Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

Welcome to the Lemosho Route to climb Mount Kilimanjaro

The Lemosho route is the most beautiful, remote and scenic route Mount Kilimanjaro has to offer. It was mapped out to be an improvement of the very good Shira route and manages that by starting at a lower point than the Shira start which assists with acclimatization. It does mean extra Kilometres to walk for the first few days, but the positives outweigh those negatives easily. It is also a very quiet route with limited climb traffic which one only appreciates when you are there and see the stream of climbers on various other routes. The Lemosho route as mentioned earlier is a non-technical 7-night trek which is arguably the best option on the mountain, having excellent altitude acclimatisation, an extraordinary summit success rate of 95% and excellent traffic avoidance, especially for departures Mon/Tue. The price range is USD 2800-4850 depending on the specification level and the number of trekkers.
 The only negative of this climb is that compared to the other routes on the mountain it is quite a bit more expensive.

There are 2 ways of doing this route. Either as a group climb or a private climb. At Tailormade Africa we believe this to be the best route to climb Kilimanjaro for the best chance of summit success. Please read the sections on group Climbs versus private climbs by clicking the hyperlinked here.

Below is a full brief on how the days pan out on the Lemosho Route

Day 1 : Hiking Statistics
Lemosho Gate Altitude: 2150 m
Lemosho Forest Camp: 2650 m
Hiking Ascent: 800 m
Hiking Descent: 0 m
Walking time: 2 to 3 hours

After completing the paperwork at Londorossi gate you will have lunch here before starting the walk. The forest has open glades and clearings which are very beautiful and make a good spot for a picnic. After that, it is an easy two or three-hour walk on a small path through the lush forest.
This can be a beautiful walk in good weather, with plenty of interesting flora and fauna. Most notable are black and white colobus monkeys, buffalo and some excellent bird-life. The path underfoot is generally quite good, but there are a lot of tree roots, so sturdy ankle-supporting boots are required from the start.
This forest climate zone receives over 96% of the precipitation on the mountain, so don't be too surprised if it rains incessantly. Under these conditions, the path can get extremely muddy and the tree roots become treacherous. We estimate that the degree of difficulty should be multiplied by a factor of three or four in these conditions. This is where you will need your gaiters and walking poles. The campsite is in the forest itself, where your camp will be already in position and a nice cup of tea waiting for you.

Day 2: Hiking Statistics
Lemosho Forest Camp Altitude: 2650 m
Shira One Camp Altitude: 3550 m
Hiking Ascent: 1050 m
Hiking Descent: 150 m
Walking time: 6 to 7 hours

This is the first day of serious walking and a really good workout to kick start your altitude acclimatisation. Early morning is normally clear at camp and you should get a good view of Mount Meru, which at 4566m is still considerably higher. Watch it shrink over the next few days. Quickly leaving the forest behind, the trail leads up to the moorland zone of giant heather. Climbing steadily, the views really start to open out as you approach the rim of the Shira Plateau. There is a tangible sense of wilderness out here, especially if afternoon mists come rolling in to reduce visibility.
Lunch is usually taken on the trail. The overnight camp is in the middle of the plateau at Shira One Campsite.

Day 3 : Hiking Statistics
Shira One Camp Altitude: 3550 m
Shira Two Camp Altitude: 3850 m
Hiking Ascent: 1050 m
Hiking Descent: 750 m
Walking time: 7 to 8 hours

Another big day today that includes an acclimatisation hike too during which you can explore the grassy moorland and the volcanic rock formations of the
plateau. There are few paths and the exact route will depend on the weather and the climb leaders assessment of the group.
We normally try to include a walk to the summit of Shira Cathedral, a huge buttress of rock surrounded by steep spires and pinnacles. There is a real sense of wilderness out here, especially as the afternoon mists roll in.
By early afternoon you should be coming into the second campsite at Shira 2 (3720m), from where there are views of Kibo and the Western Breach above and the sharp ridges of the Shira Hills to the west.

Day 4 Hiking Statistics
Shira Hut Camp Altitude: 3850 m
Barranco Valley Camp Altitude: 3900 m
Hiking Ascent: 350 m
Hiking Descent: 300 m
Walking time: 4 to 5 hours

A morning of gentle ascent and panoramic views. The route continues east towards the main Kibo massif and leaves the moorland plateau behind. The passage over lava ridges and rocky semi-desert beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach is starting to get pretty dramatic, as are the views of Lava Tower and the Breach Wall above.
It is a full 600m descent on the trail down into the Great Barranco Valley and the campsite at 3900m. If you are suffering from altitude, then this will be a relief. It is not impossible for the effects of acute mountain sickness to occur even at this altitude, in which case your climb-leader will call for an immediate evacuation down the mountain. Under these circumstances, do not let any other thought
of the summit cross your mind, but just get down as fast as reasonably and safely possible. We have only very rarely had a group descend from Barranco for this reason, but plenty of climbers experience headaches, slight dizziness, loss of appetite and irregular digestion.
After several hours walking you will have only gained just a handful of meters on the previous camp. This is the first and most pronounced of the ups and downs that makes these western routes so much tougher than the eastern routes. High up here in the valleys around Barranco is the best location for the famous giant lobelia. The campsites themselves, both by the old hut and further up the slope,
are sheltered by towering cliffs and the snow-capped massif of Kibo towers above. There are also extensive views of the plains of the Maasai Steppe far below.

Day 5: Hiking Statistics
Barranco Valley Camp Altitude: 3900 m
Karanga Valley Camp Altitude: 4000 m
Hiking Ascent: 100 m
Hiking Descent : 0 m
Walking time: 4 to 5 hours

The path heads out across the valley, over several streams and up to the foot of the imposing Barranco Wall, or 'the breakfast wall' as it is called by many of the climb teams. This is a steep and exposed climb of around 300m. The wall is near vertical, but the path cuts across it on a diagonal. Technically it is no more than a scramble, with some of the porters able to go up without needing to use their hands, but it is very exposed and most people will find the need to cling to the rock every now and then to steady themselves from the thought of the drop. It is quite a struggle, but there is a real sense of achievement as you get to the top and the summit comes back into view that little bit closer.
From here it is only a short distance to our camp in the steep-sided valley at Karanga. The terrain changes to scree with pockets of lush vegetation in sheltered hollows and there are superb vistas of the Southern Icefields. There is plenty of time to rest, or for short optional acclimatisation walk in the afternoon up the valley above the camp.

Day 6 : Hiking Statistics
Karanga Valley Camp Altitude: 4000 m
Barafu Hut Bivouac Altitude: 4600 m
Hiking Ascent: 1135 m
Hiking Descent: 535 m
Walking time: 4 to 5 hours

A short but steep climb out of Karanga Valley, leads to a relatively easy path on compacted scree with wide views, gaining altitude unrelentingly to reach the Barafu Hut (4600m) in time for lunch. There is a possibility of a short acclimatisation walk to the plateau at the bottom of the southeast valley (4800m).
The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night. You should pack your day-sacks for the morning and change your clothes in advance so that you are wearing the correct underlayers for the summit day. You should try to keep eating throughout the afternoon, even though your appetite will probably be diminished by now due to the altitude. Bedtime is around 18.00hrs and hopefully getting to sleep soon after. It is particularly important to familiarise yourself with the terrain at this campsite before nightfall as it is possible to step off the edge whilst going to the toilet at night.

Day 7 Hiking Statistics ( Summit day)
Barafu Hut Altitude : 4600 m
Summit 1 Altitude : Stella Point: 5735 m
Summit 2 Altitude : Uhuru Peak: 5896 m
Millennium Camp: 3800 m
Hiking Ascent: 1296 m
Hiking Descent : 2796 m
Walking time : 10 to 16 hours

Your climb-leader will by now have assessed your levels of fitness and will have decided how early you need to set out. You will thank yourself if that extra fitness training earns you another half an hour of sleep tonight. On his decision, you will be woken with tea sometime between 11.00hrs and 01.00hrs and set out shortly afterwards. Your porters are not coming with you, so it is just a case of getting yourself out of your sleeping bags, boots on and off you go.
The ascent is by torchlight and the plan is to get to Stella Point on the crater rim in time to watch the sun rise over the jagged peaks of Mawenzi. This is a nightmare. Five to six hours of trudging up generally well-graded zigzag switchbacks, this way and that, backwards and forwards in the dark, uphill all the way. On some stretches the ground is stable, whilst in others, the loose volcanic
scree scrunches and slides underfoot. All the way your climb-leader is keeping you going - not too fast, not too slow, taking regular rest stops to drink and catch your breath. But the air is now incredibly thin and nausea can easily set in. If at any point your climb-leader says that it is time to stop, then that is final. His decision is not to be disputed. If he counts you out, then you are out.
We have had a couple of instances with climbers whose commitment to getting to the top is so strong that under these extreme conditions they have lost it completely, refusing to turn back. In both cases, the climb-leader had to physically force them into submission. Both climbers were grateful when they descended and the thicker air brought them back to their senses.
Anyway, after about 5 or 6 hours you should reach Stella Point at 5735m. Actually, after all the endless false ridges it can come as quite a surprise to some people. If you reach this point, then the park authorities will grant you a certificate, but unless you really are dead-beat, you should rest for a short time before pushing on to the summit.
This two-hour round trip is the highlight of the climb, around the crater rim, passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy much of the summit area and finally on to Uhuru Peak at 5896m. It is this summit experience that climbers talk most enthusiastically about when they get off the mountain. That might seem like an obvious thing to say, but there is something strangely surreal about the summit in the early light of the day. The light plays tricks on the ice and the thin air plays tricks on your mind. Many people talk of peculiarly uplifting experience. Some people even forget to get their camera
out and have to rely on Photoshop to graft their faces onto other people's pictures when they get home. Another rather surreal thing is that there is a good chance your mobile phone will work on the summit if it doesn't freeze to death. Chances are you won't be up there for long, as with the wind-chill it could be forty below zero, strangely enough in both Celsius and Fahrenheit.
As if that were not enough for one day already, it is still only about 07.00hrs and now you are faced with the descent.
Coming down may not be as tough as going up, but it does present its own set of difficulties. The main problems are usually knee and toe-related. Knee problems can be alleviated by proper use of two walking poles. Toe problems should be alleviated by tightening your boots up before the descent in order to prevent your feet from crushing your toes inside your boots. You can easily lose a toe-nail if your boots are too loose or too small.
The descent between Stella Point and Barafu is the steepest and most challenging, with some long scree slopes. If you have the confidence and energy to scree-run, then this can be quite fun. If not, then it is a long and tiring slide. Either way, you will really need your walking poles on this section.
Your camp will still be at the base of this descent and if you have made good time you will have the chance of a lie-down, some tea and maybe something to eat if you can manage it. It is here that you will find yourself waiting or being waited for, as members of the same climb often separate off into groups of different paces. Of course, some of your group may not even have attempted the summit, in which case they might even still be asleep.
The descent from Barafu Camp to Millennium Camp is a long and generally gradual descent that is generally undertaken in a kind of post-summit daze, the arrival in camp comes as an enormous relief

Day 8 : Hiking Statistics
Millennium Camp Altitude: 3720 m
Mweka Gate Altitude: 1650 m
Hiking Ascent: 0
Hiking Descent: 2070 m
Walking time: 5 to 6 hours

At the start of the day, a ritual ceremony takes place where the support team thanks the climbers for coming to see their mountain. The climbers then respond with thanks and tips are allocated to the staff via the head guide. Recommended tip per climber varies according to group size. Please see the tipping guideline section of the website.
By now you have probably lost all interest in your surroundings and are thinking only of a shower, a massage, a good meal, a drink and above all a comfortable bed. The descent returns back through the forest to the park gate at Mweka at 1650m. Sometimes alternative descent routes are used at the instruction of the park authorities, but they are all pretty similar. At the end of the trail is usually the place where you will part from the climb-team. Over the days you will have created a real bond with them on the mountain, so this can be quite a sad moment.
A driver from The African Walking Company will be waiting for you at the trail foot, ready to head down the mountain to the main road and back to Arusha, where you will be dropped directly to your lodge.

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