The Lemosho route is an unspoilt, remote, little used and beautiful way up to the Shira Plateau. The route is one of the few where groups may be accompanied on the first day by an armed ranger, as the forests around the Lemosho Glades are inhabited by buffalo, elephant and other wildlife. The minimum duration for the Lemosho route is 6 days, however we strongly recommend hiking the route in 7 days. The additional 7th day will give your body more time to acclimatize, reducing the effects of altitude sickness and give you more time to rest before attempting the summit.
After breakfast and briefing, drive to Londorossi Park Gate (about a 3-hour drive). From here a forest track requiring a 4WD vehicle leads to Lemosho Glades.
Walk along forest trails to Mti Mkubwa (big tree) campsite.
Budget Lodging: Mti Mkubwa Camp
After breakfast, we continue as the trail gradually steepens and enters the giant heather moorland zone. After several streams are crossed we continue over the Shira Ridge then gently downwards to Shira 1 camp located by a stream on the Shira Plateau.
Budget Lodging: Shira 1 Camp
After breakfast, a gentle hike across the plateau leads to Shira 2 camp on moorland meadows by a stream. A variety of hikes are available on the Plateau, making this an excellent acclimatization day.
Budget Lodging: Shira 2 Camp
From the Shira Plateau we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth” (elev 4650m/15,250ft). Shortly after the tower we come to the second junction which goes to the Arrow Glacier. We now continue down to the Barranco Camp. Although you end the day around the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
Budget Lodging: Barranco Camp
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail.
Budget Lodging: Karanga Valley Camp
We continue up to the Barafu Camp. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day.
Budget Lodging: Barafu Camp
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit.
From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. Once at Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa!
From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain.
Budget Lodging: Mweka Camp
After breakfast we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).
From the gate, continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes). Don’t forget to tip your guides and porters.