11 Day Itinerary - 8 Days Climbing: $5,270
(No overnight in the Crater)
Lemosho is a slightly longer route, which allows you to acclimatize to the altitude and soak up the spectacular environment. One of the more scenic routes up Kilimanjaro Lemosho does not require a midnight summit climb.
On the 11-day climb you make your summit ascent during daylight hours to enjoy the views, the warmer weather, and to avoid the crowds at the summit.
After arriving at Kilimanjaro airport, you check into our hotel. You spend two nights in Moshi allowing you time taking it easy and getting to know your guides as they give you a detailed climb orientation and gear check.
9,170-ft/2,795-m • 2.5 miles/4 km • 3 hours
At the Londerossi gate on the western slope, you check into the national park, then hike along a little used track through the montane forest.
In places the vegetation is so untouched that it grows right across the trail. The flora and fauna are richer here than on the other more popular routes through the rain forest. In the tree canopy look for the purple flash of the Hartlaub's Turaco, as well the black and white Colobus monkeys. You camp in the rain forest at Mti Mkubwa (Big Tree).
11,500-ft/3,505-m • 5.2 miles/8.4 km • 7-8 hours
After breakfast you leave the glades, and start climbing towards the heath and moorland zone. After traversing the steep ridge, you descend into the Shira Caldera, a high altitude desert plateau.
Shira is the third of Kilimanjaro's volcanic cones - now eroded - and is filled with lava flow and eons of silt from Kibo Peak. Weather and volcanic action have decimated the crater rim. Today you get your first views of Kibo peak.
13,650-ft/4,160-m • 6.3 miles/10 km • 7-8 hours
You hike east across the Shira Plateau past the Shira Cathedral towards Moir camp, tucked away at the end of a massive gorge, at the foot of a giant lava flow.
On the way to camp you enjoy a hot lunch at Fisher Camp, which is only a couple hours from our destination.
12,950-ft/3,950-m • 6.2 miles/9.9 km • 6-7 hours
First thing in the morning you start climbing toward Lava Tower lower camp, at 15,200-ft/4,633-m, where you stop for lunch, allowing your body to acclimatize. Descending through the giant Senecio habitat, you arrive at our camp beautifully located at the foot of the Barranco Wall.
This is where the Machame and Lemosho routes converge, so you'll meet meet other climbers ascending the Machame Route.
13,200-ft/4,023-m • 3.6 miles/5.8 km • 4-5 hours
Today's big challenge is to hike up the Barranco Wall, a 500-ft lava flow. It's not technical, but challenging nonetheless. Once on top of the wall, the climb becomes easier and extremely beautiful with fantastic views of the crags and crevasses of the jagged peaks of Kibo on your left.
Lastly you descend into the Karanga Valley and up the other side, for overnight camp.
14,950-ft/4,556-m • 2.1 miles/3.4 km • 3-4 hours
It's all uphill to the rocky, craggy slopes at Barafu camp. Barafu means "ice" in Swahili, and it is extremely windy and cold at this altitude.
You start to feel the effects of altitude, breathing hard as yoiu climb. There is a buzz of excitement in the air, as climbers anticipate the toughest day - and the summit - just ahead. The clouds move in an out, revealing the eroded peak of Mawenzi, painted with magical colors of the African sun.
Summit: 19,340-ft/5,895-m • 2.75 miles/4.5 km • 7-9 hours
Barafu: 14,950-ft/4,556-m • 2.75 miles/4.5 km • 3 hours
We start climbing at sunrise, so we climb during daylight hours on the steepest and most demanding part of the mountain, reaching the Crater rim after lunch.
Mawenzi Peak is a thrilling sight, with the Kibo saddle still in darkness beneath you, and the crater's ice-walls looming ahead. We now continue to Uhuru Peak (1-2 hrs.) This is the highest point (19,340 ft) and the best view in Africa. The descent is invigorating. We continue back down to Barafu Camp where we spend our last night on the mountain.
Mweka Gate: 5,500-ft/1,676-m • 9.3 miles/15 km • 9 hours ~ Drive Moshi
After breakfast it's a 4-5 hour hike to Mweka camp where you stop for lunch and say goodbye to your porters. Then a 4-hour hike through the rainforest takes you down to the gate where you sign out of the national park.
From the gate you drive with your guides back to the hotel for a well-earned shower and celebration.
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