KILIMANJARO LEMOSHO

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Kilimanjaro
Lemosho Trail

11 Days from 6000 ex Moshi

Accommodation

3 nights hotel, 7 nights camping

Transportation

Mostly by foot 
Transfers via vehicle

Included Meals

10 Breakfasts
7 Lunches
10 Dinners

Category 3
High Heart Rate Holiday

Charity

Coming Soon

These days they say it’s ok to be in touch with one’s emotions. So here goes!

I had just reached the summit of Kilimanjaro at 5895 meters above sea level. The sun was rising over Mawenzi peak and I was all alone heading back down toward camp. 

And for some inexplicable reason I began to cry. I looked around to see if anyone was nearby. Water welled up, magnifying and distorting the landscape, my throat distended and I puffed out a short burst of emotion.

I tried to hold it in like someone trying not to vomit. But I couldn’t. It just kept on coming. At first, I stopped, squatted down and gathered myself. But every time I stood to walk on, the crying began again.

In the end, I just let it all out, even with a roar and a scream. It felt so amazing. Liberating. Empowering.

Was it the altitude? Or the fact I had just hiked to the summit of Kilimanjaro, something I had wanted to do all my life? Or maybe something deeper.

But at that moment, on that mountain, no one could hear my exultation. I will never forget Kilimanjaro for this reason above all else.

“And then instead of going on to Arusha they turned left, he evidently figured that they had the gas, and looking down he saw a pink sifting cloud, moving over the ground, and in the air, like the first snow in a blizzard, that comes from nowhere, and he knew that the locusts were coming up from the South. Then they began to climb and they were going to the East it seemed, and then it darkened and they were in a storm, the rain so thick it seemed like flying through a waterfall, and then they were out and Compie turned his head and grinned and pointed and there, ahead, all he could see, as wide as all the world, great, high, and unbelievably white in the sun, was the square top of Kilimanjaro. And then he knew that there was where he was going”. Ernest Hemingway’s – The Snows of Kilimanjaro

Standing astride the equator, yet permanently snow-capped at 5895m (19340ft), Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s roof top and the world’s highest free standing mountain. Surrounded by some of the world’s greatest game reserves, Kilimanjaro towers above these hot, fertile plains like a massive sentinel, beckoning adventurers to climb her.

Many travelers are attracted to her highest point – Uhuru Peak on Kibo – which can be reached by several easy walking or scrambling tracks. The two main summits of Kilimanjaro: craggy Mawenzi, 5149m, and ‘flat-topped’, Kibo, 5896m are separated by The Saddle, a 5km wide, high-altitude, semi-desert. Kilimanjaro possesses a whole range of environments including the summit glaciers, scree, cliffs, afro-alpine moorland then forests that lead down to cultivated foothills.

The Lemosho Track is an unspoilt, remote, little-used and beautiful way up to the Shira Plateau. It can either be used to gain the Western Breach Track or followed by the Kibo South Circuit to ascend by the easier Barafu Track. It is also used to access the Northern Circuit which connects to the Rongai Trail. The track 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.

“Pole Pole” is Swahili for “Slowly”. You will hear this time and again from our guide team as you trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro. What they are suggesting is that while the ascent of Kilimanjaro is mostly gentle, it is a high-altitude trek and your body needs time to adjust to the altitude. Otherwise, you will be heading down the mountain with a case of altitude sickness.

Kilimanjaro looking toward Mawenzi at sunrise
Kilimanjaro summit with porter in front
Hiking to Kilimanjaro through lowland forest
Kilimanjaro summit with group in it
Campsite overlooking Kilimanjaro

The Journey

You have finally arrived in Moshi and excited about your trek. We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the Marangu Hotel. Sit back as the journey takes about an hour. If we are lucky though, we will get a glimpse of the mighty Kilimanjaro and its snow-capped peak. Overnight Marangu Hotel (D).

For many, Kilimanjaro is a distant journey and so we use this day to rest, recover from our flight and maybe take in a local walk. This evening we will have our trek briefing, organising last minute essentials and readying ourselves for the adventure ahead. (B,D)

After breakfast we will take the long drive to Londorossi Park Gate (2250m, 5 hours). This just shows you how huge the Kilimanjaro massif really is. We will continue on in the 4WD to  Lemosho Glades (2100m, 11km, 45 minutes). How close we get to the Glade deoends on the track conditions. From the Glade it is a 3-4 steep walk along forest trails to Mti Mkubwa (big tree) campsite which stands at 2800m. (B,L,D)

After an early morning heart starter up hill, we will push out into the moorlands after about a hours hike. The scene opens up into an immense high altitude moor with incredible views north and west, to the plains below the mountain. 

We will traverse the Shira Ridge before dropping down into the Shira Plateau for our camp at Shira 1. This is a 6-7 hour day of hiking end at camp which is situated at 3500 m. (B, L, D)

A direct trek to to Shira Camp 2 would take about 3 hours. But there is so much to see on Kilimanjaro so we will take the trail to the edge of the Plateau, which is about 2 hours and then we will veer off to climb the Shira Cathedral and the Shira Needle, two imposing hills on the southern side of the Plateau. This will afford us wonderful views down the Machame ridge.

If we have time today we may even visit Cone Place, the centre of the extinct Shira volcano, and to look from there at the highest parts of the Shira plateau – Johnsell Point and Klute Peak on the western Shira ridge. Shira Camp 2 is at 3800m. (B, L, D)

This has to be one of the highlight days. After 4 hours of high altitude desert trekking we will reach the famed Lava Tower. From here we can look directly up to the Western Breach, the side of Kibo (Kibo is the main volcano on Kilimanjaro) in which the wall of the volcano collapsed allowing a flood of lava to spill into the plateau below. 

The Lava Tower stands like a sentinel guarding some ancient temple. For those who have time we may be able to scramble up the Tower for some excellent views down along the trail. We continue on to the Barranco Valley (also known as the Umbwe Valley), where we will make camp at 3985m. (B, L, D)

The Great Barranco Wall is an imposing natural wall separating the Shira Plateau from the Karanga Valley. This is a 1-2 hour slog up a steep trail ascending rapidly (or not so rapidly) 300 meters. But like most hard slogs, the reward is well worth the effort. Looking at your feet and gasping for air, opens up into spectacular views of the southern slopes of Kibo and its wonderful glacial spills.

For the next few hours we will hike along beautiful trails with incredible views of the summit and the plains below. We will finally reach a steep descent taking us into the Karanga Valley and not far much further on is the Karanga Valley campsite at 4000m. Other groups continue on to Barafu, but we stay another night at this altitude in a secluded campsite on the side of Kilimanjaro. (B, L, D)

This is the day we will meet up with the main trail to the summit of Kibo. It should only take us 3 hours however we will ascend 600 meters, so “pole pole” (slowly, slowly in Swahili) is the order of the day. Barafu campsite is at 4600m. (B, L, D)

There are 2 important landmarks on today’s trek to the summit. The first is Stella Point. The second is Uhuru summit itself.

We will wake up before midnight (that’s if you have been able to sleep at all), dress in our warmest clothes, take in a hot coffee (tea or chocolate) and then head off just after midnight. The going is tough, up steep zig zagging scree. And after 7 hours we will reach Stella Point at 5750m. By now the sun will just be poking itself above the horizon and if we are lucky we will have incredible views toward the eat and Mawenzi summit.

But this is not the top!

The trail continues on, around the ridge, undulating toward Uhuru, the true summit of Kilimanjaro. After a hours hike (and for some a shuffle), we will be on the summit of Kili at 5895m. The views are amazing down into the crater and then out across the African continent.

We are only half way on our journey today. After 3-4 hours we will arrive back at Barafu for a well deserved meal and a rest.

From there we will head further down the mountain. Our goal is Mweka Camp 3100m, however if the group is feeling lethargic we can stop at Millenium Camp at 3800m. (B, L, D)

Our last day on the mountain and a short one at that. After 3 hours of hiking we will meet our hotel transport at Mweka Gate. It is still a 2 hour drive from Mweka Gate to Moshi, so sit back and take in landscape (or have a bit of shut eye). (B, D)

This evening we will have dinner and celebrate our achievement with our local team.

You have trekked to the Roof of Africa, Kilimanjaro.

Season

January, February and September are the best months, with June, July, August, October and December also being good.

NOTE: Children must be a minimum 10 years old

Includes

  • 3 nights at the Marangu Hotel
  • 7 nights in tents
  • Private Toilet Tent
  • Oxygen cylinders for group (just in case)
  • Transfers as indicated in the itinerary
  • Park fees for Kilimanjaro
  • One expert English-speaking trekking guide
  • The porter service for this trip 
  • All meals as indicated in the itinerary (Breakfast – B, Lunch – L and Dinner – D)
  • No additional fee if you return to the hotel early

Excludes

  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance (this is mandatory)
  • Personal spending money
  • Tips for General Guides
  • Any meals not listed as included
Kilimanjaro sunrise from summit
Kilimanjaro hiking past a glacier
Tents on Kilimanjaro

Your Guides and Safety

An excellent guide can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime and just an ordinary trip. Our handpicked professionals come from a range of backgrounds. Each has extensive outdoor experience, a knowledge of the mountains in which you’ll walk, and a passion for the beautiful country that is Tanzania.

The guide will ensure that your trip is truly inspiring, has a huge amount of fun, and is safe. All guides are trained in Safety First Aid and are connected to our Tanzania and Melbourne offices by satellite phone.

How Much Will I Be Carrying?

Unlike many other treks around the world, Kilimanjaro has very little water and as such we must transport it up the mountain with manpower. That is why there are usually 2-3 local porters for every trekker. 

Our team will also carry your main pack. You will be required to carry only a day pack which will be about 5kgs, most of which will be water of between 2 to 3 litres.

Full Moon Treks?

To climb Kilimanjaro on a Full Moon is a special trek. We can coordinate your trek so that the night you take on the summit, you will be accompanied by the awesome light and beauty of a Full Moon. On the nights before the summit, you also have large moons that often provide enough light to illuminate the landscape at night with an eerie glow.

“Some people might need a few moments to name the single most beautiful image they’ve ever witnessed. Not me. Without hesitation, I can recall a scene of stars, moonlight, and a glowing ice cap atop one of the world’s most famous mountains. That spectacle of transcendent beauty revealed itself during my climb of Mount Kilimanjaro.”

Richard Warren Travel Writer

Meteorological Conditions

Equatorial to Arctic conditions are present on Kilimanjaro. The range begins with the warm, dry plains with average temperatures of 30C, ascending through a wide belt of wet tropical forest, through zones with generally decreasing temperatures and rainfall, to the summit where there is permanent ice and below freezing temperatures. The temperature at the top of the mountain gets as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius.

Accommodation

This is a camping expedition. We use Vaude alpine tents which are perfectly suited for Kilimanjaro’s unpredictable and at times wild weather. The tents are 3 man however we only accommodate 2 people per tent. This is excellent for keeping the tent a bit warmer on an evening compared to a single tent.

Before and after the trek, we use the very nice Marangu Hotel which is set in beautiful landscaped gardens and is an excellent place to relax before and after the trek.

We also supply Ridgerest Thermarest sleeping mats. Of course, you are more than welcome to bring a supplementary mat for extra comfort.

Extra Nights Accomodation

For those wishing to extend their stay either before or after the trek, we can arrange this at the Marangu Hotel in Moshi.

Kilimanjaro is made up of three extinct volcanic peaks. The main one we all recognise is Kibo and the summit of Kibo is Uhuru. The other 2 peaks are Shira to the west and Mawenzi to the east.

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