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Lemosho route & Safari

Plan your Lemosho climb and safari

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Lemosho route

Until the Northern Circuit opened recently, the Lemosho Route was widely considered to be the overall best route to climb Kilimanjaro. It combines all the best feature of the Machame route in terms of success rate but by starting further round to the West it takes you up and  over the spectacular Shira Plateau and at the same time avoids the crowds on the early part of the Machame route. Over 8 days, you have a fantastic journey and a great chance of summiting successfully.

The climb begins at Londorossi Gate, at an altitude of 2360 metres, with an approach far to the west of the mountain. It then circles around Kilimanjaro to the south, passing through majestic rainforest where some of the region’s most unique wildlife can often be seen. The route continues up to the mountain’s third summit at Shira Ridge. From there you will cross the famed Shira Plateau and see the awe inspiring Shira Cathedral before reaching Shira Camp on the main Machame route on day three. This allows a few days of quiet climbing overlooking some amazing terrain before taking the more heavily travelled route to the summit. After reaching the summit, you will descend by the Mweka trail, rather than retracing your steps along the ascent route. You can download a detailed itinerary here.

The Lemosho route is an improved version of the older Shira route that has only recently been introduced by the Kilimanjaro National Park (KINAPA). The original Shira route started much higher (3600 metres) and offered relatively little acclimatisation. While it was prone to altitude sickness, the Shira route had been popular because of the fantastic scenery it offered. The new Lemosho route joins the older Shira route after the first day, providing the same fantastic climb with a much improved safety profile.

The Lemosho route is a good eight day ascent for those who have not trekked much at high altitudes, as the single pre-summit day of the 7 day Lemosho route is split into two easier days, giving a better success rate. Experienced and already acclimatised mountaineers may opt for the more difficult 7 day ascent along the Lemosho route.

Most of our safaris are private trips but we run a small number of open group trips combining a climb and a safari. Availability is below.

The four day safari

This is our most popular short safari itinerary that we call the Northern Circuit Whistlestop as you visit the three best Tanzanian safari parks in just 4 days: The parks you visit are Tarangire , Ngorongoro Crater, and  the Serengeti.

Tarangire is one of Tanazania's smaller parks but during the dry season, from June to October it attracts incredible concentrations of wildlife. During this period, the Tarangire river provides the only permanent water in the area and so all of the the animals  in the southern Masailand in Tanzania make a bee-line here as the summer temperatures soar.

Ngorongoro Crater is a giant volcanic caldera which has evolved into a microcosm of safari wildlife containing some 30 000 animals. All of the big five can be seen here as well as almost every other animal you would hope to see on safari. Because of its elevation, the crater rim is over 2000m and the fact that it generates its own climate, Ngorongoro is a great park to visit any time of year.

All year round, the Serengeti is a fabulous addition to any Tanzanian safari and certainly worth the time it takes to reach from Ngorongoro Crater.  Resident prides of lion are seen on every safari and all the Big Five can be found on most trips. But this fabulous park is most famous as the backdrop to one of the world's most amazing wildlife spectacles,  the Great Migration. Up to two million wildebeest accompanied by huge herds of zebra move slowly but purposefully in a clockwise circle around the Serengeti each year following the seasonal rains and the dramatic explosion of grass the rains bring.

Accomodation on this safari is in a combination of 3 star lodges and tented camps.

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Detailed itinerary

Day 1Arrival

The Kandoo team will meet you at Kilimanjaro airport and transfer you to your pre-climb hotel. Later you will attend a pre-climb briefing with your Lead Guide to prepare you for the challenge ahead.

Day 2From Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa Camp

After breakfast we will collect you from your hotel for your transfer to Londorossi Park Gate, which takes around 2 hours. After registration, we will drive a further 12km to the trek start point. Our porters prepare and pack our supplies and luggage before we start our ascent along the forest trail to Mti Mkubwa (Big Tree) campsite at 2895m. We will stay here overnight.

  • Elevation: From 2360 metres to 2895 metres
  • Trekking distance: 6 kilometres
  • Trek time: 3 to 4 hours
  • Environment: Montane forest
Day 3From Mti Mkubwa Camp to Shira 1 Camp

Our journey continues eastwards across the Shira Plateau with spectacular views of Shira Cathedral. We cross moorland meadow to reach Shira 1 camp for dinner and overnight camping at 3500m. By now we will be able to see the stunning glaciers of Western Breach. It will be colder tonight than the previous night with temperatures possibly falling below freezing.

  • Elevation: From 2895 metres up to 3500 metres
  • Trekking distance: 8 kilometres
  • Trek time: 5 to 6 hours
  • Environment: Moorland
Day 4From Shira 1 Camp to Moir Hut

We leave the forest behind now, the trail gets steeper as it enters the moorland zone. A gentle grade walk takes you across the high altitude Shira Caldera to Shira Cave with fabulous views of Arrow glacier. We will camp here for the night at 4200m.

  • Elevation: 3500 metres to 4200 metres
  • Trekking distance: 14 kilometres
  • Trek time: 5 to 7 hours
  • Environment: Moorland
Day 5From Moir Hut to Barranco Camp, by way of Lava Tower

Today we will climb up to 4600m to the base of the Lava Tower for lunch and acclimatization. This will be our toughest day so far and you may, for the first time, feel the altitude. After lunch we will descend again by almost 650m to Barranco Camp, following the “walk high, sleep low” golden rule of acclimatisation. Our descent to Barranco Camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall.

  • Elevation: From 4200 metres to 3950 metres
  • Highest point: Lava Tower, at 4600 metres
  • Trekking distance: 12 kilometres
  • Trek time: 6 to 7 hours
  • Environment: Semi-desert
Day 6From Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

A short, but fun day, starting with a scramble to the top of the Great Barranco Wall. We then traverse over scree to the Karanga Valley (3930m) beneath the icefalls of the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers. We will stay overnight at Karanga campsite.

  • Elevation: From 3950 metres to 3930 metres
  • Highest point: Great Barranco Wall
  • Trekking distance: 7 kilometres
  • Trek time: About 4 hours
  • Environment: Alpine desert
Day 7From Karanga Camp to Barafu Hut

We leave Karanga campsite behind to meet the junction connecting with the Mweka descent trail. From here we continue up to the Barafu Hut. You have now completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. At camp, we can rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be clearly seen from this position.

  • Elevation: From 3930 metres to 4600 metres
  • Trekking distance: 6 kilometres
  • Trek time: Around 3 hours
  • Environment: Alpine desert
Day 8From Barafu Hut to summit at Uhuru Peak, descent to Mweka Camp

You will be woken at 23:30 with tea and biscuits. We start our trek to the summit between the Rebman and Ratzel glaciers through heavy scree up to Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging part of the trek. At Stella Point (5732m), we will stop for a short rest and hopefully be in time to witness the magnificent sunrise (weather permitting). We are now only an hour away from the summit, Uhuru Peak (5895m), the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

From the summit, we descend down to the Mweka Hut camp site, via Barafu for lunch. Trekking poles will be needed for the loose scree going down to Mweka Camp (3100m). Later in the evening, we will enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

  • Elevation: From 4600 metres to 3100 metres
  • Highest point: 5895 metres (Uhuru Peak)
  • Trekking distance: 20 kilometres (7 kilometres ascent, 13 kilometres descent)
  • Trek time: 13 to 16 hours (6 to 8 hours ascent, 7 to 8 hours descent)
  • Environment: Stone scree / ice-capped summit
Day 9Descent from Mweka Camp to Mweka Park Gate. Transfer to Moshi

Your final day on the trek, departing after breakfast we descend a further 1300m to the Mweka Park Gate to pick up your summit certificates from the Park Headquarters. Transfer to your hotel for a well-earned shower and celebration.

Day 10Transfer to Arusha. Arusha to Tarangire

We will collect you from your hotel and transfer you to Arusha where you will meet your safari guide and vehicle and we will drive to Tarangire National Park, arriving with plenty of time for an afternoon game-drive. The Tarangire River runs through the park attracting a huge number of elephants, buffalo, giraffe and antelope, particularly in the dry season between June and October. It is not uncommon to see large herds of elephants roaming through Tarangire's savannah grasses or taking shade under the odd looking "upside down trees" (baobab) that are dotted around the park. The park also boasts over 550 different bird species, the most diverse in Africa, including the Kori Bustard, the heaviest flying bird in the World!

Day 11Tarangire to Serengeti

After breakfast, we will take a picnic lunch with us as we continue to the Serengeti, a drive of around 4 ½ hours through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers some of the most exciting game viewing – great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, as well as thousands of eland, topi, hartebeest, impala and Grant’s gazelle.

Day 12Serengeti to Ngorongoro

This morning we will set out with a picnic lunch for further game viewing in the Serengeti. The Serengeti National Park is one of world’s greatest game parks. Meaning “endless plains” in the Maasai language, it is Tanzania’s oldest game reserve and is world-famous for the role it plays in the annual Great Migration, when an estimated two million herbivores - mostly wildebeest and zebra - migrate from the Serengeti to Kenya’s Maasai Mara Game Reserve. In the afternoon we will leave the Serengeti to return to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Day 13Ngorongoro to Arusha. Transfer to Kilimanjaro airport

After an early breakfast, we will drive to the fascinating wildlife arena of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The crater, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is over 260 km² (100 miles²) and was formed when a massive volcano exploded and collapsed on itself two - three million years ago. It is now the largest intact volcanic caldera in the world and often referred to as “Africa’s Eden”. Home to more than 25,000 large mammals, it is not unusual to see all of the ‘Big Five’ (buffalo, elephant, rhino, lion and leopard) in a single day. Driving through the Ngorongoro Highlands, we will arrive at the crater rim and then descend down 610m (2000 feet) onto its floor to start our safari extravaganza.

Late afternoon we will start our journey back to Arusha for onward transfer to Kilimanjaro airport . We expect to be back in Arusha by 5pm, so you will need to book a flight that departs after 9pm. Otherwise, we can arrange an additional night at a hotel in Arusha for you

Availability and prices

Last Updated July 13 2020
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Price: £3599 $4675 €0
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Days: 13
Price: £3789 $4925 €0
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Price: £3789 $4925 €0
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Arrival: December 26 2021
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Price: £3789 $4925 €0
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What's Included

  • Meet and greet on arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport and transport to your hotel
  • Hotel accommodation in Moshi for the night before and night after your climb (B&B basis). Safari acommodation is in standard lodges such as Country Lodge or Bougainvillea Lodge.
  • Prices are based on 2 people sharing a tent, and in the hotel and safari lodges, a twin or double room
  • All Kilimanjaro National Park Authority fees and safari park and Ngorongoro Crater fees
  • Services of our qualified mountain guides, assistant guides, porters and cooks on climb.
  • Mountain Hardware Trango 3 sleeping tents and sleeping mats. Please note that sleeping bags are not included but are available to hire.
  • On the climb breakfast and dinner will be taken in mess tent with table and chairs
  • On the climb, private toilet tent for use by the group
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on the mountain. Treated drinking water every day on the mountain
  • Certificate for your successful summit ascent
  • Emergency oxygen (for descent only)
  • Transfer to Kilimanjaro airport at end of tour.
  • Safaris are on a full board basis with breakfast and dinner being taken in the restaurant and a packed lunch for during the day. Bottled water is provided during game drives
  • Games drives as indicated in the itinerary
  • International airfares and departure taxes
  • International airfares and departure taxes
  • Items of a personal nature including laundry, wifi, and snacks
  • Tips for climb crew – KPAP recommend approx US$250 pp. Tips and gratuities to safari guide and lodge staff
  • Entry visa for Tanzania (US$50 for most passport holders)
  • Personal travel insurance (must include trekking to 6000m)
  • Personal hiking/trekking gear
  • Personal medicine
  • Meals, snacks and drinks not specified
  • Single tent and hotel occupancy costs an additional £260 per person and must be requested at time of booking
  • Drinks of choice at safari lodges
Get in touch Start planning your next adventure by contacting one of our team
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