Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route
Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route
This is an eight day climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro using the Lemosho route which gives more time to acclimatise and wonderful views enroute. It has a beautiful approach through the forest from the west before joining the Machame trail at the Shira Plateau and heading to the visually dramatic southern flanks via Lava Tower, Barranco Camp, Karanga Camp and then on to Barafu camp for the summit push. The exit is via Millennium Camp and through Mweka Gate.
We offer many different Kilimanjaro routes to the summit with our most common routes on Kilimanjaro being the seven day Machame route climb, the eight day Lemosho route, the seven day Rongai route or the nine day trek via the Northern Circuit route. We strongly recommend that you don't spend any less than 7 days/6 nights on the mountain, which gives you the best ability to acclimatise properly to the altitude and will give you the best chances of reaching the summit.
You'll find various details on the 'More Information' section on this page but do please feel free to call or email us. You can talk to someone who loves and is experienced in the outdoors and most importantly has climbed Kilimanjaro several times!
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About Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route
The Lemosho Route is a camping trip for an average group size of 4 (we can take up to a maximum of 50 people but this is usually only for organised private groups; most team sizes are 3 - 6 people) using top quality mountain tents, comfortable mattresses, and qualified guides who work with us full time, porters who carry the bags and equipment, and cooks who provide fresh, tasty food every day. The ratio of guide:climber is 1:2 sometimes. Our local guides have been with us for many years and are all trained, qualified, experienced and great fun.
Camps used on Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route
Big Tree Camp and Millennium Camps are on the tree line and have a number of campsites set in small clearings in the forest. You will see a central ranger station and a number of drop-hole latrines. Mobile coverage here and it is quite easy to descend back to the gate if necessary.
Shira Plateau 1 & 2 are situated on different sides of the vast Shira plateau which is a volcanic spill-off from the last explosion some 100,000 years ago. Open and exposed and often dusty with smaller, more fragile plants amongst the rocks. Latrines and Ranger huts are around and the area is so huge it is easy to have some privacy. Meanwhile the Horombo Huts are busy with people and Mawenzi Tarn is very quiet and remote.
Barranco Camp is in a big clearing at the head of the steep valley which drops down into the Umbwe route, with dramatic cliffs around and right below the ice fields of Kibo, a stunning location for a camp.
Karanga Camp is a very open camp on the side of a hillside with great views of the summit massif and the expanse of land beyond the mountain. Many people go direct from Barranco to Barafu, so Karanga is traditionally a bit of half-way stop, but there are still latrines and a Ranger hut here.
Barafu, meaning ‘ice’, is now no longer covered in permanent snow but it is cold and rocky and exposed. People definitely feel the altitude here and you can expect snow and sometimes high wind. The camp sites are dotted amongst nooks and crannies in the rocks, perched on a sort of ridge.
From the start you will have experienced people to talk to in the office, who have all climbed Kilimanjaro before and can give an honest appraisal of the climb. This personal service extends to Tanzania where the MD of Adventure Alternative Tanzania, Castro, will give a team briefing and be on hand all the time. He will introduce you to the guides who all speak good English and understand that this is more than a holiday, it is a personal dream to summit the roof of Africa.
Experience for Mount Kilimanjaro
A Kilimanjaro trek is just that - it's a non-technical trek but it does offer a full mountaineering experience. Experience in hill walking is a benefit but not absolutely necessary, since this is a supported climb and many people doing it will not have been to altitude before, especially if on a charity trek. You will however be outdoors constantly and living in tents so any sort of experience with camping will be useful.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro does not require you to have any experience of high altitude, and there is nowhere in the United Kingdom or Ireland to possibly train for it. The important factor will be to go slowly and allow your metabolism to adapt to the lower air pressure and the thinner air. We have an excellent team of guides and porters who will ensure that you are well looked after and well prepared for a successful summit attempt.
The terrain on Kilimanjaro varies throughout; in a period of seven days, traversing the mountain over 42 miles, ascending from 2000m to 5895m and back down, you will pass through cultivated farmland, equatorial forest and alpine heath, across a lunar-like volcanic desert and up to a glaciated summit. Climbing Kilimanjaro is not a technical climb and there are no precipitous drops along the way, no rock climbing or specialist equipment needed. Check out our Kit List Page for more information.
See our trip prep page for more info.
Adventure Alternative Support
As successful international mountain tour operators, with three decades of experience climbing Mt Kilimanjaro's slopes, we know how to look after you. You have contact with really experienced, down to earth friendly people in the UK office to help you prepare during the build-up to your climb, On arrival, we can arrange your airport transfer to the hotel where you'll meet our team and be well briefed before you climb. If you need any equipment hire we can organise that too. We have a very high success rate at over 95% and a lot of that is down to the staff who will carry your main bag (up to a maximum weight of 15 kg) plus all the tents, kitchen equipment, food, fuel, tables and chairs. They will cater for all the group needs, providing excellent meals and put up the tents. The guides will also brief you each day on the mountain including hiking time, weather and ensure that your pace is suitable and not too fast, that you eat/drink plenty and sleep well so that you hopefully summit Kilimanjaro without any issues of altitude sickness. Your safety is our primary concern.
Is Kilimanjaro the Right Mountain for Me?
Climbing Kilimanjaro is an incredible experience. However, like with any challenge, there will be some bumps along the way. One thing to remember is that things in Africa happen at a different pace. You may feel like things are a bit chaotic, but it is the normal way of life here. Things do not always work and conditions might not be what you would expect at home. However, the people are very friendly and keen to help.
It is not surprising to see people begging. Please do not give in and perpetuate this damaging practice. Tips are customary but should be given to Castro at the gate on the last day for distribution. This is much better than giving individuals money privately or secretly, which some people do because they think they're doing it 'right', but this is never the case and it always causes problems long after you have left. We have a system in the company which the staff understand and recognise and like, and Castro is a good and honest boss who will not exploit the staff.
If you would like to learn more about some of the difficulties of spending many days in a mountain camp, see our Mountain Realities page.
Time to climb? Then just hit the book now button above. Or if you have a question or would like an info pack do get in touch!
Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho route itinerary
- Arrival in Tanzania on day one
- Briefing and rest in the town of Moshi on day two
- Climb period on days three to ten (arriving back in hotel by mid afternoon)
- Depart on day eleven or go on four day/three night safari (Ngorongoro, Tarangire, Manyara - lodge or camping or local hotel)
We offer both scheduled dates which you can join, or private dates for minimum numbers of around five at no extra cost. We do specialise in providing for groups at no extra cost and we can manage specific requirements for all types of people.
|1||900m||n/a||Arrive in to Kilimanjaro or if travelling overland arrive into Moshi. This is the start date for the Kilimanjaro climb advertised above. Relax and overnight stay in hotel.|
|2||900m||n/a||Briefing day in Moshi Town, meet the AA Tanzania staff and have time for hiring equipment or relaxing by the pool or in the hotel.|
|3||900m - 2385m - 2780m||3hrs||We leave the Hotel and drive to the Londorossi Gate (2385m), which can take 3 hrs and if there has been a lot of rain the last section is on foot due to poor roads. Meet the team of porters, guides etc and upward to Big Tree Camp (2700m), 3 hours through forest|
|4||2780m - 3500m||4hrs||We make our way further trhough the forest then out on to open heath land reaching camp at Shira Plateau 1.|
|5||3840m||3hrs||Relatively short day from Shira Plateau 1 to Shira Plateau 2 but an important day in terms of rest and acclimatisation.|
|6||3950m||7hrs, 15km||Shira Camp to Barranco Camp traversing the mountain over two valleys and skirting the base of the summit massif. High desert environment with amazing rock formations, quite exposed to the weather, dropping into the Barranco Valley right beneath the Western Breach. This day ascends a maximum of 700 metres but the net gain is only about 100 metres.|
|7||3950m||5hrs, 6km||Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley, starting with a scramble over the Barranco Wall and over a further two valleys to get to this open campsite with great views of the Heim Glacier. Another up and down day but no net gain in height, which is all good for acclimatisation.|
|8||4550m||4hrs, 7km||Karanga Valley to Barafu Camp, now heading more directly upwards towards the open rock and colder temperatures. This is the average freezing level on the mountain and Barafu means 'ice'. Camping in amongst the rocks and an early night.|
|9||5985m - 2800m||7hrs up, 4 hrs down, 18km||Night-time ascent on rock and scree, occasional snow, to the crater rim and the summit. Cold temperatures with windchill. Final slope to the crater rim is steeper and has loose scree. Descend in sunlight to Barafu for early lunch, and then walk to Millennium Camp, normally arriving mid-afternoon.|
|10||900m||4-6hrs, 13km||Descending through the lush forest to Mweka Gate where you sign out and pick up the summit certificate. Legs will be tired! Meet Castro at the gate for transport back to the hotel, arriving normally at about 2pm. The gate is where tips are handed out and you say goodbye to the mountain staff. A hot shower and an afternoon relaxing before an overnight in the hotel|
|11||n/a||Either start our 4 day / 3 night safari or depart home.|
The entire climb and descent covers just over 100km and the routes traverse the mountain, except for the Marangu which requires ascent and descent on the same path. Generally speaking each day will take about 5 hours of walking, and the distance reduces as you go higher.
To put the summit day into context, it is pretty much the same as climbing Ben Nevis in one day from a starting altitude of 4200 metres.
Day Start Level Daily High Point Sleep Level
Day One 1830m 2700m 2700m
Day Two 2700m 3500m 3500m
Day Three 3500m 3840m 3840m
Day Four 3840m 4560m 3950m
Day Five 3950m 4600m 3950m
Day Six 3950m 4600m 4600m
Day Seven 4600m 5985m 3800m
Day Eight 3800m 3800m 1830m
When to Climb
The main seasons are traditionally December to March and June to October, and these are popular times to climb with temperatures in Moshi averaging 22 degrees C and summit temperatures around - 7 degrees C.
The rains are in April, May and November but nowadays climate change has changed this pattern and some times the rains don't come or come at differing times of year.
During the rains we run our Rongai climbs as the northern side of the mountain is more sheltered then. December is getting warmer again with clear skies. Do check the information on weather and also full & new moons to decide on your preferred time to visit.
Full and New Moon summits
Many people like to climb during the full moon with the path lit by moonlight and the white of the glaciers shining while others prefer to summit when the stars are in abundance. Since you are close to the equator both the northern and southern hemisphere stars can be seen from Kilimanjaro.
|Month||2017 New Moon||2017 Full Moon||2018 New Moon||2018 Full Moon|
|12||16||1 & 31|
|March||27||12||17||1 & 31|
Other notable dates:
Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route cost: £2245.00
- Full ground price for the Machame Route
- Accommodation in Moshi for 3 nights in the Keys Annexe Hotel (twin, B&B)
- Jeep or coach transport to the mountain gate from and to Moshi
- Park fees, camping fees and park rescue fees
- Park certified guides (ratio of 1:2 or 1:3 depending on number of climbers) and company reps
- Porters and cooks, plus equipment and tents for them
- All camping equipment including sleeping tents with mattresses
- Expedition administrator, translator and Manager (Castro Capelo)
- Meals on the mountain - fresh food, 3 meals per day
- International airfare to Kilimanjaro Airport
- Airport transfers (£40 / $50 per vehicle one way) must be requested in advance through the office - pay in advance or cash in-country
- Tanzanian Visa - $50 for most passports & $100 for USA citizens, purchased on arrival
- Vaccinations and malaria tablets
- Personal expenses
- Travel insurance est £40
- Lunch and dinners in Moshi
- Tips ~ £80 paid in local currency for distribution at exit gate
How do payments work? We try to make payments as easy and manageable for you as possible. We ask for a deposit of £250 on booking (which is included in the advertised trip fee). The balance is then due 4 weeks prior to your trip start date. When you book a trip with us you are automatically given an online account on our secure server. You can then sign into your account at anytime to make interim payments or to make one instalment 4 weeks before your trip. It’s totally up to you, you can spread the cost or make one balance payment.
Not all about the money. Our prices are competitive and good value, and we offer a quality service, security and a strong stance on tourism in a developing country. We don’t want to be so expensive to run fewer trips and have our staff idle, but on the other hand we believe that running cheap trips that promote the practise of skimming budgets would result in the porters getting next to nothing, which is something we cannot consider.
Additionally we will only run min 7 day trips, since any less is dangerous for a peak just short of 6000 metres (equivalent to Camp 1 on Mount Everest). Current National Park and camping fees are over USD$800 per person for a 7 day climb, which makes Kilimanjaro an expensive peak to visit. Reducing the number of days may make the price cheaper but the chances of summiting reduce to around 50% and it is potentially dangerous.
We include a high level of support staff and one guide for every two or three climbers (ratios change depending on team size but it is never less than 1:3) which is the Park requirement. We do not operate kitties and we use a very good hotel in town with which we have built up a strong relationship over past 2 decades.
We have our own license to operate tours on Mount Kilimanjaro and are a member of the local Tanzanian Association of Tour Operators.
We advise you to take out travel insurance as soon as possible to cover potential events that might cause you to cancel your trip.
You need to ensure that you have a policy which covers trekking to 5895m, but it does not need to cover technical climbing. You should bring with you a copy of your policy and ensure your tent mate knows where you keep it. It is also worth bringing a photocopy of your passport and to keep it separate to your own documents just in case you lose your passport. Many of our Irish or UK clients use (click banner for a quote):
Local provider for this trip is Adventure Alternative Tanzania. We provide full employment for our subsidiary company alongside excellent rates of pay, equipment, training and career development.
Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho route training
This is a trek to climb Kilimanjaro Lemosho route with no technical requirements, but it does offer a mountain experience which includes camping and being outdoors all the time, and walking uphill every day for a week for an average of 5 or 6 hours per day. Any regular hill walker will find climbing Kilimanjaro within his or her capabilities, but also remember that you will be sleeping and eating on the mountain too. The cumulative effect will be tiring and you should mentally prepare for a week of sleeping in a tent and living outdoors.
A training programme should include regular hill walking with a small pack of around 10 kgs, or regular visits to the gym for the final two months before departure. Work on strengthening calf and thigh muscles and exercise your cardio-vascular stamina on a step machine or cross trainer, but remember this is a holiday and not a forced march! Don't approach it as if you are training for a marathon, and remember it can be dangerous to over train.
The secret of climbing Mt Kilimanjaro is to go slowly and enjoy the scenery, drink well, eat well and sleep well. A regular, consistent and slow pace will ensure the proper acclimatisation. Statistically the biggest proportion of failure occurs with young, fit males who go too fast and ignore the simple rules. It’s not a race or a competition!
Operate on the principle that if you look after yourself well during the first five days, then the sixth 'summit day’ will be a big challenge but not dangerous. We cannot condone the people who push themselves beyond the bounds of safety and wear the badge of hardship as a medal of honour, perpetuating the image that getting to the summit has an element of masochism to it! “This is just an example of bad mountaineering”, says Director Gavin Bate, “We want people to be clear-headed on the summit, with the strength to come all the way back down again! Drink lots of liquid, eat every meal and go slowly all the way – this is the mantra that my staff will say to you over and over again”.
Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho route kit
- Waterproof day sack of about 30 -40 litres for carrying your daily needs
- Strong, waterproof duffle bag or rucksack for your main gear
- Sleeping bag rated down to -10° Celsius or more if you get cold easily
- Sturdy hiking boots with ankle support, and a sole that does not bend too easily. Gore-Tex lined fabric boots are fine but not quite as warm as leather. Gaiters are advised also.
- Waterproof windbreaker and trousers, preferably breathable, with a hood and big enough to accommodate several layers beneath
- Down jacket or a heavy duty fleece for warmth especially on summit night
- Thermal underwear or long johns for summit night
- Balaclava or insulated warm hat, insulated gloves or mittens and thermal inner gloves
- Sun hat, sun lotion, SPF lip screen and sunglasses
- Trekking clothes - trousers and shorts, shirts and T-shirts, jumper or midlayer fleece, underwear and several pairs of hiking socks, trainers or sandals
- Water bottle and/or camel back (take a protective cover for the mouthpiece) and water purification tablets (optional, iodine-based is fine)
- Head torch with spare batteries
- Trekking poles (especially useful for coming down from the summit)
- Personal wash kit - include a nail brush, moisturising cream, a small towel, tweezers, soap, nail clippers and wet wipes
- Variety of waterproof bags - for dirty clothes, sleeping bag and things to keep dry
- Personal first aid kit including aspirin, Nurofen, plasters, Germolene, Immodium, strepsils and prescription medicines for possible gastric problems
- Passport, insurance papers, spending money, air tickets, 2 pin (round) plug adaptor, spare batteries for digital cameras, reading books, diary, pen
You can rent sleeping bags directly from us and add them when booking, or by logging into your account at a later date. It's also possible to hire other equipment in Moshi directly from our staff such as walking poles, torches or anything that you may have forgotten.
Comfortable foam mattresses are provided, there is no need to bring a Therm-A-Rest or camp mat for the mountain.
Why us for climbing Kilimanjaro?
We run our own company in Tanzania which is based in Moshi at the foot of Kilimanjaro called Adventure Alternative Tanzania and our dedicated team provide an excellent service.
- We are a mountain company run by mountaineers
- We take safety on Kilimanjaro seriously and our staff are trained to deal properly with emergencies
- We have a 95% success rate to the summit because of a seven day minimum policy which assists proper acclimatisation
- All our guides are personally trained by Gavin Bate, company director, International Mountain leader with over twenty years of experience guiding trips to the Greater Ranges
- We do not outsource our trips to the cheapest local operator. Instead we run our own company in Tanzania and invest in our staff directly. Our guides have worked with for us for over a decade.
- All the staff in our UK office have climbed Kilimanjaro so you can chat to people who understand what it is like to go up for the first time, before you go. We spend time on the phone and we are happy to make personal visits to meet groups or individuals where possible. We provide all the Kilimanjaro facts, under the gloss!
- We are passionate about responsible tourism and our company supports sustainable development in Tanzania and Kenya in a real way. We have won the World Responsible Tourism Awards twice now.
- Financial security is guaranteed as we are fully financially bonded so your money is secure
- We are members of Interhealth which gives you access to pre-trip health information and on-site assistance by phone in the event of an emergency.
All of the guides have been employed for over ten years with us, and they have been trained to our high standards personally by Director and high altitude climber Gavin Bate, who has climbed Kilimanjaro over forty times and is a guide on Everest. They know how to deal with medical emergencies and speak good English. They are very attentive and after so many years have a good understanding of western needs. They all have the necessary KINAPA cards (Kilimanjaro National Park qualification).
We give our staff in excess of the recommended wage and provide clothing, food and tents for all of our staff and porters. We have proven policies for payment and tipping. This means that you are not hassled by people looking for handouts at the end of the trip, and the staff themselves are happier. We also provide a development programme for the guides and cooks, including first aid training and regular visits from International Mountain Leaders to help improve service and mountain management. If you want to climb Kilimanjaro then you can be assured that you are with a great, proven and experienced team!
You can book your Adventure Alternative holiday for as little as £100.00 and pay the balance in as many instalments as you like. Choose a scheduled date or contact us for private dates, a bespoke itinerary or more trip details.
- Duration 11 days
- Numbers 3 - 15
- Altitude 5895m
- Distance 70km
- Challenge Moderate
- Comfort Camping