Lemosho route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west. You will begin with a drive from Moshi to Londorossi Gate.
Once you are here, you will spend your first two days trekking through the rainforest to Shira ridge. Lemosho is considered to be the most beautiful route on Kilimanjaro. It is our favorite one, because it offers a perfect balance between low traffic, scenic views and a higher summit success (around 80%). Lemosho route is about 70km (42miles) long, from gate to gate.
Unlike the highly popular Machame route which simply brushes the Shira Plateau, Lemosho route goes across the entire plateau, from West to the East in a pleasant, relatively flat hike. The route takes more days to climb, so it offers great acclimatization opportunities.
You will be picked up at the Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to your hotel in Moshi town, you will meet your guide who will brief you on your upcoming trek and do an equipment check to make sure you have all the necessary mountain gear. The missing gear can be rented on this day.
You will be picked up at your hotel at around 08:00am and transferred to the Lemosho gate located on the western side of Kilimanjaro. After the registration process you will still start our climb steadily through the forests of the Lemosho glades to reach Big Tree camp where you will be spending the night.
Today you will cover a lot of ground as you trek across a plateau of grassy moorland and heather scattered with volcanic rock formations. We will trek through Shira 1 Camp from where there are often views of Kibo Peak floating on the clouds as we head towards our destination which is Shira 2. We gain a reasonable amount of altitude as we head towards Shira 1 and parts of the route are fairly steep. As you proceed towards Shira 2 you will get the chance to view the Northern Ice fields from the western side of the mountain with some unusual views of Kibo. Our steady climb across the moorland of the Shira Plateau will help with acclimatization and we enjoy great panoramic views.
Your trek starts with an ascent with far-reaching panoramic views, walking in to the climatic zone of the upland desert and on the lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. You will reach the distinct pinnacle of the Lava Tower (4640 m), our high point for the day and a great place to enjoy your lunch. In the afternoon we make a steep descent to our camp for the night, located in the base of the Great Barranco Valley (3960 m), sheltered by towering cliffs but with extensive views of the plains below.
Our day starts by descending into the start of the Great Barranco, a huge ravine. We then exit steeply, up the Great Barranco Wall, which divides us from the southeastern slopes of Kibo. It’s a climb over rock, not technical but long and tiring. Passing underneath the Heim and Kersten glaciers, we head towards the Karanga valley. From here we have a steep climb up from Karanga valley to our night’s camp at Karanga camp, set at 3963m. For those feeling strong we will go for a mid-afternoon acclimatization trek up to around 4200m before descending back to camp for the night.
After a good night’s rest and breakfast, we set off on our walk to Barafu camp at 4640m. The climb will take us across desolate scree slopes with no vegetation around us at all. It’s a tough steep walk made more difficult by the altitude. On arriving at camp, we eat and spend the afternoon resting as we prepare for a long night and day ahead. It is important to keep hydrated and warm. We have an early dinner and then try to get some sleep as we will be getting up at between 11pm and 12pm to start the climb to the summit.
Hiking to the summit will begin short after midnight, at around 12:30 A.M., as our path twists through heavy scree towards Stella Point at the crater rim. This part of the hike is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the ascend. Once we reach Stella Point, you will rest and refresh with warm cup of tea or coffee, accompanied by the views of the magnificent sunrise coming above Mawenzi. Going further up, you might encounter snow storm, although it is dictated by the season you are taking for the hike. The summit, Uhuru Peak – the highest point on Kilimanjaro and all of Africa, is just an hour ascend from Stella Point.
From the summit, you will start trekking down to Mweka campsite. Lunch stop will be at Barafu camp, where you can take some rest, before we continue our descend towards Mweka Campsite, which is located in the forest. Here, you will have your last dinner and overnight on the Kilimanjaro.
Breakfast will be served before we begin hiking down to Mweka Gate, where you’ll receive summit certificates. Path on the lower elevations can be rather wet and muddy, so the gaiters and trekking poles might come handy. There will be a vehicle waiting at the gate to take you back to your accommodation in Moshi.
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