KILIMANJARO – LEMOSHO ROUTE (7/8 DAYS)

Scenic, remote and unspoilt – those are the best words we have to describe Lemosho route. It starts on the west side of Kilimanjaro, is one of the newest routes for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and was initially introduced as an alternative to Shira route. The latter also approaches Kilimanjaro from the west and follows an almost identical trail, but starts at the rather challenging altitude of 3600 m / 11810 ft. Lemosho route however debutes at 2100 m / 6890 ft, making it more adapted for climbers who have less experience with high altitude. Day 1 of Shira route will take you over a wide road that’s accessible by 4 wheel drive, whereas Lemosho route takes you straight into the rainforest and offers good chances of seeing wildlife like buffalos and elephants. A ranger will accompany you on this day to ensure your safety. 

Lemosho route follows its own trail for the first 4 days, after which it joins Machame route that comes from the south. From this point on it gets a bit busier, but on the first few days of your climb you’ll encounter almost no other climbers.
You can opt to climb this route in 7 or 8 days. As for all routes, we recommend the longest option, which offers the best acclimatization and increases your chances of making it to the top.

MAIN CHARACTERISTICS

  • Scenic and remote route, only chosen by a handful of climbers.
  • Chances of seeing wildlife like buffalos and elephants. 
  • A good physical condition is required for this route, but no technical climbing skills.
  • Good alternative to Shira route, as it starts at a lower altitude, making it accessible for climbers who don’t have experience with high altitude. 
  • Accommodation in tents.
  • Good acclimatization thanks to the height profile.
  • Possibility to climb in 7 or 8 days. We only recommend the 7 day tour for experienced climbers that have experience with altitude.
  • Climb over Lemosho route (which is partly the same as Machame route), descend over Mweka route.
  • Approaches the mountain from the west side.
  • Possibility to include a night in Kibo crater. 
  • Total distance: around 74 km / 46 mi. Lemosho route is one of the longest routes up Mount Kilimanjaro.
 
Mountain climbs - Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, trekking - Lemosho route

 

LEMOSHO ROUTE ITINERARY

Below we describe the 7-day itinerary for Kilimanjaro Lemosho route. We’ll explain the difference for the 8-day itinerary under day 5. Remember, we only recommend the 7-day trek if you’re a very fit mountain climber with some experience.

Day 1: Moshi – Lemosho trailhead (2240m/7360ft) – Mti Mkubwa camp (2800m/9100ft)

We pick you up at your hotel in Moshi and drive about 2 hours to Londorossi Gate, where you enter Kilimanjaro National Park. You’ll sign in at the Park Office and get back in the car to drive another 12 km to your starting point. From here you’ll start hiking through remote rainforest. It’s a relatively easy hike, but there’s an abundance of wildlife. Black and white colobus monkeys and antelopes are seen very regularly, and you might see buffalos and elephants as well.

After 3 to 4 hours you’ll arrive at your first stop, Mti Mkubwa or Big Tree camp, where you’ll spend your first night.

Hiking time: 3-4 hours

Distance: 5.5 km / 3.5 mi
Habitat: Montane forest

Day 2: Mti Mkubwa camp (2800m/9100ft) – Shira 1 camp (3500m/11500ft)

After an early breakfast you’ll start walking again. The trail leads you through the forest for about an hour, and then becomes steeper as you reach the moorland zone. Amazing views of Kibo and Mount Meru await as you hike to Shira Plateau, a collapsed volcanic crater. You’ll spend your second night on the plateau, offering beautiful views on clear days.

Hiking time: 5 hours

Distance: 10 km / 6.2 mi
Habitat: Moorland

Day 3: Shira 1 camp (3500m/11500ft) – Shira 2 camp ( 3875m/12710ft)

On day 3 of your Mount Kilimanjaro hike, you continue to hike across the Shira plateau and will traverse an open moorland zone. You’ll get your first glimpse of the Western Breach and its breathtaking glaciers. It will take roughly 5 hours to reach Shira 2 camp, where you’ll overnight. This camp site is very exposed, and temperatures drop well below the freezing point. Make sure to dress accordingly! 

Hiking time: 4 hours

Distance: 8 km / 5 mi

Habitat: Moorland

Day 4: Shira camp (3840m/12600ft) – Lava Tower (4600m/15100ft) – Barranco Camp (3980m/13000ft)

Today you hike from Shira camp to the Lava Tower as the landscape becomes more and more rocky. Shortly before you reach the Lava Tower, Lemosho route joins with Machame route and from here on the itineraries of both routes are identical. It might get a bit busier than before and you might start experiencing the first symptoms of altitude sickness, like headaches and breathlessness. It’s definitely a difficult day, harder than the previous ones. 

After lunch you descend by more than 650 m / 2150 ft through the magnificent Barranco valley to the Barranco camp site, bringing you to nearly the same altitude as at the start of the day. Climb high, sleep low. This is great for acclimatization, and is very likely to hugely increase your chances of making it to the summit.

You overnight on the Barranco camp site, where stunning sunset views of the Barranco Wall await. A beautiful reward for what’s probably the most difficult day of your hike so far. 

Hiking time: 8 hours

Distance: 10 km / 6.2 mi
Habitat: Semi desert

Day 5: Barranco Camp (3980m/13000ft) – Karanga camp (3960m/12990ft) – Barafu camp (4680m/15350ft)

You’ll start the day by climbing the Barranco wall, a 257 m rock facade for which you’ll need some basic climbing skills. Previous experience is however not required, as long as you’re in good physical condition, you should be able to do it. There you’ll start hiking through the Karanga Valley, over a path that goes up and down the whole time. You have lunch at Karanga camp, after which you continue hiking to Barafu camp.

You’ll arrive here between 4pm and 5pm, get some food and head to bed, as you’ll start your summit attempt later that night. Prepare your equipment and get as much sleep as you can. Tomorrow’s going to be a long, but rewarding day!

For the 8-day trek, day 5 of the 7 days Lemosho route is split up in 2 days.

You hike to Karanga camp on day 4, and continue to Barafu camp on day 5, having an extra night at Karanga camp. Both hikes only take half a day, meaning you’ll have 2 afternoons to do some extra acclimatization hikes. We strongly recommend this extra day to get better adapted to the altitude, unless you’re an experienced hiker in excellent shape.

Hiking time: 8-10 hours

Distance: 9.5 km / 6 mi
Habitat: Alpine desert

Day 6 (or 7): Barafu camp (4680m/15350ft) – Uhuru Peak (5895m/19340ft) – Mweka camp (3100m/10170ft)

Today’s adventure starts right before midnight, as you head out into the night and start hiking towards the summit. The trek up Kibo is hard and slow, and this is definitely the hardest part of the trek. After about 6 hours you’ll reach Stella Point on the crater rim, at an altitude of 5739 m / 18838 ft.

But your Kilimanjaro trekking adventure isn’t over yet. The summit lies another 156 m / 511 ft higher and the hike up there takes about 2 hours. You’ll take a brief rest at Stella Point before making your final ascent to Uhuru Peak. Many climbers want to give up here, but try to grab your final energy and make it to the top. Our guides will do anything they can to motivate you! Obviously, if you are experiencing severe altitude sickness, you should descend immediately. Inform your guide, he’ll know what to do! 

Weather conditions will determine how long you’ll be able to stay at the summit, combined with the fact that you have to get back to Mweka camp in time. But don’t worry, you’ll get enough time to realize what you’ve just achieved, and fully enjoy the moment, your moment standing on top of Mount Kilimanjaro!

You’ll walk back to Barafu camp to pick up the rest of your gear and from there on continue to Mweka camp. For the descent, which takes another 5-8 hours, we strongly recommend to use trekking poles. You’ll have a good night’s sleep at Mweka camp, and be able to enjoy the fresh air full of oxygen!

Hiking time: 6-8 hours up to Uhuru peak, followed by 5-8 hours down to Mweka camp

Distance: 4.5 km / 3 mi up, and 11 km / 7 mi down
Habitat: Glacial zone and all the previous zones

Day 7 (or 8): Mweka camp (3100m/10170ft) – Mweka gate (1640m/5380ft) – Moshi

Today you keep walking to Mweka gate, which – even though you’re probably exhausted – is a pleasant walk. Once you get there, you get to sign your name into a register, and receive your summit certificate – a green one for those who reached Stella Point, and a gold one for climbers who made it all the way to Uhuru Peak. The day ends with a 1 hour drive back to Moshi, and a well-deserved night in a comfortable bed.

Hiking time: 3-5 hours

Distance: 9 km / 5.5 mi 
Habitat: Rainforest

OUR OFFER – PRICES AND SERVICES

Prices for this climb depend on the size of your group and are as follows:

7-day climb

  • 1 person: 2750 USD per person
  • 2 people: 2170 USD per person
  • 3 people: 2020 USD per person
  • 4 people: 1970 USD per person
  • 5 people: 1950 USD per person
  • 6 people: 1910 USD per person

8-day climb

  • 1 person: 3090 USD per person
  • 2 people: 2450 USD per person
  • 3 people: 2290 USD per person
  • 4 people: 2240 USD per person
  • 5 people: 2210 USD per person
  • 6 people: 2160 USD per person

For this tour, we can try to join you with other guests to form a group. Let us know you want a group tour whilst booking and we will contact you with possible dates, prices and options as soon as possible. Or check out our current open groups to see if there’s an option that suits you.

Please contact us for different group sizes or groups including children, or if you wish to add extra options.

The cost of your climb explained

Underpaid porters that work in bad conditions are a sad reality in Tanzania. We aim to do better, by paying all our crew members a fair salary, and making sure they can work in respectful conditions. Our tours aren’t the cheapest on the market, but every extra cent goes towards creating ethical working conditions for our crew members.

The following services are included in our package:

  • National park fees: entry, camping, forest department and rescue fees
  • Transport from your hotel in Moshi to Lemosho Trailhead and back from Mweka gate
  • Professional, English-speaking guides and assistant guides, experienced cooks and porters
  • Accommodation in tents (6 nights on the 7-day itinerary, 7 nights on the 8-day itinerary)
  • Three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) while climbing
  • Drinking water
  • Oxygen cylinder
 

The following services are included in our package:

  • Tips for the crew (read our recommendations here)
  • Personal gear and equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa
  • Flights or other transport to Moshi. We can however arrange airport pickup for you. Let us know your itinerary and we’ll make it happen!
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Sleeping bag (we can provide one at an extra fee)
  • Accommodation in Moshi. If you wish, we can however assist you in finding a place that corresponds to your needs and budget.
  • Breakfast on the first day and dinner on the last
  • … and all other services that are not mentioned as included above.

 

TIPS AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION

KILIMANJARO HEIGHT

The highest mountain in Africa comes with a few risks. Altitude sickness is probably the most important one. Read these tips to avoid it.

KILI PACKING LIST

Make sure you don’t forget your socks or any other important item on your way to the ‘Roof of Africa’. Check out our complete Kilimanjaro packing list and get packing!

KILIMANJARO WEATHER

Thinking about climbing Kilimanjaro but not sure when to go? We give you all the necessary information to help you decide when is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro.

 

OUR OTHER ROUTES

MARANGU (5/6 DAYS)

Considered the ‘easiest’ way to the summit, with a soft ascent in general, accessible paths and accommodation in huts, Marangu route is ideal for less experienced climbers. Available as a 5- or 6-day trip, with an extra acclimatization day to increase your chances of making it to the top.

MACHAME (6/7 DAYS)

The most popular route up Mount Kilimanjaro, Machame route is without a doubt the most scenic one, offering incredible views and varied landscapes. It’s not an easy route though, and some experience and a good physical condition are required to make it to the summit.
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 Mountain climbs - Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, trekking - Lemosho route