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Kilimanjaro climb Lemosho route crater

Overview:

Long access drive from Moshi town, remote hike, less frequented, beautiful forests, scenic traverse to Barafu, camping, excellent for acclimatization.

This is an unspoilt, remote, less-used, and beautiful way up to the Shira Plateau. Trekkers sometimes use it to ascend the Western Breach route or follow it with the Kibo South Circuit to ascend by the easier Barafu Route. The first day of the route hardly ever has any game animals, and armed rangers never accompany a group.

The standard route takes 7 days on the mountain, and is sometimes extended to 8 days with a stay at Karanga Valley.

9 Day Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route via Crater Camp

Day 1: Londorossi Gate (2,100m/6,890ft) to Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,750m/9,023ft)
Elevation Gain: 650 meters, 2,133 feet

The Lemosho Route offers a more private Kilimanjaro experience than the other routes of Marangu and Machame. Although the trail joins with the more popular Machame route on day three, the first two days on the mountain are relatively private, with few other trekking groups around. On the first day, arrive at Londorosi Gate at about 11am. Once you arrive, you’ll spend about an hour waiting at the gate while Kilimanjaro Budget Safaris registers your climb and the porters and guides make final preparations.

At around 12pm, you will begin hiking with your guides to Mti Mkubwa Camp. Hike through the rain forests of Kilimanjaro viewing trees and birds along the way. You will eat a packed lunch on the trail while enjoying the sounds of the forest. Arrive at the campsite at about 4pm to rest for the next day.

Day 2: Mti Mkubwa Camp (2,750m/9,023ft) to Shira 1 Camp (3,720m/12,200ft)
Elevation Gain: 970 meters, 3,177 feet

Leave the forest on day two for Kilimanjaro’s moorland. When the trail flattens out, you will have your first views of Kibo peak. After lunch, you will climb the Shira Plateau, created when Kibo’s lava flows filled up the Shira crater. Stop at Shira 1 Camp, where you will relax for the rest of the day.

Faster hikers may continue to Shira 2 Camp (3,830m/12,560ft).

Day 3: Shira I Camp (3,720m/12,200ft) to Shira II Camp (3,840 meters/12,532ft)
Elevation Gain: 120m, 332ft

This is an acclimatization day that allows you to take day hikes that explore the Shira Plateau. You will hike only a short while and gain just over 1000 feet in elevation.

Day 3: Shira II Camp (3,840m/12,532) to Barranco Camp (3,950m/12,960ft)
Elevation Gain: 110m, 428ft

Although this up-and-down day ends with an elevation gain of only 110 meters, by early afternoon you will have climbed 690 meters to a height of 4,530 meters before beginning your descent to Barranco Camp. Although the route is somewhat frustrating, this day is crucial for acclimatization.

After breakfast, continue east on the Shira Plateau for two hours before reaching the junction for Shira and Lemosho Routes. Continue on through the barren landscape for another half an hour before stopping for lunch. Shortly after lunch you will reach the highest point of the day before descending quickly to Barranco Camp. From the high point, you can see Lava Tower, a 300-foot lava formation jutting out of the mountainside. Faster hikers can take a detour via Lava Tower.

Barranco Camp is considered to be the most scenic campsite on the Machame Route. It is set in a valley among forests of Senecio kilimanjari. From the campsite you will see magnificent views of Mount Meru, Heim Glacier and Kibo’s southern face.

Day 4: Barranco Camp (3,950m/12,960ft) to Karanga Valley (4,200m/13,780ft)
Elevation Gain: 250 meters, 820 feet

Leave Barranco Camp after breakfast for Karanga Valley. The day begins with an hour and a half scramble up the Barranco Wall. This is the hardest part of the day and in some places you may have to use your hands to pull your body up. After reaching the top, make a short descent into the greener Karanga Valley. We generally camp on the ridge above the valley to allow for greater acclimatization.

Day 6: Karanga Valley (4,200m/13,780ft) to Barafu Camp (4,600m/15,100ft)
Elevation Gain: 400 meters, 1,320 feet

After breakfast, begin the hike to Barafu Camp. On the way to Barafu, view several of Kibo’s glaciers as well as the junction that connects the descent route, Mweka, with the Machame trail. During day four, hike by the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers. Although the trail to Barafu passes through alpine desert with little vegetation, there are stunning views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks along the way. Try to sleep as soon as you finish dinner as you will awake before midnight for your summit hike.

Day 7: Barafu Camp (4,600m/15,100ft) to Crater Camp (5,715m/18,750ft)
Elevation Gain: 1,115 meters, 3,650 feet

Due to the steep ascent at high altitude, this is the most challenging day of the ascent. Leave Barafu Camp early in the morning to begin your hike to the top of Kibo Crater. It is important to remember to snack during the ascent to keep your energy up. You will likely lose your appetite during this day and begin to feel new effects of altitude sickness.

After ascending Kibo’s wall, hike to Crater Camp, the highest camp on Kilimanjaro. The camp is located inside Kilimanjaro’s Kibo crater, and offers stunning views of the surrounding glaciers.

Day 8: Crater Camp (5,715m/18,750ft) to Summit (5,895m/19,340ft) to Mweka Camp (3,100m/10,170ft)
Elevation Gain: 180 meters, 590 feet
Elevation Loss: 2,795 meters, 9,170 feet

At dawn, begin the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. The hike to the summit is slow, taking up to two hours to gain 180 meters. Reach Uhuru around 8am and take photos at the roof of Africa. Descend to Barafu Camp where you’ll eat brunch. At 1pm, continue to Mweka Camp your final camp on Kilimanjaro.

Day 9: Mweka Camp (3,100m/10,170ft) to Mweka Gate (1,500m/4,920ft)
Elevation Loss: 1,600 meters, 5,250 feet

After breakfast, finish the trek with a descent to Mweka Gate. Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one, passing through Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest. Watch your step during the descent, as the trail can be slippery. Kilimanjaro Budget Safaris vehicles will be waiting at the lower station of Mweka Gate to take you back to (Arusha / Moshi.). You will be able to buy t-shirts and sodas at the gate.

8 Days Lemosho route cost will be $1735  per person in a group of from 2PAX.

Kilimanjaro Climbing Includes:

  • 2 Nights accommodation in Moshi at Keys Hotel  
  • Professional, experienced, mountain guides
  • All Park fees
  • Rescue fees
  • All meals while on the Mountain
  • Arrival and Departure transfers
  • Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
  • Clean, purified drinking water available on mountain
  • Crisis management and safety procedures
  • Insurance and ethical treatment of porters
  • Emergency Oxygen
  • Camping Mattress
  • Mobile Toilet

Excludes:

  • Tanzania Visa: $50 per person on arrival
  • Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)
  • Optional Tours (short safari after your climb etc)
  • Tips and any items of personal nature.