Lemosho Route

The Lemosho Route, along with the Northern Circuit, are considered the two most scenic trails on Kilimanjaro. Lemosho offers panoramic vistas on various sides of the mountain. Older information on the internet might state that the Lemosho Route is little used. That has not been the case for the past few years, it is now a popular itinerary. Because of the length of the route, the 8 days version is preferred, but if you do not have 8 days to commit to a Kilimanjaro trek the 7 days version is quite acceptable. 

The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west, beginning with a long drive from Moshi to Londorossi Gate. From there, the first two days are spent trekking through the rainforest to Shira Ridge. The Lemosho route crosses the entire Shira Plateau from west to east in a pleasant, relatively flat hike. Crowds are low until the route joins the Machame route near Lava Tower. Then the route traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route.

Claris Tours and Travel offers a nine-day variation that includes an overnight at Crater Camp by special request.

2022 – 23 Price (quoted in USD per person)

# in
group
1 2 – 3 4 – 5 6 – 9 10+
price $2355 $2200 $2091 $1980 $1905
  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Moshi (1 before & 1 after climb)
  • Pick up and drop off at Kilimanjaro Airport
  • Group transport to and from Moshi to the trailhead
  • Expert guide, assistant guides, cook, and porters
  • Bottled oxygen, for emergency rescue only
  • Sleeping pad, foam, 1.5 inches thick
  • Mess tents, tables, chairs, lanterns
  • Fresh, nutritious meals on the mountain
  • Purified drinking water while on the mountain
  • Airfare
  • Tanzanian tourist visa
  • Lunch or dinner at hotel
  • Beverages at hotel
  • Personal gear and equipment
  • Tips
  • Medical/Emergency Evacuation insurance

8 Days Trekking + 2 nights hotel stay

Arriving at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be warmly welcomed by our friendly driver.  If you are stuck in queue exiting the immigration/baggage area do not fret. Our driver will still be waiting for you. It will be approximately a 45-minute drive to Moshi. Unless your arrival is late at night, on this day you will have a pre-climb briefing with your guide who will answer all your questions, and we will go through a thorough equipment check. If you are lacking any items, all are available for rental locally in good quality and condition.

Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa
Elevation: 7,742 ft to 9,498 ft
Distance: 6 km/4 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

After breakfast at your hotel, we depart Moshi for Londorossi Gate, which takes about 4 hours, where you will complete entry formalities. Then drive to the Lemosho trailhead. Upon arrival at the trailhead, we begin hiking through an undisturbed forest that winds to the first campsite. Your tents will be already set up before you arrive.

Mti Mkubwa to Shira 1 Camp
Elevation: 9,498 ft to 11,500 ft
Distance: 8 km/ 5miles
Hiking Time 5-6 hours
Habitat: Health

We continue on the trail leading out of the rain 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. Here we catch our first glimpse of Kibo across the plateau.

Shira 1 Camp to Moir Hut
Elevation: 11,500 ft to 13,800 ft
Distance: 11 km/ 7 miles
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Heath

We explore the Shira Plateau for a full day. It is a gentle walk east on moorland meadows towards Shira 2 Camp. Then we divert from the main trail 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 Plateau is one of the highest plateaus on earth.

Moir Hut to Lava Tower
Elevation: 13,800 ft to 15,190 ft
Distance: 7 km/4 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
Elevation: 15,190 ft to 13,044 ft
Distance: 3 km/2 miles
Hiking Time: 2-3 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We begin the day climbing up a ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower – a 300 ft tall volcanic rock formation. We descend down to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful Senecio Forest to an altitude of 13,000 ft. Although you begin and end the day at the same elevation, the time spent at higher altitude is very beneficial for acclimatization.

Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft
Distance: 5 km/3 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We begin the day by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then we climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall we cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley. One more steep climb up leads us to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization.

Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
Elevation: 13,106 ft to 15,331 ft
Distance: 4 km/2 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are viewable from this position.

Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak
Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft
Distance: 5 km/3 miles
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
Habitat: Arctic

Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp
Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft
Distance: 12 km/7 miles
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. Near Stella Point (18,900 ft), you  will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate
Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
Distance: 10 km/6 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest

On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us back to the hotel in Moshi.

On this day, our driver will be available to take you to Kilimanjaro Aiport at any hour necessary for your flight. Breakfast at
the hotel this day is included as part of your climb package. Checkout time is 10 am. If you need to stay longer, let us know and
we will arrange for a day room if available.

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