Lemosho

Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route

The Kilimanjaro Lemosho route is one of the most scenic trails. The Lemosho route 8 days, is one of the most successful routes. The route has become one of the popular Kilimanjaro trails. The number of hikers increase when the Lemosho and Machame routes merge, just before reaching Lava Tower. Click on our detailed Lemosho route map to see a bigger Lemosho route map.

Lemosho Map

The route allows for excellent acclimatization, the topography allow hikers the opportunity to climb high and sleep low. The actual trail on the Lemosho route is considered to be strenuous and challenging, especially if hiked over 6 days. Please click on the Lemosho map to see an enlarged Lemosho route map.

The Lemosho route start on the western slopes of Kilimanjaro, following the southern circuit to Barafu camp. The Lemosho route summit trail is less challenging and strenuous, compared to some of the Marangu route and Rongai route. The summit trail is slightly shorter and has less loose rocks making it slightly easier to reach the crater rim.

The Lemosho route utilize the Mweka route as a descend route.

The minimum duration for is 6 days, however we strongly recommend you choose the 7 or 8 day option. The biggest cause of altitude sickness is going too high, too fast, and it is unpredictable who will get altitude sickness. 

Altitude sickness affect every person differently, irrespective of their age, fitness levels etc. By choosing the longer option, do you allow more time to acclimatize, reducing the possibility to get altitude sickness. The 6 day Lemosho route is considered to be a challenging Kilimanjaro route.

Summary

Lemosho route advantagesLemosho route disadvantages
Scenic Kilimanjaro route, with low number of hikers for first few days of the hike. Long transfer time to the starting point, making it more expensive.
Possible to see (not guaranteed) wildlife through the forest section on day 1 of the hike. Actual trail from the Lemosho gate to Barafu campsite is challenging.
Opportunity to climb high / sleep low, reducing the possibility to get altitude sickness. Baranco wall a potential problem for hikers with a fear of heights.
The actual summit trail shorter, less challenging than the Marangu route summit trail. Because it merge with other routes, high number of hikers can be expected.
Ascend and descend using different routes. Day 2 of 6 day and 7 day itinerary involve long hiking distances.
Short distance to High campsite or Mweka campsite, after reaching the summit. Basic long drop style toilets at campsites.
Daily hiking distances relatively short (8 day option) Some parts like the Baranco wall, subject to “bottled neck” effect due to high number of hikers.

Kilimanjaro Lemosho route 8 days

Day 1 – Lemosho Gate / Londorossi Gate (2 100m / 6 890ft) – Mti Mkubwa campsite (2 650m / 8 695ft)

Day 1 – Lemosho Gate / Londorossi Gate (2 100m / 6 890ft) – Mti Mkubwa campsite (2 650m / 8 695ft)

Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours
Distance: Approximately 7 km / 4.4 miles
Habitat: Montane forest

Your day starts early with a 3 to 4 hour drive from Moshi town to the Londorossi gate (Lemosho gate). As you ascend through the rain forest, sightings of wildlife near the trail is possible. Occasional sightings of small antelope are virtually unique to the Lemosho and Rongai routes. Overnight at the Mti Mkubwa campsite, translated from Swahili to English: Big Tree campsite

Day 2 – Mti Mkubwa campsite (2 650m / 8 695ft) – Shira 1 campsite (3 610m / 11 843ft)

Hiking time: 5 to 6 hours
Distance: Approximately 7 km / 4.4 miles
Habitat: Moorland

Enjoy breakfast at Big Tree campsite and then hike for an hour to the end of the Kilimanjaro rain forest. The trail gradually steepen and enter a giant heather moorland zone. You will cross several streams heading toward Shira 1 Campsite, located on the western edge of the Shira plateau. This is what set the Kilimanjaro Lemosho route 8 days apart from the 7 day or 6 day itinerary.

Day 3 – Shira 1 campsite (3 610m / 11 843ft) – Shira 2 campsite (3 850m / 12 631ft)

Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours
Distance: Approximately 10 km / 6.2 miles
Habitat: Moorland

After breakfast, trek from Shira 1 campsite, directly across the gentle slope of the Shira plateau. We hike to Shira Cathedral (3 872m / 12 703ft), a huge buttress of rock surrounded by steep spires.

Lemosho Moorland

Day 4 – Climb high, sleep low

Ascend: Shira 2 campsite (3 850m / 12 631ft) – Lava Tower (4 600m / 15 090ft)

Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours
Distance: Approximately 7 km / 4.3 miles                                                                                                                                                                Habitat: Semi-desert

Descend: Lava Tower (4 600m / 15 090ft) – Baranco campsite (3 900m) / 12 795ft)

Hiking time: 2 to 3 hours
Distance: Approximately 3.3 km / 2 miles                                                                                                                                                                Habitat: Semi-desert

After breakfast hike to the rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower and stop for lunch 4 600m / 15 090ft. On this day will the Kilimanjaro Lemosho route 8 days join the Machame and Shira routes. This is where the true acclimatisation benefit of the Lemosho route becomes clear, of climbing high and sleeping low. The descent to Baranco campsite takes about 2 hours.

Day 5 – Baranco campsite (3 900m) / 12 795ft) – Karanga campsite (3 995m / 13 105ft)

Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: 6 km / 3.7 miles
Habitat: Semi desert

After breakfast, make your way up the Baranco wall, which normally turns out to be easier than anticipated. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you will now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. On this day will the Kilimanjaro Lemosho route 8 days join the Umbwe route. Please note that there are three rises and falls before reaching Karanga campsite. Enjoy lunch, dinner and overnight at the Karanga campsite.

Day 6 – Karanga campsite (3 995m / 13 105ft) – Barafu campsite (4 673m / 15 330ft)

Hiking time: 3 hours
Distance: 4 km / 2.5 miles
Habitat: Alpine desert

Enjoy breakfast and ascend 640m to Barafu campsite. Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice” and the Barafu campsite is totally exposed to the ever-present gales. The summit is now a further 1 222m / 4 009ft higher, which you will attempt, the same night. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get some precious rest and sleep.

Day 7 – Summit attempt

Ascend: Barafu campsite (4 673m / 15 330ft) – Uhuru Peak (5 895m / 19 341ft)

Hiking time: 7 to 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak
Distance: Approximately 5 km / 3.1 miles
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

Descend: Uhuru Peak (5 895m / 19 341ft) – Mweka (3 100m / 10 170ft)

Hiking time: 7 to 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 6 to 8 hours to descend to Mweka Campsite
Distance: 12.5 km / 7.8 miles to Mweka campsite or 9 km / 5.6 miles to High campsite
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

Uhuru Peak via Lemosho Route

You will get up around 23h20, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. You will ascend up a steep path towards Stella Point, located on the crater rim. For many hikers the 6-hour walk to Stella point is the most challenging part of the entire hike. 

At Stella Point you will witness one the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. From Stella Point it is possible to encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your life! Click on the Kilimanjaro Lemosho route 8 days, Lemosho route map to visualize.

The walk back to Barafu campsite from the summit, takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well-earned, but short rest and collect the rest of your gear. If the group managed to summit on time will we descend down to Mweka campsite (3 100m / 10 170ft). If the summit attempt took longer than planned, we will overnight at High Campsite (3 950m / 12 960ft) instead. On this day will the Kilimanjaro Lemosho route 8 days join the northern circuit route.

Day 8 – Final descend

Shorter: Mweka campsite (3 100m / 10 170ft) – Mweka Gate (1 640m / 5 380ft)

Hiking time: 3 to 4 hours
Distance: Approximately 10 km / 6.2 miles
Habitat: Forest

OR

Longer: High campsite (3 950m / 12 960ft) – Mweka Gate (1 640m / 5 380ft)

Hiking time: 5 to 7 hours
Distance: From High Campsite approximately 13.5 km Mweka campsite approximately 13.5 km / 8.4 miles                                                    Habitat: Forest

After a well-deserved breakfast, it is a 3 to 4 hour scenic hike from Mweka campsite to the Mweka gate. If High Campsite was used it will be a longer 6 hour hike down to the Mweka gate.

At Mweka gate, you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers will receive their summit certificates. Congratulations on completing the Kilimanjaro Lemosho route 8 days!