Kilimanjaro Hiking Tours – The complete Mt Kilimanjaro guide to climbing Kilimanjaro

Phone : +27 72 061 2071

Recommended duration of climb for the Lemosho Route

The 6 day Lemosho route is considered to be a very challenging Kilimanjaro route and one of the more strenuous Kilimanjaro routes. Day 2 and day 4 of the hike will be very long and strenuous. You will arrive late to Barafu camp, which will you little time to rest, before starting the actual summit attempt. We strongly recommend you consider the 7 or 8 day Lemosho route which will: decrease daily hiking distances, increase your resting time before the summit attempt, increase the time your body has to acclimatize, which will increase the overall likelihood of reaching Mt Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru peak.

7 Day Lemosho route itinerary – click here

8 Day Lemosho route itinerary – click here

6 Day Lemosho route itinerary

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

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

Lemosho 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 beautiful Kilimanjaro rainforest, you are advised to stop regularly and move quietly, in the hope of sighting wildlife near the trail. Overnight at the Mti Mkubwa campsite, translated from Swahili to English: Big Tree campsite

Day 2 – Mti Mkubwa campsite (2 650m / 8 695ft) – Shira 2 campsite (3 850m / 12 631ft)

Hiking time: 6 to 7 hours
Hiking distance: Approximately 17 km / 10.5 miles
Habitat: Moorland

You rise early at Mti Mkubwa campsite (Big Tree Campsite) and after breakfast you hike for an hour to the end of the Kilimanjaro rainforest. The trail will then steepen gradually and enter a giant heather moorland zone as you hike across the Shira plateau. You will cross several streams on the way to Shira 1 Campsite, located on the western edge of the Shira plateau. We will enjoy lunch at Shira 1 campsite and then continue trekking to the Shira 2 Campsite.

Day 3 – Climb high, sleep low

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

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

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

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

The Lemosho route now turns east, entering a semi desert and rocky landscape that surrounds Lava Tower. At Lava Tower you reach an altitude of 4 600m / 15 090ft and stop for lunch. This is where the true acclimatisation benefit of the Lemosho route becomes clear, of climbing high and sleeping low. The descent down to Barranco campsite takes about 2 hours.

Day 4 – Barranco campsite (3 900m) / 12 795ft) – Barafu campsite (4 673m / 15 330ft)

Hiking time: 6 to 8 hours
Hiking distance: 10 km / 6.2 miles
Habitat: Alpine desert




After breakfast, make your way up the Barranco wall. Standing at the base of the Barranco wall might seem intimidating, but once you reach the top, turns out to be easier than anticipated. We stop for lunch at the Karanga campsite and after lunch 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 and you will commence with your final ascent attempt, the same night. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get some precious rest and sleep.



Day 5 – 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
Hiking distance: Approximately 5 km / 3.1 miles
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

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

Hiking time: 7 to 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 6 to 8 hours to descend to Mweka Campsite
Hiking 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

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

At Stella Point (5 756m / 18 884ft) you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). 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!

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 just after sunrise and everything was on schedule will we descend down to Mweka campsite (3 100m / 10 170ft) on the Mweka route. However if the summit attempt took longer than planned, will we overnight at High Campsite (3 950m / 12 960ft), which is located closer to Barafu campsite.

Day 6 – Final descend

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


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

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

After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 3 to 4 hour scenic hike from Mweka campsite to the Mweka gate. If the group spend the last night at High Campsite it will be a slightly longer 5 to 7 hour hike down to the Mweka gate along the Mweka route.

At Mweka gate, you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers will receive their summit certificates.