Kilimanjaro Trek – Lemosho Route

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  • The Lemosho Route is relatively new. It starts on the Western side of Mount Kilimanjaro at the Londorossi Gate and was introduced as an alternative to the Shira Route which begins at a higher, more challenging altitude. The Londorossi Gate is a fair drive from the town of Moshi. At the gate you will register with the authorities before being driven a further 12km to the starting point. The western side of Kilimanjaro is still very wild and you may get lucky and spot large antelope, buffalo and maybe even elephant. On day three the Lemosho Route joins the Machame Route at Lava Tower and down towards Barranco Valley via the Southern Circuit. As with the Machame Route, Lemosho trekkers need to transverse the Barranco Wall and then summit from Barafu Camp. Descent is via the Mweka route.

    Trekkers can complete the Lemosho Route in six days; however Kilimanjaro Centre for Trekking and Ecotourism – KCTE offer seven or even eight day hikes on the Lemosho which of course increases the probability of success. The seven day route typically stops for a night at both Shira Camp 1 and Shira Camp 2. Eight day treks stop again at Karanga Camp for another acclimatization day. This itinerary takes the Western Breach approach to the summit.

Additional Information

Trek Duration

More Than Five days


Mount Kilimanjaro

Tour Languages


Trek Difficulty



Kilimanjaro Centre for Trekking and Eco-tourism

Suitable For

< 18 year olds, 18-39 year olds, 40-49 year olds, 50-59 year olds, 60+ year olds, Families

Guiding Method


Kilimanjaro Centre for Trekking and Ecotourism

Your chances to reach the summit depend on your Kilimanjaro Tour Operator more than on anything else. Yes, your operator is more important than your fitness level! We not only have the best safety record, we also have the best client success rates.

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    Day 1: Lemosho Glades to Mti Mkubwa/Big Tree Camp
    Distance: 4.8km; Altitude Gained: 396m

    Following a fairly lengthy drive we arrive at the strange fortified village of Londorossi, where we register, pay the park fees – and where the porters have their luggage weighed to ensure that they are not carrying more than the specified maximum. We then drive on to the start of the trek, on the edge of the forest.
    The whole of the first day’s trek is spent in some of the most pristine and beautiful to be found anywhere on the mountain. Given the rather isolated nature of this route, which sees relatively few tourists, encounters with wildlife on this trail are greater than on most other routes. We will also see some of Kilimanjaro’s more unusual flora, including the beautiful red impatiens Kilimanjarii, one of the great emblems of the mountain.

    Our first day ends at Mti Mkubwa, the Big Tree Camp (2785m), where, as with every night on the trek, you will arrive to find your tent already erected and a snack awaiting. A full dinner follows before we settle down to sleep to the sounds of the forest, with monkeys calling and the noisy turaco bird in this most blissful of locations, underneath the spreading branches of a beautiful old podocarpus tree.

    Day 2: Mti Mkubwa/Big Tree Camp to Shira One Campsite

    Distance: 7.19km; Altitude Gained: 719m

    This second day, the most varied on the trek, starts off with a continuation of yesterday’s march through the forest. Before long, however, we leave the trees behind to enter the grasses and wild flowers of the Heath and moorland zone. Note how, already, your guide has started to set a deliberately slow pace, in order to help you acclimatize to the lack of air pressure at this altitude.
    Still climbing, we eventually round the northern slopes of the Shira Ridge – Kilimanjaro’s little-known third summit – and pause to admire our glimpse of our destination, the magnificent snow-covered Kibo summit.

    Descending a short distance, we arrive at our second campsite, the Shira One Campsite (3504m), on the western edge of the Shira Plateau, with views across the plateau to Kibo.

    Day 3: Shira One Campsite to Shira Huts Campsite

    Distance: 6.9km (10.1km via the Cathedral); Altitude Gained: 391m

    For this third day we could just cut a straight path across the plateau towards Kibo, but if you have the energy a wonderful morning can be spent exploring some of the features of the Shira Ridge, including the Cathedral, from where we get great views across the plateau towards Kibo and along the southern slopes of Kilimanjaro. It is also extremely useful for acclimatizion as we climb steadily to 3720m before descending back to the plateau. We then continue east towards Kibo, eventually reaching the Shira Huts Campsite (3895m) at the heart of the plateau.

    Day 4: Shira Huts Campsite to Lava Tower

    Distance: 6.7km to Lava Tower (10.1km to Barranco Huts)
    Altitude Gained: 732m to Lava Tower Campsite; just 91m to Barranco Huts (732m ascent followed by 641m descent)

    The day begins with a slow march directly towards Kibo. The flora becomes more scarce now as we climb ever higher, with only a few everlastings, like living pot pourri, decorating the path. It’s a long walk but a very photogenic one with the snowy summit of Kilimanjaro a constant looming presence ahead.

    We are now heading into some serious altitude, with Lava Tower, at the foot of Kibo, our next destination, standing at 4530m above sea level. If we were planning on continuing onto Barranco this evening in all probability we would take lunch near the Lava Tower. For us who plan to climb via the Western Breach, we will camp at Lava Tower, and maybe enjoy a little excursion up it before dinner if we feel up to it. Hopefully, any altitude sickness we may be feeling now is relatively minor – because from now on it’s all uphill.

    Day 5: Lava Tower to Arrow Glacier

    Distance: 2.5km; Altitude Gained: 244m

    By our reckoning this particular leg, even if taken pole pole, lasts little longer than 75 minutes, yet it’s not unusual for trekking agencies to set aside an entire day for it. In one respect this seems a little over-cautious and does lead to a situation where, that hour aside, you’ll be spending the rest of your day freezing your butt off inside your tent. On the other hand, it’s a good idea to take your time at this altitude. After all, save for the Crater Camp this is the highest place where we can pitch your tent on the mountain (the altitude of Arrow Glacier Campsite being 4871m); and that kind of altitude should always be taken seriously.

    Furthermore, the walk, though only 75 minutes or so in duration, is still quite exhausting, it being uphill all the way. You begin by crossing a stream or two (one of which, Bastions Stream, runs below Lava Tower) before climbing steeply in a south-easterly direction to Arrow Glacier.
    Engulfed by avalanches and often subject to the vagaries of the extreme conditions up here, this place has always been a bit of a mess and little has changed. Let’s console ourselves with the thought that, assuming that we’re not spending a night on the summit, we probably won’t be spending a full night here but should be away by 2am. Happy Camping!

    Day 6: Arrow Glacier Campsite to Uhuru Peak

    Distance: 4km; Altitude Gained: 1024m

    Though we’ve talked as if there is one set path from campsite to crater rim, this isn’t actually the case; the path changes as snow and rockfalls dictate. Whatever route we take, rest assured it will be steep, and it will be exhausting. Our guide will doubtless aim for the rocky ridge that you can see from Arrow Glacier Campsite which runs from the rock towers near the crater down towards the camp (and is often called the ‘Stone Train’). From there we hit the Rock Stairs – natural steps that, after the shifting scree and rocks that we’ve just walked on, come as something of a relief. These stairs are also viewed as a ‘Point of No Return’ by the porters who, once they see that you’ve reached here, consider there’s no turning back and thus break camp and march off to Mweka (unless you’re planning to sleep at Crater Camp, of course, in which case they’ll be right behind you).

    The trail now picks its way between the rocky towers crater before finally gaining the crater rim (5729m), with Furtwangler Glacier on our left the first of many spectacular sights up here. Walking on level ground for a change, Crater Campsite (also 5729m), set amongst boulders at the foot of the climb up to Uhuru, is just 10 minutes away. From here, the stiff switchback climb up to Uhuru Peak takes 50 minutes, the path clearly etched into the crater wall. It’s a hard climb and you’ll be cursing every zigzag and switchback on the way. But keep going: the sense of achievement at the top is beyond compare. And it’s a feeling that will stay with you all the way down, and all the way back to your home country. Because if you get to the summit, you’ll believe you can do anything.

    After a rest at the top, we continue to Barafu Camp, take breakfast and relax for an hour then continue our march down the mountain on the Mweka Trail. Today’s walk takes us back down through the alpine desert, heath and moorland zones until we once more enter the forest zone via Millennium Camp (3827m).

    There, amongst the trees, we find the Mweka Campsite (3106m), our final stop on the trek. We should arrive there at about 4pm – and you have been walking for around 16 hours, less breaks! Exhausting but, if you made it to the top, you’ll think it was worth it!

    Day 7: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

    Distance: 9.1km; Altitude Gained: 1473m

    It’s just a couple of hours further now from the campsite to Mweka Gate (c1633m), where those who made it to the summit or Stella Point will collect their certificates.

    A car will be waiting to take you back to your hotel, and a land of warm showers and cold beers.


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what’s included

  • Airport Pick-up and Drop-off (Transport from Kilimanjaro air port and back after tour)
  • All park entrance, camping, hut and rescue fees
  • All meals and drinking water while on the mountain
  • Accommodation 2 nights before and after Kilimanjaro Climb
  • Camping equipment including mountaineering mess and sleeping tents, table & chairs, sleeping mattresses & pillows
  • Transport to/from national park gate
  • Kilimanjaro climbing certificate
  • what’s excluded

    • Flight Ticket
    • Visa fees
    • All personal needs such as drinks soda, alcohol, Bites etc
    • Any extra night at the hotel or while on the mountain
    • Tipping for your mountain guides & cook and porters

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    Company Information

    Your chances to reach the summit depend on your Kilimanjaro Tour Operator more than on anything else. Yes, your operator is more important than your fitness level! We not only have the best safety record, we also have the best client success rates.

    Tour Details

    • Availability
      Available Daily
    • Booking Type
      Instant Booking
    • Duration
      7 Days
    • Guiding method
    • Guide Language
    • Meeting/Starts Point
      Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO)
    • Maximum Altitude
      5895 Meters
    • Trek Difficulty

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