Kilimanjaro via Lemosho Route

Until the Northern Circuit opened recently, the Lemosho Route was widely considered to be the overall best route to climb Kilimanjaro. It combines all the best feature of the Machame route in terms of success rate but, by starting further round to the West, it takes you up and  over the spectacular Shira Plateau, while at the same time avoids the crowds on the early part of the Machame route. Over 8 days, you have a fantastic journey and a great chance of summiting successfully.


Day 1: Arrival

On day one, you will arrive at Kilimanjaro Airport, where we will meet you and take you to your hotel in Moshi.

Day 2: From Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa Camp

For our first day on the mountain, we will collect you from the hotel and drive to Londorossi Gate where we will register with the park, whilst our porters sort out the supplies and equipment for the trek.

Next, we’ll be hiking through the forest along a lovely trail until we reach Mti Mkubwa (which means Big Tree) Camp, where we will spend the night.

  •  Elevation: From 2360 metres to 2895 metres
  • Trekking distance: 6 kilometres
  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Environment: Montane forest

Day 3: From Mti Mkubwa Camp to Shira 1 Camp

Today, we’ll head out for the Shira plateau. Shira was once Kilimanjaro’s third, and lowest, volcanic peak, but has eroded to a high plateau in the aeons since it last erupted.

As we make our way out of the forest and into high moorlands, the nights will begin to get really cold. The campsite at Shira 1 will be warm and dry, though.

  •  Elevation: From 2895 metres up to 3500 metres
  • Trekking distance: 8 kilometres
  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Environment: Moorland

Day 4: From Shira 1 Camp to Moir Hut

This will be a long hike, but at a steady and gentle gradient. We’ll cross the high point over the Shira Caldera, then descend to an off-the-beaten-path camp at Moir Hut.

Moir Hut Camp offers an amazing view of Arrow Glacier, and a welcome night’s sleep after a long trek.

  •  Elevation: 3500 metres to 4200 metres
  • Trekking distance: 14 kilometres
  • Trek time: 5 to 7 hours
  • Environment: Moorland

Day 5: From Moir Hut to Barranco Camp, by way of Lava Tower

Day five of our trek follows a rugged path southwards, rising to 4600 metres at Lava Tower, where we will stop for lunch and a chance to get used to the altitude. Expect to be at least winded, as the effects of the low air pressure usually begin to make themselves felt at this height.

Camp will be around two hours away in Barranco Valley, beneath the Great Barranco Wall and more than 600 metres lower. Walk high, sleep low. The view of the Western Breach from camp is amazing.

  • Elevation: From 4200 metres to 3950 metres
  • Highest point: Lava Tower, at 4600 metres
  • Trekking distance: 12 kilometres
  • Trek time: 6 to 7 hours
  • Environment: Semi-desert

Day 6: From Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley Camp

The sixth day of our trip (and our fifth on the mountain) takes us to the top of the Great Barranco Wall for lunch, before descending the scree to Karanga Valley Camp for the night.

You won’t need poles to ascend the Wall, but you’ll want to keep your hands free. This part of the trek is a bit more work than it has been so far, but the view from atop the Wall (and another day of acclimatisation to prepare us for the summit) is well worth it.

Keep an eye out for the Kersten, Decken and Heim Glaciers as we near the valley!

  •  Elevation: From 3950 metres to 3930 metres
  • Highest point: Great Barranco Wall
  • Trekking distance: 7 kilometres
  • Trek time: About 4 hours
  • Environment: Alpine desert

Day 7: From Karanga Valley Camp to Barafu Hut

This is the last day before the summit attempt, and it is deliberately short, so we can get some rest, and as much sleep as possible. We’ll link up with the Mweka descent trail and make our way up towards Barafu Hut and the end of the Southern Circuit.

The peaks of both Mawenzi and Kibo can be seen from camp, but don’t spend too much time enjoying the view. Big day tomorrow!

  •  Elevation: From 3930 metres to 4600 metres
  • Trekking distance: 6 kilometres
  • Trek time: Around 3 hours
  • Environment: Alpine desert

Day 8: From Barafu Hut to summit at Uhuru Peak, descent to Mweka Camp

This is it, Summit Day!

We’ll be up before midnight for a hot drink and a snack, then up the mountain we go! Our path will take us north-west from Barafu across heavy scree, then we’ll snake between Rebman and Ratzel Glaciers to reach Stella Point (5732 metres) just before dawn.

We’ll take a breather at Stella Point, and see something few in the world ever will: sunrise at the top of Kilimanjaro! Next is the final ascent (in daylight) to Uhuru Peak itself, and the actual summit of Kilimanjaro.

Finally, we’ll make our way to Mweka Camp, some 2700 metres below. The good news is, it is much easier going down, and we’ll have a big dinner and our cosy sleeping bag & tent waiting for us for our last night on the mountain.

  • Elevation: From 4600 metres to 3100 metres
  • Highest point: 5895 metres (Uhuru Peak)
  • Trekking distance: 20 kilometres (7 kilometres ascent, 13 kilometres descent)
  • Trek time: 13 to 16 hours (6 to 8 hours ascent, 7 to 8 hours descent)
  • Environment: Stone scree / ice-capped summit

Day 9: Descent from Mweka Camp to Mweka Park Gate

Our last day on Kilimanjaro will see us going back through the jungle to Mweka Park Gate. There you will receive your official summit certificate, and we will drive you back to your hotel in Moshi. Celebrate a little, then get some rest. You’ve earned it!

  •  Elevation: From 3100 metres to 1800 metres
  • Trekking distance: 10 kilometres
  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Environment: Forest


Day 10: Departure

On day ten, we’ll drive you to Kilimanjaro Airport, where you will make your return flight.

Congratulations! You made it to the very top of Africa, and came back to tell the tale!

  • Accommodation at Hotel in Arusha.
  • All nights’ accommodation in Huts.
  • Professional, experienced, mountain.
  •  All Park fees and Rescue fees.
  •  All meals while on the Mountain.
  • Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees.
  • Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food.
  • Clean, purified drinking water.
  • Fair and ethical treatment of porters.
  • Tanzania Visa: $50 per person on arrival
  • Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.
  • Optional Tours.
  • Tips and any items of personal nature.
  • International and Local Flights.
  • Yellow fever vaccinations.
  • Optional excursions/activities not detailed in itinerary
  •  Any additional services requested