The Lemosho Route is widely considered the most beautiful of all the Kilimanjaro trekking pathways.
The Lemosho Route begins at the Londorossi Gate on Mount Kilimanjaro’s western flanks and makes its way up one of the mountain’s most remote regions.
Hikers will travel through a lovely rain forest, with the possibility of seeing wildlife along the way. Blue monkeys, small lizards, a variety of birds, and black and white colobus monkeys are common sights in the forests.
Because the Lemosho Route receives far less traffic than the Machame and Marangu routes, it offers plenty of solitude in the early days.
However, the Lemosho route eventually combines with the Machame route, and traffic begins to rise. But, if you are searching for a little peace while climbing, this is a perfect choice.
Travelers will have the opportunity to wander through beautiful rain forests and hike up to the Shira Plateau, where spectacular vistas await once you get above the treeline.
Lemosho requires a few extra days to travel due to its remote location and longer path. The average person spends seven to eight days on this trial, which increases the success rate significantly. If you want to increase your chances of reaching the summit, this is one of the better routes to choose, especially the Machame and Marangu routes. Despite the higher success rate, the Lemosho path is longer and more difficult than the “Whiskey” and “Coca-Cola” ways.
Several sections of the trail are steeper and more difficult, and trekkers usually stay an extra night or two intents. However, the attractions of this route set it apart from the rest, making it a favorite choice among daring visitors.
Lemosho Route Summit Success Rate
Because of its longer length profile, the Lemosho route has one of the highest summit success percentages on the peak. While there are no official figures, the average success rate for the 8-day trip is 90%, and the 7-day trek is 85% across all operators.
Camps on the Lemosho Route
Following are some of the camps on this route.
- Big Tree Camp and Millennium Camps
These camps are on the tree line, offering a variety of campsites set in small clearings in the forest. A central ranger station and several drop-hole latrines can be found. There is cell phone service here, and it is relatively easy to return to the gate if necessary.
- Shira Plateau 1 & 2
Shira Plateau 1 & 2 are located on opposite sides of the huge Shira plateau, a volcanic spill-off from a 100,000-year-old explosion. More fragile plants grow among the rocks, which are exposed and dusty. There are latrines and Ranger huts nearby, and the area is large enough to provide some privacy. Depending on the route you choose (7 or 8-day versions), you may stay one or two nights on the plateau.
- Barranco Camp
Barranco Camp is located in a big clearing at the head of a steep valley that leads down to the Umbwe route, surrounded by magnificent cliffs and right below the Kibo ice fields, making it an ideal position for a camp.
- Karanga Camp
Karanga Camp is a big, open camp on the edge of a hill with spectacular views of the peak massif and the land beyond. Karanga has traditionally acted as the halfway point, with latrines and a Ranger cabin, because many people trek directly from Barranco to Barafu.
Barafu, which means ‘ice,’ is no longer covered in snow permanently, but it is still cold, rocky, and exposed. The altitude is felt strongly here, and snow and strong winds can be expected. The campsites are strewn amongst the nooks and crannies in the rocks, located on a ridge.
Lemosho Route 7 Days Itinerary
Climbing Kilimanjaro allows you to climb Lemosho in 7 or 8 days. The seven-day option combines days five and six and includes a trip from Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp without stopping at Karanga.
DAY 1: Lemosho Glades – Mti Mkubwa/Big Tree Camp
- Distance: ~5.5km / 3.5 miles
- Trekking time: 3-4 hours
- Zone: Rainforest
You will arrive in the strange fortified village of Londorossi after a pretty long drive, where you have registered, paid the park fees, and have the porters’ luggage weighed. You will then continue to the start of the hike, located on the edge of the woodland.
The entire first day’s hike takes place in some of the most beautiful and scenic areas on the mountain. Because of the trail’s remote location and low visitor traffic, wildlife sightings are more frequent than most other trails. You will also witness some of Kilimanjaro’s more unique flora, including one of the mountain’s great emblems, the magnificent red impatiens Kilimanjaro.
The first day comes to an end at Mti Mkubwa, the Big Tree Camp (2785m); you will find your tent already set up and food waiting for you. You will enjoy a hearty dinner before falling asleep to the sounds of the forest, including monkeys and the raucous turaco bird, in this most beautiful of surroundings, beneath the spreading branches of a magnificent old podocarpus tree.
DAY 2: Mti Mkubwa/Big Tree Camp – Shira 1 Campsite
- Distance: ~8km / 5 miles
- Trekking time: 5-6 hours
- Zone: Rainforest /low Alpine Zone
The most varied day of the walk begins with continuing the previous day’s march into the forest. However, you will soon leave the trees behind and enter the heath and moorland zone, where you will find grasses and wildflowers. Observe how your guide has already started to walk at a deliberately slow pace to assist you in acclimating to the lack of air pressure at this altitude.
The journey will continue till you reach the northern slopes of the Shira Ridge, Kilimanjaro’s little-known third summit, and take a breather to admire the first glimpse of your target, the majestic snow-covered Kibo summit.
After descending a short distance, you will arrive at your second campsite, Shira One Campsite (3504m), on the western border of the Shira Plateau, with views across the plateau to Kibo.
DAY 3: Shira 1 Campsite – Shira Huts Campsite
- Distance: ~14km / 8.5 miles
- Trekking time: 5-7 hours
- Zone: low alpine zone / High alpine zone
You could cut a straight path across the plateau towards Kibo on the third day. But if you have the energy, a wonderful morning can be spent exploring some of the Shira Ridge’s features, such as the Cathedral, from which you can get great views across the plateau towards Kibo and along Kilimanjaro’s southern slopes. It’s also great for acclimatization because you will be climbing slowly to 3720m before descending to the plateau.
Continue east toward Kibo, finally arriving at the Shira Huts Campsite (3895m) in the plateau’s heart.
DAY 4: Shira Huts Campsite – Lava Tower and – Barranco Campsite
- Distance: ~12km / 7.5 miles
- Trekking time: 6-7 hours
- Zone: High alpine zone
The day starts with a slow march directly to Kibo. As you ascend higher, the flora becomes scarcer, with only a few everlastings, like living potpourri, decorating the route. It’s a lengthy hike, but it’s also an extremely beautiful one, with Kilimanjaro’s snowy summit looming ahead.
With Lava Tower, at the foot of Kibo, your next destination is at 4530m above sea level; you will be now heading into some serious altitude. The trail splits right here. If you wish to continue on the regular Lemosho Route to Barranco this evening, you will eat lunch near the Lava Tower.
You will camp at Lava Tower if you plan to climb via the Western Breach.
If you stay on the ‘regular’ Lemosho Route, you’ll soon reach Lava Tower, which is 4530 meters above sea level. As a result, it’s common for people to have a slight headache when they get to Barranco Camp, located at the bottom of a steep descent to 3985m. This is completely normal and only cause for concern if the symptoms continue. Barranco, located amongst a grove of senecios hard against Kibo’s south face, is the loveliest campground on the trek as compensation. In the evening, snacks and dinner are served.
DAY 5: Barranco Camp – Barafu Camp/Huts via Karanga Valley
- Distance: ~7km / 4 miles
- Trekking time: 4 hours
- Zone: High alpine zone
The first hour or two of this long day is spent ascending the Breakfast Wall, the toughest stretch of the entire hike. From here, the route meanders down through valleys and scree slopes as it passes Kibo’s southern slopes before a sharp descent drops you to the Karanga Valley’s flora-rich. Though your lunch destination shares the same name as this lovely valley, it is located on the opposite side of the valley and requires a 20-minute climb.
You will have lunch at the Karanga Valley Campsite while admiring the views north towards Kibo’s southern face, which will hopefully divert you from any altitude-related ill effects. After that, you’ll trek the southern side of Kibo for a brief afternoon (3.4km), passing through a beautiful lunar landscape.
On the south-eastern shoulder of Kibo, you reach freezing Barafu Camp (4662m) by climbing onto a ridge. You’ll rest here, eat both lunch and dinner, and attempt to get some sleep before the night’s rigors.
DAY 6: Barafu Camp/Huts – Summit and Decent to Mweka Camp/Huts
- Distance: ~6km / 4 miles
- Trekking time: 3 hours
- Zone: High alpine zone
Start your long march up to Stella Point (5745m) on the edge of the Kibo crater around midnight. This is where you will get your Kilimanjaro certificate, which is a steep, sluggish, freezing march and a test of your endurance. There’s no reason you should not be able to make it up to Stella Point if you have avoided altitude sickness and acclimatized correctly.
It’s only 45 minutes from Stella Peak to Uhuru Peak, Africa’s highest point at 5895 meters, across glaciers, snowfields, and breathtaking views over the Kibo Crater. If you arrive early enough, you may watch the sunrise over the African continent, snap photos, and even take a break.
Continue down to Barafu Camp after a little rest at the summit — a much shorter hike than it was on the way up. Day 6 hike returns to the forest zone through Millennium Camp, passing through the alpine desert, heath, and moorland zones (3827m). The Mweka Campsite (3106m), the final destination on the trek, is hidden among the trees.
DAY 7: Mweka Camp/Huts – Mweka Gate
- Distance: ~9km / 5.5 miles
- Trekking time: 3-5 hours
- Zone: Rainforest
From the campsite, it’s only a few hours to Mweka Gate (1633m), where those who reached the summit or Stella Point will receive their awards. A car will be waiting for you to return to your hotel and the land of hot showers and cold beers. Your journey has come to an end.
At 5,895 meters Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the tallest freestanding mountain on the earth; it is one of the Seven Summits. The snow-capped peak of Africa is a dormant volcano. This majestic mountain can be found inside the Kilimanjaro National Park of Tanzania, at 005.00 degrees south, 036 degrees east, 5895m above mean sea level.
Exceptional climb success
Since 1994, ClimbingKilimanjaro has been fore runner in operating Kilimanjaro tours. We have a proud and unbeatable track record of more than 15,000 safe and successful summit attempts.
The specialised experience of ClimbingKilimanjaro puts us, as a tour operator, in a unique position to offer the most professional support, guidance, information and motivation to realise this proverbial “bucket-list” dream.
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Real-Time Tracking Service
ClimbingKilimanjaro is the only operator that offers real-time tracking to hikers on Mount Kilimanjaro. This unique service will allow family and friends to track the live progress of their loved ones, as they hike to the summit of Kilimanjaro, subject to availability, pre-booking and at a small supplementary fee.
Guides and porters
ClimbingKilimanjaro only utilises highly trained and registered guides, with several years of experience, to lead a mountain support team that are properly equipped to look after climbers on the mountain.
All of the Climbing Kilimanjaro package options includes the services of one porter per hiker, who will carry the client’s duffel bag (max. 15kg) from one camp to the next.
The above average staff ratio of the Climbing Kilimanjaro Mountain Support Team to climber is: 2 Porters per climber and 2 guides for a maximum of 4 hikers – a very favourable ratio to directly enhance safety and enjoyment on the mountain.