Climb Kilimanjaro on the much less-trekked Lemosho route
We will take you along the western approach and cross the caldera of Shira Volcano, passing underneath the southern icefields of Kibo, Kilimanjaro’s supreme volcano. Spend eight days on Africa’s tallest mountain, which allows ample time for acclimatisation and soaking up the ever changing scenery. This is one of the least trekked routes allowing you to enjoy the vast and wild Shira Plateau. This itinerary gives you a tremendous opportunity of climbing to the summit and standing on the roof of Africa.
Arrive Kilimanjaro; transfer to Arusha.
To Londorossi; begin ascent to Lemosho Forest (2,650m)..
In the morning we transfer to Londorossi (2,250 m), passing between the slopes of Kilimanjaro and the horseshoe-shaped volcanic crater of Mt. Meru (a distance of about 120 km). After completing the necessary registration formalities, we drive on for a short distance through farmland and plantations to reach the Lemosho roadhead. The last 5 km of the road to the park gate is of poor quality, particularly after rain, and the drive there should be considered part of the adventure. We often have our lunch in the glades before starting to walk. It is an easy day of walking up a small path through beautiful and lush forest, this area has a variety of game including buffalo. We camp at Lemosho Forest camp (2,650 m). Approx 3-4 hours walking.
Explore Shira Plateau; camp at Shira One (3,550m).
The trail starts out in the lush rich montane forest before ascending into the moorland zone of giant heather. The trail climbs steadily with views across the plains opening out as we reach the rim of the Shira Plateau. There is a tangible sense of wilderness especially if the afternoon mists come in. We camp in the centre of the plateau at Shira One (3,550 m). Approx 6-7 hours walking.
Walk to the summit of Shira Cathedral to camp at Shira Hut (3,840m).
A day to help acclimatisation and to explore the grassy moorland and the volcanic rock formations of the plateau. We walk to the summit of Shira Cathedral, a huge buttress of rock surrounded by steep spires and pinnacles. There is a tangible sense of wilderness here (especially when the afternoon mists come in!) and the views from our camp near Shira Hut (3,840m) of Mt. Meru floating on the clouds are simply unforgettable. The afternoon is free to relax. Approx 4-5 hours walking.
Descend to camp at Great Barranco Valley (3,900m).
A morning of gentle ascent and panoramic views, walking on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. After lunch near the Lava Tower junction (4,550m), we descend to the bottom of the Great Barranco valley (3,900m), sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains far below. Approx 5-7 hours walking.
Over the Barranco Wall to Karanga (4,000m).
A short steep climb up the famed Barranco Wall leads us to an undulating trail on the south-eastern flank of Kibo, with superb vistas of the Southern Icefields. The terrain changes to volcanic scree, with pockets of lush vegetation in sheltered hollows, and a powerful sense of mountain wilderness. Our next camp is at Karanga (4,000m) a short distance away, the valley floor has the last water point on the approach to Barafu, whilst we camp on the higher sides of the valley with views towards the glaciers of the southern icefields. Approx 4-5 hours walking.
Steep climb to Barafu campsite (4,600m), with optional afternoon ascent to bottom of S.E. Valley (4,800m).
The trail follows a path on compacted scree with wide views including the Barafu Ridge where our camp lies, the trail climbs unrelentingly to reach the Barafu campsite (4,600m) for lunch. There is a short acclimatisation walk to the plateau at the bottom of the Southeast valley (4,800m). The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night. Approx 3-5 hours walking.
An early start to reach Stella Point in time for sunrise; on to Uhuru Peak (5,895m), the highest point in Africa; descend to Millennium Camp (3,800m).
We will start our ascent by torchlight around midnight so that we can be up on the Crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zigzags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point (5,735m), in about five or six hours. We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the two hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,895m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshment, we continue to descend to reach our final campsite (3800m) at Millenium camp. Most of us will be too tired to notice the beauty of the forest surrounding the crowded campsite. This is an extremely long and hard day with between 11 and 15 hours of walking at high altitude.
To Mweka Gate; transfer to Arusha.
A sustained descent on a well-constructed path through lovely tropical forest alive with birdsong and boasting lush undergrowth with considerable botanical interest. Our route winds down to the National Park gate at Mweka (1,650m); and on through coffee and banana farms to Mweka village. The shower, the beer, and the swimming pool are tantalisingly close! We return by bus to Arusha (a distance of about 100km). Approx 4-6 hours walking.
Free morning; afternoon flight departs Kilimanjaro.
Kilimanjaro The Roof Of Africa
Vaccinations and Visa
Most nationalities require a tourist visa for Tanzania, including British nationals, most EC nationals, Australians, New Zealanders, Americans and Canadians. The visa is available at the border and the cost for British and most other European Nationals is USD50 cash, whilst for US citizens it is USD100 cash.
Eating & Drinking
In the itinerary we state which meals are included on which day. On trek the emphasis is on a varied and well balanced diet with a greater amount of fresh fruit and soup to maximise the daily intake of fluids.
Whilst the water we provide on Kilimanjaro is suitable for drinking you may wish to be extra safe and treat it with your own water purification tablets. The EU banned iodine to be used to purify water on 25 Oct 2009. The cheapest alternative is to use chlorine tablets. The major difference is chlorine doesn’t eliminate giardia. Biox Aqua drops or tablets are the best available alternative for sale in the UK as they kill giardia and crytosporidium.
This is a long and hard trek, which reaches an altitude of 5,895m. Even if you consider yourself fit, you might still find the climb very hard, depending on how well your body acclimatises to high altitude. There is no scientific way to determine how easily you acclimatise, and be aware that the acclimatisation process also can differ from climb to climb.
The rate of ascent to high altitude on Kilimanjaro is rapid because of the shape and isolated nature of the mountain. Despite careful pacing and adequate hydration, it is probable that many trekkers will experience mild altitude sickness. Most recover quickly; but those affected by serious altitude problems will need to descend to a lower altitude with a member of the local staff and probably abandon the trek in the interests of safety. Please report any symptoms of altitude illness to our Guides immediately and be prepared to follow their advice. The decision of the Senior Local Guide in such situations will be final.