Kilimanjaro – Lemosho Route


The Lemosho route is newer superb route preferred by most Mount Kilimanjaro climbers. It is a longer route, allowing climbers to acclimatize more readily to the altitude. It is our preferred route due to its ideal balance of low traffic, beautiful scenery and a high summit success rate. Lemosho is also one of the more scenic routes up Kilimanjaro and does NOT require a midnight summit ascent. A day time summit is much preferred, as climbers avoid the crowds at the summit.

The Lemosho route can be done in a minimum of six days on the mountain. However, we prefer 8 days for the better altitude acclimatization schedule and enjoyable route. as we offered as an eight day group climb, or a seven to eight day private climb.

The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west, beginning with a long drive from Moshi to Londorossi Gate. The trek begins at Londorossi Gate, located in the western base of mountain, within its lush, fertile rainforest. The route heads across the Shira Plateau, before circling along the southern circuit halfway around the mountain, exposing the climber to great views from all angles. The approach to the summit is made from the east, and the descent follows the Mweka trail. With eight days (seven nights) on the mountain, your chances of reaching the “Roof of Africa” are very high, around 90%.

Below is the day by day itinerary for the 8 day Lemosho climb on Mount Kilimanjaro:

Day 1:

We depart the Londorossi Gate, which takes about 4 hours, where you will complete entry formalities.Then drive to the Lemosho trailhead (another hour to reach the trailhead). Upon arrival at trailhead, we eat lunch, then commence through undisturbed forest which winds to the first camp site.

  • Londorossi Gate to Forest Camp
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Elevation (ft): 7,800ft to 9,500ft
  • Hiking Time:3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest
Lemosho Route Map

Day 2:

We continue on the trail leading out of the forest and into a savannah of tall grasses, heather, and volcanic rock draped with lichen beards. As we ascend through the lush rolling hills and cross several streams, we reach the Shira Ridge before dropping gently down to Shira 1 camp. The view of Kibo from across the plateau is amazing.

  • Forest Camp to Shira Camp 1
  • Distance: 8 km
  • Elevation (ft): 9,500ft to 11,500ft
  • Hiking Time 5-6 hours
  • Habitat: MoorlandDAY 3:

DAY 3:

We explore the Shira plateau for a full day. It is a gentle walk east toward Kibo’s glaciered peak, across the plateau which leads to Shira 2 camp on moorland meadows by a stream. Then we continue to Moir Hut, a little used site on the base of Lent Hills. A variety of walks are available on Lent Hills making this an excellent acclimatization opportunity. Shira is one of the highest plateaus on earth.

  • Shira Camp 1 to Shira 2 to Moir Hut
  • Distance: 14 km
  • Elevation (ft): 11,500ft to 13,800 ft
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland

DAY 4:

Passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, crossing the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth.” Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft. We now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight.

  • Moir Hut to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
  • Distance: 7 km
  • Elevation (ft): 13,800ft to 13,000ft
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Habitat: Semi Desert

DAY 5:

After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite. This is a short day meant for acclimatization.

  • Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
  • Distance: 5km
  • Elevation (ft): 13,000ft to 13,100ft
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

DAY 6:

We leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We crossing up to the Barafu Hut(Barafu Camp). At this point,we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.

  • Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
  • Distance: 4 km
  • Elevation (ft): 13,100ft to 15,300ft
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 7:

After breakfast, our big challenge is to hike up the Barranco Wall, a 500 -ft lava flow. It’s not a technical wall, but challenging nonetheless. Once on top of the “wall”, the climb becomes easier and extremely beautiful with fantastic views of the crags and crevasses of the jagged peaks of Kibo on your left. Lastly we descend into the Karanga Valley and up the other side, for our overnight camp. The sunsets here are truly spectacular.

  • Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut
  • Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent
  • Elevation (ft): 15,300ft to 19,345ft (and down to 10,000ft)
  • Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent
  • Habitat: Arctic

Day 8:

After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).

  • Mweka Camp to Moshi
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Elevation (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest