Lemosho Route Overview
The Kilimanjaro Lemosho route is an unspoiled and tranquil route that approaches Kibo from the West. The first two days of the trek are spent in the rainforest enjoying the peace and quiet of this less populated route. On the second day of the climb you will emerge out of the forest and onto the Shira Plateau. Once across the Plateau the route then follows the Southern Circuit route to Barranco Wall, Lava Tower and Barafu Hut, before the final ascent to the summit. The Lemosho route is one of the longest routes on the mountain and utilises the additional day to assist with acclimatisation. The Lemosho route is also one of the quietest routes on the mountain and has some of the most spectacular scenery of all the routes. Descent is via the Mweka route on the southern side of the mountain. This route is typically completed in 8 days allowing for excellent acclimatisation.
Lemosho Route Map
Lemosho Route Itinerary
Londorossi Gate – Big Tree Camp
Altimeter: 7,742ft – 9,498ft | Distance: 4 miles | Trekking Time: 3-4 Hours
Your Kilimanjaro adventure starts with a 2 hour drive from your hotel in Moshi to the Londorossi Park Gate where you will sign in. You then drive along the rainforest track for around 45 minutes until you reach the Lemosho Glades and the start of the trek. You will walk for 3-4 hours up the stunning rainforest trail – keeping an eye out for the monkeys, sleeping at the Mti Mkubwa (Big Tree) campsite for your first night on Kilimanjaro.
Big Tree Camp – Shira Camp 1
Altimeter: 9,498ft – 11,500ft | Distance: 5 miles | Trekking Time: 5-6 Hours
From the Big Tree camp you will follow the trail through the rainforest until it steepens slightly leading you to the moorland zone where you will get your first sight of Kibo. You will cross the Shira Ridge where the trail flattens as you reach Shira Camp 1 which is located next to a mountain stream on the Shira Plateau.
Shira Camp 1 – Shira Camp 2
Altimeter: 11,500ft – 12,500ft | Distance: 6 miles | Trekking Time: 3-4 Hours
Day three on the Lemosho Route is a gentle walk across the Shira plateau leading you to Shira Camp 2, located on moorland meadows by another mountain stream. A variety of additional walks are available in the afternoon on the plateau making this a good day for acclimatisation. If you are feeling tired, use the afternoon to rest around camp.
Shira Camp 2 – Barranco Camp
Altimeter: 12,500ft – 13,044ft | Distance: 5 miles | Trekking Time: 6-7 Hours
Your first acclimatisation day; the morning begins with trekking up a steepening path above the vegetation towards Kibo. You will leave the moorland zone and enter the rocky landscape of the alpine desert zone until you reach the prominent rock standing over one hundred feet tall called Lava Tower at 15,190ft where you will stop for a hot lunch. From the Lava Tower you will then descend below the lower cliffs of the Western Breach to Barranco Camp. You may begin to feel the symptoms of altitude sickness during this acclimatisation trek, ensure you drink plenty of water, eat well and rest in the evening.
Barranco Camp – Karanga Camp
Altimeter: 13,044ft – 13,106ft | Distance: 3 miles | Trekking Time: 4-5 Hours
Day five begins with climbing the 300m high Barranco Wall. You will need to use your hands as you negotiate the large rocks and bolders of this face. The top of the wall is situated just below the Heim Glacier, where you can begin to appreciate the beauty and magnitude of Kilimanjaro and Kibo. You will once again descend, this time into the lush Karanga Valley to the Karanga Valley campsite. A hot lunch is served in camp and the afternoon is for resting or exploring the local area. This shorter day is designed to help with acclimatisation and to rest before the build up to summit night.
Karanga Camp – Barafu Camp
Altimeter: 13,106ft – 15,331ft | Distance: 2 miles | Trekking Time: 4-5 Hours
The route from Karanga to Barafu is a short, undulating walk which joins the Mweka Route trail which you will follow for your descent. The trail turns north towards Kibo where you will hike up the ridge to Barafu Hut camp where you will receive a hot lunch. The campsite is situated on a narrow, wind-swept ridge, so be careful when walking around camp after dark. Use the afternoon to prepare your rucksack and clothing for your summit climb. Ensure you drink plenty of water and after an early dinner, try to sleep and rest before the final trek to the summit – Uhuru Peak.
Barafu Camp – Uhuru Peak – Mweka Camp
Altimeter: 15,331ft – 19,340ft – 10,065ft | Distance: 10 miles | Trekking Time:10-14 Hours
Summit Night! You will be woken at around 23:00, for tea and biscuits before you head off into the night. You will walk over scree and rocks for around 6 hours until you reach Stella Point at the crater rim. This will be the most challenging part of the trek for most climbers with the highest chance of suffering from altitude sickness. From Stella Point you stop for a short rest before following the crater rim to Uhuru Peak the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Take in the view and ensure you have plenty of photographs before starting your descent back to Barafu Camp. After a short rest and some food you will and hike down the rock and scree covered path to the moorland zone and into the rainforest to Mweka Camp.
Mweka Camp – Mweka Gate
Altimeter: 10,065ft – 5,380ft | Distance: 6 miles | Trekking Time: 3-4 Hours
After your final breakfast on Kilimanjaro, there is a short, scenic, hike through the rainforest to Mweka park gate. This is where the climbers who reached Stella Point or Uhuru Peak will receive certificates. From the Mweka Gate, you will drive through the Mweka Village and back to your hotel Moshi for a celebratory drink and hot shower!