LEMOSHO – THE BEST ROUTE TO CLIMB KILIMANJARO
Welcome to Lemosho.com.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in climbing Kilimanjaro on the Lemosho Route. The Lemosho Route is widely considered to be the best route on Mount Kilimanjaro. Not too long ago, there were only two main routes used to climb Kilimanjaro – the Marangu (Coca Cola) route and the Machame (Whiskey) route.
But as Tanzania’s tourism industry flourished, the Kilimanjaro park authority created more trails to African’s highest peak to distribute climbers to more areas of the park. This reduced bottlenecks at certain points and also made for a more pleasant experience by limiting crowds. Additionally, these latter trails were more thoughtfully designed to improve acclimatization for the climber by incorporating longer distances, longer times on the mountain and shorter elevation gains. Lemosho, a relatively new route, falls into this category.
Lemosho is preferred by reputable operators due to its beauty, remoteness and success rate. In short, it maximizes the chances that a climber will reach the summit, and enjoy the experience overall.
The Lemosho route can be done in as little as six days (five nights) on the mountain. However, it is ideally tackled over eight days (seven nights) for a better altitude acclimatization schedule. With eight days (seven nights) on the mountain, your chances of reaching the top are very high, around 90%.
Access to the trail begins with a long drive from Moshi or Arusha to Londorossi Gate. This can take three to four hours. Londorossi Gate is located in the western base of mountain.
Lemosho starts in lush, fertile rainforest. It is the first ecological zone you encounter on Kilimanjaro (we will trek through four). The route heads up and across the Shira Plateau, which used to be Kilimanjaro’s third peak before it collapsed. Then we make our way north to Moir Hut, which serves as a great acclimatization day due to short hikes than can be done in the nearby Lent Hills.
Next, we climb high up and over Lava Tower before dropping into Barranco Valley, one of the prettiest areas on the entire trail. We climb the intimidating Barranco Wall and then circle along the southern circuit to Karanga and high camp Barafu Hut.
The summit attempt is made from Barafu in the early morning hours,often during the full moon. This is the coldest, windiest section of your adventure. But once the sun comes up, so can most of your extra layers. After the summit, the descent follows the Mweka trail.
The Lemosho route is approximately 70 km/ 42 miles from gate to gate. It is designed for physically fit people with some hiking experience. However, we have many clients who tackle the route as their first real backpacking experience. They do very well. The table below depicts a variation of the 8 day Lemosho climb with starting and finishing points, altitude, distance and hiking time. This is considered to be the ideal Lemosho route variation.
Lemosho Route Variations:
- Lemosho 6 Day Itinerary (not recommended)
- Lemosho 7 Day Itinerary (ok)
- Lemosho 8 Day Itinerary (preferred)
Here is a short video showing some of the amazing scenery on the Lemosho Route.
About Mount Kilimanjaro
Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest free standing mountain in the world. People from all over the globe come to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro, hoping to stand proudly at Uhuru Point – 19,341 feet high. Crowned in ice, Mount Kilimanjaro is a spectacular sight to behold. But this view will not last long. The glaciers are melting at an alarming rate due to global warming and will be completely gone in 50 years.
In 2013, an estimated 50,000 tourists climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. The number has been steadily growing every year. What makes Kilimanjaro such a magnetic draw for adventurous folks is that climbing Kilimanjaro does not require technical skills or mountaineering equipment such as ice axes, crampons, harnesses and ropes. Kilimanjaro is entirely a walk up mountain. As long as you can put one foot in front of the other, and are in decent fitness, you can climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Mount Kilimanjaro is regulated by the Tanzania National Park Authority. The authority maintains the six major routes on Mount Kilimanjaro to ensure safety, cleanliness and flow. Also, park rangers monitor the activity on the moutain to check that every climber is accompanied by a licensed guide. Tourists are not allowed to climb Kilimanjaro on their own.
Anyone who climbs Kilimanjaro should be outfitted properly. This is important because Kilimanjaro creates its own weather. It is possible to encounter a blizzard, torrential rains, or brutal windsduring any season. You don’t conquer a mountain. She allows your passage, if she is feeling nice. People who are not adequately prepared pay the price very quickly.
Tanzania does not have four seasons like most people are accustomed to. Instead, Tanzania experiences wet and dry seasons. During the wet season, rain can fall steadily everyday, making your time on the mountain pretty difficult. Therefore, the best time to climb Kilimanjaro is during the dry season. Those months include: January, February, July, August, September, October. The rainy season months are: March, April, May, June, November and December.