Mount Kilimanjaro is the world’s highest free-standing mountain. However, it’s not the most grueling or dangerous mountain. Fortunately for first-timers, the views from Kilimanjaro’s volcanic cones are accessible by six official routes: Umbwe, Rongai, Lemosho, Machame, Marangu and the Northern Circuit (Kili 360). Each route’s difficulty level depends on multiple factors, most importantly the length of time that it takes to complete and the types of terrain you traverse. Taking these and other factors into consideration, the Lemosho Route is ultimately the best choice for beginners.
If you’re interested in scaling Mount Kilimanjaro for the first time, the Lemosho Route offers the following benefits to keep your climb as safe, scenic and enjoyable as possible.
Length of Route
Even when the terrain is especially steep or challenging, your route’s duration makes all the difference. Your body needs time to adjust to progressively higher altitudes. Kilimanjaro’s record-breaking heights make it even more important for beginners to take their time. If you attempt to climb too quickly, altitude sickness is all but guaranteed. Each Lemosho climb begins after two nights of orientation and rest, and the climb itself lasts eight or nine days. Our Lemosho Route climb has a 98 percent success rate, thanks to the amount of time we spend making our way up the mountain along with medically trained guides, great food and top gear.
Longer routes are called “scenic routes” for a reason. Short, fast routes are popular among professional climbers who focus on that final view from the summit. However, even if altitude weren’t an issue, this wouldn’t be the best way to experience the famous biodiversity of Tanzania’s most scenic “sky island”. You’ll want to see as many plains, rivers, forests, valleys and gorges as you can, and you won’t want to rush through them. That’s why we skip some of the most well-worn shortcuts in favor of the mountain’s best kept secrets.
The Lemosho Route begins on a little-used, vegetation-covered trail through the rain forest, and as your climb continues, you’ll venture from one wildly different ecosystem to the next. We hike through the Lemosho Glades, the park’s least traveled region, traverse a high-altitude desert plateau, descend into valleys and craters, and enjoy endless views of the African sun and the plains below.
On our longer Lemosho route, you have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore Kilimanjaro’s remaining glaciers up close. After celebrating at the summit, we venture down into Crater Camp, where you’ll sleep on the crater’s lunar-like floor.
Scenic views will do wonders for your morale and energy level, but they’re especially enjoyable when hundreds of strangers aren’t crowding you out. On Tusker’s Lemosho Route, you won’t have to compete with strangers for great photo-ops or settle for trampled paths. We set you up at the best camp sites, and thanks to our unconventional route, we usually get the main attraction – the mountain summit – all to ourselves.
Most other Mount Kilimanjaro routes require a midnight summit ascent. On the Lemosho Route, you’ll start in the early morning and reach the summit around noon, when all the other climbers are long gone. Take pictures at your leisure, see every detail of the scenic views that surround you, and share an intimate celebration with your guides and fellow climbers.
If you’re enamored by the staggering heights and wildly diverse landscapes of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tusker’s Lemosho Route is one of the best ways to make the most of your time and ensure a safe and successful climb.