8 day Lemosho Route

Lemosho is quickly gaining popularity with top operators as it is the longest route in terms of days spent on the mountain. At 8 days, Lemosho does have the highest success rate due to the lengthier acclimatization allowance. By operating on Lemosho, Kilimanjaro companies will raise their over success rates that customers seem to be so interested in.

Anyone who wants to explore the mountain at a slower pace should opt for 8 day Lemosho. It’s a very good, practical choice.

To climb Kilimanjaro on Lemosho with my personally recommended operators, go here (African Walking Company) or here (Ultimate Kilimanjaro).lemoshomap


Hiking Time: 4-5 hrs
Total Distance: 18km
Starting Altitude: 2250m
Final Altitude: 2750m
Habitat: Montane (rain) Forest

After breakfast, we drive approximately 2 hours through the rural countryside to the Londrossi Gate of the Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park (2250m). After registering at the gate office, you start your hike with a gradual ascent and a slight descent into the Lemosho Glades. Enter the lush rain forest, and here, you will listen to the sounds of many exotic birds, and may even see monkeys such as the black & white colobus – these monkeys are black with a long ‘cape’ of white hair and a flowing white tail.

Today’s day is spent in the gorgeous and fascinating forested slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, most of which is considered to be rainforest zone, ending at the Mti visit Mkubwa (Big Tree) Campsite, within the upper reaches of the montane forest zone.

We cover a lot of distance today, though the gradient is gradual. It is very possible that we will see some rain today, or that at least the trail will be moist and soggy, and possibly muddy.


Hiking Time: 5-6 hrs
Total Distance: 12km
Starting Altitude: 2750m
Final Altitude: 3500m
Habitat: Montane Forest – Moorland

Rise early and climb steeply out of the montane forest zone and into the moorland zone, and admire trees such as Giant Heather and Erica. Today is challenging as we climb over the Shira ridge at 3600m, where, If a clear day, you will have direct views of Kibo, the peak and ultimate goal of your adventure.

From here we descend to the Shira plateau and set up at Shira 1 Camp, located next to a stream.


Hiking Time: 2 hrs
Total Distance: 5km
Starting Altitude: 3500m
Final Altitude: 3840m
Habitat: Moorland – Alpine Semi-desert

We traverse the Shira plateau as we ascend gently through the lower alpine moorland, which is notable for beautiful wild alpine flowers and the unique giant lobelia and giant groundsel (senecio kilimanjari) plants. Today’s hike is short, and as such, you will have time to take a number of short acclimatization walks around and above the Shira 2 Camp, where we spend the night. This camp is more exposed than the previous night, and as such it may be windier and colder, with temperatures dropping to below freezing.


Hiking Time: 7-8 hrs
Total Distance: 15km
Starting Altitude: 3840m
Final Altitude: 3950m (via 4630m)
Habitat: Montane Semi-Desert

Today we turn east and continue to climb “pole pole” (slowly, slowly) through increasingly rocky and barren terrain. We have lunch and ascend the rocky scree path to the Lava Tower (4630m). The trek now starts to become more difficult, as the trail steepens, and most hikers start to feel the affects of the altitude, such as weakness and lack of breathe.

From the Lava Tower, we descend steeply for 2 hours down more than 600m into the Great Barranco Valley. This descent affords fantastic views and some great photo opportunities of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. You will also feel here the clear benefits of this acclimatization day as we lose altitude down to the camp.

Barranco Camp is set on a col (flat area) enclosed on three sides by the Breach Walls, and the Kibo massif itself. Hanging glaciers glint in the sunshine above amidst the eerie landscape of plants such as the giant groundsels, and the uniquely endemic Giant Lobelia. This is definitely the toughest day so far, but incredibly beautiful.


Hiking Time: 4-5 hrs
Total Distance: 8km
Starting Altitude: 3950m
Final Altitude: 3900m
Habitat: Alpine Desert

Today we tackle the Great Barranco Wall – an imposing face above your camp. A steady climb up the eastern wall takes us just below the Heim Glacier, where we may have some awesome views of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Our trail continues down into the alpine desert of the Karanga Valley, where we finish this acclimatization day at Karanga Camp at 3900m. (Hiking time: 4-5 hrs).


Hiking Time: 4 hrs
Total Distance: 4 km
Starting Altitude: 3900m
Final Altitude: 4550m
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We begin the day trekking through the alpine desert of the Karanga Valley. Our porters will stop to collect water along the way, as there will be none further on. Here the temperature will grow colder as we follow the trail climbing through this empty and dry landscape up to the Barafu Camp. 
The two peaks Kibo and Mawenzi can been seen from our camp, at 4550m. Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice”, and the camping area is on a ridge in a narrow and exposed flat area. Here there are ever-present powerful winds blowing down from the mountain peaks.

In preparation for your final ascent the same night, you will familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark, and prepare your equipment and thermal clothing for the summit attempt. Sleep may be difficult, but you will lie down after dinner to rest for the 1345m final ascent. (Hiking time: 4 hrs).


Hiking Time: 7 hrs to summit, 7-8hrs descent
Total Distance: 7km to summit, 23km descent
Starting Altitude: 4550m
Summit Altitude: 5895m – Uhuru Peak
Final Altitude: 3100m
Habitat: Stone Scree, ice capped summit, Alpine desert

Today you will be woken in time to leave camp at around 12am and after a warm drink and a light snack, you will begin the most difficult though most rewarding day of the trek – your hike up to the top of Africa. Climbing through the dark, you will ascend northwest on rough scree passing between the Rebmann and Tarzel glaciers. After approximately 6 hours of slow but strenuous hiking, you will reach the rim of the main crater, Stella Point, at 5685m.

It is here where you will be rewarded with a breath-taking sunrise (weather permitting), which we enjoy while taking a short rest. From Stella Point the trail is normally snow-covered, and every step of the 2 hour ascent to Uhuru peak is challenging. At 5895m, Uhuru, which means “freedom” in Swahili, is the highest point in Africa. Take a few minutes to appreciate your accomplishment, as this is a day to remember for the rest of your life!

The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions; the temperatures range from just below freezing at midnight, to between -12 C to -23 C just before dawn. We start back down the same trail, and descend back to Barafu camp. Here you will have a well earned but short rest and collect the rest of your gear. We then head down the rock and scree path into the moorland zone, reaching the forest, and eventually arriving at Mweka hut in the late afternoon.

Today is the longest, and the most mentally and physically challenging of the trek. But a day that will stay with you forever, as you conquered the heights of Kilimanjaro.


Hiking Time: 4-5 hrs
Total Distance: 12km
Starting Altitude: 3100m
Final Altitude: 1980m
Habitat: Montane Rain Forest

At a much lower altitude than the last few mornings, today you will wake up full of oxygen and ready to descend the short hike to the Mweka Gate. Enjoy the forest on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and upon arrival at the Mweka gate, successful hikers will receive their summit certificates (gold for Uhuru Peale, Green for Stella point).

From the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village for lunch, normally a muddy 1 hour hike. Upon arrival to Moshi in the afternoon, relax, or have that much-deserved shower and congratulatory beverage.