Kilimanjaro by the Lemosho Route
10 days Grade B Fully Porter Supported
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The Lemosho Route: is an unspoilt, remote, little-used and beautiful way up to
the Shira Plateau. It can either be used to gain the Western Breach route or
followed by the Kibo South Circuit to ascend by the easier Barafu Route. The
route is one of the few where groups may be accompanied on the first day by an
armed ranger as the forests around the Lemosho Glades are rich in buffalo,
elephant and other big game animals.
The standard route can be done in 7 days on the mountain; however since the
quite long a party wishing to ascend more comfortably take 8 days on
the mountain by camping at Karanga Valley before going on to Barafu. This is
how the route is described below.
A strong party can complete the trip in 6 days via the Western Breach when this
route is re-opened - this is a tough option.
Both the Barafu and Western Breach options are described below.
ProgrammeAccommodation on the mountain is in tents; you will need a sleeping bag but a
sleeping mat is provided. The porters do not pitch the tents for you but will
help if you wish.
Day 1 Arrive at the hotel.
Day 2 Drive from Moshi or Arusha to Londorossi Park Gate (2250m, 2 hours). From
here a forest track requiring a 4WD vehicle leads to Lemosho Glades (2100m,
11km, 45 minutes) and a possible campsite (park fees are not paid to camp
here). Walk along forest trails to Mti Mkubwa (big tree) campsite, (2750m, 3
Day 3 The trail gradually steepens and enters the giant heather moorland zone.
Several streams are crossed then it gains the Shira Ridge at about 3600m and
drops gently down to Shira 1 camp located by a stream on the Shira Plateau
(3500m, 5 hours). This campsite could be omitted.
Day 4 A gentle walk across the plateau leads to Shira 2 camp on moorland meadows by
a stream (3850m, 1.5 hours). A variety of walks are available on the Plateau
making this an excellent acclimatisation day.
Day 5 Continue east towards Kibo passing the junction, then east towards the Lava
Tower. Shortly after this, you descend to Barranco hut (3940m, 4 hours).
Day 6 A short scramble to the top of the Great Barranco and then a traverse over
scree and ridges to the Karanga Valley (4000m, 3 hours). Excellent views of the
icefalls of the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers. Day 6 & 7 Video
Day 7 After climbing out of the Karanga
Valley the trail ascends a ridge to the Barafu Hut, a bleak location with
little vegetation at 4600m, (3 hours walking).
Day 8 An early start for the ascent to the rim of the Kibo Crater between the
Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers, (4 hours); the last section before the rim can
sometimes be snow-covered and an ice-axe or ski stick is useful for balance.
From here a further hour leads to Uhuru Peak, from where there are often fine
views of Meru to the west and the jagged peak of Mawenzi to the east. Descend
to the Barafu Hut for a rest and lunch before continuing on down to camp at
Mweka Hut in the giant heather zone on the forest edge. Those with energy on
the summit may wish to descend to the Reutsh Crater and visit the dramatic ice
pinnacles of the Eastern Icefields. Video
Day 9 A 3-4 hour descent through beautiful forest brings you to the Park gate
and your waiting transport. Drive back to the hotel.
Depart hotel after breakfast.
This is a strenuous walking trip but within the limits of a fit individual used
to walking in mountain areas. Ski sticks or ice-axe are useful when ascending
the scree to the summit.
The programme is available all the year round.
Included in the cost :
All park fees, guides, porters, cook, all meals on the mountain and breakfast
at the hotel.
Not included in the cost:
Tips, airport transfers, extra drinks and additional meals at the hotel.
See also hotel details and facilities, safari extensions, Zanzibar extensions, weather.
Western Breach Variation This route can be done in 5 nights via the Western Breach when it is re-opened. In this case the itinerary from Day 5 becomes:For more pictures of services and the ascent click here.
Day 5 The moorlands soon come to an end and the rocky path leads amongst outcrops to
the Lava Tower where there are good campsites (4600m, 4 hours). A strong group
may want to continue up a steep scree path to the site of the Arrow Glacier hut
where there are poor campsites (4800m, 5.5 hours).
Day 6 From the Lava Tower [or Arrow Glacier] steep scree and rocky outcrops
requiring scrambling lead up the Western Breach to the crater floor. On rare
occasions after snowfalls the route can become icy and in these conditions an
ice axe or ski stick will be required, (5700m, 6 [or 4.5] hours). It is
possible to camp almost anywhere in the crater or in a further 2 hours Uhuru
Point may be reached. Descend the Mweka Route to Mweka Hut, 5 hours.
Day 7 A 3-4 hour descent through beautiful forest brings you to the Park gate and
your waiting transport. Drive back to the hotel.
Day 8 Depart hotel after breakfast.
NB from the Lava Tower Hut to Mweka via Uhuru will take at least 14 hours
including rests and lunch at Barafu! Start at 2 am at the latest.
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