Lemosho Route – 8 days

Kilimanjaro’s Lemosho route combines a gradual ascent from the forest wilderness on the western side of the mountain with stunning scenery and high altitude trekking on the Shira Plateau. This 8 day expedition provides the best possible acclimatisation and is an excellent choice for people who are concerned about their ability to cope with high altitude, or for those who want to combine the forests of the western side of the mountain with the stunning views of the Great Breach Wall. For many, this is the ultimate trek on Kilimanjaro.

Day 1. Arrive in Arusha. Transfer to the hotel. It's a 1 hour drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport.

Day 2. A 4hr drive gets us to the Londorossi Gate (2300m), it's a further hour to the trailhead. From here, we trek to the Mkubwa Forest Camp (2900m). Easy paths with a gentle gradient, mostly through forest scenery. Good views of Kibo. 5hrs driving, 3 hours walking, 600m of ascent. Expect mud!

Day 3. Trek from the Mkubwa Forest camp to the Shira 1 camp (3500m). Good path, steep in places. The camp is located on the edge of the Shira Plateau. 5 –6 hours trekking, 600m of ascent.

Day 4. Trek from the Shira 1 camp to the Shira 2 camp (3900m) through volcanic scenery. Good paths on a gentle gradient. 3 hours trekking, 400m of ascent.


Day 5. Trek from Shira 2 camp to the Barranco Camp (4000m). Initially up-hill to the Lava Tower at 4500m then down to the camp. 6 – 7 hours trekking. 100m of height gain between camps (600m of ascent overall).

Day 6. Trek from Barranco Camp to the Karanga Camp (4100m), 2 – 3 hours, 100m of ascent. This involves an easy scramble up the steep and rocky Barranco Wall. A short day, in preparation for the rigours of the summit climb!

Day 7. Another short trek gets us to the Barafu Camp by mid-morning.

Day 8. We set off at midnight for the climb to Uhuru Peak (5895m) via Stella Point. We trek over steep frozen scree, snow and ice in patches. It's a 6 hour slog to Stella Point, followed by a 1 hour trek around the crater rim to the summit. Far above the clouds, the highest footpath in Africa skirts huge glaciers and piles of volcanic rubble. This is not a place you’ll easily forget.

Retrace your steps back down to the Barafu Camp (break for an hour) then join the Mweka route and trek down to the Mweka Camp (3080m), 7 hours. This is a tough 14 hour day involving 1295m of exhausting ascent in extreme cold followed by 2815m of descent.

Day 9. Final descent to the Mweka Gate at 1600m. Easy 2-3 hours trek through rain forest. 1460m of descent. Hotel transfer. Clean up, and catch the evening flight home. In a few hours, the whole thing will seem like a half remembered dream!