Lemosho 9 Day Trek with stay in Crater
(L9SC)

WHY THIS ITINERARY?

For those that want to spend some time on the summit and in the crater on top of the mountain. This is the complete Kilimanjaro experience - more acclimatisation time, more culture, more spectacular scenery and a less arduous summit bid.

DESCRIPTION

A 9 day ascent to the roof of Africa. Starting at Lemosho on the western side and traversing across the most spectacular parts of the mountain, this is the ultimate Kilimanjaro trip. It follows the same route as the 8 day Lemosho Route but summits the mountain during the day with more time spent in the crater.

HIGHLIGHTS

West Kilimanjaro! afromontane forest, Shira plateau, glacial valleys and alpine desert, views of Mawenzi. An ascent of Kibo with options to explore the summit caldera and ash pit, glaciers and the roof of Africa!

 

ITINERARY

In Brief

Hike Distance – 45 miles / 72 km
Vertical Gain – 15,440ft / 4706m 
Drop – 16,950ft / 5166m
Trekking Time – 53 hours

 

In Detail

DAY 1 – LEMOSHO FOREST

START – 6,890FT / 2100M
END – 8,695FT / 2650M
DISTANCE – 4 MILES / 7KM
TIME – 4-6 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – AFROMONTANE FOREST

After breakfast you depart by vehicle to Kilimanjaro National Park. At the gate your crew finalise packing and after finishing with formalities you return to your vehicle for another 30 minutes or so until you arrive at the start of the Lemosho Trail. Today's hiking is through verdant afromontane forest and is steep in places. A picnic lunch is usually taken on trail during the hike before reaching Forest Camp for the night.

DAY 2 – SHIRA 1

START – 8,695FT / 2650M
END – 11,844FT / 3610M
DISTANCE – 4 MILES / 7KM
TIME – 5-7 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – HEATH

From the forested slopes of Lemosho you ascend through Podocarpus and Juniper forest and break out of the forest on to the heath zone and the Shira Plateau. A hot lunch is taken at Shira 1 Camp and the rest of the afternoon is spent relaxing and acclimatising to the new environment.

DAY 3 – MOIR CAMP

START – 11,844FT / 3610M
END – 13,780FT / 4200M
DISTANCE – 6 MILES / 10KM
TIME – 4-5 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – ALPINE DESERT

Crossing the Shira plateau can be one of the most scenic parts of the trip and this morning we hike for around 4-5 hours to Moir Camp, where lunch is taken. The afternoon is spent acclimatising and for those with the energy a hike in the late afternoon up to a viewpoint is highly recommended to keep the blood flowing.

DAY 4 – BARRANCO CAMP

START – 13,780FT / 4200M
END – 12,796FT / 3900M
DISTANCE – 7 MILES / 11KM
TIME – 7-9 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – ALPINE DESERT

From Moir we traverse across the slopes of Kibo. Here relatively little flora or fauna can survive the extreme temperature ranges and conditions that typify this zone. Today is a “walk high sleep low” day. You ascend into alpine desert to Lava Tower (Alt: 15,092ft, 4600m) where lunch is taken before descending to Barranco Camp. This is a long day but note that the next time you head to this altitude is in two days time at base camp – a great acclimatisation day!

DAY 5 - KARANGA CAMP

START – 12,796FT / 3900M
END – 13,108FT / 3995M
DISTANCE – 3 MILES / 5KM
TIME – 4-5 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – ALPINE DESERT

From Barranco Camp, famous for its giant groundsels (Senecio species), you ascend the Barranco Wall and hike glacial valleys to Karanga Camp. Today is a relatively short day’s hike and lunch is taken at Karanga camp. The afternoon is spent relaxing and acclimatising. In the evening a practice walk for the summit is taken to make sure you are completely comfortable with the kit you are going to summit in.

DAY 6 – BARAFU CAMP

START – 13,108 / 3,995M
END – 15,332FT / 4673M
DISTANCE – 2.5 MILES / 4KM
TIME – 4-5 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – ALPINE DESERT

Today is another half day ascending to Barafu Camp. Once again lunch is taken in camp allowing plenty of time to relax before the summit bid. Desolate alpine desert and, at times, strong winds rip over this camp; yet in the evening splendid views of Mawenzi are the norm. A relatively early dinner is taken before heading to rest for the rest of the evening.

DAY 7 – KIBO CRATER CAMP

START – 15,332FT / 4673M
END – 18,865FT / 5750M
DISTANCE – 3.3 MILES / 5KM
TIME – 7-9 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – ARCTIC

Unlike other routes with a night time ascent, your hike selection affords you a day time ascent to Kibo Crater. The going is slow but with constant encouragement from your climb team the rim of Kibo is reached before descending a little way into the caldera to Crater Camp. The afternoon is spent relaxing and exploring the area with your guide.

DAY 8 – MWEKA CAMP

START – 18,865FT / 5750M
END – 10,171FT / 3100M
DISTANCE – 8 MILES / 13KM
TIME – 8-10 HRS
CLIMATE ZONES – ARCTIC, ALPINE DESERT, HEATH

After a night in the crater you now have the shortest final summit bid of any route. With such a short distance to the summit from the crater (around 1 hour) means that timing arrival with the sunrise is much easier and quite spectacular. The summit of Kilimanjaro is the top of the highest freestanding mountain in the world. After your summit bid you then descend for a final night on the mountain at Mweka Camp passing back through the heath zone. Endemic proteas, pollinated by Malachite Sunbirds are plentiful.

DAY 9 – ARUSHA

START – 10,171FT / 3100M
END – 5,381FT / 1640M
DISTANCE – 6 MILES / 10KM
TIME – 3-4 HRS
CLIMATE ZONE – AFROMONTANE FOREST

After breakfast you descend once again through afromontane forest and around midday, after saying farewell to your crew, you are picked up and transferred back to your lodge for a well deserved shower! Later that evening you will be visited by a Summits Africa Representative to congratulate you, to find out how the trip went and to answer any final questions you may have about your onward journey.


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