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Arrive at Kilimanjaro international Airport in Moshi, Tanzania. We provide group transfer from the airport to the lodge.
Just after the morning breakfast, we’ll head out to acclimatize and perform a warm up climbing orientation. The rest of the day is adventure and exploration. This day, you will see the beautiful view of Mt. Kilimanjaro on a clear day. We will also visit Machare Estate tea and coffee farm to taste many varieties of teas and coffee produced locally. We will end the day walking to a nearby waterfall through a trail pass with coffee trees and streams under shady glades of handsome hardwood.
After an early breakfast, we drive to the Londorossi gate to register with the national park authorities. The drive is about 2 – 3 hours. This day, you may well spend more time driving and waiting at the gate than you will be hiking.
From Londorossi we drive to Lemosho glades (7,000 ft) where we meet with our support team whom you will climb with and begin our trek to the roof of Africa.
The path begins in the lush Afromontane forest which contains some of Mt. Kilimanjaro’s most diverse flora. The forest is beautiful, like out of a fairy tale. On your way up, watch for beautiful species of bird life and rare black and white Colobus monkeys swinging in the lush canopy overhead.
This first day on the Lemosho route, you will experience several steep sections that are good for warm-up to get the pump pumping, and it will only take 3 to 4 hours to reach your first campsite, Forest Camp.
Our first stop is Forest Camp (a.k.a Mti Mkubwa/ Big Tree) at about 9500 ft/ 2895.6 m. It is a lovely camp under a big tree with lots of birds and forest monkeys around. We will camp here overnight before the next day adventure.
The second trek day may be 5 to 6 hours’ worth of hiking. The trail is steeper than the earlier day’s one and you will take many breaks.
You will pass into the heath, where dense rainforest gives way to the wide expanse of the Shira Plateau. Once you reach the first major ridge, you leave the rain forest behind and enter the moorland with its giant heathers as you work your way up the Shira plateau. This is where you’ll catch your first view of the summit towering above the clouds. You will also pass through volcanic rock formations draped in yellow lichens and several streams of water.
At Shira I campsite, the view to Kibo, Kilimanjaro summit cone, in the distance is one of a kind.
If all this sounds strenuous, don’t be put off. You have all the time in the world and best support team available for you. In fact, many climbers name this as their favorite day of the hike.
You will rest and camp at Shira I campsite overnight.
Today you hike to Moir Hut. The trail has a gentle ascent across the Shira Plateau towards Kibo’s glaciated peak. In the distance, the Shira Cone rises over 600ft above the plateau. It is Mount Kilimanjaro’s oldest cone with only its western and southern rims remaining today. Our campsite, the Moir Hit camp is at the base of the Lent Hills. It’s a lesser known area of the traditional Lemosho Route, and excellent for acclimatization as you are continuing your climb to the highest point in Africa.
We depart the moorland zone and enter the alpine desert zone. From the Shira Plateau, our path heads southeast to Lava Tower at 15,190ft. The Lava Tower is a well known rock feature known as the shark’s tooth. Little flora and fauna can survive the extreme temperature ranges and conditions that typify the alpine desert zone. We spend some time here to further acclimatize and enjoy a hot lunch. The views over the savannahs far below and up to Kibo’s western breach are outstanding. Next, we descend into the Barranco Valley, where the conditions are perfect for the giant lobelias and senecios, which appear to be conjured up by Dr. Seuss. We stop for the night at Barranco Camp 13,000 ft. Hiking high and sleeping lower aids in our acclimatization.
Today we continue our hike on the Southern Circuit to Karanga Camp 13,106 ft. We begin the day at the crux of the trek, the Barranco Wall, an 800 ft cliff we must hike up and over to get to Karanga Valley. Luckily, it looks much harder than it actually is! It takes about 1.5 hours to negotiate the Barranco Wall. At the top we enjoy a well-deserved rest with lovely views. The trail becomes easier, undulating its way to Karanga Camp. Sunset can be spectacular here with views of glacial valleys and ice fields towering 3,000 ft high.
From Karanga Camp, we hike uphill through a scattered landscape. We pass Barafu Camp and continue on to the perfectly positioned Kosovo Basecamp at 15,980 ft. We arrive in the early afternoon, giving us time to rest before our summit attempt. At this point, we have traversed Kilimanjaro’s Shira Plateau and the Southern Circuit, taking in views of Kibo from many different angles. After a light dinner and pre-summit talk with our guides, we turn in early to sleep and regain our energy.
Our guides wake us before midnight for a light snack before our summit attempt. By the time we reach Stella Point at 18,800 ft it will be below freezing. We’ll hit the trail before 1 am hoping to reach the summit at sunrise. Starting off, the trail climbs a steep scree slope. We place one foot in front of the other, focusing on steady breathing. With the black starry sky above us it takes approximately 5-6 hours to reach Stella Point on the crater rim. From here it is another hour to Uhuru Peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro at 19,340 ft. The views across the plains of Africa, and the well-deserved sense of accomplishment make it all worthwhile.
Most climbers find the descent no easier than the ascent. Fatigue and steep scree force us to maintain our concentration. We descend to either Millennium Camp, 12,500 ft or Mweka Camp 10,200 ft, stopping at Kosovo Camp for a brief rest and refreshments.
Another long downhill hike today, but our spirits are up with the satisfaction of yesterday’s climb. At Mweka gate we receive certificates and bid our climbing team farewell. We transfer back to our lodge in Moshi. It’s a welcome treat to take a hot shower, sip a cold drink and celebrate the climb with nice dinner.
Today you are free to go enjoy in the city of Moshi, shopping, local tour or relax at the lodge. We will arrange for a late check-out, and we provide transfer to the airport. When applicable, you will continue our another safari extension. Breakfast and lunch included; dinner will be provided only upon request.
Although we do our very best to follow the schedule above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.