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Lemosho Route | Climb Kilimanjaro

Lemosho Route | Climb Kilimanjaro

Highly Recommended route to Kilimanjaro

Lemosho Route is one of the least well known yet beautiful routes up Kilimanjaro, your efforts will be rewarded with a unique scenic splendour that is not seen on the other commonly traversed routes. The start is west of the other gates, and you pass through the Lemosho Glades where you may view some of the game in this side of the park (Buffalo, elephants and some other big game animals.)  It is not unusual for climbers to be accompanied by an armed ranger on the first day.  By day 4, climbers join the Machame route. 

This is lemosho Route Kilimanjaro

We highly recommend the Lemosho Route for reaching Kilimanjaro’s summit. It’s longer, which does mean it’s pricier – but it also gives you more days to acclimatise – meaning that summit success rates are high. It also means that there are fewer other trekkers along most of the trail, and you’ll spend two days hiking through gorgeous rainforest.

The starting point for the Lemosho route trek up Kilimanjaro is in the west, so you can already imagine what the sunsets will be like. This is one of the longer routes, and it boasts some fantastic scenic variation. It also offers more time to acclimatise, giving it the highest success rate of any of the main routes. You walk through Lemosho rainforest for two days on this route; camping in the luscious forest is a true treat on the first night. Then onto the more open, heather covered slopes that lead up to Shira Plateau – which involves a wonderful hike across the entire plain from west to east, on a relatively flat trail. Other routes intersect this Plateau, but this one embraces every bit of it and you pitch camp bang in the middle of it. Watching the mists fall over the plateau all around you is something else.

The next stop is Shira Cathedral, a highlight of the Lemosho route which is as dramatic as it sounds, with rocky spires and pinnacles that beckon hikers from across the plain. Lava starts to become a more prominent feature of the ascent, with features such as the dramatic Lava Tower rock mass. In glorious white contrast, the glaciers of the Western Breach come into view, as well as the Southern Icefields once you hit the SE flank of the Kibo cone on day five. From here on in, it is a steep, scree under toe trek to Barafu Ridge, with great views opening up to the east now, completing the wonderful west to east sweep of this route, and culminating in the final ascent to Uhuru Peak. The descent uses Mweka route heading due south.

Top lemosho route Iteneraries - Highly recommended

Kilimanjaro Climate overview

Due to its elevation, Kilimanjaro contains 5 sub-climates from base to peak –bushland, rain forest, moorland, alpine desert, and arctic. Both precipitation and temperature vary greatly between each zone. Expect to hike from flat, dry plains through rain forest and semi-alpine environments before reaching the rocky, snow capped summit.

Because Kilimanjaro is located near the equator, the temperature remains fairly constant throughout the year. Highs at the base of the mountains are in the upper 70s and lows in lower 60s. As you increase in altitude on the mountain temperatures drop significantly and the evenings can drop well below freezing and into single digits higher up on the mountain.

The rainy season peaks in April, and late March and early May can be quite wet as well. Bringing warm clothes and good rain gear will keep you prepared for any weather you may encounter.

Responsible Travel on Kilimanjaro​

The mistreatment of porters can be a troubling challenge in the climbing industry. We are an approved Partner company with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project – KPAP – and the International Mountain Explorers Connection – IMEC – Partner for Responsible Travel Program. Some operators voluntarily participate with KPAP’s monitoring activities and allow KPAP to evaluate the treatment of our porters on all of our climbs.

KPAP also helps to improve the working conditions of porters by:

  • #1. Lending donated clothing at no charge to the mountain crew for use while climbing

  • #2. Educating the public on porter working conditions and climbing responsibly

  • #3. Providing industry guidelines for proper porter treatment

  • #4. Offering educational classes to porters

Kilimanjaro Mountain - Lemosho route FAQ

Compared to other routes, Lemosho is one of the least busy, even during the hot season. The remote location of the trailhead, more expensive price tag and the popularity of Marangu and Machame routes are the reasons why only 2-3% of all Kilimanjaro climbers choose it. Also, it is one of the newest routes on Kilimanjaro, which few people know about. Its popularity, however, is increasing every year.

There are several notable differences between the two routes.

Firstly, Machame route is the second most popular route on Kilimanjaro. It can be somewhat crowded in August-September and January-February. In contrast, Lemosho is still less visited, and will suit those who prefer more reclusive hiking.

Secondly, on Machame you will be going through the rainforest on the first day of your hike. On Lemosho this experience is available only on an 8-day climb, while 7 and 6-day variations start straight in the moorland zone.

Thirdly, Machame route climb is available in six and seven-day options. The first one is very physically taxing and features one of the worst acclimatization transitions of all. On the contrary, the shortest trek on Lemosho – six-day – provides good acclimatization possibility even for beginners.

Finally, because Machame trailhead is located on the southern face of Kilimanjaro, close to Moshi, the prices for Machame trek are usually less expensive than the Lemosho route.

We can measure each day in walking hours rather than kilometers. Most days, other than the summit day, will begin with breakfast around 6:30 AM and departure at 7 AM. You will walk four to five hours with a break for lunch followed by another hour or two of hiking in the afternoon. These days are not long or difficult and you will be advised to walk slowly.

We provide tents, camping gear, food, utensils, and leadership. You should bring your own sleeping bag, water system, personal clothing, light duffle bag, and day pack. Hiking poles can be rented.

A packing list is provided to all climbers, along with our pre-departure packet:

  1. • 1 mountaineering sleeping bag .
  2. • 2-3 liters water canteen (sturdy plastic or steel)
  3. • 1 LED flashlight with spare batteries
  4. • 1 Pair of comfortable trekking boots
  5. • 1 towel
  6. • 2 pairs of thick thermal socks and several pairs of regular socks
  7. • 2 fleece jackets
  8. • 1 down jacket or long-sleeved wind-breaker (down jacket is unnecessary if you have good fleece jackets)
  9. • 1 set of thermal underwear (i.e. thermal vest and long-johns)
  10. • 2 pairs of trekking trousers
  11.  1 waterproof jacket
  12. • 1 pair of waterproof trousers
  13. • 1 balaclava or ski-mask
  14. • 1 sun hat
  15. • 1 pair of sunglasses

Breakfast includes tea, coffee, milk, eggs, toast, porridge, cereals, bread, fruits, bacon, sausages, etc.

Lunch is a picnic lunch on the way the first day while it is hot lunch the next days with hot soups, bread, vegetables, fruits, salad, cookies, beef, chicken or fish, potatoes, pasta, or rice with sauce.

Dinner starts with hot soups, followed by the main course (pasta or rice, meat), desserts and ends with hot drinks.

The major sources of cost variations are the money spent on food, off-mountain accommodation, porter and guide wages, tents, and the cost of getting to the mountain. We are determined is determined to provide the best food, best guides and porters, best tents and equipment, top quality before-and-after-climb accommodation, a full professional pre-climb orientation, insurance for all staff and inclusion of all park permits, meals, transfers and local hosting costs. On some of the least expensive trips, food is minimal and often prepared by frying. 

As guides and porters are expected to cover part of their wages with tips, these companies cannot attract the best staff. Often, they do not provide full warm clothing to staff. The mountain is hard on tents which are expensive in Tanzania, meaning that tents on cheap trips are often worn or dirty.

Our approach is not to provide the cheapest trip, but rather to do everything we can to increase the likelihood you will reach the summit and enjoy the overall experience with a staff of people who are well qualified and compensated for the extraordinary assistance they provide to you.

We invite you report your issues/requests/questions to the Savannah Explorers office or to your guide during the hiking.  

YES! As we mentioned before, Kilimanjaro is suitable for beginners; they do very well. The best advice is for everyone to arrive in great shape. Don’t underestimate the climb because you know someone did it who you believe was not fit.

Most days are not very hard because the trails are not steep it’s mostly dealing with the altitude, however the summit night is extremely difficulty as this is the coldest, windiest section of your adventure. An ascent of 4,084ft with 49% less oxygen and a descent of nearly 6,870ft.

Kilimanjaro’s altitude is a significant challenge, but climbers do not need supplemental oxygen to climb Kilimanjaro or reach the summit. To reach to the summit you use the acclimatization method of walking slowly “pole pole” climb high, sleep low.

At the bottom of the mountain, the average temperature is around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 degrees Celsius). At the peak that is Uhuru Peak, the temperatures falls between 20 and -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-7 to -29 degrees Celsius).

We had a really fun trip from the rainforest at Londorossi to the snows of the peak. The scenery was unbelievable, the food was great, the hiking enjoyable and the final climb exhilarating. The trek leader, Elias, was perceptive, responsive and experienced. He had a great rapport with the crew, who were themselves fun and hard working. Camps were well sited and supplied. Overall a great experience.
Lemosho review Review
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