Lemosho Route

Kilimanjaro’s Lemosho Route starts below the Shira Route, allowing trekkers to more easily acclimatize before it crosses the Shira Plateau and then joins up with the Machame Route.  Some operators may offer this in as little as 6 days, but Elite Kilimanjaro only offers a minimum of 7-Day trek on Lemosho and recommends at least an 8-Day Lemosho trek to maximize your safety and chance of success.

Lemosho Route 9-Day Description

The Lemosho Route begins from the west side of Mount Kilimanjaro, running just below the Shira Route.  Starting much lower than Shira, climbers are able to gradually increase altitude and greatly reduce their chances of experiencing altitude related symptoms from the start.  Although Lemosho is becoming more popular due to its very high success rate, it still has slightly less foot-traffic than other routes.  It eventually meets up with the Shira Route at Shira Camp 2.  Unlike the huts of the Marangu Route, you will sleep in tents, which will be transported by your porters.  Meals are served in a dinner tent or on a blanket outside (weather permitting).  In the 9-Day Lemosho itinerary below, you will spend and extra day exploring around the Barranco Camp, where you will spend a 2nd night.  This allows for more effective acclimatization and results in a higher success rate.  You can opt to take this additional night at Karangu Camp instead if you prefer.

Lemosho Route 9-Day Rates

1 Climber 2 Climbers 3-5 Climbers 6-10 Climbers 11+
$2,855 $2,745 $2,520 $2,450 Request Quote

Extra days on the mountain: $240/person/day
Low Season Discount:  $50

Lemosho Route 9-Day Duration

9 Days on the mountain (7.5 days ascent, 1.5 days descent)

Distance Covered and Elevation

37 mi/60 km ascent, 24 mi/ 38km descent
Ascend from Londorossi Gate (7,380 ft/2,250 m) to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft/5895 m) and return to Mweka Gate (6,500 ft/1,980 m)
13,435 ft/4,095 m total gain

Lemosho Route Map

Climb Kilimanjaro's Lemosho Route with Elite Kilimanjaro

Click to download Lemosho Route Map PDF

Lemosho 9-Day Itinerary

Tanzania Arrival

You will be greeted by our friendly transfer staff who will take you from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) to your hotel in Moshi (3,000 ft/915m) where you will spend the night and prepare your gear.

Day 1:  Londorossi Gate (7,380 ft/2,250 m) to Lemosho Glades (6,560 ft/2,000 m) to Big Tree Camp (9,020 ft/2,750 m) 8km, 3-4 hours

Following an early breakfast and briefing from your guide, our staff will drive you several hours from your hotel in Moshi to the western side of Kilimanjaro.  You will stop at the Londorossi Gate, where your guides and porters will prepare your equipment and supplies.  Kilimanjaro Park registration will be completed here as well.  After registration, you will take a 45-minute drive to the Lemosho Glades where you will enter the rainforest and begin your ascent.  You will climb for 3 hours through dense rainforest.  Use your gaiters and trekking poles for stabilization when the path becomes sloppy with mud after a rain.  Your trail will eventually lead you to the Mti Mkubwa, commonly referred to as “Big Tree” Camp.  When you arrive, you will find your camp and tent is already set up by the porters who ran ahead.  They will bring you boiled drinking water and washing water in preparation for dinner.

Day 2:  Big Tree Camp (9,020 ft/2,750 m) to Shira Camp 1 (11,485 ft/3,500 m) 8km, 6-7 hours

After breakfast, your long Day 2 trek begins again in the rainforest.  The trail slowly steepens as it enters into the vast heather moorland zone.  You then cross the Shira Ridge before dropping slightly into Shira Camp 1.  Your camp sits near a small stream on the Shira Plateau, which is actually the sunken remains of the first volcano which filled in with lava from later eruptions.

Day 3:  Shira Camp 1 (11,485 ft/3,500 m) to Shira Camp 2 (12,600 ft/3,840 m) 10km, 4-5 hours

Day 3 is another long one.  After an early breakfast, you trek begins with a long, easy walk across Shira Plateau caldera.  Your path eventually leads you to Shira Camp 2 which also sits near a stream that cuts through the moorland meadows.  For those that wish to add even more additional days, this is a great spot to take one because of the variety of walks available on the plateau.

Day 4:  Shira Camp 2 (12,600 ft/3,840 m) to Lava Tower (15,190 ft/3,950 m) to Barranco Camp (12,960 ft/3,950m) 13km, 6-8 hours

After breakfast and packing, you start your trek east up a steep path above the last bit of Kilimanjaro’s vegetation.  After 5-6 hours, you reach the well-known landmark Lava Tower (15,190 ft/ 3,950 m).  You will stop here for lunch and some bonus acclimatization before you descend for 2 hours below the Western Breach into the Barranco Camp.  Day 4’s hike offers multiple terrific opportunities for photos, especially if the walls are covered with ice.  While you wait for your dinner, you will have a chance to experience one of the most memorable sunsets you have ever seen as the sun drops through the valley.  Pay attention to your body and keep your guide informed of any signs of altitude sickness.

Day 5:  Barranco Camp (12,960 ft/3,950m) 

Most trekkers vote this as their favorite camp on this route, which is the reason we use it as an additional acclimatization day in our 9-Day Trek.  You will spend the day going on a short hike and exploring the area before returning to camp to rest and enjoy a encore of the beautiful Barranco sunset.

Day 6:  Barranco Camp (12,960 ft/3,950m) to Karanga Camp (13,780 ft/4,200m) 7 km, 4 hours

After sleeping below the Great Barranco Wall, you get your chance to tackle this hurdle.  Don’t worry…It’s much easier than it looks.  Continue up until you reach just below the Heim Glacier.  Then head down through the Karanga Valley.  This is the last place for your porters to gather water.  They will collect all the water for the remainder of the ascent here.  You will settle in here at the Karanga Camp.  After lunch, you can spend the afternoon doing light exploring or resting while taking in the views of Mawenzi’s towering spires.

Day 7:  Karanga Camp (13,780 ft/4,200m)to Barafu Camp (14,930 ft/4,550m) 5 km, 3-4 hours

After breakfast, you’ll head east, crossing over multiple ridges and valleys until you join up with the Mweka Route and turn left to continue up the ridge for an hour to reach the Barafu Hut.  You will arrive at camp to find your tent pitched on a rocky ridge with high winds.  Be sure to familiarize yourself with the camp before dark to be safe.  Also, have your headlamp/flashlight handy if you need to leave the tent after dark.  You will prepare your equipment (replace batteries for headlamp and camera) before you go to bed by 7 PM and try to catch a few hours of shuteye before your summit attempt!

Day 8:  SUMMIT DAY!  Barafu Camp (14,930 ft/4,550m) to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft/5,895 m) to Mweka Camp (10,170 ft/3,100 m) 7 km up and 22 km down, 8 hours up, 9-10 hours down

Wake at 11:30 PM for tea or coffee and biscuits and then depart Barafu on your bid for the peak.  You will climb 6 hours through thick scree following multiple switchbacks between the Ratzel and Rebmann glaciers until you reach Stella Point (18,650 ft/5,685 m).  You have just completed what most climbers consider to be the most challenging part of their trek.  Depending on your pace to this point, you may get the chance to enjoy the majestic sunrise during your short rest here.  Although you will be fatigued, it is important to keep moving due to the extreme cold.  At Stella Point, you have joined up with the last bit of the Marangu Route.  You will hike along the rim for another 1-2 hours until you reach your ultimate goal of Uhuru Peak.  Congratulations, you are now standing on the Roof of Africa!  You will have time to take pictures with the world-famous Uhuru Peak sign, but it is important to begin your descent soon in order to allow yourself enough time to rest at the Barafu Camp.  After a 3-hour descent down sliding scree, you will reach Barafu to have a short rest while you collect your gear and then continue down the path back into the forest camp of Mweka.  You might experience a little rain in the afternoon, so be sure to have your rain gear in your daypack.  Enjoy some dinner and some well-deserved sleep.  At Mweka Camp, the office sells bottled water, soft drinks, candy bars, and beer.

Day 9:  Mweka Camp (10,170 ft/3,100 m) to Mweka Gate (6,500 ft/1,980 m) 10 km, 3-4 hours

Wake up for breakfast as usual, pack, and descend through a short, scenic, 3-hour hike to Mweka Gate.  Wait until you and all of your gear has reached the gate before you tip your staff.  After registering at the gate, you will wait to receive your summit certificates (green for those who reached Stella Point and gold for those who reach Uhuru Peak).  From the gate, if the road is too muddy for vehicles, you will continue your hike for 1 hour to the Mweka Village, 3km away.  There you will enjoy a hot lunch before being driven back to Moshi where you can have your first hot shower in days!

Final Day in Moshi

If you will be leaving us today, our transfer staff will drive you back to the airport.  If you have purchased a Safari or Zanzibar package through Elite Kilimanjaro, we will help you seamlessly transition from your trek into your next Tanzania adventure.