Posted by:

David G

David G, Chief Explorer

Trek the entire Western face of Kilimanjaro from home.

In May, we posted our first treks up Kilimanjaro in partnership with Altezza Travel.

The June to October climbing season has been incredibly busy for Altezza, so it’s been tough finding time to shoot. However, at the start of November a window opened up and the team set their sights on the Lemosho route.

Kilimanjaro Lemosho route

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, like Lemosho were more thoughtfully designed to improve acclimatization for the climber by incorporating longer distances, longer times on the mountain and shorter elevation gains.

Altezza travel offer a range of options for the Lemosho route, from 6 to 8 days trekking. Take a look at their website for the full itineraries.

For this ascent, we chose the 7 day option, and it took place between 2021-11-03 - 2021-11-09. Here are some of the highlights from each day…

Day 1: High-Altitude Drop Off Destination And Trekking To Shira 1 Camp

  • Elevation: 3,500 m to 3,505 m
  • Distance: 5 km
  • Time: 2-3 hours

The route from your drop off point to your first high-altitude camp Shira 1 features a small gain in altitude and is not too physically challenging. Due to this, you will be able to properly begin the process of acclimatization.

It was a wet day when the teamed filmed this tour, though the conditions treated them to a beautiful rainbow to finish the day.

Day 2: Trekking From Shira 1 Camp to Shira 2 Camp

  • Elevation: 3,505 m to 3,900 m
  • Distance: 2 km
  • Time: 1–2 hours

Departing from Shira 1 Camp (3,505 m) and a light trekking towards the second high altitude camp: Shira 2 Camp (3,900 m). This trek is not difficult and you will be able to enjoy spectacular views of Africa and the unique flora of Kilimanjaro and the surrounding area.

Shira 2 Camp is the best place on the trip to see Mount Meru (the fifth summit of Africa), weather permitting. As you can see above, sadly it was cloudy when the Altezza team arrived.

Day 3: Trekking From Shira 2 Camp To The Lava Tower and Descent To Barranco Camp

  • Elevation: 3,900 m to 4,630 m to 3,960 m
  • Distance: 12 km
  • Time: 6-8 hours

After breakfast you will leave Shira 2 Camp (3,900 m) and start your way to the key point of the route: Lava Tower (4,630 m). This section of the route has a lot of ascents and descents that end in a camp at over 4,600 metres.

Then you will descend to Barranco Camp (3,960 m). Here you can see the famous Barranco Wall, impressive in both its massive size and steepness! Next day you will be climbing it, but don’t worry: it features a very simple hiking trail.

Day 4: Trekking from Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

  • Elevation: 3,960 m to 4,035 m
  • Distance: 5 km
  • Time: 1-2 hours

Early wakeup, breakfast and the start of summiting Barranco Wall. Hiking up the gorge wall is not difficult and only takes around an hour. After the climb you can have a rest and take photos in front of the Kibo volcano.

Then you start a more difficult hike to Karanga Camp, which features numerous ascents and descents during the route, but don’t worry: our guides are experts at choosing an optimal pace for the group. After reaching the camp you will be offered warm lunch. After a couple of hours you will have to complete an acclimatization hike in the direction of Barafu Camp with a 300-meter gain in altitude, and then descent back down to the camp.

Day 5: Trekking from Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

  • Elevation: 4,640 m to 4,800 m
  • Distance: 2 km
  • Time: 1-2 hours

In the morning after breakfast you begin your way to Barafu Summit Camp (4,640 m), the starting point for a night summiting Uhuru Peak (5,895 m).

After regaining strength, you have to complete an acclimatization hike towards the intermediate Kosovo Summit Camp (4,800 m) and then back to Barafu Camp, where you will be served a hot dinner.

Day 5: Ascent to Uhuru Peak and Descent to Millennium Camp

  • Elevation: 4,640 m to 5,895 m to 3,820 m
  • Distance: 15 km
  • Time: 8-12 hours

Departure from Barafu Camp (4,640 m) at night and the start of summiting Kilimanjaro: Uhuru Peak (5,895 m). Technically the climb is relatively simple; however, the most challenging part is the high altitude.

After your successful ascent to Uhuru Peak, you can descend to the nearest glacier if desired. Then you will return to Barafu Camp and after a 2-hour rest continue your descent to Millennium Camp (3,820 m).

Day 6: Descent from Millennium Camp to Mweka Gate

  • Elevation: 3,820 m to 1,650 m
  • Distance: 12 km
  • Time: 4-5 hours

The camp is situated in a tropical rainforest. When you wake up, you will feel relief from the reduction of the height and the satisfaction of reaching the summit. After a warm breakfast, you will head for the park’s exit: Mweka Gate (1,640 m).

Explore the imagery

Lemosho Kilimanjaro Mapillary

View on:

Altezza Travel

This Guidebook would not have been possible without the studious team at Altezza Travel.

They’re taking bookings for the 2021 season, including the Rogai route. See the Altezza Travel website for more details.

More soon…

When the good weather for trekking returns again in March next year (2022), we’ll be ready to capture the Marangu, Umbwe and Northern Circuit routes to the Kilimanjaro summit with our Trek Packs.

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