Lemosho Route Overview
This route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west. It offers a chance to visit Shira Plateau (Cathedral peak) and Shira Caldera. Lemosho Route crosses from Shira Ridge to Shira 2 Camp, in a pleasant hike. Climbers encounter low traffic until the route joins the Machame route. Afterwards, Lemosho follows the same route as Machame Route through Lava Tower, Barranco and Barafu, known as the southern circuit. The minimum days required for this route is 7 days, but eight days is recommended as it will give more chance to acclimatize and achieve the summit. Like Machame,this is a scenically spectacular and varied route. Lemosho is highly recommended and it has an abundance of wildlife such as elephant, buffalo, eland and lion which come over to forage during dry season from Longido game controlled area.
Day 1: Moshi to Londorosi Gate to Big Tree Campsite.
Elevation: 1,200 m to 1,950 m to 2,850 m
Distance: 9 km
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest
We will pick you up from your hotel and transport you to Londorosi gate for registration. After this formality, you board the vehicle and drive again to Lemosho glade. From this point you will start the trek across undisturbed Montane forest decorated with Black and White Colobus Monkey to the camp where dinner and overnight will take place.
Day 2: Big tree campsite to Shira one campsite
Elevation(m): 2850m to 3500m
Hiking time: 8 hours
Habitat: Moorland and heather land
This is an acclimatization trek because you will gain over 650m by starting walking across a beautiful valley outside Shira caldera rim (3600m). After few hours you will reach into Shira caldera. A high altitude desert, Shira is the one among the three peaks which erupted in Kilimanjaro ecosystem. The peak ltaer collapsed and formed a crater which eventually became filled with the lava flow from Kibo peak. Its rim is eroded and blasted away by weather and volcanic action. Camp and overnight at 3500m elevation at the Shira one campsite.
Day 3: Shira one campsite to Shira two campsite
Elevation: 3500m to 3800m
Hiking time: 5-6 hours
Habitat: Moorland and rocky
This day you will trek to east across Shira plateau visiting (Cathedral peak 3850m)for acclimatization. Reaching at this peak you will find spectacular views of Mt. Meru and Kibo Peak. We then continue trekking to Shira two camp where we will stay for dinner and overnight place.
Day 4: Shira two campsite to Barranco campsite
Elevation: 3800m to 3950m
Hiking time: 7-8 hours
This is long acclimatization day. You will have an early breakfast then trek east to a junction leading to Lava tower rock 4600m for acclimatization. Afterwards, you will descend down to Barranco campsite for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Barranco campsite to Karanga campsite
Elevation: 3950m to 3900m
Distance: 6 km
Hiking time: 4-5 hours
Today is short day of trekking. In the morning you will start climbing Barranco wall and reach 4200m for acclimatization and continue crossing ridges and valleys to Karanga campsite for hot lunch. After lunch you will have a bit of rest and get another acclimatization of trekking up the scree slopes towards the Southern ice field. You will then return to the camp for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Karanga campsite to Barafu campsite
Elevation: 3900m to 4620m
Distance: 8 km
Hiking time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Today the trek up to the Barafu ridge campsite is difficult because of altitude. The walk take few hours because of short distance but is steep which required a slow pace to avoid fatigue. You will walk across an alpine desert with strong, cold winds blowing down from Kibo peak and its glaciers. You will have an early dinner at 1700hrs then rest until midnight when we you commence your push for the summit.
Day 7: Barafu hut campsite to Uhuru peak to Mweka hut campsite
Elevation: 4620m to 5895m to 3100m
Hiking time: 10 – 12 hours
Habitat: Desert and ice
Wake at midnight to a light breakfast and then prepare for your summit ascent. The goal is to climb before dawn so that you can reach Uhuru Peak shortly before or after sunrise. Departure for the summit is at 12:00AM. switchback up steep scree or possibly snow, and reach Stella Point on the crater rim (5,861 m/18,640 ft) between 4 and 5 AM. At this point you will be having the views of the fabled crater and its icecaps facing you. Then after 1 hour of hiking along the Kibo crater rim near the celebrated snows takes you to Kilimanjaro true summit, Uhuru Peak here you will spend time for taking photo’s. After your summit activities, you will descend back to the Barafu Huts campsite, for lunch, rest, collect your gear, and continue down through moorland and heath zone to Mweka Huts campsite. Dinner and overnight at Mweka hut campsite.
Day 8: Mweka hut campsite to Mweka gate
Elevation: 3100m to 1700m
Descending time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Montane forest
Today is your last day on the mountain. After breakfast, you will descend down to Mweka park gate walking across montane forest. This descent will take 3-4 hours. At the gate you will sign out and board the vehicle, ready for the transfer back to your hotel for your certificate presentation celebration.
Am an experienced Kilimanjaro mountain guide and a safari organiser, I have been doing this work for over 15 year now.