The Lemosho Route is widely considered to be the best route on Mount Kilimanjaro. Not too long ago, there were only two main routes used to climb Kilimanjaro – the Marangu (Coca Cola) route and the Machame (Whiskey) route. But as Tanzania’s tourism industry flourished, the Kilimanjaro park authority created more trails to African’s highest peak to distribute climbers to more areas of the park.
This reduced bottlenecks at certain points and also made for a more pleasant experience by limiting crowds. Additionally, these latter trails were more thoughtfully designed to improve acclimatization for the climber by incorporating longer distances, longer times on the mountain and shorter elevation gains. Lemosho, a relatively new route, falls into this category.
Luckily, despite its growing popularity (especially with second time Kilimanjaro climbers), Lemosho sees a very low number of people. It’s all relative. There is still a massive gap between Machame Route and Marangu Route the two really crowded routes, and all the others.
There is an obvious reason why the numbers on Lemosho will always remain much lower than on Marangu or Machame: it’s not the cheapest option.
- Starting your climb on the western side means paying for extra transport.
- Using a longer trail means paying for an extra day or several on the mountain.
- And climbing a less trafficked route means higher prices due to less competition from budget tour operators.
Arrival – Day 0: Kilimanjaro International Airport – Arusha
After arriving at Kilimanjaro Airport, you will be welcomed by our driver-guide who will transfer you to a hotel in Arusha city. At the hotel you will be introduced to your mountain guide and his assistants who will brief you of your trek/ climb that will be taking off in the next morning. The briefing includes checking your parking list and climbing gears, measuring the weights of your luggage and day-park also a review on few important climbing tips. You are advised to make reference to our recommended climbing gears.
Day 1: Londorossi Gate – MtiMkubwa Camp
After early breakfast at your hotel, your guide will pick you up and drive for two hours from Arusha to Londorossi Park Gate (2100m ASL). At the gate, you will receive a packed lunch and mineral water for the hike. At the entrance gate, the guides and porters distribute the supplies and register with the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA). You are now ready to begin your 3-hour hike into the rain forest. There is opportunity for wildlife spotting including colobus monkeys! Along the way, you will stop for an afternoon lunch break and arrive at MtiMkubwa (“Big Tree”) Campsite (2750m ASL) in the early evening.
Day 2: MtiMkubwa Camp – Shira 2 Camp
After breakfast, you will begin your ascent out of the rainforest and into the heather moorland zone. You will cross many streams and walk over a plateau that leads to Shira 2 Camp (3840m ASL). At this campsite, you will be next to a stream and have a spectacular view of the Western Breach and its glaciers in the East.
Day 3: Shira – Lava Tower – Barranco Camp
Following an early morning breakfast, you will leave the moorland environment and enter the semi desert and rocky landscape. After 5 hours of walking east, you will be come face to face with the Lava Tower (4630m ASL). Packed lunches are served at the Tower and hikers have the option of climbing the massive Lava Tower depending on the weather of the day. At this point of the hike, it is normal for hikers to start feeling the effects from the altitude including headaches and shortness of breath.
After lunch, you will descend from Lava Tower to the Barranco Campsite (3950m ASL). Whereas 6800m descent gives youa huge advantage to allow your body adjusts to the conditions of high altitude. The descent to camp takes around 2 hours to reach. It is located in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall (“Breakfast Wall”).
Day 4: Barranco Camp – Karanga Camp
This is a short hiking day set for acclimatization. After morning breakfast, it is now time to conquer the Great Barranco Wall! Although it may look intimating at first glance, reviews shows this hike is usually much easier than they anticipated. At the top of the Wall, you will have a view of Heim Glacier and will be above the clouds. The trail then winds up and down in the Karanga Valley. You will spend the night at Karanga Camp (3950m ASL) and enjoy dinner and washing at the site.
Day 5: Karanga Camp – Barafu Hut
After breakfast, you will begin your ascent. The trail intersects with the Mweka Route, which is the trail used to descend on the final two days. As you continue hiking for an hour, you will reach Barafu Hut. This is the last water stop for the porters because there is no accessible water at Barafu Camp (4550m). The word “barafu” in Swahili means “ice” and this camp is located on a rocky, exposed ridge. Tents will be exposed to wind and rocks so it is important for hikers to familiarize themselves with the campsite before dark. An early dinner will be served so you can rest before attempting the summit the same night.
Day 6: The SUMMIT to Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mweka
Your guide will wake you around 23:30 for tea or coffee. You will then begin your summit attempt. The route heads northwest and you will ascend over stone scree. During the ascent, many hikers feel that this is the most mentally and physically challenging part of the climb. In about 6 hours, you will reach Stella Point (5685m ASL), located on the crater rim. After enjoying the magnificent sunrise, you will continue ascending for about 2 hours on a snow-covered trail to Uhuru Peak (5895m ASL). Summiting of Mt. Kilimanjaro is a lifetime accomplishment! You will be able to spend a short time on the summit taking photographs and drinking tea before the descent to Barafu begins. The hike down to Barafu Camp takes about 3 hours.
At camp, you will rest and enjoy a hot lunch in the sun. After eating, you will continue descending down to Mweka Camp (3100m ASL). The Mweka Trail will lead you through the rocks to the moorland and eventually into the rain forest. Mweka Camp (3100m) is located in the upper rain forest, so fog and rain should be expected.
Day 7: Mweka Camp – Mweka Gate
Following your breakfast, your crew will have a big celebration full of dancing and singing. It is here on the mountain that you will present your tips and appreciations to the guide, assistant guides, chef(s), and porters. After celebrating, you will descend for three hours back to Mweka Gate. The National Park requires all hikers to sign their names to receive certificates of completion. Hikers who reached Stella Point (5685m) receive green certificates and hikers who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. After receiving certificates, hikers will descend into the Mweka village for 1 hour (3 kilometers). You will be served a hot lunch then you will drive back to your lodge for long overdue showers and more relaxations
- Two nights’ accommodation at the Hotel in Arusha (before and after the climb)
- First night includes dinner and breakfast
- Last night includes dinner & breakfast
- Transportation from Arusha to/from Marangu Gate
- Airport transfers
- Qualified guides with mountain crew
- National park fees
- Accommodation in the huts and sleeping mattresses
- Cutlery / Crockery / Eating utensils
- Mess tent (for dining) / Mini camping chairs / Tables / Candles
- Rescue fees
- Pulse oxi-meters
- First aid kit
- Guides, porters, cook, waiter salaries
- Hot water on the mountain
- Drinking Water
- All meals on the mountain (breakfast, lunch & dinner)
- Guides, porters, waiter, cook accommodation and entry fees on the mountain
- Single room supplement at the Hotel (except on the 1 person rate)
- Guides, Porters, Cook & Waiters tips
- Meals and drinks not specified
- Gear for your climb
- Items of personal nature
- Additional nights beyond the two standard hotel nights included