Lemosho Trek – Kilimanjaro

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Lemosho Trek – Kilimanjaro

The Lemosho Trek is a newly developed route to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa.

Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano with three rims. The summit at Uhuru Peak is the highest point in Africa where, at 5895 metres above sea level, you will be standing on top of the tallest, free-standing mountain in the world.

The Lemosho Trek is approximately 70 kilometres. While many who have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro have begun at the higher altitude routes, the Lemosho route begins lower down on the west side of the mountain, at Londorosssi Gate. The benefits of this to hikers is that it allows more time to acclimatise to the altitude.

This trek is a great starting point for keen hikers and hill walkers the tackle a mountain over 5000 metres in elevation. The joy of Mount Kilimanjaro is that, despite the altitude, it is comparatively easy to succeed in reaching the summit.

Highlights
  • See the wild, western side of Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • Summit the highest point in Africa.
  • Spot wildlife such as antelope and buffalo. You may even see elephants.
  • Four distinct ecological zones and a wide variety of plant life.
  • Amazing views during the climb, and from the summit.
Walk Map
About the route

The Lemosho Trek is a 70 kilometre route the takes you through some of the remote and wild areas on the west side of Mount Kilimanjaro.

As you climb to the summit, you will hike through four distinct ecological zones:

  • Rainforest zone – 1800-2800 metres.

The low, rainforest zone has the most rainfall. There is lush vegetation and plenty of wildlife.

  • Heathland/moorland zone – 2800-4000 metres.

There are very few trees and vegetation consists of smaller shrubs and scrub plants.

  • Alpine Desert zone – 4000-5000 meters.

A dry area the gets little in the way of rainfall. Vegetation is sparse tufts of grass and moss.

  • Arctic zone – 5000+ metres.

A covering of ice and snow with no vegetation. Cold winds. Low levels of oxygen.

The Lemosh Trek is a quieter route to the summit compared to other routes, and you will be able to enjoy your surroundings to the full.

Beginning in the rich rainforest on the western side of the mountain, the Lemosho route is a longer way to hike to the mountain summit, but is picturesque.

Starting at a lower altitude gives hikers the best chance of summiting, as there is more time spent on the mountain to acclimatise.

Uhuru Peak has a permanent cap of snow and ice, adding to its beauty. The sense of achievement when you are standing at the highest point in Africa will be a proud moment that will stay with you forever.

Instead of returning the way you came, the descent is via Mweka, finishing at Mweka Gate. This is a faster route down and typically takes two days hiking.

  • Travel

The small town of Moshi is one of the easiest places to access the Kilimanjaro National Park.

The nearest international airport to Moshi is Kilimanjaro Airport, approximately 40 kilometres distance by road.

To get to the trailhead at Londorossi Gate, it is a two hour drive from Moshi.

Once you get to Londorossi Gate, you need to register your trek with the authorities. It is then a 12 kilometre drive to the trailhead, or you can hike.

Another nearby city is Arusha. It is 52 kilometres from the airport and a three to four hour drive to the trailhead.

  • Length

This trek is approximately 70 kilometres from gate to gate, and takes around 7-9 days to complete.

  • Grade and difficulty of the walk

The Lemosho Trek is graded 4-5. While the terrain is mostly moderate, with long inclines, it is the altitude makes this a challenging hike.

At Uhuru Peak, the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro, you will be at 5895 metres above sea level. This is serious altitude and not all hikers can do it. However if you are in good physical shape, the chances of reaching the summit are high.

Before you attempt this trek, it is a good idea to build up your fitness and stamina on some tough multi-day hikes.

Spending time acclimatising to altitude is also beneficial, although the gradual increase in elevation on the Lemosho Trek does help hikers get used to it slowly.

  • Experience

Mount Kilimanjaro is a serious climb, but each year thousands of people make it to the summit.

You do not need to have experience of using mountaineering gear such as ice axes and crampons, the joy of Mount Kilimanjaro is that you can hike a well-trodden path to the summit.

A good level of experience is recommended for you to make the most of the Lemosho Trek. While it is possible for most hikers of average fitness to start the trail, not all will be able to make it to the summit, mostly due to lack of time acclimatising to the altitude.

The longer you spend on the mountain, the easier the summit becomes. That is why treks of 7 days and longer are better than shorter treks.

You will have guides and porters with you on this trail, so you don’t have to worry about carrying all your equipment and supplies.

  • Permits

You need to register at the trailhead, Londorossi Gate, to hike the Lemosho Trek.

If you are with a touring company, they usually have their own guides and porters.

  • Guided or Self-Guided

There are many tour companies that provide guided treks and porters to carry camping equipment and supplies.

The advantage of a guided trek is added safety on the mountain, friendly people to hike with and your itinerary taken care of on your behalf.

It is not permitted to hike on Mount Kilimanjaro without a guide.

best time to walk

While it is possible to climb Mount Kilimanjaro all year round, the warmer and drier months are the best time to walk.

From December to March, and June to October, the weather and temperatures are at their best for hiking.

Even in the driest and warmest seasons, you should be prepared for all weather conditions on the mountain. Blizzards, rain, storms and strong winds can occur, so it is essential to take the right kit to keep warm and dry.

A typical itinerary would be:

Itineraries are similar between various tour companies.

Day 1:
Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa – 6 kilometres

Day 2:
Mti Mkubwa to Shira 1 Camp – 8 kilometres

Day 3:
Shira 1 Camp to Moir Hut – 11 kilometres

Day 4:
Moir Hut to Barranco Camp – 10 kilometres

Day 5:
Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley Camp – 5 kilometres

Day 6:
Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp – 4 kilometres

Day 7:
Barafu Camp to Uhuru summit to Mweka Camp – 17 kilometres

Day 8:
Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate – 10 kilometres

Accommodation

The only accommodation along the Lemosho Trek is camping.

The small town of Moshi is the gateway to the Kilimanjaro National Park. If you are staying in Moshi prior to your trek, you will find a range of accommodation such as B&Bs, guesthouses and small hotels.

If stay in the city of Arusha, you will find similar accommodation.

What to do

Time your trek to Uhuru summit to see the sun rise – a magical experience.

Climbing a mountain such as Kilimanjaro is an achievement that you’ll always remember, so appreciate your surroundings with every footstep.

Through the Lemosho Trek, you will hike through four ecological zones.

The rainfall and temperature decrease the higher up you go. Look for the differences in plant and wildlife in these areas.

At a glance
Difficulty 4/5 - 5/5
Starts at Shira Evacuation Rd, Tanzania
Finishes at Mweka Trail, Tanzania
Length of route 70 Km
Average time to complete 7 - 9 Days
Possible to complete sub-sectionsNo
Highest point 5895 metres
Permit requiredYes
Equipment neededCamping equipment, Poles if preferred, Trekking gear, walking boots
Countries visited Tanzania