Scenic: yes – traverse from western side of mountain and descend via southern side through different terrains
Skill: high – gentle hike through forest on first days, steep at several places as it joins up with Machame
Lemosho is our favourite route up Mount Kilimanjaro. It is not as crowded as Machame, offers stunning scenery and has a very high summit success rate. After arriving at Londorossi Gate on the western side of the mountain, the first two days are spent hiking through the rainforest to Shira Ridge.
Unlike the popular Machame route which crosses at the Shira Plateau, Lemosho route traverses the whole plain from west to east through a gentle hike. Climbers on Lemosho route will experience low traffic until the route joins up with the Machame route via Lava Tower, Barranco and Barafu to the summit.
|1||Londorossi Park gate to Lemosho Forest Camp||1390m (4560ft) to 2360m (7740ft) to 2895m (9500ft)||3-4 hours||6km (4mi)|
|2||Lemosho Forest Camp to Shira 1 Camp||2895m (9500ft) to 3505m (11500ft)||5-6 hours||8km (5mi)|
|3||Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp||3505m (11500ft) to 3840m (12600ft)||4-5 hours||10km (7mi)|
|4||Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower||38100m (12500ft) to 4630m (15910ft)||4-5 hours||7km (4mi)|
|Lava Tower to Barranco Camp||4630m (15910ft) to 3970m (13100ft)||2-3 hours||3km (2mi)|
|5||Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp||3970m (13100ft) to 3980m (13150ft)||4-5 hours||5km (3mi)|
|6||Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp||3980m (13150ft) to 4675m (15330ft)||4-5 hours||4km (2mi)|
|7||Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak||4675m (15330ft) to 5895m (19340ft)||7-8 hours||5km (3mi)|
|Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp||5895m (19340ft) to 3065m (1070ft)||4-5 hours||12km (7mi)|
|8||Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate||3065m (10070ft) to 1640m (5380ft)||3-4 hours||10km (6mi)|
Day 1: Arusha to Londorossi Gate then off to Lemosho Glades to Lemosho Forest Camp:
Elevation (m): 1,390m to 2,360m to 2,895m
Elevation (ft): 4,560ft to 7,740ft to 9,500ft
Hiking Time: 4 hours
Hiking Distance: 6km
Terrain: Montane Forest
After breakfast at your hotel, you will be driven to Londorossi Gate for registration at Kilimanjaro National Park. Your 4WD vehicle will take you further up to Lemosho Glades, where you will begin your 3-4 hours hike through beautiful forest to Lemosho Forest Camp. The flora and fauna are very rich in the rainforest and you may get a chance to see monkeys hanging on trees.
Day 2: Lemosho Forest Camp to Shira Camp.
Elevation (m): 2,895m to 3,505m
Elevation (ft): 9,500ft to 11,500ft
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
Hiking Distance: 8km
After breakfast at Mti Mkubwa (Big Tree) Camp, begin your climb towards the heather and moorland zone. After lunch, continue hiking for a couple of hours to reach Shira Plateau, a high altitude desert that is very different from the rainforest you have left behind.
Shira is the third of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic cones, after Kibo and Mawenzi. It was once filled with lava flow from the Kibo summit. Weather and volcanic activities have decimated the crater rim. Today, you will get your first view of the snow-capped Kibo – the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Day 3: Shira 1 to Shira Camp 2.
Elevation (m): 3,505m to 3,840m
Elevation (ft): 11,500ft to 12,600ft
Hiking Time: 4 hours
Hiking Distance: 10km
Today, we cross Shira Plateau, a crater whose rim has been flattened by weather and volcanic activities over many years. It is a gentle walk from Shira 1 Camp, passing Shira Cathedral on the way to reach Shira 2 Camp, which is located next to a stream. Enjoy this easy hiking day, and prepare for the more challenging ones up ahead.
Day 4: Shira Camp 2 to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp.
Elevation (m): 3,840m to 4,630m then down to 3,950m
Elevation (ft): 12,600ft to 15,190ft then down to 12,960ft
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours ascent then 2-3 hours descent
Hiking Distance: 7km ascent then 3km descent
After breakfast, you will walk up a steepening path above the highest vegetation toward Kilimanjaro’s looming mass. in a few hours of walking, you pass through a rocky landscape and reach a prominent landmark called Lava Tower, also called the “Shark’s Tooth”, at 4,630m/15,190ft. This chunky remnant of Kilimanjaro’s earlier volcanic activity is several hundred feet high, and the trail passes right below it.
After a lunch stop near Lava Tower, descend for 2-3 hours below the lower cliffs of the Western Breach to reach Barranco Camp at 3,950m/12,960 ft. There are numerous photo opportunities on this hike, especially if the cliffs are festooned with ice. Barranco Camp is located in a valley below the Western Breach.
While you are waiting for your dinner, the Great Barranco Wall in the backdrop will provide you with a memorable sunset. On this day, be careful to notice any signs of altitude sickness. Although you will end the day at almost the same elevation as when you started, this “climb high sleep low” approach is very useful for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
Day 5: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp:
Elevation (m): 3950m to 4200m
Elevation (ft): 12,600ft to 13,800ft
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Hiking Distance: 5km
Terrain: Alpine Desert
After spending a night under the Great Barranco Wall, you climb this awesome obstacle, which is one of the highlights of the trek. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you can now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is.
The Machame route then winds down through Karanga Valley and goes over intervening ridges and valleys to join the Mweka route, which you will use later for descending the mountain. You have now completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Tonight, you will rest at Karanga Camp, where the last water stop is.
Day 6: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp:
Elevation (m): 4200m to 4550m
Elevation (ft): 13,800ft to 14,930ft
Hiking Time: 4 hours
Hiking Distance: 4km
Terrain: Alpine Desert
The famous snows of Kilimanjaro are near the summit of the mountain far above Barafu Camp. Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice”. Totally exposed to the ever-present gales, Bafaru Camp is not a very hospitable place to spend the night. Your tent will be pitched on a narrow, stony, wind-swept ridge, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents.
Prepare your equipment and warm clothing for your summit attempt. This should include replacing your headlamp and camera batteries and making sure that you have a spare set available. To prevent freezing, consider carrying your water in a thermal flask.
If you are using a water bladder/hydration pack, make sure you have an insulation sleeve for the drinking tube. After an early supper, go to bed by 7pm and try to get a few hours of precious sleep before a very early start the next day.
Day 7: Summit Day! Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp:
Elevation (m): 4,550m to 5,895m then down to 3,100m
Elevation (ft): 14,930ft to 19,340ft then down to 10,170ft
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent then 6-8 hours descent
Hiking Distance: 5km ascent then 12km descent
Terrain: Volcanic rock scree, seasonal snow and ice-capped summit
This long but memorable day of trekking starts with rising around midnight. After some steaming hot tea and a light breakfast, you shuffle off into the night. The 6-hour climb northwest up through heavy scree between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers to Stella Point on the crater rim is the most challenging part of the route for most climbers.
At Stella Point (5,685 m/18,650 ft), you can stop for a short rest and a chance to see a supremely sanguine sunrise. But do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Depending on the season and latest weather conditions, you may encounter fresh snow on your remaining hike along the Kibo crater rim to Uhuru Peak.
On the summit, you can enjoy your accomplishment and know that you are creating a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. After a 3-hour descent from the summit back to Barafu Camp, you can have a short well-earned rest. After collecting your gears, hike down a rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest to reach Mweka Camp (3,100m/10,170ft).
Gaiters and trekking poles will be very helpful as you are going down the slope with the loose gravel. This camp is in the upper forest, so you can expect mist or rain in the late afternoon. Your delicious dinner and washing water await you and celebration time begins!
Day 8: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate to Arusha:
Elevation (m): 3,100m to 1,640m to 1,390m
Elevation (ft): 10,170ft to 5,380ft to 4,560ft
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Hiking Distance: 10km
After a well-deserved breakfast, you will have a short, scenic hike down to the park gate. Hiking trails in the rainforest at lower elevations are often wet and muddy, so gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts are probably sufficient but keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy on your hike. Remember to tip your guides, cook and porters at the gate as you will be leaving them there.
After signing your name at the register, you will receive your summit certificates at Mweka Gate. Climbers who have reached Stella Point are issued green certificates and those who have reached Uhuru Peak will receive gold certificates. You will be served a delicious lunch at Mweka Village, after which you will be driven back to Arusha for an overdue hot shower and comfortable night.
You can choose to start on any date you like.
|Number of Trekkers||2019 Price||2020 Price|
|2 people sharing||US$4,000 per person||US$4,200 per person|
|3 people sharing||US$3,500 per person||US$3,700 per person|
|4 people sharing||US$3,300 per person||US$3,500 per person|
|5 people sharing||US$3,100 per person||US$3,300 per person|
|6 people sharing||US$3,000 per person||US$3,200 per person|
|7 people sharing||US$2,900 per person||US$3,100 per person|
|8 or more people sharing||US$2,800 per person||US$3,000 per person|
• Camping equipment (sleeping tent, mattress, mess tent, table and chairs)
• Transport to and from mountain gates
• All park entry fees and camping fees
• Government taxes and levies
• Rescue fees
• Emergency oxygen tanks
• Services of English-speaking guide/assistant guide(s)
• Minimum of one guide for every 2 climbers
• Professional cook and all kitchen/dining utensils
• Enough number of porters for your luggage, food, water and camping equipment
• Salaries, food and shelter for guide(s), cook and porters
• Three meals a day on the mountain
• Use of radios & cell phones to increase your safety
• Guaranteed departure from Arusha
• Accommodation before/after climb (can be booked upon request)
• Airport transfers (can be arranged upon request)
• Any domestic or international flights and departure taxes
• Tourist visas
• Medical and travel insurance
• Tips for guides, cook and porters
• Items of personal nature, e.g. telephone bills, laundry services, snacks
• Mountain trekking gears, e.g. sleeping bag, walking poles (available for hire upon request)
• Portable toilet
• Any other items not specified in the itinerary
Portable toilet rental
US$200 per group (up to 4 people sharing)
Airport transfers from JRO to Arusha (one-way):
For up to 3 pax: US$70 per car
4 to 5 pax: US$90 per car
6 or more pax: US$120 per car
Accommodation before/after climb:
Amani Afrika only operates full-service, private Kilimanjaro climbs.
We never join travelers together in groups!