Mount Kilimanjaro Climb – Lemosho Route

Mount Kilimanjaro Climb – Lemosho Route

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Trip Length 11 Days
Group Size 4-12
Difficulty
5

Starting from

$6,199

for REI Members

$6,819 for non-members

Departures

Jun 2019-Dec 2020

Experience Signature Camping on our scenic southern Lemosho Route, an 8 day climb of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Mount Kilimanjaro, standing majestically at 19,340', is one of the seven summits of the world and the highest peak in Africa. Its massive, snow-capped mountains have long enticed climbers and adventurers from around the world. Our journey takes the supremely scenic Lemosho Route across six ecological zones, from lush rainforests to arid alpine desert, with plenty of time for acclimatization, before we stand tall at Uhuru Peak.

Our unique approach to Kilimanjaro’s Southern Circuit incorporates new camp locations and our deluxe REI Signature Camps keep us comfy and energized. Our team of expert African guides are friendly and knowledgeable, leading us to the top and sharing insights about the region along the way. Upon reaching the summit, we rest a moment to watch the sunrise spread its golden rays across the savannah below. A deeply personal experience that is second to none, the memory of this climb is sure to remain with us forever.

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 5 ecological zones from lush rainforest to the harsh, beautiful arctic zone
  • Follow expert African guides, full of knowledge of the mountain and its environs
  • Experience REI Signature Camping! Spacious tents, deluxe comfort, amazing meals and more!

Activities

This trip is rated Strenuous [5]. We climb for 6 hours or more on most days at altitudes up to 19,340’ on varied terrain including uneven rocks and loose gravel; however, on summit day we will experience the most strenuous part of the trip, hiking for up to 16 hours. This climb is porter-supported, allowing participants to devote their full energy to reaching the summit.

Although participants should be in excellent physical condition, Kilimanjaro is a non-technical climb—no special mountain climbing technics or equipment are employed; however, previous hiking or trekking experience is essential. Due to the strenuous nature of this climb, a physician’s release is required.

  • Non-technical Climbing
  • Hiking

What's Included

Double-occupancy accommodations and meals as noted in the itinerary; airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 11 only; skilled bilingual climbing guide(s), cook, and porters on the mountain; spacious tent with 3 inch sleeping pad, regular size cot and pillow; shared dining tent with chairs and eating utensils; waterproof duffel for the climb; filtered drinking water; Oxygen and Oximeter; Gamow Bag; Enrollment in Flying Doctors, gratuities at hotel and for transfer drivers; internet (limited) at hotel; all Tanzania park fees and taxes.

Accommodations

Hotel 3 nights; REI Signature Camp 7 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Moshi, Tanzania, the gateway to the roof of Africa!

Your trip begins with an arrival flight into Kilimanjaro Airport. We provide a group transfer to a comfortable lodge. Rest amidst a working organic coffee and tea farm on the fertile slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. All meals on your own.

Day 2

Morning trekking orientation followed by a warm up nature walk and picnic.

We’ll start our climbing orientation just after breakfast this morning. The rest of the day is for exploration and adventure. Beautiful views of Kilimanjaro’s peak shine through on clear days. We stroll next door to see the terroir and organic cultivation at Machare Estate tea and coffee farm. Kilimanjaro has a perennial spring like climate, altitude and rich soil. Taste the difference with a proper cupping of many varieties of teas and coffee. After lunch, we’ll stretch our legs on a walk to a nearby waterfall. The meandering trails pass coffee trees and streams under shady glades of magnanimous hardwoods. All meals included.

Day 3

The climb begins in the Lemosho glades hiking through rainforest to Forest Camp.

After an early breakfast, drive to the Londorossi Gate to register with park authorities. We meet our support staff at the Lemosho trailhead (7,000') and begin our trek to the "Roof of Africa." Our path starts off in the lush Afromontane forest. It contains some of Kilimanjaro's most exquisite and diverse flora. This part of the trail is also rich in bird life and abounds in White Colobus monkeys. The trail winds up to Forest Camp (9,000'), our home for the night. All meals included.

Driving and park formalities: 3 hours; Hiking: 4 miles, 3.5 hours; elevation gain: 2,000'.

Day 4

Hike Shira Ridge through giant heather moorland with incredible views of Kilimanjaro.

From Forest Camp, the trail leads us through a podocarpus and juniper forest. Next, tall grasses and colorful heather emerge. We pass volcanic rock formations draped in yellow lichens and several streams. Attaining to Shira Plateau, we make camp at Shira 1 Camp (11,500'). The view to Kibo, Kilimanjaro's summit cone, in the distance is incredible! All meals included.

Hiking: 5 miles, 5.5 hours; elevation gain: 2,500'.

Day 5

Cross the Shira Plateau toward Kibo's glaciated peak to Moir Hut Camp.

Today we hike to Moir Hut. The trail has a gentle ascent across the Shira Plateau towards Kibo's glaciated peak. In the distance, the Shira Cone rises over 600' above the plateau. It is Mount Kilimanjaro's oldest cone with only its western and southern rims remaining. Our camp (13,800') is at the base of the Lent Hills. It's a lesser known area of the traditional Lemosho Route, and excellent for acclimatization. All meals included.

Hiking: 8 miles, 6 hours; 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". Little flora and fauna can survive the extreme temperature ranges and conditions that typify the alpine desert zone. We spend some time here to further acclimatize and enjoy a hot lunch. The views over the savannahs far below and up to Kibo's western breach are outstanding. Next, we descend into the Barranco Valley. Here the conditions are perfect for the giant lobelias and senecios, which appear to be conjured up by Dr. Seuss. We stop for the night at Barranco Camp (13,000'). Hiking high and sleeping lower aids in our acclimatization. All meals included.

Hiking: 5 miles, 6 hours; elevation gain: 2,590'; elevation loss: 2,190.'

Day 7

Hike the rocky Barranco Wall and watch the sunset from Karanga Camp.

Today we continue our hike on the Southern Circuit to Karanga Camp (13,106'). 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 1.5 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 can be spectacular here with views of glacial valleys and ice fields towering 3,000' high. All meals included.

Hiking: 3 miles, 4.5 hours; elevation gain/loss: 1,000'.

Day 8

Hike to Kosovo High Camp. Rest before our summit attempt.

From Karanga Camp, we hike uphill through a sparse landscape. We pass Barafu Camp and continue on to the perfectly positioned Kosovo Basecamp (15,980'). 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. After a light dinner and pre-summit talk with our guides, we turn in early to sleep and regain our energy. All meals included.

Hiking: 3.5 miles, 5 hours; elevation gain: 2,825'.

Day 9

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

Our guides wake us before midnight for a light snack before our summit attempt. By the time we reach Stella Point (18,800') it will be below freezing. We'll hit the trail before 1am in hopes of reaching the summit at sunrise. Starting off, the trail climbs a steep scree slope. We place one foot in front of the other, focusing on steady breathing. With the black starry sky above us it takes approximately 5-6 hours to reach Stella Point on the crater rim. From here it is another hour to Uhuru Peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro (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 either Millennium Camp (12,500') or Mweka Camp (10,200'), stopping at Kosovo Camp for a brief rest and refreshments. All meals included.

Hiking: 10 to 12 miles, 15 to 17 hours; elevation gain: 3,360'; elevation loss: 7,000' to 9,000' (varies depending on camp location).

Day 10

It's all downhill back to the Mweka gate. Enjoy a celebration dinner.

Another long downhill hike today, but our spirits are up with the satisfaction of yesterday's climb. At Mweka gate we receive certificates and bid our climbing team farewell. We transfer back to our lodge in Moshi. It's a welcome treat to take a hot shower, sip a cold drink and commemorate the climb with a celebration dinner. All meals included.

Driving: 2.5 hours; Hiking: 7 to 9 miles; elevation loss: 5,000 to 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 Moshi 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 and lunch included; dinner on your own.

Mount Kilimanjaro Climb – Lemosho Route Departures

Extend your trip

Kilimanjaro Safari Extension

Get a front row seat in the Serengeti on this 6-day safari adventure.

Learn more

Adventure Expert

Jeff

Wish to summit Kili on the most scenic route with the highest degree of success all while avoiding crowds? Me too! I've arranged our REI Lemosho trek to do just this, with outstanding guides and gear for trek above the rest.

Tbyrne

Challenging but wonderful!


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 ...

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