The Lemosho Glades route is perhaps the least used initial ascent route on Kilimanjaro, partly because of its remote location and likewise the difficult roads leading to the trailhead.
DAY 1 LEMOSHO TRAILHEAD (7,800 ft./ 2,375 m) ~ FOREST CAMP (9,500 ft./ 2,895 m)
Departure from Arusha will be at around 7:30am for Londorossi gate, 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, eat lunch, then commence through undisturbed forest which winds to the first camp, only about 3-4 hours of trekking. Overnight at Forest Camp (Mtee Mkubwa Camp)
DAY 2 FOREST CAMP ~ SHIRA 1 CAMP (12,200 ft./ 3,720 m)
Once out of the forest, take a steep track into a Savannah of tall grasses, heather, and volcanic rock draped with lichen beards. Ascend through the lush rolling hills below the Shira plateau, finally reaching camp at the edge of the plateau, a day of 5-6 hours trekking. The view of Kibo from across the plateau is amazing.
DAY 3 SHIRA 1 CAMP ~ SHIRA 2 CAMP (12,600 ft./ 3,950 m)
Full day exploration of the Shira plateau; Trek east toward Kibo’s glaciered peak, with the option to visit the ancient collapsed Shira cone, the oldest of Kilimanjaro’s three volcanoes. Arrive at Shira 2 camp at 12,600 ft. Shira is one of the highest plateaus on earth, averaging 12,500 feet. Trekking time without the optional excursions is about 3 hours.
DAY 4 SHIRA 2 CAMP ~ BARRANCO CAMP (12,950 ft./ 3,950 m)
Proceed steadily upward over expansive ridgelines of high desert to Lava Tower, for lunch. The trek is about 4 hours. Lava Tower, a 300 foot volcanic plug, marks an exposed pass at 15,000 feet. In the afternoon, descend the steep track into the Great Barranco Valley. Barranco Camp is set in a valley enclosed on three sides with the massive valley walls and the Kibo massif itself. Trekking time is 6-7 hours.
DAY 5 BARRANCO CAMP ~ BARAFU CAMP (15,200 ft./ 4,630 m)
The day begins with a scramble up the steep ‘Barranco Wall’, then traversing up and down the slopes of valleys which have carved their way into the mountain’s southern face. Kibo’s glaciers loom above to your left and the jagged peaks of Mawenzi jut into the African sky at just under 17,000 feet straight ahead. We reach the Karanga Valley after 3-4 hours of trekking to find a hot lunch served. In the afternoon the trail turns steadily uphill.
DAY 6 BARAFU CAMP ~ UHURU PEAK (19,340 ft./ 5,895 m) ~ MWEKA CAMP (10,200 ft./ 3,110 m)
The steaming hot drink will arrive very early on this momentous day. A midnight wake-up call is the start of a juggernaut (12-17 hours of trekking). You begin trekking at 1am. The temperatures range from just below freezing at midnight, to between 10 deg. F (-12 deg. C) to –10 F. (-23 deg. C) just before dawn at the summit.
DAY 7 MWEKA CAMP ~ MWEKA GATE (6,000 ft. /1,830 m)
Descend straight to the gate (2-3 hours), where you’ll have lunch and will be awarded climbing certificates.