The Lemosho Glades route is the longest of all trekking routes to Kilimanjaro. In this 8-day version, the route is the same as in the 7-days version, but an additional stop is included in the spectacular Karanga Valley between Barranco and Barafu, maximising acclimatization time and opportunities to enjoy the unique scenery and landscape of Kilimanjaro.
Itinerary (8 days / 7 nights on Kili):
Briefing Your guides will meet you at your hotel in Arusha or Moshi for a detailed briefing of the climb. Accommodation: hotel in Arusha or Moshi (D)
Transfer to Londorossi Gate - Morum Barrier Gate - hike to Forest Camp (Mkubwa Camp) (2895 m) Departure from Arusha will be at around 7: 30am for Londorossi gate (ca. 4 hours) where you will complete entry formalities. Then drive to the Lemosho trailhead (ca. 1 hr). Upon arrival at trailhead, eat lunch, then commence through undisturbed forest which winds to the first camp, only about 3-4 hours of trekking. Overnight at Departure from Arusha will be at around 7:30 am for Londorossi gate (ca. 4 hrs transfer), where you will complete the entry formalities. Then you continue by car to Morum Barrier Gate (ca. 1 hr). where you have lunch. Then you start trekking through heather and moorland to the first camp (ca. 1-2 hrs). The views over to Kibo across the Plateau are breathtaking.
Accommodation: Forest Camp (B, L, D)
Forest camp - hike to Shira 1 camp (3505 m) Once out of the forest, take a steep track into a savannah of tall grasses, heather, and volcanic rock draped with lichen beards. Ascend through the lush rolling hills below the Shira plateau, finally reaching camp at the edge of the plateau, a day of 5-6 hours trekking. The view of Kibo from across the plateau is amazing. Accommodation: Shira 1 camp (B, L, D)
Shira 1 - Shira 2 (Fischer's) camp (3900 m) You have a full day to explore the Shira plateau, trekking slowly eastward towards Kibo's glaciered peak. The Shira plateau is one of the highest plateaus on earth, averaging 12,500 ft. If you feel like, you could visit the ancient collapsed cone of Shira volcano (the oldest of Kilimanjaro's 3 volcanic centers). Total trekking time: ca. 3 hrs.
Accommodation: Shira 2 camp (B, L, D)
Shira 2 - Barranco camp (3976 m) You proceed steadily upwards over vast rigdes to "Lava Tower" for lunch (ca. 4 hrs). Lava Tower, a 300 ft volcanic plug, marks an exposed pass at 15,000 ft. In the afternoon, you descend the steep trail into the Great Barranco Valley. Barranco Camp is set in a valley enclosed on 3 sides with the massive walls of the valley itself and the massif of Kibo. Hanging glaciers glint in the sunshine above,- an eerie landscape known for its rare plants such as the Giant Groundsels (Seneciao Kilimanjari) and the uniquely endemic Giant Lobelia. Total trekking time: 6-7 hrs.
Accommodation: Barranco camp (B, L, D)
Barranco camp - Karanga camp (3995 m) This short trekking day is taken to reach Karanga Valley Camp, at 13,000 feet (3,950 m), between Barranco and Barafu Camps. This has proven to be very important for acclimatization. The day begins with a scramble up the steep 'Barranco Wall', then traversing up and down the slopes of valleys which have carved their way into the mountain's southern face. Kibo's glaciers loom above to your left and the jagged peaks of Mawenzi jut into the African sky at just under 17,000 feet straight ahead. We reach the Karanga Valley after 3-4 hours of trekking to find a hot lunch served at camp. The afternoon can be taken to relax or take excursions from the camp.
Accommodation: Karanga camp (B, L, D)
Karanga camp camp - Barafu camp (4673 m) From here the trail turns steadily uphill. The temperature will grow colder and the landscape more sparse as we near Barafu Camp. Barafu Camp is set on a small, exposed flat area on a ridge, acting a base camp from which you will make your summit attempt at midnight tonight. The trekking time is 4-5 hours. Eat and drink as much as possible before retiring early to your tent for rest and sleep.
Accommodation: Barafu camp (B, L, D)
Barafu camp - Stella Point (5790 m) - Uhuru Peak (5895 m) - descend to Mweka camp (3068 m) A hot drink will arrive very early this morning. A midmight wake-up call will be the start of a juggernaut (12-17 hrs of trekking). At around 1 am, you start trekking; temperatures usually range from just below freezing at midnight to seomwhere between -12 deg. C (10 deg. F) to -23 deg. C (-10 F.) on the summit just before dawn. The winding path of endless switchbacks will slowly take form and shape in the shadows of the Ratzel and Rebman glaciers at early dawn, and behind you the spires of Mawenzi are silouhetted against the red glow of the sun rising behind the clouds. After about 6 hrs of slowly walking uphill, you arrive at the edge of the crater: Stella Point, at 19,000 ft (5790 m) on the crater rim, is the end of the steep part of the hike. From here, it's a gentle slope to Uhuru Peak (ca. 1 hr), the true summit of Kili at 19,340 ft (5896 m). The strength it takes to ascend this final piece is for many monumental. After a short time at the summit, we start descending. The path goes down a steep scree slope back to Barafu Camp for some rest, before you have to summon your strength again to descend further to Mweka Camp for the last night on the mountain.
Accommodation: Mweka camp (B, L, D)
Final descend - Transfer to Arusha It's an easy 2-3 hours trek through rain forest to go down the final parts of the trail back to the Mweka Gate. After receiving your certificates, lunch and saying goodby to many of your crew, we'll bring you to the KIA lodge, where you can use day rooms for a shower, change cloths etc. In the afternoon, return to Arusha (or Moshi).
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