9-day Kilimanjaro – Lemosho Route

The Lemosho route is regarded as the most scenic route on Mount Kilimanjaro, offering panoramic views from all sides of the mountain. This route strikes a nice balance between low crowds (for the first couple of days), beautiful scenery, and a high summit success rate.

Mount Kilimanjaro is approached from the west, beginning with a long drive from Arusha to Londorossi Gate. The first two days are spent trekking through the rainforest to Shira Ridge from there. In a pleasant, relatively flat hike, the Lemosho route crosses the entire Shira Plateau from west to east. Crowds are light until the route intersects with the Machame route near Lava Tower. The route then follows the Southern Circuit beneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field before summiting from Barafu. The Mweka route is used for the descent.

The hike itself takes 6 nights, but you’ll need an extra 2 nights to get to and from Meru View Hotel.

We also have a 10-day Lemosho route that includes an extra acclimatisation day and cuts some of the daily hikes in half.

Highlights

  • Usa River
  • Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Arusha
  • Tanzania

Tour Summary

Full Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1 : Arusha

Kilimanjaro Airport – Arusha
Distance approx. 35km; driving time approx. 45 minutes
Upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport, you will be greeted by our transfer driver and taken to the Meru View Lodge. The rest of the day will be at leisure and you may choose to relax at the lodge or perhaps explore the town of Arusha. In the evening, you will attend a briefing in preparation of your upcoming trek. Dinner and overnight at Meru View Lodge.
Dinner

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Day 2: Big Tree Camp : Mount Kilimanjaro

Arusha – Lemosho Gate (2,385m) – Big Tree Camp (2,780m)
Altitude ↑395m; walking time approx. 2-3 hours
In the morning, you will be picked up at the lodge and taken to the Lemosho Gate (2,385m). Here you will be registered by the national park authorities and your trek through a dense rainforest begins. You will follow a moderately steep track, which leads you through an amazing and unspoilt natural forest to the Big Tree Camp, your destination for today.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

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Day 3: Shira Camp 2 : Mount Kilimanjaro

Big Tree Camp (2,780m) – Shira Camp 2 (3,900m)
Altitude ↑1,120m; walking time approx. 7-8 hours
Today’s long trek starts on a small trail that passes through the rainforest. As one climbs, the forest gradually thins out and the landscape changes into heath and moorland where plants like erica and lobelia start to dominate the landscape. You will cross the Shira Ridge and after 4 to 5 hours of trekking, you will reach Shira Camp 1. Here you will stop for lunch, relax a bit and enjoy the fantastic views of Mount Meru and the Rift Valley. For the last part of the climb (approximately 3 hours), you will climb another 250 metres in altitude. The landscape will change again, and you will walk on ground that once was a lava flow. Just before reaching Shira Camp 2, you will pass giant senecios that can grow to almost 9 metres in height. At Shira Camp 2, you will camp for the night and with a little luck, enjoy the wonderful view of the Kibo summit at sunset.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

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Day 4: Barranco Camp : Mount Kilimanjaro

Shira Camp 2 (3,900m) – Lava Tower (4,640m) – Barranco Camp (3,960m)
Altitude ↑740m|↓680m; walking time approx. 6-7 hours
Today you will climb approximately 700 metres, but you will spend the night at an elevation only slightly higher than the previous night. This will allow your body to acclimatise, as a height of over 4500 metres will be reached before descending again. In doing so, you will be able to see how your body reacts to such an altitude. The trek begins with a long ascent above the Shira Plateau in the direction of the Lava Tower. The vegetation becomes sparser as the landscape changes to the alpine desert. The climb passes through the wide Barranco Valley with its lobelia and giant senecio plants. After 6 to 7 hours' of walking, you will arrive at the Barranco Camp – perhaps the most beautiful camp on Kilimanjaro.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

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Day 5: Karanga Camp : Mount Kilimanjaro

Barranco Camp (3,960m) – Karanga Camp (4,035m)
Altitude ↑75m; walking time approx. 3-4 hours
Today’s trekking leg has many ascents and descents and shortly after the start, you will tackle the steepest part of the entire route: the Barranco Wall. Every now and then, you may need your hands to hold on as there are no climbing β€œpaths”. Safety is paramount, and your guides will assist you whenever necessary. After reaching the top of the Barranco Wall, you will walk along the mountain ridge. From here you will have fantastic views of the southern glacier of Kibo as well as of the Kibo summit. You will get to Karanga Camp around lunchtime.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

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Day 6: Barafu Camp : Mount Kilimanjaro

Karanga Camp (4,035m) – Barafu Camp (4,640m)
Altitude ↑605m; walking time approx. 3-4 hours
After breakfast, you will walk along a trail that passes through an alpine desert area until you reach the destination of today – the Barafu Camp. In the afternoon you can relax and stretch your legs in preparation of the upcoming summit night. You will have dinner early in order to catch a few hours sleep, before you will be woken up at around midnight.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

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Day 7: Mweka Camp : Mount Kilimanjaro

Barafu Camp (4,640m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895m) – Mweka Camp (3,080m)
Altitude ↑1,255m|↓2,815m; walking time approx. 10-14 hours
After some hot tea and a light snack, the climb begins around midnight. By torchlight, you will start walking on the lava ash that is still frozen. After 5 to 7 hours you will arrive at Stella Point (5730m), the crater rim of Mount Kilimanjaro. Another 1 to 2 hours climb along the crater ridge will lead you to the summit of Uhuru Peak. From β€œAfrica’s Roof”, you will be able to see the surrounding landscape being lit up by the rising sun – a truly liberating experience. After a short break and taking photos, you will return to Barafu Camp just before midday where the rest of the crew will be waiting for you. You will have a warm lunch and rest for about 1 to 2 hours before you make your way down to the Mweka Camp about 3 hours away.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

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Day 8 : Arusha

Mweka Camp (3,080m) – Mweka Gate (1,630m) – Arusha
Altitude ↓1,450m; walking time approx. 2-3 hours
The final leg of your amazing adventure begins after breakfast with a traditional farewell ceremony from the mountain crew. Then a gentle 2 to 3 hours descent through the rainforest continues to Mweka Gate, where your driver will be waiting for you. He will take you back to the Meru View Lodge and after a warm shower, the rest of the day is free to rest or to celebrate your achievement.
Breakfast | Dinner

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Day 9 : Departure

Arusha – Kilimanjaro Airport
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro Airport. Alternatively, you can extend your trip in Tanzania and go on a safari or relax on a beach onΒ the Indian Ocean.
Breakfast

Included

Kilimanjaro trekking according to the itinerary
Professional, English-speaking guide
Mountain crew (cook & porters)
Overnight stays in hotels and mountain tents
Camping equipment (tents, sleeping mats, chairs, tables etc.)
Meals according to the itinerary
Drinking water
All national park fees
All mentioned transfers

Excluded

International flights
Portable Toilet (recommended), price on request
Sleeping bag
Flights
Soft drinks
Visa fees
Tips
Personal spending money for souvenirs etc.
Travel Insurance

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