kilimanjaro Day 3
Today begins with an easy day hike to allow your body time to acclimatize. Once you depart Shira I, you’ll hike to the high point of Shira Cathedral at 12,800 feet. From here you’ll be treated to amazing views of the rainforest below as well as Uhuru Peak. You’ll then break for lunch before heading down to Shira II or Shira Hut camp. Along the way, you’ll pass by one of the helicopter evacuation pads and the start of the Shira route. Shira Hut sits at 12,600 feet. This campsite has stunning views, close to the glacier adorned dome of Kibo and the jagged rim of Shira Plateau. The view of Mount Meru floating on the clouds is unforgettable. The day’s hike takes 4-5 hours, covers 9.9 miles, and gains just over 1,000 feet.
Kilimanjaro Day 4
Today begins with a gentle ascent along a distinct trail surrounded by panoramic views. The trail ascends above the Moorland zone and continues through the lava ridges beneath the glaciers above. You’ll stop for lunch at Lava Tower at 15,150 feet. If you watch closely, you may even see a rock slide along the treacherous Western Breach route.
From here you’ll descend into the Barranco Valley to your camp at Barranco Camp. On your left, you’ll see the intimidating Barranco Wall that you’ll ascend the following morning. The camp is at 12,800 feet. This camp is busier since you have now joined the Machame route. The camp is spectacular with its towering cliffs and extensive views of the plains far below.
The day’s hike takes about 5-7 hours, covers 6.3 miles and only ascends about 200 feet total since the camp is lower than Lava Tower.
Kilimanjaro Day 5
The morning starts with a very steep 800 foot climb up the Barranco Wall. It can be slow going with the crowds. It is not as scary as it looks from below. Just follow the guide’s lead and you’ll easily reach the top in a few short hours. Once at the top you’ll take a break and get some jaw-dropping shots of the valley below. From here the terrain changes to scree with pockets of lush vegetation sheltered in the rocks. The remaining hike is short and ends at Karanga Camp at 13,100 feet. This camp is also the last water point before the summit.
The hike takes about 4-6 hours covers only 3.2 miles and ends up only gaining 300 feet.
Kilimanjaro Day 6
From Karanga Camp, there is a short hike to the camp at Barafu at 14,800 feet. Once at camp, you’ll eat lunch. You’ll spend the rest of the day either doing an acclimatization hike to the plateau southeast of camp or just resting to prepare for the early morning summit attempt.
The hike covers 3.4 miles, takes about 3-5 hours and gains 1,700 feet.
Kilimanjaro Day 7
Today’s hike starts around 1 AM. You be woken up by the guide, dress quickly, eat breakfast, grab your gear and begin the ascent by headlamp. You’ll plod along slowly in the dark, ascending quickly up switchbacked trails so that you can be up on the crater rim by sunrise. This is called Stella Point its at 18,800 feet. The hike takes about six hours from camp. You will rest there enjoying the views of the sun rising above Mawenzi peak and the crater floor below. Those in the group who are still feeling strong can continue the two-hour round trip to the summit along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak at 19,341 feet.
The trail passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. Once at the summit you’ll rest and wait your turn to take photos at the summit sign.
The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast, and after a snack and, you’ll continue the descent to the final campsite, Millenium Camp. It’s located at 12,500 feet. The total travel time with be 11-15 hours and cover 8.2 miles. You will gain 4,545 feet and descend 6,845 feet.
Kilimanjaro Day 8
Your final day on Kilimanjaro winds along on a sustained descent on a well-constructed path. It meanders through the lovely tropical forest alive with birdsong and boasting lush undergrowth with considerable botanical elements. It concludes at the Mweka gate at 5,400 feet. Once you have been signed out, you’ll continue down through coffee and banana farms to Mweka village, where you’ll be transferred to your lodge in Moshi.
The trail takes about 4-6 hours. It is 7.6 miles and drops 7,100 feet.
Video of the Lemosho Route
Map of the Lemosho Route
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