Day 1: Londorossi Gate (2100m) – Mti Mkubwa camp (2750m)
The hiking takes around 3 hours and mostly you go through Montane forest. Your day starts early with a briefing, followed by breakfast and a 2-hour drive to Londorossi Park Gate (2100m). The guides and porters prepare and pack the supplies and your equipment in the village. You will receive a lunch pack and you can also buy mineral water in the village. From here the forest track requiring a 4WD vehicle leads to Lemosho Glades (2100m, 11km, 45 minutes). You will have a lunch stop about half way and will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon. Walk along forest trails to Mti Mkubwa (big tree) campsite, (2750m, 3 hours). Your porters (arriving at the camp site long before you) will have your tent set up on your arrival. In the evening the chef will boil drinking/washing water prepare dinner, before you retire to your tent for the night. Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at this campsite.
Day 2: Mti Mkubwa camp (2750m) – Shira 2 camp (3840m)
It takes around 6.5 hours to get to Shira 2 Camp. The Habitat found in the trekking area is Moorland. You rise early at Mti Mkubwa camp and, after breakfast, you climb an hour or so to the top of the forest and then the trail gradually steepens and enters the giant heather moorland zone. Several streams are crossed. A gentle walk across the plateau leads to Shira 2-camp on moorland meadows next to a stream (3840m). By now you will be able to see, in an easterly direction, the Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than at Mti Mkubwa, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing. Enjoy dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Shira (3840m)-Lava Tower (4630m)-Barranco camp (3950m)
Hiking time is 7 hours and the habitat on the way is basically Semi desert.
The route now turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower, where you reach an altitude of 4630m after about a 5 hours walk. Lunch is served in a designated area before ascending the rocky path to Lava Tower (4630m). Definitely the toughest day so far. It is normally around this point, where for the first time, some climbers will start to feel symptoms of breathlessness, irritability and headaches. After lunch you descent again by almost 680m to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, the true acclimatization benefit of this day becomes clear. This descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for your dinner.
Day 4: Barranco camp (3950m) – Barafu camp (4550m)
It takes 7 hours to Barafu Camp and you go through Alpine desert.
After spending a night at the Great Barranco Wall (a very imposing sight at first), you make your way up this awesome looking obstacle, which in the end normally turns out to be easier than anticipated. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley over intervening ridges and valleys, and then joins up with the Mweka route. This is the preferred route down from the summit, so remember it. Turn left up the ridge and after another hour or so, you reach Barafu Hut. The last water stop on the route is the Karanga Valley, as there is no water at Barafu camp. Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice” and it is a bleak and inhospitable camping area to spend the night. Totally exposed to the ever-present gales the tents are pitched on a narrow, stony, and dangerous ridge. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. The summit is now a further 1345m up and you will make the final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski stick and thermal clothing for your summit attempt. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at around 19h00 and try to get some precious rest and sleep.
Day 5: SUMMIT ATTEMPT
Barafu camp (4550m)–Uhuru Peak (5895m)-Mweka Camp (3100m). This is actually a longway trek as it takes 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak 7/8 hours to descend to Mweka.
Trekking here is on Stone scree and ice-capped at the summit. You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea you shuffle off into the night. You will head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This 6-hours walk to Stella point is for many climbers, mentally and physically the most challenging on the route. At Stella Point (5685m) 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 will normally encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your live. The walk back to Barafu from the summit, takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned but short rest and collect the rest of your gear, before heading down to Mweka hut (3100m). The route is not difficult and will take you down the rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest. The camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Dinner and washing water will be prepared as well as drinking water.
Day 6: Mweka camp (3100m) – Mweka Gate (1980m)
Hiking takes around 3 hours through the forest. After an early breakfast, it is a short 3 hour and scenic hike back to the Park gate. It is strongly recommended not tip your porters until you and all your gear have reached the gate. From the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy 3 km (1 hour) hike. In the Mweka village you will meet our driver who will transfer you to Arusha/Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!! Overnight in Moshi or Arusha hotel.
END OF THE LEMOSHO TREK
Note the following:
- The accommodations can be on the basis of Basic Camping (public or private), Permanent Tented Camps, Luxury Mobile Camping, or Lodges (standard to luxury). The accommodations may also vary depending on the locations of good game viewing from season to season. When we know your travel dates we will advise accordingly.
- If you wish to fly from Arusha to Serengeti or Serengeti to Arusha this is possible and we will customize the itinerary accordingly.
- This itinerary can be customized to cover only Ngorongoro and Serengeti or Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Serengeti.
- If you like us to arrange your accommodations for the night (s) before and after safari please let us know.
- If you are arriving at Kilimanjaro/Arusha Airport or in Arusha by shuttle bus let us know so we can arrange meeting you on arrival to make things even smoother.
- We will be happy to know your travel plans so we can customize this itinerary or any other itinerary for you. We are a full service company and we will be able to take care of all accommodations: before safari, on safari and after safari; airport and hotel transfers; and internal/regional flights.
- Click here for packing list. Camping and lodge safari have almost same packing list but in case you have questions let us know.
- This itinerary can also be extended (number of days and/or parks/activities) to cover other parks in the northern circuit, Kilimanjaro trek, Meru trek, Oldongo Lengai trek, Usambara Mountains, Zanzibar/Mafia/Dar beach holiday, Southern parks or western safari parks, or either way depending on your needs.
Its always an adventure!