OUR FAVOURITE OF THE OFFICIAL TRAILS. LENGTHY YET GENTLE BY KILIMANJARO STANDARDS!
The official Lemosho Trail is often incorrectly called the Shita Plateau route by some agencies. It is a lengthy, yet gentle trek that offers both exceptional chances of seeing wildlife and a higher than average chance of reaching the summit.
There are several variations you can take on the Lemosho Trail however for this itinerary we take the more direct, Western Breach approach to the summit. For details of the more popular route via Barranco please see the Machame trail from day 3 through to the end. Note too that this is a seven day itinerary whereas most treks on this route take 8 days.
DAY 1: LEMOSHO GLADES TO BIG TREE CAMP
Following a failry length drive, we arrive at the village of Londorossi, where we register, pay park fees and then drive on to the edge of the forest.
This first day is spent in some of the most pristine and beautiful landscape to be found anywhere on the mountain. Given the isolated nature of this route, encounters with wildlife are greater so keep your eyes peeled as we head towards the Big Tree Camp sitting 2785 metres above sea level. As with every night on your trek, you will find your tent has already been set up for you and dinner will be prepared in the early evening.
Settle in to listen to the sounds of the forest, with monkeys and noisy birds calling in this most blissful location under the spreading branches of a beautiful old podocarpus tree.
DAY 2: BIG TREE CAMP TO SHIRA ONE CAMPSITE
This is the most varied day on the trek, beginning with a continuation of yesterday's march through the forest you will soon leave the trees behind the venture into the long grass and wild flowers of the heath and moorland zone.
You will notice that your guide has set a deliberately slow pace today in order to help you acclimatise to the lack of air pressure at this altitude. You will round the northern slopes of the Shira Ridge (Kilimanjaro's little-known third summit) and pause to take in your first glimpses of the snow-capped Kibo summit, our final destination.
Descending slightly, we know reach the Shira One Campsite, located 3504 metres above sea level on the western edge of the Shira Plateau with views across to Kibo.
DAY 3: SHIRA ONE CAMPSITE TO SHIRA HUTS CAMPSITE
Although uwe could just cut straight across the plateau towards Kibo, if you have the energy your morning can be spent exploring the wonderful features of the Shira Ridge including the Cathedral.
We use this as another way of acclimatising, climbing steadily to 3720 metres above sea level before descending back down to the plateau and continue east towards Kibo, eventually reaching the Shira Huts Campsite at the heart of the plateau.
DAY 4: SHIRA HUTS CAMPSITE TO LAVA TOWER
The day begins with a slow march towards Kibo and you will notice the flora becomes more scarce as we climb higher up the mountain. It's a long walk but also very photogenic with the snowy summit of Kilimanjaro a constant looming presence ahead.
Heading into some serious altitude, with Lava Tower our next destination. We will camp here tonight and perhaps enjoy a little excursion up the tower before dinner. Hopefully any altitude sickness is now relatively minor - because from now on it's all uphill.
DAY 5: LAVA TOWER TO ARROW GLACIER
This particular leg lasts a little longer than 75 minutes, yet it's not unusual for trekking agencies to set aside an entire day for it. On one hand it seems a little over-cautious, however on the other hand, it's definitely a good idea to take your time at this altitude. After all, this is the highest place where we can pitch a tent on the mountain.
Furthermore, although only 75 minutes, it is still incredibly exhausting and uphill the entire way. You begin by crossing two streams, before climbing steeply in a south-easterly direction to Arrow Glacier.
Engulfed by avalanches and often subjected to extreme conditions, this place has always been a bit of a mess so we must console ourselves that we won't even be spending a full night here and should be away again by 2am.
DAY 6: ARROW GLACIER CAMPSITE TO UHURU PEAK AND DESCEND TO MWEKA HUTS
There is no direct path from campsite to crater rim, it continuously changes as snow and rockfalls dictate. Rest assured that whichever route we take, it will be steep and it will be exhausting. Your guide will likely aim towards rock ridge called the 'Stone Train' and from there we hit the Rock Stairs. These are natural steps which tend to come as a bit of a relief however, is also viewed as the 'Point of No Return' by your porters.
We continue to pick our way between rocky towers before finally reaching the crater rim with Furtwangler Glacier to your left. Walking on level ground for a change, you can enjoy for about 10 minutes before we begin the climb up to Uhuru Peak. It is hard to climb but keep going! The sense of achievement at the top is beyond compare.
After a rest at the top, we continue to Barafu Camp, take in breakfast and a quick rest then continue our march down the mountain on the Mweka trail. Today's walk takes us back down Kilimanjaro through the alpine desert, heath and moorland zones until we once again reach the forest. Here amongst the trees, we find Mweka Huts Campsite - our final stop of the trek. We should arrive at approximately 4pm and after a 16 hour day of walking, you will be exhausted but if you made it to the top, definitely worth it.
DAY 7: MWEKA CAMP TO MWEKA GATE
Now on the last day of our trek, it is only a couple of hours down to Mweka Gate. Here, those who at least made it to the summit, will collect their certificates before being driven back to your hotel. The adventure of a lifetime is at an end and your safari can begin!
Camp at the highest site on the mountain
Take in the Shira Plateau
Increase your chances of encountering wildlife
Enjoy optional acclimatisation hikes for further stunning views.
Reach Uhuru Peak
Copy of a best-selling climb Mt Kilimanjaro
guidebook to help you prepare before you arrive in
Transfers to and from Kilimanjaro International
Two nights stay in a B&B style hotel (one before &
one after the trek)
Transfers to and from the mountain
All park fees, camping fees, rescue fees and permits while on the mountain
All food and drink on the mountain
Wages of trek crew (guides, assistant guides, cooks
and porters) at KPAP rates.
Financial failure protection
Personal service and advice every step of the wayleading up to your trek, provided directly from
Kilimanjaro’s leading expert – Henry Stedman.
Flights – however we can assist in this area
Hire of clothing, trekking poles, head torches &
Food and drink away from the mountain (other
than those included at your hotel stay)
Tips / gratuities for your mountain crew (you can
refer to the guidebook prior to arrival for details)
*Price shown is per person for 1 to 2 trekkers, in $USD joining a 7 day public trek. Additional trekkers reduce cost per person. Our policy towards the welfare of porters and the dedication to a high standard of service means that our prices will never be rock bottom. Nevertheless, a brief internet search will hopefully convince you that our prices are the best value on the mountain.