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.
The Lemosho route on Kilimanjaro 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. It is our favorite route on the mountain because of these reasons.
Lemosho Route Description
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.
How Long Does it Take to Climb Kilimanjaro Using the Lemosho Route?
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%.
The Lemosho route is approximately 70 km/ 42 miles from gate to gate, with an elevation gain of about 16,000 to 17,000 feet.
Lemosho 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. So do not be intimidated by this trail. If it appeals to you, we encourage you to climb Kilimanjaro on the route.
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.
How Much Does it Cost to Climb Kilimanjaro Using the Lemosho Route?
There price for climbing Kilimanjaro will vary depending on the operator, the duration of the trip, and the number of clients in your party.
The Lemosho route can be climbed in 6 to 9 days. Because the park fees, staff requirements, and amount of food increases with each day, the price of a Lemosho route tour will increase accordingly.
Our current pricing for a party of 4 on the Lemosho route variations are listed below.
Lemosho Route Cost:
- Lemosho 6 Day Itinerary (not recommended) – not offered
- Lemosho 7 Day Itinerary (ok) – $2,879 per person, private climb
- Lemosho 8 Day Itinerary (preferred) – $3,249 per person, private climb or $3,149 per person, group climb
- Lemosho Crater 9 day Itinerary (experienced only) – $4,099 per person, private climb
How Hard is it to Climb Kilimanjaro Using the Lemosho Route?
The Lemosho route is considered a challenging route. This is because it is a longer route, covering more distance and has more elevation gain than other routes.
A route profile, sometimes called an elevation profile, is a side view of geographical data which focuses on elevation. As shown below, the Lemosho route gains and loses altitude throughout the trip, which requires more energy expenditure to tackle.
However, this up and down movement is actually very beneficial for acclimatization because it follows the “climb high, sleep low” principle. Climb high, sleep low is a strategy by which you sleep at a lower elevation to which you have ascended during the day. This is known to stimulate the body to produce more red blood cells which carry oxygen.
So even though the route profile is considered difficult, Lemosho’s summit success rate is very high, around 90%-95%, when done over 8 days.
Where Does the Lemosho Route Start?
The Lemosho Route begins at Londorossi Gate, which is located on the western side of Mount Kilimanjaro. From Moshi, it is a 3-4 drive to get there.
How Many Routes are There Up Kilimanjaro?
There are seven routes used to climb Kilimanjaro:
- Lemosho Route
- Marangu Route
- Machame Route
- Rongai Route
- Shira Route
- Northern Circuit Route
- Umbwe Route
Within each route, there are variations that are different durations, use different campsites and summit approaches, so there are actually more than 20 options when it comes to choosing Kilimanjaro routes.
How Long Does it Take to Climb Kilimanjaro?
The shortest Kilimanjaro routes are 5 day itineraries and the longest Kilimanjaro routes are 9-10 day itineraries.
The best, practical advice is to take as long as you can in order to acclimatize to the elevation. By ascending slowly, the body can gradually adjust to the lower oxygen levels. Climbing too high too fast is the main cause of failed acclimatization, which leads to altitude related illnesses.
Statistics show that adding “rest” days to your climb increases the summit success rate. The success rate for routes that are 8 or more days is over 90%. Comparatively, the success rate for a 5 day climb is around 30%.
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 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 on a Kilimanjaro tour. You are not allowed to climb Kilimanjaro on your own.
When is the Best Time to Climb Kilimanjaro?
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.
Mount Kilimanjaro creates its own weather and it can be very unpredictable. It is possible to encounter a blizzard, torrential rains, or brutal winds during any season. Anyone who climbs Kilimanjaro should be outfitted properly. That means being ready for all potential conditions on your trip.
Lastly, 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.