Overview - Kilimanjaro Climb via Lemosho
Kilimanjaro climbs via the Lemosho Route is a rather newer option, that quickly became popular once established. It has no difference of the Shira route. At some point in 2018, we even called it the Lemosho-Shira Route, because you walk across the Shira Plateau from both routes. The difference is on the first two to three days of the hike between the two routes.
The Lemosho Route is the most attractive Kilimanjaro route, from the first day to the last. The trek begins north of Shira, far on the western side of the mountain. Unlike the Shira Route, where for the first day you walk on a wide 4 WD road to start your trek other that starting with a direct walk from the gates.
Lemosho is a narrow wilderness trail right from the beginning, passing through perfect and remote rainforest with good chances of seeing wildlife. It then passes the Shira Plateau before joining the Machame Route near the Lava Tower.
Despite its growing popularity, mostly for our second time Kilimanjaro hikers, Lemosho sees a very low number of people. There is still a huge gap between Marangu Route and the Machame Route, the two being really crowded routes than all the rest. Lemosho is also a fairly demanding route as well, due to both the nature of the land and the duration of the trail however, it offers the best chances of any route to become accustomed to the altitude and with that much better summit chances for our clients.
Trip Itinerary - 6 Days Lemosho Route
Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), where you will meet our company representative (Manager), and transfer to the hotel under the rate. The hotel will provide all the essentials for a comfortable stay: restful rooms, hot water, and Internet access. In the evening, there will be a briefing with our managers, who will also make sure you are ready to begin the climb.
A guide and a mountain support crew will arrive at the hotel in the morning in order to meet you and hold another briefing, after which you will travel by vehicle (roughly 3–4 hours) to Kilimanjaro National Park’s western entrance: Londorosi Gate (2,200 m). After the quick formality of acquiring climbing permits and registering with the search and rescue service, the group continues upwards towards their drop off point by off-road vehicles (reaching 3,500 meters). Here you can see stunning views of the Shira Plateau for the first time.
The route from your drop off point to your first high-altitude camp Shira 2 features a moderate gain in altitude and is not too physically challenging. Due to this, you will be able to properly begin the process of acclimatization. By the time you reach the camp, our professional mountain crew will prepare everything necessary, put tents and cook dinner for you.
This will be your first day at this altitude, so it is strongly recommended you heed the following instructions from this point on:
- Abstain from consuming alcohol and caffeine
- Drink over 4 litres of bottled water daily (little by little, frequently)
- Take a Diamox pill to help alleviate symptoms of altitude sickness. Most mountain climbers take Diamox in the morning, before they start their ascent, in order to reduce discomfort associated with altitude sickness. We recommend you consult your doctor prior to the trip in case of potential allergies.
At night, you may experience discomfort associated with acclimatization to the high altitude: because of a reduction in your waking breathing pattern, your body gets less oxygen than during the day. Taking altitude into account, you may therefore start feeling sick and have a headache. Pay attention to your own body and tell your guide if you start feeling any symptoms of altitude sickness.
Elevation Change: Lemosho starting Point (3,500 m) — Shira 2 Camp (3,900 m)
Distance: 11 km
Hiking time: 5–6 hours
After breakfast, you will leave Shira 2 Camp (3,900 m) and start your way to the Lava Tower (4,630 m). This section of the route has a lot of ascents and descents that end in a camp at over 4,600 meters. It might be difficult, and you may feel some discomfort, but in order to successfully acclimatize to the altitude you have to spend at least 1–2 hours here, so this is where lunch will be taken.
Then you will descend to Barranco Camp (3,960 m). Here you can see the famous Barranco Wall, impressive in both its massive size and steepness! Next day you will be climbing it, but don’t worry: it features a very simple hiking trail.
Note: If one or more participants feel sick, the group may refrain from passing the Lava Tower and adjust the route, following instead the road for porters. In this case you will not reach an altitude of 4,630 meters, getting up only to a maximum of 4,400 meters.
Elevation Change: Shira 2 Camp (3,900 m) — Lava Tower (4,630 m) — Barranco Camp (3,960 m)
Distance: 12 km
Hiking time: 6–8 hours
Early wakeup, breakfast and the start of summiting Barranco Wall (we recommend you leave the camp as early as possible to avoid crowds of the other groups). Hiking up the gorge wall is not difficult and only takes around an hour. After the climb, you can have a rest and take photos in front of the Kibo volcano.
Then you start a more difficult hike to Karanga Camp, which features numerous ascents and descents during the route, but don’t worry, our guides are experts at choosing an optimal pace for the group. After reaching the camp you will be offered warm lunch. After a couple of hours, you will have to complete an acclimatization hike in the direction of Barafu Camp with a 300-meter gain in altitude, and then descent back down to the camp.
Note: The acclimatization hike is an easy trek with a slight gain in altitude done in order to speed up the acclimatization process. You should take the acclimatization hikes very seriously. They help increase your chances of successfully summiting Kilimanjaro and save you from the consequences of altitude sickness.
Trekking from Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp:
Elevation Change: Barranco Camp (3,960 m) — Karanga Camp (4,035 m)
Distance: 5 km
Hiking time: 4–5 hours
Elevation Change: Karanga Camp (4,035 m) — Destination point en route to Barafu Camp (4,270 m)
Distance: 2.5 km
Hiking time: 1–2 hours
In the morning after breakfast you begin your way to Barafu Summit Camp (4,640 m), the starting point for a night summiting Uhuru Peak (5,895 m). Our team will set up a camp for you ahead of time, including tents and sleeping bags, so you can relax. After regaining strength, you have to complete an acclimatization hike towards the intermediate Kosovo Summit Camp (4,800 m) and then back to Barafu Camp, where you will be served a hot dinner. It is better to spend the remainder of the day resting and sleeping before night summiting.
Trekking from Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp:
Elevation Change: Karanga Camp (4,035 m) — Barafu Camp (4,640 m)
Distance: 6 km
Hiking time: 4–5 hours
Elevation Change: Barafu Camp (4,640 m) — Kosovo Camp (4,800 m)
Distance: 2 km
Hiking time: 1–2 hours
Departure from Barafu Camp (4,640 m) at night and the start of summiting Kilimanjaro: Uhuru Peak (5,895 m). Technically the climb is relatively simple; however, the most challenging part is the high altitude. Each pair of climbers will get a personal guide for the entire ascent to monitor your physical and mental conditions. After your successful ascent to Uhuru Peak, you can descend to the nearest glacier if desired. Then you will return to Barafu Camp and after a 2-hour rest continue your descent to Millennium Camp (3,820 m).
Note: Don’t forget that 90% of all accidents occur during the descent, including all broken arms and legs. Please pay attention to your feet, as there is a high risk of damaging your toenails.
Elevation Change: Barafu Camp (4,640 m) — Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) — Millennium Camp (3,820 m)
Distance: 15 km
Hiking time: 8–12 hours
The camp is situated in a tropical rainforest. When you wake up, you will feel relief from the reduction of the height and the satisfaction of reaching the summit. After a warm breakfast, you will head for the park’s exit: Mweka Gate (1,640 m). After your descent, the whole group will gather to congratulate you, followed by offering you a chance to share your opinions on the climb in the guestbook. Lastly, we will present you with your commemorative certificates in our office and provide you a transfer back to the hotel.
Elevation Change: Millennium Camp (3,820 m) — Mweka Gate (1,640 m)
Distance: 12 km
Hiking time: 4–5 hours
Rest in the hotel and transfer to the airport.
Note: Hotel check-out is at 11:00 AM. In case you need a late check-out because of an evening flight, there is the option to extend your hotel stay for an extra fee.