Lemosho Route

Mount Kilimanjaro

Overview

Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho route:
11 day itinerary, 8 day climb, £2245

This is an 11 day itinerary with an 8 day climb to the summit using the Lemosho route on Mount Kilimanjaro. The Lemosho route has gained popularity due to the eight day climb giving more time to acclimatise and wonderful views en route. It also 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 and onto Barafu camp for the summit push. The exit is via Millennium Camp and through Mweka Gate. It is very similar to the Machame route, in that they join up on day 3 of the Lemosho itinerary or day two of the Machame itinerary and both follow Kilimanjaro's southern circuit route to the summit.

Adventure Alternative has been running treks / climbs of Kilimanjaro for over two decades, and with our own company in Tanzania, we have a reputation for integrity and safe, successful trips. We run climbs of Kilimanjaro every month and our summit success rate is 95%.

We offer four different routes to the top of Kilimanjaro with the most common being the 7 day climb on the Machame Route or this route via the 8 day Lemosho trail; whatever route you take, the itinerary is never 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. If you are confused over which route would suit you best then please don't hesitate to call or mail us via the 'Contact Us' button in the left hand menu.

Our staff are professional, qualified and experienced. We look after them excellently and in turn they look after you excellently! Our prices are land based and all inclusive including all park fees - there are no hidden kitties or fees. We do not charge additional fees by season and the price you see is the price you pay. We have flexible payments and ask for a £250 deposit to secure your place and balances 4 weeks prior to departure. We are an award winning, professional and ethical mountaineering company and can ensure you a wonderful and enjoyable climb of Mt Kilimanjaro.

You'll find various details on the horizontal menu above and on the lower right which should cover any questions you may have especially the 'More Information' section. Do please feel free to call or email us. We can email you a trip info pack and you won't reach a 'sales agent' but a real person who loves and is experienced in the outdoors and most importantly has climbed Kilimanjaro several times!

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Itinerary

Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho route itinerary

  • Arrival on day one
  • Briefing and rest 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)

DETAILED ITINERARY

DayElevationTravel TimeInfo
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.

When to Climb – Peak seasons are traditionally January 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 greatly. December is getting warmer again with clear skies. Do check the information on weather and also full moons to decide on your preferred time to visit.

Full Moon - Many people prefer to climb during the full moon with a summit a day before or up to 2 days after. The reason being is purely down to the experience of summiting under the light of the moon (if it's not cloudy). There is no doubt that summiting with the path lit by moonlight and the white of the glaciers shining at you is great, however the downside of this experience is that is a very busy time on the mountain and at the camps.

Scheduled dates are shown above in the Date and Bookings section but you can create your own private trip very easily, and personalise it in your Booking Page with an add-on trip, for example one of our popular safaris to the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. The Booking Page also allows you to add your flights and personal arrangements, such as hiring equipment or ordering a car to pick you up.

Route choice. If you would like to discuss which route to take then do give us a call. This page deals with the Lemosho route. We also run treks on the Machame Route and the Rongai Route. Details for other routes can be found by clicking here.

Other Notable Dates 2016:
Valentines Day Summit: 6th Feb 2016 (Lemosho 8 day)
New Years Eve / Day Summit: 25th Dec (Machame Route)
Moving Mountains Trust Charity Kilimanjaro Climb 22nd Sept (Machame Route). Click here for Details

Other Notable Dates 2017:
Valentines Day Summit: 6th Feb 2017 (Lemosho 8 day)
New Years Eve / Day Summit: 25th Dec (Machame Route)
Moving Mountains Trust Charity Kilimanjaro Climb 25th Sept (Machame Route). Click here for Details

Cost

Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route cost: £1955.00

INCLUDES

  • 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

EXCLUDES

  • International airfare to Kilimanjaro Airport
  • Airport transfers - £10/$15 per person one way
  • Tanzanian Visa - $50 for UK, $100 for Irish citizens, purchased on arrival
  • Vaccinations and malaria tablets
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • 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.

Travel Insurance

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 5985m, 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.

Local Providers

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.

Fitness

Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho route fitness and terrain

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”.

TYPE OF TERRAIN

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.

The paths are in good condition and well trodden; some are steeper than others (in particular the Great Barranco Wall is an exciting scramble) and you will most likely meet people all along the way. On summit day the path is mostly screed, which can be loose and unrelenting, especially on the descent when your knees will probably suffer.

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.

Experience needed for Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho route

Climbing Kilimanjaro is 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. You will have however be outdoors constantly and living in tents so any sort of experience with camping will be useful.

It is not necessary to have any experience of high altitude to climb Kilimanjaro, 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.

ADVENTURE ALTERNATIVE SUPPORT

The staff will carry your main bag up to a maximum weight of 15 kgs plus all the tents, kitchen equipment, food, fuel, tables and chairs. They will cater for all the group needs, providing excellent meals and putting up the tents. The guides will also brief you daily on the climb.

Castro Capelo is our operations manager in Moshi and Director of Adventure Alternative Tanzania. He organises all the staff, equipment, permits and hotel arrangements. You will have his telephone number, or the staff at the hotel desk can call him for you. He is organiser, translator, problem-solver, advisor and the main link between you and the UK office. He talks to the guides every day on the mountain and can make arrangements while you are up high.

You also have continued support from the main office in Northern Ireland. Should a problem arise of significant proportion then you only need to call us.

Kit List

Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho route kit list

 

  • Waterproof day sack of about 30 -40 litres for carrying your daily needs
  • Strong, waterproofduffle 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 camelback (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

RENTAL ITEMS

You can rent equipment from us when you book or in Moshi where we a large store of equipment. For important things like sleeping bags we would reccommend you source them from home.

Why Us

  • We are a Mountain company run by mountaineers! From your first call or email you'll get good honest advice from someone who is experienced in the outdoors and has climbed Kilimanjaro. We don't employ 'sales agents'! We employ people who LOVE the outdoors and who all remember those mixed feelings of nervousness, excitement and apprehension when they first decided to climb Kilimanjaro! 
  • We are a respected and multi award winning company.
  • We have a flexible payment process
  • We have proper itineraries which are designed to give you the very best chances of summiting safely whilst enjoying the experience. We refuse to run short, dangerous itineraries - we don't cut corners.
  • We offer small scale, authentic adventures, which you can tailor at no extra cost.
  • We have a 95% success rate to the summit.
  • All our guides are personally trained by Gavin Bate, Company Director, Mountaineer and Everest Guide
  • 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.
  • We employ full time staff, offering job security and good benefits, and we are continually improving our quality service year on year.
  • We provide excellent equipment and a team of cooks which simply spoil you!
  • We are passionate about responsible tourism and our company supports sustainable development in Tanzania and Kenya in a real way.
  • Adventure Alternative underwrites the charity Moving Mountains.
  • Financial security guaranteed as we are bonded and also members of AITO.
  • 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.
  • Our staff only work for Adventure Alternative.

Extra Info

More Information about Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho route

DISTANCE COVERED

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.

HEIGHT GAINED

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

Dominating the landscape like no other mountain, both iconic and instantly recognisable, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the highest peak in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. At 5895 metres, to climb Kilimanjaro is a great challenge, not to be underestimated, but entirely feasible for the hill walker looking to combine a high mountain adventure with going to Africa.

Kilimanjaro translates to “mountain of the springs” and its unique position just below the equator offers an opportunity to experience five different habitats from bottom to top, which makes an ascent of the mountain undeniably special. In a matter of days you’ll climb Kilimanjaro from the equator to what feels like the Arctic, moving through grasslands, tropical rainforest, alpine meadows, moorlands and desert uplands to snow and ice.

The Lemosho Route is a camping trip for an average group size of 6 (we can take up to a maximum of 25 people but this is usually only for organised private groups; most team sizes are 6 - 8 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 1:4.

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.

We offer private climbs at no extra cost (min 4 people) and will work with groups or individuals to create the perfect tailormade holiday.

We are passionate about responsible tourism and every aspect of your trip, from transport and accommodation to staff policies,  and how we behave on the climb will reflect this. Adventure Alternative has won mulitiple industry awards and recognition including the Responsible Tourism Award for the Best Personal Contribution category. We have also been independently audited, assessed and awarded the British Standard BSi 8848 which is for organizing and managing visits, fieldwork, expeditions and adventurous activities, outside the United Kingdom.

STAFF

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.

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 Mt 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) and first aid certificates.

We give our staff in excess of the recommended wage and we are a Responsible Partner for the International Mountain Explorers Connection (Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project). We provide clothing, food and tents for all of our staff and 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!

TAILORMADE OPTION

We can facilitate private climbs for small or large groups. If there is four or more people then there is no additional charge, if your group is smaller than four people then there is a supplemental charge.

Groups, such as charities or clubs, can easily create their own trip in the Booking Section and personalise any details according to their preference. The Booking Page becomes a live trip summary for any number of people in a group, and it allows our staff in Tanzania to monitor the arrangements. We also offer group discounts and charity offers so do contact us for details.

Photos

£2,245pp

Choose a date and pay a minimum £250.00 deposit to secure your place. Any alterations like discounts are manually added to your invoice afterwards. 

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Key Information
  • Duration 11 days
  • Numbers 3 - 15
  • Altitude 5895m
  • Distance 70km
  • Challenge Moderate
  • Comfort Camping
Tanzania information
More Information