The Lemosho route takes us from the Forest, Big tree ,Shira Plateau to the rarely visited Moir Hut, onwards to Lava Tower before descending to Barranco Camp. We ascend the Great Barranco Wall, a challenging and exhilarating rock scramble and approach Uhuru Summit from Barafu or Kossovo Camp and the ridge that abuts the Southeast Valley. The climb from Barafu offers incredible views of Mawenzi Peak and Kilimanjaro’s remnant volcanic cone.
After stopping for our summit photos, we continue past the summit and stop to the West of the summit to view the magnificent vistas of the Western Breach and Shira Plateau before descending down.
On your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport a member of our staff will be at holding a Trekili Eco Expeditions placard. You will then be transferred to Out Post Lodge for overnight
After breakfast we travel by 4wd to Londrossi gate where you will meet your guides and mountain crew. We take care of all national park formalities, registering all climbers and weighing all duffle bags to ensure the load carried by each porter does not exceed the mandatory 20kgs limit. Depending on your program and weather conditions we may take lunch at the gate. After completing the registration process at Londrossi Gate we drive for 11kms along narrow dirt roads through pine plantations, gradually climbing to the Lemosho Glades where we begin our trek. We hike uphill for 3 hours through the thick and undisturbed montane forest where you may hear the calls of many exotic birds and if we are lucky we may see blue monkeys and hear the grunting calls of the magnificent black colobus monkeys with their long “cape” of white hair and a flowing white tail. Our camp tonight is in the forest zone, where podocarpus (African yellow-wood), hagenia and hypericum (St John’s wort) dominate. In the evening you may hear the unmistakable shrieking call of the tree hyrax.
Today is a long day over narrow tracks that weave in and out of the ridges as we ascend. Along the way we will admire trees such as the giant heather and erica and as we gain altitude we will encounter the unique giant levelia and giant groundsel (senecio kilimanjari). There is no hurry to reach Shira Camp and our mantra “pole pole” (Swakili: “slowly slowly”) resonates in our ears ensuring our bodies adjust to the altitude gain and to take in the magnificent views of Kilimanjaro. The Shira Plateau is one of the highest in the world with an average height of 3810m and extends for about 13 kms to the west of Kilimanjaro. The Shira Plateau is a caldera, a collapsed volcanic crater. We might even spot a herd of eland in the distance, or startle a grey duiker near camp.
Today we trek steadily northwards through the heather and into the barren high altitude desert towards the natural landmark called Shark’s Tooth. We gain altitude slowly and continue to acclimatize. We walk up a ridge and into a valley, which we then ascend to camp, arriving in time for lunch. We are now in the high desert zone, where only hardy everlastings and small senecios survive, and we are just below the Lent Group, a collection of massive volcanic dykes. Immediately above us is a huge circular bowl, created by glaciers, and there are numbers of lava tube caves in the cliffs at the uppermost edge. Above that is the Kibo Massif and the Northern Ice Field. Below we have extensive views of the Shira Plateau, a giant sloping depression, where we can see much of the area we have walked recently.
We descend the rocky scree path to Lava Tower (4530m) for lunch. Those who feel up to it can undertake and optional rock scramble (non-technical) to the top of Lava Tower where you will have spectacular panoramic vistas of the Karanga Valley below, Shira Plateau and the spectacular Western Breach above. From 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 the clear benefits of this acclimatization day as we lose altitude. Barranco Camp is set on a col (flat area) enclosed on three sides by the Breach Wall and the Kibo Massif itself. Hanging glaciers shimmer 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.
Today we undertake the Great Barranco Wall – an imposing face above Barranco camp. A steady climb up the eastern wall takes us just below the Heim Glacier, where we may have some breathtaking views of the Heim Glacier and Mt. Kilimanjaro depending upon the weather and any cloud cover. Our trail continues down into the alpine desert of the Karanga Valley After lunch Our trail continues down into the alpine desert of the Karanga Valley. Here the temperature will grow colder as we follow the trail climbing through this barren and dry landscape up to the Barafu camp. 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. Our campsite at 4600m offers spectacular views of the nearby peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi. In preparation for your final ascent tonight, you will familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark, and prepare your equipment and thermal clothing for the summit attempt. Sleep will be difficult, though you will to retire to your tents after dinner to rest for the 1385m final ascent to the roof of Africa.
We will rise early 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 to the roof of Africa. After approximately 6 hours of slow but strenuous hiking, you will reach the rim of the main crater, Stella Point, at 5685m. At this point we stop to rest, eat lunch and take in the views over the clouds. From Stella Point the trail is normally snow-covered, and every step of the two-hour final ascent to Uhuru peak is challenging. Passing alongside the iridescent blue Rebmann and Tarzel glaciers we reach Elveda Point (5882) we can see Uhuru Peak now only minutes away. The roof of Africa is within your grasp.
Arriving at the summit you feel a huge sense of elation and accomplishment you have done it, you have made it to the highest point in Africa. We spend as much time as you need 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 and temperature.
We start back down the same trail, and descend to Barafu camp. Here you will have a well earned but short rest and remove some of your many layers of clothing as the day begins to heat up. We head down the rock and scree path into the moorland zone, reaching the forest, and eventually arriving at Mweka Camp in the early afternoon where a hot shower and meal awaits. Today is the longest, and the most mentally and physically challenging of the trek. But a life changing day that will stay with you forever, as you conquered the summit of Kilimanjaro.
Today your legs will be further tested as the trail descends steeply through the lush Mweka rain forest. The trail is steep in places and the going slippery if wet. The route follows the crest of a broad ridge separating two river valleys until it meets with a road that leads us for the last 40 mins to the Mweka Park Gates where we stop for a well deserved picnic lunch where successful hikers will receive their summit certificates (gold for Uhuru Peale, Green for Stella point) from the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority. Post celebrations, we are taken by either private bus or Jeep to Out Post Lodge for overnight.
Depart Tanzania or continue your dream with an amazing safari extension. For trekkers not continuing with a safari we provide transfers to Kilimanjaro International Airport or bus station for your onward journey.