Mount Kilimanjaro Climb – Lemosho Route

From: $5,999

per person dbl occ

Dates: Jan-Dec - see all dates

Activity Level: 5(?)activity level details

Activity Level and Qualifications

This safari trip is rated Strenuous [5]. Trip members should be strong, experienced hikers in excellent physical condition. Your physical fitness is vital to your success on the climb.

A serious physical conditioning program should be undertaken at least 6-9 months in advance to get into shape. Hiking hills for the legs, swimming to increase lung capacity and circulation, jogging and bicycling for overall fitness are all excellent for building the strength necessary for the trek. The best training is extensive hiking up and down hills with significant elevation gain and loss (2,500' – 4,000', similar to what you'll experience on the trip) and doing 10+ mile hikes on weekends prior to the trip. Previous experience at altitude may improve your chances of summiting Kilimanjaro. A physician's signature is required on our Health Form in order to participate on a trip rated Strenuous [5].

Total Days: 11

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Trip Highlights

  • Summit Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the seven summits of the world at 19,340'
  • Navigate Kilimanjaro's Lemosho Route, the most scenic on the mountain
  • Cross 6 ecological zones from lush rainforest to the harsh, beautiful arctic zone.
  • Follow top African guides, full of knowledge of the mountain and its environs
  • Extend your time in Tanzania with a spectacular wildlife safari

Mount Kilimanjaro, standing majestically at 19,340', has enticed climbers for centuries as one of the "seven summits" of the world. This huge, snow-capped mountain rises dramatically above the vast African plains. To climb Kilimanjaro and watch the sunrise spread its golden light across the savannah below is an experience and personal accomplishment second to none.

The Lemosho Route is considered to be the most scenic route on Mount Kilimanjaro, and its longer path allows ample time for acclimatization. Starting in lush rainforest on its western side, we hike through Kili's six ecological zones. We traverse the Shira Plateau and the Southern Circuit, taking in views of Kibo and its incredible glaciers. Our team of top African guides, with their delightful personalities and in-depth knowledge, lead us to the top.

Join us on the "Roof of Africa!"

Explore even more! Reward your accomplishment with a safari! Our Kilimanjaro Safari Extension begins at Ngorongoro Crater, home to plentiful big game. Next is the world's most famous wildlife reserve, Serengeti National Park. We conclude with a visit to Lake Manyara National Park, where a vast alkaline soda lake meets the dramatic rise of the Great Rift escarpment.

Looking for other options on Kilimanjaro? Check out our Kilimanjaro – Marangu Route trip.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Welcome to Arusha, Tanzania, the gateway to the roof of Africa!
  • Day 2 - Explore Arusha or relax at the hotel before an afternoon orientation.
  • Day 3 - The climb begins with a hike through lush rainforest to Forest Camp.
  • Day 4 - Arrive at Shira 1 Camp. Incredible views of Kibo and Kili's summit cone.
  • Day 5 - Cross the Shira Plateau toward Kibo's glaciated peak to Moir Hut Camp.
  • Day 6 - Enter the alpine desert zone before descending to Barranco Camp.
  • Day 7 - Hike the rocky Barranco Wall and watch the sunset from Karanga Camp.
  • Day 8 - Hike amid sparse scenery to Barafu Camp. Rest before our summit attempt.
  • Day 9 - Summit day! By midnight, we begin making our way to the roof of Africa.
  • Day 10 - It's all downhill back to the Mweka gate. Enjoy a celebration dinner.
  • Day 11 - Say goodbye to Africa or join our Kilimanjaro Safari Extension.

Activities:

  • Non-technical Climbing
Group Size: 4-16

Accommodations:

Hotel, 3 nights; Camping, 7 nights

Weather

The weather on Mt Kilimanjaro is quite diverse. The climb starts through a wide belt of wet tropical forest, and then goes through zones with generally decreasing temperatures and rainfall to the summit where there is permanent ice and below-freezing temperatures. Our trips avoid the rainy season, which runs late—March to May, and the short rains in November.

Extend Your Trip:

Make the most of your time away—add an optional trip extension.

Trip Itinerary and Details

  • Day 1 - Welcome to Arusha, Tanzania, the gateway to the roof of Africa!

    Your trip begins today in Arusha, Tanzania with a flight into Kilimanjaro Airport. We provide a group transfer to a very comfortable hotel near Arusha. Most travelers find they are tired after the long flight and prefer to go directly to their room to rest. No meals included.

  • Day 2 - Explore Arusha or relax at the hotel before an afternoon orientation.

    Take your time to adjust to life in Africa. You're free to rest or sightsee until our 4:00 p.m. group orientation meeting. You can arrange local transportation at the hotel front desk if you'd like to explore Arusha town, which is known as the "little Geneva of Tanzania." Set in the shadow of Mount Meru with impressive views of Kilimanjaro, Arusha was established in 1900 as a German garrison town. Or you might want to relax at the pool or in the gardens. We can also arrange for a day trip into Arusha National Park for some wildlife viewing (added cost). Breakfast and dinner included.

  • Day 3 - The climb begins with a hike through lush rainforest to Forest Camp.

    After an early breakfast, we depart Arusha and drive to the Londorossi Gate to register with park authorities. We continue on to the Lemosho trailhead (~7,500') where we meet our support staff and begin our trek to the "Roof of Africa." Our path starts off in lush afromontane forest containing some of Kilimanjaro's most exquisite and diverse flora. This part of the trail is also rich in bird life and White Colobus monkeys abound. The trail winds through peaceful, undisturbed woods to Forest Camp (~9,500'), our home for the night. All meals included starting with breakfast today through breakfast on Day 11.

    Driving and park formalities: 5 hours; Hiking: 3-4 hours, ~4 miles; Elevation gain: ~2,000'.

  • Day 4 - Arrive at Shira 1 Camp. Incredible views of Kibo and Kili's summit cone.

    From Forest Camp, the trail leads us through podocarpus and juniper forest and then enters the heath zone. We hike through tall grasses and heather, past volcanic rock formations draped in lichens and several streams, then onto the Shira Plateau. Our destination today is Shira 1 Camp at ~11,500'. The view to Kibo, Kilimanjaro's summit cone, in the distance is incredible!

    Hiking: 5-6 hours, 5 miles; Elevation gain: ~2,000'.

  • Day 5 - Cross the Shira Plateau toward Kibo's glaciated peak to Moir Hut Camp.

    Today we hike to Moir Hut. The trail heads eastward toward Kibo's glaciated peak, and provides a gentle ascent across the Shira plateau. In the distance, the Shira Cone rises over 600' above the plateau. It is Mt. Kilimanjaro's oldest cone with only its western and southern rims remaining. The rest of the cone was covered by material from an eruption of Kibo, last active during the Pleistocene epoch. Our camp (13,800') is at the base of the Lent Hills. This is a good day for acclimatization, with options for hiking this afternoon with our guides.

    Hiking: ~6 hours, 8 miles; Elevation gain: ~2,300'.

  • Day 6 - Enter the alpine desert zone before descending to Barranco Camp.

    We depart the moorland zone and enter the alpine desert zone. From the Shira Plateau, our path heads southeast to Lava Tower (15,190'), a prominent rock feature known as the "shark's tooth". Relatively little flora and fauna can survive the extreme temperature ranges and conditions that typify the alpine desert zone. We spend some time here and enjoy a hot lunch to facilitate acclimatization. The views over the surrounding savannahs far below and up to Kibo are outstanding. We continue on descending into the Barranco Valley, where the conditions are perfect for the giant lobelias and senecios that grow here. We stop for the night at Barranco Camp (13,000'). Hiking high and sleeping lower aids our acclimatization.

    Hiking: 5-7 hours, ~5 miles; Elevation gain: ~2,090'; elevation loss: 2,190.'

  • Day 7 - Hike the rocky Barranco Wall and watch the sunset from Karanga Camp.

    Today we hike to Karanga Camp (~13,106'), strategically placed to again aid in our acclimatization. We begin the day at the crux of the trek, the Barranco Wall, an 800' cliff we must hike up and over to get to Karanga Valley. Luckily, it looks much harder than it actually is! It takes about 1-1/2 hours to negotiate the Barranco Wall; at the top we enjoy a well-deserved rest with lovely views. The trail becomes easier, undulating its way to Karanga Camp. Sunset here is particularly spectacular with views of the southern glacial valleys and ice fields towering 3,000' above us.

    Hiking: 4-5 hours, 3 miles; Elevation gain/loss: ~1,000'.

  • Day 8 - Hike amid sparse scenery to Barafu Camp. Rest before our summit attempt.

    From Karanga Camp, we hike steadily uphill through a sparse landscape to Barafu Camp (15,331'), located on a rocky ridge. We arrive in the early afternoon, giving us time to rest before our summit attempt. At this point, we have traversed Kilimanjaro's Shira Plateau and the Southern Circuit, taking in views of Kibo from many different angles. From here, we also enjoy splendid views of rocky Mawenzi, the third of Kili's three distinct volcanic cones. After a light dinner and pre-climb talk with our guides, we turn in early for what little sleep is possible.

    Hiking: 4-5 hours, 3 miles; Elevation gain: ~2,225'.

  • Day 9 - Summit day! By midnight, we begin making our way to the roof of Africa.

    Summit day! Our guides wake us before midnight for tea and cookies and final dressing (in many layers) for our summit attempt. It can be bitterly cold. Our guides like to have the team on the trail between 12:00-1:00 a.m. in hopes of reaching the summit to view the sunrise. Starting off, the trail heads up a steep scree slope while the line of climbers stretches out in the darkness, only visible by their headlamps. Placing one foot in front of the other and focusing on breathing, the black sky infinitely above us, this climb is one you will never forget. This is the most mentally and physically challenging part of the trek! It takes approximately 6 hours to reach Stella Point (~18,800') on the crater rim. From here it is another long hour to Uhuru Peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro at 19,340'. The views across the plains of Africa, and the well-deserved sense of accomplishment, make it all worthwhile.

    Most climbers find the descent no easier than the ascent. Fatigue and steep scree force us to maintain our concentration. We descend to stay at either Millennium Camp (~12,500') or Mweka Camp (~10,200'), stopping at Barafu Camp for a brief rest and refreshments. Arriving into camp in the late afternoon, we have trekked a total of 15-17 hours today.

    Hiking: 15-17 hours; ~10-12 miles; Elevation gain: ~4,000'; Elevation loss: ~7,000'-9,000' (varies depending on camp location).

  • Day 10 - It's all downhill back to the Mweka gate. Enjoy a celebration dinner.

    Another long hike is in store for us, but it is essentially all downhill and our spirits are boosted by the satisfaction of yesterday's climb. We are again surrounded by lush rainforest bursting with life. Back at Mweka gate, we pick up our certificates to attest to our success and bid farewell to many of our porters and guides. We transfer to our lodging in Arusha, where it's a welcome treat to take a hot shower, sip a cold drink and commemorate the climb with a celebration dinner.

    Driving: ~2-1/2 hours; Hiking: ~8 miles; Elevation loss: ~5,000 - 7,000' (varies depending on camp location).

  • Day 11 - Say goodbye to Africa or join our Kilimanjaro Safari Extension.

    The day is free for shopping in Arusha or relaxing at the lodge. A day room is arranged for late check-out, and we provide one group transfer to the airport. Or, continue the adventure on our Kilimanjaro Safari Extension. Breakfast included; lunch and dinner on your own.

Notes on Itinerary

Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.

See pricing and dates detailsTab

Trip Dates:

2016

  • Jun 26 – Jul 6
  • Sep 4–14

2017

  • Feb 12–22
  • Jul 9–19
  • Aug 13–23
  • Sep 17–27
  • Oct 15–25
  • Dec 24 – Jan 3

Or, book a
private departure.

From: $5,999 per person dbl occ

2016 & 2017 - $5,999 (REI Member); $6,599 (Non-member)

Deposit

See Special Payment section below.

Options
  • Single supplement - $699

See details below.

Price Includes

All accommodations and meals as noted in the daily itinerary; airport transfers when arriving and departing with the group; skilled bi-lingual climbing guide(s), cook, and porters on the mountain; tent and foam sleeping pad; cooking and eating utensils; waterproof duffel for the climb; filtered/treated drinking water; Kilimanjaro National Park fees and taxes.

Not Included

Airfare to Arusha, Tanzania; 2 lunches and 1 dinner; sleeping bag; gratuities to guides and climbing support staff; excess baggage charges; airport taxes; items of a personal nature such as soft drinks, bottled water or liquor, laundry fees, internet fees; cost of obtaining a passport and visa; immunizations; insurance of any kind.

Consider as you sign up

  • Airline tickets - Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip is confirmed with the minimum number of participants required to operate.
  • Travel insurance - To protect your travel investment, we highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. Please contact us or see details.
  • REI membership - Get a member discount on most REI Adventures trips plus other valuable benefits.
  • REI MasterCard® - Earn 5% back on REI Adventures trips and all REI net purchases. Learn more.

Additional Information

Special Payment, Cancellation, and Transfer Policy

A deposit of $400 per person must be paid at the time of signup; the deposit is fully refundable up to 91 days prior to departure. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. At 60-31 days prior to departure, 50% of the land cost is non-refundable and non-transferrable. At 30 days or less prior to departure all costs are non-refundable and non-transferrable.

Single Accommodations

There is no single supplement fee for those willing to share accommodations with a same-gender roommate. If you are willing to share but we are unable to pair you with a same-gender roommate, you will not be charged the single supplement fee. If you do not wish to share and request single accommodations, you will be required to pay the single supplement fee. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available. For more details about traveling solo, see our Solo Travelers page.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. Additional trip information will be provided upon sign up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Mount Kilimanjaro Climb – Lemosho Route Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Gear Checklist

Provided

  • All Group Cooking Gear
  • Dining Tent and Furniture
  • Large Plastic Bag for Duffel Bag
  • Portable Toilet and Toilet Paper
  • Sleeping Pad and Pillow
  • Tent(s)
  • Treated Drinking Water

Recommended

Optional

Travel Documents

  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)
  • International Health Card (Immunizations Listed)
  • Passport Photos (2)
  • Valid Passport

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresMount Kilimanjaro Climb – Lemosho Route
 
4.8

(based on 4 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Group camaraderie (4)
  • Guides (4)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (4)
  • Quality equipment provided (4)
  • Accommodations (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Casual adventurer (3)
    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
    • Active adventures (4), All the details planned for me (4), Destination (4), I liked the itinerary (3)

Reviewed by 4 customers

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Challenging but wonderful!

By Tbyrne

from Ann Arbor, MI

About Me Avid Adventurer

Site Member

Pros

  • Accommodations
  • Activity Level
  • Group Camaraderie
  • Guides
  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
  • Quality Equipment Provided

Cons

  • Bad Snacks

Best Uses

    Comments about REI Adventures Mount Kilimanjaro Climb – Lemosho Route:

    The location is beautiful! Every day has a lot of great views, and changing landscape every day. Weather was variable - warm with the sun, but can change to chilly very quick - we also got spurts of rain and hail.
    We had 6 man tents for 2 people, with raised cots and foam mattresses. The morning wake-up call with coffee made getting up early easier. Had 2 bathroom tents in camp. Got warm water for a bird bath every day.
    The REI crew were great, wonderful assistant guides (we had 1 lead guide and 4 assistants for 11 people). The crew sang to us upon our arrival to camp every day, which was great.
    The ascent in the night is long, slow and cold - so do pay attention to all of the warm weather gear that is suggested - you will need it! The guides did sing to us on our way up, which was great.
    I would recommend taking diamox due to the altitude, as many people in our group got sick (it will decrease the risk). Also, bring your own favourite snacks - the ones provided get old quick (cadbury chocolate and nut mix). I brought GU, and was great on the ascent since you have no appetite when you are so high, but you need to eat something to keep going.

    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
    • Why did you choose this trip?:
    • Wanted an active challenging vacation, and had yet to visit Africa
    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
    • Sunrise at the summit
    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
    • Don't forget the stairs - long hikes are great, but doing stairs will help with the ascent and steep portions.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    No better way to the top of Africa

    By andrewa

    from Shoreline, WA

    About Me Casual Adventurer

    Site Member

    Pros

    • Activity Level
    • Exceeded Expectations
    • Food
    • Group Camaraderie
    • Guides
    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
    • Quality Equipment Provided
    • Well Organized Itinerary

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about REI Adventures Mount Kilimanjaro Climb – Lemosho Route:

        A very satisfying trip. Only downside was the cost, but it pays for top-notch equipment, first-class guides, nourishing and tasty food, and porters who are apparently adequately compensated (important to me). Noah, the lead guide, stayed very positive throughout, even singing during the tough night-time ascent to the summit ridge. He constantly monitored our health and well-being and insisted on good hydration and food consumption. Food was nutritious, tasty, and plentiful. I am very glad I chose the Lemosho route. The extra few days involved allows more time for acclimating and for viewing more parts of the mountain.

        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
        • Why did you choose this trip?:
        • The Lemosho route is longer than most of the others and allows more time to acclimate. It also provides vantages of Kilimanjaro not available from the more direct routes.
        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
        • The highlight was the gradual ridge walk to the summit at dawn after the grueling ascent up to the ridge at Stella Point.
        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
        • Bring enough layers for summit day. We wore (or packed) at least 4 layers.

        (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Go!

        By Urban Nomad

        from Washington, DC

        About Me Casual Adventurer

        See all my reviews

        Site Member

        Pros

        • Accommodations
        • Exceeded Expectations
        • Food
        • Group Camaraderie
        • Guides
        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
        • Quality Equipment Provided
        • Well Organized Itinerary

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about REI Adventures Mount Kilimanjaro Climb – Lemosho Route:

            Be SURE to take good rain gear. Test it before you go to make sure it is waterproof.
            A warm sleeping bag (rated 0' F) makes everything better.
            Helpful Things to Take:
            -a camping clothesline and/or binder clips for hanging up wet/damp clothes in your tent to dry overnight
            -wet wipes, for a refreshing after-hike "shower"
            -contractor trash bag, for Plan B if your rain gear fails
            -layers. WOOL layers. You don't actually need a lot of clothing, just the right clothing to be comfortable in a range of temperatures.
            -don't take a lot of snacks. My snacks weighed several pounds, and were not necessary. They feed you a LOT and provide snacks for you. A couple of snacks are more than enough.

            Noah is a perfect guide. He is so knowledgeable about the mountain, Tanzania, culture, history, geography, flora, wildlife, altitude, health... AND he is a great motivator and effective leader. He cares so much about his clients, his staff, and about the mountain.

            The A-Team is a fantastic group of porters. So kind and helpful. We were so well taken care of.

            Climbing Kilimanjaro is a daunting endeavor, but REI, Noah and the A-Team take care of everything. It can't get any better than that.

            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
            • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination
            • Why did you choose this trip?:
            • I've traveled with REI Adventures twice previously and had outstanding service, accommodations, organization, etc. When planning a trip of this scale and difficulty, I wanted to give myself every advantage for a successful summit. I knew I could rely on REI to provide the best equipment, guides, staff, food, and planning, so all I had to worry about was the actual hike.
            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
            • The camaraderie. I was part of a great group - hikers, guides and porters. Noah and the A-team took such good care of us. The food was so good (and plentiful). The hike was challenging, but so rewarding. This was a wonderful experience, one I'll never forget.
            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
            • Go! Do the Lemosho Route - it's prettier and longer, and you have more time to acclimate (which makes everything else so much easier/better). It's worth the extra expense to give yourself a better chance of reaching the summit -- and feeling great when you do so.

            (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Awesome and Amazing!

            By Fred Peck

            from Palos Verdes Estates, CA

            About Me Casual Adventurer

            Site Member

            Pros

            • Accommodations
            • Activity Level
            • Exceeded Expectations
            • Food
            • Group Camaraderie
            • Guides
            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
            • Quality Equipment Provided
            • Well Organized Itinerary

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about REI Adventures Mount Kilimanjaro Climb – Lemosho Route:

                The hike was great, but the staff made it even more enjoyable and fun. Great route because you spend more time at altitude before you summit, nobody in our group had altitude sickness. Noah and the A-Team were fantastic, amazing and made a great trip even better.

                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                • It was the longest route with the most time on the mountain.
                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                • Everything! Great staff, luxury camping (cots and pads), great food, fantastic guides, Baranca Wall, hitting the summit at sunrise, great group of hikers, luxury camping toilets, etc.... Noah and the A-Team were AWESOME!
                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                • Pack good gear that you use and then you can donate to the porters.....synthetics and wool, not cotton....bring a good camera.

                Displaying reviews 1-4

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