Kilimanjaro: Lemosho Route

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Lemosho Itinerary

Day 01: Drive from Moshi to the Kilimanjaro Londorossi Gate, start climb to Forest Camp (3.7mi/6.0km)

After breakfast, we will drive from Moshi to the Londorossi Park gate, then begin a gentle climb up through the mountain forest, carpeted with unique "busy lizzie" flowers, begonias and ferns. First camp is situated among the giant heather plants at 9,500ft (2,896m). (Total ascent: 1,700ft/518m during 3-4 hours hiking.)

Day 02: Forest Camp to Shira Camp I (5.0mi/8km)

Emerge from the giant heather zone and hike through fine open moorland to camp at Shira Camp I at 11,500ft (3,505m). Herds of eland antelope sometimes graze up here, and there are fascinating geological features in the old volcanic caldera which can be viewed during a half hour optional walk in the afternoon. (Total ascent: 2,000ft/610m during 5-6 hours hiking.)

Day 03: Shira Camp I to Shira Camp II to Moir Hut Camp (8.7mi/14.0km)

We hike along the Shira plateau for the duration of the day. Begin with a gentle walk east toward Kibo’s glaciered peak, winding across the plateau that leads to Shira II camp on moorland meadows. We'll then continue to Moir Hut, a little used site on the base of the Lent Hills. A variety of optional walks are available on Lent Hills making this an excellent acclimatization opportunity. (Total ascent: 2,300ft/701m during 6-7 hours hiking.)

Day 04: Moir Hut Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Hut Camp (4.4mi/7.0km)

From the Shira Plateau, we'll continue to up a ridge, passing the trail junction towards the Kibo peak. As we continue we'll arrive at the Lava Tower geological formation, called the "Shark's Tooth." After that we'll come to a second trail junction, which brings us up to Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft/4,877m. We'll then continue down to Barranco Hut Camp at an altitude of 13,000ft/3,964m. Although you'll finish the day below the elevation you started at, this day is an important step for acclimatization, and will help your body prepare for the summit. (Total descent: 800ft/244m during 5-6 hours hiking.)

Day 05: Barranco Hut Camp to Karanga Camp (3.1mi/5.0km)

After breakfast, we'll leave Barranco Hut Camp and continue on a steep ridge passing the steep Barranco Wall, ending at the Karanga Valley campsite. This is a short day meant for acclimatization. (Total ascent: 100ft/30m during 4-5 hours hiking.)

Day 06: Karanga Camp to Barafu Hut Camp (2.5mi/4.0km)

We'll leave Karanga Camp and hit the next junction, which connects with the Mweka Trail. We then continue up to the Barafu Hut Camp, which completes the South Circuit trail. Here we'll make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit morning/day. (The twin peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo can be seen from this position.) (Total ascent: 2,200ft/671m during 4-5 hours hiking.)

Day 07: Barafu Hut Camp to Kibo Summit to Mweka Camp (10.6mi/17.0km)

A bracing 1:00 am start to climb the steep, frozen spree up to the summit. This is unavoidable on any route, but we want to aim to reach Stella Point (on the crater rim) for sunrise — another 40 minutes later and magically you’re at the highest point on the continent, bathing in the sun's warmth (which is much appreciated at that elevation). After reaching the Kibo summit and snapping the prerequisite photos, we then return via the Mweka descent route. Total walking time will be around 7 hours (4,265ft/1,300m ascent) to the summit, then a 6-8 hour (9,186ft/2,800m) descent to Mweka camp, set in a clearing amongst the giant heather. This is a long and hard day — you’ll feel extremely tired, but also absolutely ecstatic that you’ve actually done it. Enjoy your sleep — you've earned it! (Total ascent: 4,045ft/1,233m during 7-8 hours hiking, followed by 9,345ft/2,848m of descent over a period of 5-6 hours.)

Day 08: Mweka Camp to Mweka Park Gate to Moshi (6.2mi/10.0km)

We finish up with a 4 hour descent through the forest to Mweka Gate to collect our completion certificates and meet with our vehicle. Return to Moshi, arriving early afternoon, then check into our hotel for some R&R, or head back to Kilimanjaro airport for your flight home. (Total descent: 4,600ft/1,402m during 4 hours hiking.)

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