Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route
|Intro||Itinerary||Route map||Length of route||Altitude profile||Camps used||Clothing|
We offer a seven day and an eight day climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro using the Lemosho route. Both offer good acclimatisation and wonderful views enroute. This route has a beautiful approach through the forest on the first day through the Lemosho Glades from the west before joining the Machame trail at the Shira Plateau and contouring around the dramatic southern flank of the mountain via Barranco Camp, Karanga Camp and then on to Barafu camp for the summit push. The descent is via Millennium Camp and through Mweka Gate.
The Lemosho Route is a camping trip for an average group size of 4 using top quality mountain tents, comfortable mattresses, and qualified guides, porters who carry the bags and equipment, and cooks who provide fresh, tasty food every day. The ratio of guide:climber is 1:2. Our local guides have been with us for many years and are all trained, qualified, experienced and great fun.
The 8 day option has a particularly good summit success rate, the extra day makes a difference to how you feel and there are three nights sleeping at the same altitude. The 7 day option is about an 85% summit success rate and we don't offer anything less because it is just too dangerous to consider climbing Kilimanjaro in 6 days.
We provide an experienced personal service throughout, and you can chat with us in the office about the climb. Gavin has been guiding the mountain since 1994 and makes several ascents a year, and we have been using the same team of guides and cooks since 2001.
Lemosho was introduced by the park to handle increasing numbers of visitors and it is true to say that Lemosho has a slightly easier gradient through the forest and onto the Shira plateau. However, the gate at Londorossi is further away than Machame Gate so on the first morning you have to drive for about three hours to register at the Londorossi Gate and then drive a little further on to the start of the trek. This means normally beginning to trek after lunch, although the first hike to Big Tree Camp is quite short at just a few hours.
- Day 1 is the arrival in Tanzania as advertised on the booking page (or your custom dates)
- Day 2 is for resting, hydrating and briefing, with time to pick up rental items and buy any snacks in town.
- Days 3 to 9 is the climb period (arriving back in hotel by mid afternoon). If we break these seven days down:
3. Moshi to Londorossi Gate and hike to Big Tree Camp
4. Big tree Camp to Shira Camp (normally the second higher one)
5. Shira Camp to Barranco Camp
6. Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley Camp
7. Karanga Valley Camp to Barafu Camp
8. Baradu Camp to Uhuru Peak and descend via Barafu down to Millennium Camp or Mweka Camp
9. Descend to Mweka Gate and transfer back to hotel.
- Day 10 is departure day or the start of any safari, such as the 4D3N Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire and Manyara Parks.
See the day by day detailed on the next tab, which you can also print off.
Lemosho route is around 70 kms or 42 miles whether you opt for the 7 or 8 day version. It joins up with the Machame Route between Shira and Barranco so the terrain is very similar.
For the seven day version we go from Big Tree Camp to Upper Shira so just remove the lower Shira Plateau camp on day 3.
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. Depending on your route choice (7 or 8 day versions) you may spend one or two nights on the plateau.
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.
We have a full Kilimanjaro packing list which shows a complete list of what you will need to bring with you. This is a camping trip and we supply the tents and mattresses and all the kitchen tent equipment so you need to bring clothes, good boots and a 4 season sleeping bag. We rent a lot of equipment direct from our base in Moshi which you can order online when you book a trip.
All your clothes are carried in a duffle bag on the heads of the porters (we have duffle bags for rent too) and you will need a day pack of about 40 litres to carry your daily needs and provide enough space for summit day when you definitely need a warm down jacket which is quite bulky.
For the Lemosho route like all the others, it's important to pack in the knowledge that during the seven or eight days you will experience a variety of weather, from hot and sunny to cold and windy, humid in the jungle and dry on the alpine desert. This means packing carefully because every day you will wear something different and carry different items in your back pack.
In the rainforest it's quite good to wear shorts and T-shirt and take an umbrella because it's hot and it will likely rain. Up higher you will want long sleeved warm clothing because it's exposed and windy and the UV is really powerful. On summit night it's all about warmth, but on the way down when the sun is up it gets incredibly hot.
Make sure you have good proper boots and don't forget to protect your skin. We have a number of info pages on types of boots and sleeping bags which will help you choose what to buy if you need to, and don't forget to call us anytime with any questions.
Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route itinerary
The 8 day version of the Lemosho route below is 11 days. Our 7 day route version combines days 4 and 5 and totals 10 days.
|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 through the forest then out on to open heath land reaching camp at Shira Plateau 1.
(If you prefer our 7 day itinerary then this day and the following day combine meaning a 7hr day in total to Shira 2 or Upper Shira.)
|5||3840m||3hrs||Relatively short day from Shira Plateau 1 to Shira Plateau 2 but a good day in terms of rest if you have any fitness concerns, or are new to mountaineering.|
|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.|
Descending through the lush forest to Mweka Gate where you sign out and pick up the summit certificate.
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.|
Mount Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route price
7 day Lemosho climb: £1995.00
8 day Lemosho climb: £2245.00
- 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
- Forest fees, National Park fees, camping fees and park rescue fees
- Park certified guides (ratio of 1:2 or 1:3 depending on number of climbers), all outdoor first aid qualified
- Porters and cooks, plus equipment and tents for them
- All camping equipment including sleeping tents with mattresses
- Expedition administrator, translator and Manager
- Meals on the mountain - fresh food, 3 meals per day
- Oxygen bottles and masks, mountain shelter and portable stretcher on every trip
- 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
Notes on the pricing of this trip
We do not operate kitties so the trip cost includes all main costs except personal expenses.
We use a very good hotel in town with which we have built up a strong relationship for the past twenty years.
Your money is protected by our financial bonding and we are a secure and well established company.
We run scheduled dates and groups which normally number between two and ten. Private dates are at no extra cost but there is a supplement for single travellers.
We advise you to take out your 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, helicopter rescue and cancellation, but it does not need to cover technical climbing.
The local Provider for this trip is Adventure Alternative Tanzania which is licensed under the Adventure Alternative trademark and provides excellent rates of pay, high quality equipment and training for the staff.
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
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!
Choose a scheduled date or contact us to set up private dates or a bespoke itinerary. The minimum deposit is £100.00 and the balance is due four weeks before travel.
- Duration 7 or 8 days
- Numbers 2 - 15
- Altitude 5895m
- Distance 70km
- Challenge Moderate
- Comfort Camping