7 day private camping trekking tour + 2 nights’ hotel stay
Lemosho route starts on the western side of Mount Kilimanjaro and is one of the lesser-used routes. The route is more demanding than Rongai and Marangu, but it’s also one of the most picturesque and varied options.. It has some steep areas and passes through a larger variety of vegetation types and landscapes than other routes. You will traverse the lush green rainforest during the first two days after which the vegetation changes to moorland characterized by heather, ericas, ferns and large lichen-covered rocks. From the third day the route joins up with the Machame route and enters the alpine desert sections of the route, which rise and fall en route to the arctic summit. The Lemosho scheduled climb departs fortnightly on Thursday while a private climb can start any day.
Start: Lemosho Gate (2385 m)
Finish: Big Tree Camp (2780 m)
Altitude: ↑ 395 m
Walking Time: 2-3h
Hike through the lush forest. Gradually climbing along a footpath.
Start: Big Tree Camp (2780 m)
Finish: Shira Camp 2 (3900 m)
Altitude: ↑ 1120 m
Walking Time: 7-8h
A long day with ups and downs. Great views of Kibo and Shira Ridge as you emerge from the forest.
Start: Shira Camp 2 (3900 m)
Finish: Barranco Camp (3960 m)
Altitude: ↑ 740 m ↓ 680 m
Walking Time: 6-7h
Another long day through interesting vegetation, especially around the Lava Tower rock formation.
Start: Barranco Camp (3960 m)
Finish: Karanga Camp (4035 m)
Altitude: ↑ 100 m ↓ 25 m
Walking Time: 3-4h
Conquering the Barranco Wall, breathtaking views of a glacier waits. More ups and downs.
Start: Karanga Camp (4035 m)
Finish: Barafu Camp (4640 m)
Altitude: ↑ 605 m
Walking Time: 3-4h
An easy footpath through a rock-strewn moon landscape.
Start: Barafu Camp (4640 m)
Finish: Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Mweka Camp (3080 m)
Altitude: ↑ 1255 m ↓ 2815 m
Walking Time: 10-14h
Starting at midnight, it’s a long day. The long cold uphill to Stella Point on the crater will be rewarded with awesome views, Another hour or so to the summit, before the gravelly and steep downhill descent.
Start: Mweka Camp (3080 m)
Finish: Mweka Gate (1630 m)
Altitude: ↓ 1450 m
Walking Time: 2-3h
Easy and relatively short descent with a good path through lush rainforest to the gate.
Kilimanjaro Airport – Usa River
After arriving in Tanzania – at the Kilimanjaro Airport – our transfer driver will meet you and bring you to Moshi. Your accommodation and supper at your hotel is included in the tour price. Relax at the pool or have a look around the town. Tonight you and your group will meet our operations team for a talk about the adventure that lies ahead. Get a good night’s rest at your hotel.
Day 1 Usa River – Starting point – Big Tree Camp (2780 m)
After breakfast at the lodge you will be taken to the Londorossi gate at 2250 m. On the way you will pass many traditional villages and farmland. After registration at the gate, it is another 15 minutes’ drive to the actual start of the Lemosho route – deep in the lush, green rainforest. From here you will set off on foot, gradually going uphill through the forest to Big Tree Camp at 2780 m. On arrival at this shaded forest camp, your porters will have set up camp already and will greet you, introduce themselves, then encourage you to join them in singing the Kilimanjaro song. You will overnight here and enjoy a nutritious cooked supper before going to bed.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 2 Big Tree Camp (2780 m) – Shira Camp 2 (3900 m)
A longer day awaits. Starting off through the forest, you will notice how the vegetation gradually changes; the trees are thinning out and more shrubs appear as you ascend. You will see lobelias and Erica’s and cross Shira Ridge. After about five hours of hiking, you will stop for a hot lunch at Shira Camp 1. This spot has great views of the sister mountain Mt Meru and the Rift Valley below.
The afternoon stretch will take about three hours and you will gain 400 m in altitude. Still the landscape changes as you cross an area that was molten lava many years ago. Strange plants dot the landscape – giant senecios – you should be close to Shira Camp 2. This is your camping spot for the night. If the weather is good, you should see the summit – an awesome view at sunset.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 Shira Camp 2 (3900 m) – Lava Tower (4640 m) – Barranco Camp (3950 m)
Lots of ups and downs today. You will gain about 700 m in height and will certainly feel the difference, only to descend again for tonight’s camp at Barranco. The up and down will help your body acclimatize. During the day you will reach an altitude of over 4500 m above sea level. The day starts with an uphill above Shira Plateau towards the Lava Tower at 4640 m. The landscape is now almost bare alpine desert and resembles an entirely different world. Descending again, you will start seeing more vegetation – lobelias and the surreal senecios in the sweeping Barranco Valley. After about seven hours (from when you started) you should reach Barranco Camp, by many considered the best camp on Kilimanjaro. Snacks and hot drinks are waiting as usual.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 Barranco Camp (3960 m) – Karanga Camp (4035 m)
Don’t be discouraged by what you see in front of you today; the Barranco Wall, known to the guides and porters as the “Breakfast Wall”. It is not as intimidating or frightening as it seems, though it is one of the steepest sections of the route. “Pole pole”, slowly slowly, as they say on the mountain, and you will reach the top. Use your hands if you need to, listen to the encouragement of the guides and soon you will admire the spectacular views from the top. You will continue along the undulating ridge. Focus on Kibo peak and the southern glacier and before you know it, you will be at Karanga Camp in time for lunch. The rest of the afternoon can be spent relaxing and or enjoying the scenes around the camp.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5 Karanga Camp (4035 m) – Barafu Camp (4640 m)
After the usual breakfast of hot porridge, eggs and fruit you will set off to Barafu Camp. You should reach the overnight camp (at 4640 m) after about four hours of increasingly sparse littered with volcanic rocks. The afternoon is at your leisure; relax or read and prepare mentally for the summit attempt that will start in the early morning hours. Or you can ask your guide to take you on a short round trip to the top of a ridge a couple of hundred metres higher (close to 4900 m) to get a head start on the acclimatization process for the impending summit climb. Try to eat well and drink lots of water before going to bed, even if it’s a struggle. You have a few hours to sleep before the wake-up call at around 00:00.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 Barafu Camp (4640 m) – Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Mweka Camp (3080 m)
After waking up and having some tea and biscuits, you will set off, following a string of headlamps as they move slowly upwards… It will be cold and dark. Keep going slowly and steadily, focus carefully on your breathing, eat and drink when possible but without taking any long breaks (it’s too cold to halt for long), then you will reach Stella point on the crater’s edge between five and seven hours later. Keep going for an hour or two and you will finally be on the roof of Africa – Uhuru Peak. You will probably spend between ten and twenty minutes in the cold and thin air at 5 895m – take in this memorable achievement, admire the view and the early morning sun over the landscape below. A fast and gravelly descent follows. At around noon you should reach Barafu camp again where the crew is waiting. You will have a warm lunch and rest for an hour or so before setting off down again. After about three hours, you should reach Mweka Camp (3 000 m) where you will sleep deep and soundly tonight.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 Mweka Camp (3080 m) – Mweka Gate (1630 m) – Usa River
The last day on the mountain starts with breakfast. Then your crew will congratulate you on your achievement; there will be more singing, team photos and hugs, then the tips will be distributed to the crew. Now, the last stretch of about three hours to Mweka Gate lies ahead. It should be an easy descent through the rainforest. At the gate our driver will be waiting to return you to the hot showers and cold drinks of your lodge. Jump in the pool or dress in fresh clothes before meeting in the bar for a celebratory drink and a debriefing, during which your certificate of achievement will be handed over. Well done! Tonight you will enjoy supper at the lodge and then perhaps head out for some more celebratory drinks, if the fatigue hasn’t taken over yet.
Usa River – Kilimanjaro Airport
In the morning, our transfer driver will take you to the airport. Fly back home, continue to Zanzibar and take a few days’ break or join a safari in Tanzania.
- Trekking tour according to the itinerary
- Accommodation in tents and hotels as indicated in the itinerary
- Professional English-speaking guide
- Portable toilet and toilet tent
- Personal porter
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- Drinking water
- Transfers as indicated in the itinerary
- National park fees
- Rescue fees
- Camping equipment – tents, sleeping mattress and camping furniture
- Flights (international and domestic)
- Meals not indicated in the itinerary
- Beverages other than water (alcohol and soft drinks)
- Visa, tips, personal expenses, travel insurance
- Sleeping bag (can be rented, please ask us at the time of the booking)
- The group size is between five and a maximum of ten persons
- On a private climb, you choose your hiking partners. You will not be teamed up with strangers. We can accommodate private groups of up to 100 or so.
As per the national park authorities, the minimum age for climbing Kilimanjaro is 10 years but seeing that children are more prone to altitude sickness than adults, we recommend a minimum age of 12. There is no maximum age restriction, but a medical check-up is advisable for people over the age of 60.
Kilimanjaro is one of the few mountains of its height that can be summited without mountaineering skills or experience. You should however be healthy and fit enough to manage the 4-6 hour hike each day, as well as the 12-14 hour hike on the day of the summit. For the last stretch, much endurance and willpower is needed.
Generally yes. We however discourage any attempts during the main rainy season (end of March to beginning of June). During the short rainy season (November), daily short rainfalls and cloudy views can be expected. From December until the end of February, temperatures are at their highest and rainfall is at its minimum. These are the busiest times. Between the end of June and the middle of October is also a good time to climb. Temperatures are a little lower but there is almost no rain.
The Lemosho route begins on the rather remote western side of Kilimanjaro, but meets up with the Machame route on day 3 at the Shira Plateau. The Lemosho route is the longest route and it covers the most kilometres, which is why one should allow a minimum of seven days for the climb.
Overnight accommodation will be in two-man tents and sleeping mats are provided. Single travellers usually share a tent with another group member of the same gender. Single tents can be provided on request at additional cost.
There are no ablution facilities except for basic long-drops (very simple latrines), but on private climbs mobile chemical toilets are included.
- Fresh water will be collected from the available sources on the mountain and is boiled before it’s served. Porters will carry water in canisters for the higher areas, where no more fresh water is available. All meals are freshly prepared by your cook.
- Meals are included as indicated in the itinerary.
- Breakfast usually consists of fruit, scrambled eggs, porridge, toast and jam, hot chocolate, coffee or tea. For lunch you are usually provided with a lunch box that contains sandwiches, boiled eggs, chicken etc.
- For dinner you will be served a soup and bread followed by the main course that either consists of red meat or poultry served with some sort of starch (chips, mashed potatoes, pasta or rice) and vegetables. For dessert you will get fresh fruit, hot chocolate, coffee or tea and milk.
- Breakfast and dinner are served in a mess tent that is equipped with a table and chairs while lunch is usually enjoyed en-route.
- We are able to provide meals for vegetarians or people with other dietary requirements or food allergies but we need to know in advance in order to cater for special requests.
Almost every hiker attempting Kilimanjaro will notice the altitude and the thinner air. Fitness fanatics are just as likely to suffer from it as couch potatoes. Symptoms include headaches that are often accompanied by fatigue, loss of appetite and nausea. More often than not, symptoms are mild, allowing you to continue to ascend. Occasionally the symptoms are more severe and a rapid descent is required, after which your body tends to recover quite quickly. Please however always keep in mind, that severe altitude sickness can be life-threatening and it may even lead to death. We do not recommend the use of medication, as it suppresses the symptoms of altitude sickness. We do however encourage you to drink enough water to replace the fluids lost from the physical activity. Two to four litres per day are recommended, as well as mineral supplements (magnesium etc.) to help replace lost minerals and to prevent muscle cramps.
- Unfortunately there are no state of the art mountain rescue services like the ones to be found in the European Alps for example. If you no longer have the ability to walk, you will either be carried or transported on a wheeled stretcher. This is by no means a pleasant experience which is why we encourage you not to overstrain your body and to travel safe. Helicopters can only land at a lower altitude and are therefore rarely used.
- Please ensure that you are covered by your health insurance while travelling. If you do not have sufficient coverage, we highly recommend taking out appropriate travel insurance. Your insurance should cover all your medical expenses including costs for rescue and repatriation.
- It is common practice to tip the members of your mountain crew after the climb. Tips make up a large portion of their income and are therefore highly appreciated. Below are some guidelines based on a group (not per person)
- Guide: 15-18 USD / day
- Assistant Guide: 12-15 USD / day
- Cook: 8-10 USD / day
- Waiter: 7-9 USD / day
- Porter: 6-7 USD / day
- Of course the above is just a guideline. If you are happy with the service received, you are welcome to show this when it comes to tipping.
- If you plan to tip in USD, please make sure the notes have been printed after 2004 as any earlier dated bank notes are not valid and can therefore not be used in Tanzania.
- Travel bag, backpack or kitbag, weighing no more than 12kg. Please do not bring a suitcase or trolley bag, as this type of luggage cannot be carried by the porters.
- Day backpack with rain protection.
- High quality sleeping bag for harsh conditions (at night temperatures can drop to -20°C).
- Different layers of clothing including thermal base layers, fleece clothing, trekking pants, warm jacket and water-resistant top layers as well as a warm headgear.
- Water-resistant and comfortable hiking boots and a variety of trekking socks.
- Please note that the above list is not complete and these are just a few things that you will have to bring with you. Once we have confirmed your booking, you will receive a more detailed list.
- Citizens of all nationalities need to contact the embassies of their travel destination to check the visa regulations.
- In general, European citizens can apply for a Tanzanian Tourism Visa upon arrival in Tanzania.
- It is the sole responsibility of every traveller to be in possession of the required documents and visa that allows them to enter their holiday destination.
- Tanzania is no longer a yellow fever region, so a yellow fever certificate isn’t generally a requirement. If visiting any other countries in the region either before or after Tanzania, be sure to check if a yellow fever vaccination is required
- Although there are no mosquitoes at high altitude, Tanzania is within a malaria region. It is up to you if you wish to take medication, but we suggest that you speak to your doctor or travel clinic about the different prophylaxis and their effects and side-effects.
- Although Tanzania does not require proof of immunization against tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A and B, we nevertheless recommend those vaccinations.