LEMOSHO ROUTE 8 DAYS ITINERARY
Londorossi Gate to Forest Camp.
We depart Moshi for Londorossi Gate, which takes about 4 hours, where you will complete entry formalities. Then drive to the Lemosho trailhead (another hour to reach the trailhead). Upon arrival at trailhead, we eat lunch, then commence through undisturbed forest which winds to the first camp site.
Forest Camp to Shira Camp 1. We continue on the trail leading out of the forest and into a savannah of tall grasses, heather, and volcanic rock draped with lichen beards. As we ascend through the lush rolling hills and cross several streams, we reach the Shira Ridge before dropping gently down to Shira 1 camp. The view of Kibo from across the plateau is amazing.
Shira Camp 1 to Shira 2 to Moir Hut.
We explore the Shira plateau for a full day. It is a gentle walk east toward Kibo's glaciered peak, across the plateau which leads to Shira 2 camp on moorland meadows by a stream. Then we continue to Moir Hut, a little used site on the base of Lent Hills. A variety of walks are available on Lent Hills making this an excellent acclimatization opportunity. Shira is one of the highest plateaus on earth.
Moir Hut to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp.
From the Shira Plateau, we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the "Shark's Tooth." Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft. We now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
Barranco Camp to Karanga. After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite. This is a short day meant for acclimatization.
Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp.
After breakfast, we leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.
Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut.
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek.
At Stella Point (18,600 ft), 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, you may encounter snow all they way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit.
From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Mweka Camp to Moshi.
After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).
A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to Moshi.
LEMOSHO ROUTE 7 DAYS ITINERARY
The climb begins from the attractive rain forest of Lemosho on a small path that winds through a forest zone. This area has a variety of game, including buffalo. We camp at Lemosho Forest camp (2,650 m.). [2-3 hours walking]
We soon leave the forest behind and enter the moorland zone of giant heather. The trail climbs steadily with wide views to reach the rim of the Shira Plateau. There is a tangible sense of wilderness, especially if afternoon mists come in! We camp in the centre of the plateau at Shira One (3,550 m.). [6-7 hours walking]
A long day of gentle ascent and panoramic views walking on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. After lunch near the Lava Tower junction (4,550 m.) we descend to the bottom of the Great Barranco Valley (3,900 m.), sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains far below. [6-8 hours walking]
A steep climb up the Barranco Wall leads us to an undulating trail on the south-eastern flank of Kibo, with superb vistas of the southern ice fields. The terrain changes to scree, with pockets of lush vegetation in sheltered hollows, and there is only a short distance to our camp at Karanga (4,100 m.). [4-5 hours walking]
A short but steep climb out of Karanga, on compacted scree with wide views. We then climb steadily to reach the Barafu campsite (4,600 m.). The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before an early night. [3-4 hours walking]
We start our ascent by torchlight at about 12 a.m. to be up on the crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zigzags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point (5,735 m.) in about five or six hours.
We rest there for a short time to enjoy sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the two hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m.).
The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast and we continue to descend to reach our final campsite (3,100 m.) at the edge of Mweka Forest. [11-15 hours walking]
A sustained descent through lovely forest with lush undergrowth takes us to the National Park gate at Mweka (1,650 m.)[4-6 hours walking].
A vehicle will be at Mweka gate waiting to take our guests back to where they will be staying after the climb.