8 DAYS KILIMANJARO – LEMOSHO ROUTE
The Lemosho Route is considered the most scenic trail on Kilimanjaro, granting panoramic vistas on various sides of the mountain. As one of the newer routes, Lemosho is a superb choice for your climb. The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west, beginning with a long drive from Moshi to Londorossi Gate. From there, the first two days are spent trekking through the train forest to Shira Ridge. The Lemosho route crosses the entire Shira Plateau from west to east in a pleasant, relatively flat hike.
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Day 1. Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa
Distance 6 km/4 miles, hiking 3-4, Habitat Rain Forest
We depart Moshi or Arusha for Londorossi Gate, which takes about 4 hours, where you will complete entry formalities. After that we drive to Lemosho trailhead. Upon arrival at trailhead, we begin hiking through undisturbed forest which winds to the first camp site.
Day 2. Mti Mkubwa to Shira 1 Camp.
Distance 8 km/5 miles, hiking time 5-6 hours, Habitat heath.
We continue on the trail leading out of the rain forest and into a savannah of tall grasses, heather and volcanic rock draped with lichen beards. As ascend through the lush rolling hills and cross several streams, we reach the Shira Ridge before dropping gently down to shira 1 Camp. Here we catch our first glimpse of Kibo across the plateau.
Day 3. Shira 1 Camp to Moir Hut.
Distance 11 km/7 miles, hiking time 5 – 7, Habitat Heath.
We explore the shira Plateau for a full day. It is a gentle walk east on moorland meadows towards shira 2 Camp. Then we divert from main trail to Moir hut, a little used site on the base of Lent Hills. A variety of walks are available on Lent, Hills making this an excellent acclimatization opportunity. Shira plateau is one of the highest plateaus on the earth.
Day 4. Moir Hut to Lava Tower.
Distance 7 km/4 miles, hiking 4 – 5, Habitat Alpine Desert, Lava Tower to Barranco Camp Distance 3 km/2 miles, hiking time 2 – 3 hours.
We start the day climbing up a ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava tower – a 300 ft tall volcanic rock formation. We descend down to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful senecio forest to an altitude of 13,000 ft. Although you begin and end the day at the same elevation, the time spent at higher altitude is very beneficial for acclimatization.
Day 5. Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp.
Distance 5 km/ 3 miles, hiking Time 4 – 5 hours, Habitat Alpine Desert.
We begin the day by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then we climb the non – technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco wall we cross a series of hills and Valleys until we descend sharply up leads us Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization.
Day 6. Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp.
Distance 4 km/ 2 miles, hiking time 4 – 5, Habitat Alpine Desert.
We leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the /southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit day. The two peaks of mawenzi and Kibo are viewable from this position.
Day 7. Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak.
Distance 5 km/ 3 miles, hiking time 7-8 hours, habitat Arctic. Then Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp Distance 12 km/7 miles, hiking time 4-6 hours, Habitat Rain forest
Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. Near Stella Point (18, 900 ft). You will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.
From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for Lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees, trekking poles are helpful. Mweka camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well – earned sleep.
Day 8. Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate.
Distance 10km/ 6 miles, hiking time 3 – 4 hours, Habitat Rain forest
On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate we continue another hour to Mweka village. A vehicle will pick us at Mweka village to drive us back to the hotel in Moshi or Arusha