12 Day Itinerary - 9 Days Climbing: $5,960
(Overnight in the Crater)
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 take extra time to enjoy the spectacular environment. Lemosho is one of the more scenic routes up Kilimanjaro and does not require a midnight summit climb. On the 12-day climb we sleep in the crater and refer to summit during daylight hours to enjoy the views, the warmer weather, and to avoid the crowds in the early morning at the summit.
After arriving at Kilimanjaro airport, you check into the hotel. We 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 in the west we 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. We 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 we leave the glades, and start climbing towards the heath and moorland zone. We traverse the steep ridge 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
After breakfast we 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 we 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
After breakfast, we start climbing toward Lava Tower lower camp, at 15,200-ft/4,633-m, where we stop for lunch, allowing our bodies to acclimatize. Descending through the giant Senecio habitat, we arrive at our camp beautifully located at the foot of the Barranco Wall.
This is where the Machame and Lemosho routes converge, so we meet other climbers ascending the Machame Route.
13,200-ft/4,023-m • 3.6 miles/5.8 km • 4-5 hours
Our 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 we descend into the Karanga Valley and up the other side, for our 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.
We start to feel the effects of altitude, breathing hard as we 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 beautiful colors of the African sun.
Summit: 19,340-ft/5,895-m • 3.75 miles/4.5 km • 7-9 hours
Crater Camp: 18,700-ft/5,700-m • 1.5 miles/2.4 km • 1.5 hours
Today's the toughest day, with the most stunning views of Mawenzi, the Kibo Saddle and the plains below. We slowly wind our way through the scree to the crater rim and make our push to the summit. The view is dramatic. After our celebrating our achievement, we slowly trek to our camp on the crater floor. Climbers may choose not to camp in the crater, and descend to a lower camp.
On the shorter 11-day climb we start our summit ascent early, and do not camp in the crater, but head down to Mweka camp after the summit.
10,400-ft/3,170-m • 8.3 miles/12 km • 8-9 hours
After a hot breakfast we hike up to the Ash pit for spectacular views, where fumaroles are evidence of Kilimanjaro's dormant volcanic state.
We then start our descent to Mweka Camp, where we enjoy our last night on Mount Kilimanjaro.
Mweka Gate: 5,500-ft/1,676-m • 5.3 miles/8.5 km • 4-5 hours
Moshi: 3,000-ft/914-m • 30 minute drive
In the morning we have a 4-5 hour walk through the rainforest down to the gate where we sign out of the national park.
The Tusker vehicles meet us and take us back to the hotel and a well-earned shower and celebration.
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Pricing & Evacuation Insurance
Kilimanjaro prices apply to bookings made after October 8, 2015, and for scheduled departures published on our 2016 schedule. Park fees are subject to change; Flights are NOT included; All trip members are automatically signed up for Air Evacuation Coverage with RIPCORD, Tusker’s air Air Evacuation company. Tusker has negotiated very reasonable coverage premiums. The premiums varies according to the length of coverage you require for your entire trip, and will be reflected on your Tusker statement. Safari flight price depends on season and is subject to change by the airlines.