10 Day Lemosho Route
he Lemosho route is regarded as one of the prettiest routes on Kilimanjaro. We begin from the west, trekking in the fertile rainforest until we reach the wildflowers of the Heath ecosystem. Approaching from the west, we cross one of 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.
Our trips begin and end at our lodge in Moshi, Tanzania.
Try to arrive at your lodge in Moshi before 3 PM the day before your climb. With prior arrangement, an airport pick-up to your lodge is available from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), or simply make your own way by taxi. We will gather in the afternoon for a pre-climb briefing and an equipment check. We will also confirm you have the appropriate mandatory medical coverage and travel insurance.
Drive: 45 minutes
After completing the necessary registration formalities at Londorossi National Park gate, we drive through varied farmland with open views over the plains to reach the Lemosho trailhead. We often have our lunch in the glades before starting to walk. It is an easy day of walking up a small path through the beautiful and lush forest. This area has a variety of game, including buffalo. We camp at Lemosho Forest Camp (8,700 ft).
2-3 hours · 2.9 miles elevation: +1,700 ft.
We soon leave the forest behind and enter the moorland zone of giant heather. The trail climbs steadily with wide views to reach the rim of the Shira Plateau. There is a tangible sense of wilderness, especially if afternoon mists come in! We camp in the center of the plateau at Shira One (11,600 ft).
6-7 hours · 4.9 miles · elevation: +3,000 ft.
An easy day to help acclimatization and to explore the volcanic rock formations of Shira Plateau. We walk to the summit of Shira Cathedral (12,800 ft) before reaching the next camp at Shira Hut (12,600 ft). This campsite has stunning views, close to the glaciated dome of Kibo and the jagged rim of Shira Plateau. The views from here of Mt. Meru floating on the clouds are simply unforgettable.
4-5 hours · 9.9 miles · elevation: +1,000 ft.
A morning of gentle ascent and panoramic views, leaving the moorland plateau behind to walk on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. After lunch near the Lava Tower (15,150 ft), we descend to the bottom of the Barranco Valley to camp at Barranco Camp (12,800 ft), sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains far below.
5-7 hours · 6.3 miles · elevation: +200 ft.
A steep climb up the Barranco Wall leads us to an undulating trail on the south-eastern flank of Kibo, with superb vistas of the Southern Icefields. The terrain changes to scree, with pockets of lush vegetation in sheltered hollows, and there is only a short distance to our camp at Karanga Camp (13,100 ft), the last water point on the way to the summit.
4-6 hours · 3.2 miles · elevation: +300 ft
We follow an easy path on compacted scree with wide views that gains altitude unrelentingly to reach the Barafu Hut (14,800 ft) for lunch. There is a short acclimatization walk to the plateau at the bottom of the southeast valley. The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the early morning final ascent.
3-5 hours · 3.4 miles · elevation: +1,700 ft
We start our ascent by headlamp about 1 a.m. so that we can be up on the crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point (18,800 ft), in about five or six hours. We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the two-hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (19,341 ft), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshments, we continue to descend to reach our final campsite, Millenium Camp (12,500 ft).
11-15 hours · 8.2 miles · elevation: +4,545 ft gain · -6,845 ft loss
A sustained descent on a well-constructed path takes us through a lovely tropical forest alive with birdsong and boasting lush undergrowth with considerable botanical interest. Our route winds down to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate at Mweka (5,400 ft); and on through coffee and banana farms to Mweka village, where we are transferred to your lodge in Moshi.
4-6 hours · 7.6 miles · elevation: -7,100 ft
After breakfast, we can arrange for a private transfer or taxi to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).
Drive: 45 minutes