The Lemosho is a remarkable, unspoiled and remote way up to the Shira Plateau, the prime features of the trail which adds an interesting texture quite as it allows for a more adequate process of acclimatization. The route is one of the few where groups may be accompanied on the first day by an armed ranger, as the forests around the Lemosho Glades are rich in buffalo, elephant and other big game animals.
The climb itself can take either 7 or 8 days, with 8 days being recommended in order that climbers have more opportunity to acclimate before the brutal summit day. This route is not nearly as popular as Machame or Marangu, but it’s a good one to consider because the longer climbing time equals a greater chance of conquering the Uhuru Peak with fewer problems.
LONDOROSI GATE (2,100M/6,890FT) TO MTI MKUBWA CAMP (2,750M/9,023FT)
Elevation Gain: 650 meters/ 2,133 feet
Hiking time: 3hrs
Distance: 10 km
Habitat: Montana forest
After the morning drive to the trailhead, you will spend the first day with an armed ranger due to the animal population in this forest area, stopping at the Mti Mkubwa Camp after only about 3 hours of climbing.
MTI MKUBWA CAMP (2,750M/9,023FT) TO SHIRA 1 CAMP (3,720M/12,200FT)
Elevation Gain: 970 meters, 3,177 feet
Hiking time: 5 – 6 hrs.
Distance: 12 km Habitat: Moorland
This day starts in the forest and gets considerably steeper as you go through the heather and moorland areas before camping at the Shira Plateau in a large, open, and scenic area at the Shira One Camp.
SHIRA I CAMP (3,720M/12,200FT) TO SHIRA II CAMP (3,840 METERS/12,532FT)
Elevation Gain: 120m, 332ft Hiking time: 5 – 6 hrs.
Distance: 5 km
This day takes you on a gentle walk across the plateau for some excellent scenery while your body continues to acclimatize.
NOTE: From Shira Two Camp on, this route is identical to Machame Route, including the descent on the separate Mweka Route. If you’ve taken Lemosho you’ve done another day at this point, so Day 4 of Lemosho is identical to Day 3 of Machame and so on.
SHIRA II CAMP (3,840M/12,532) TO BARRANCO CAMP (3,950M/12,960FT)
Elevation Gain: 110m, 428ft. Hiking time: 5 hrs. Distance: 6 km Habitat: Alpine desert
The morning climb is somewhat steep on this day as you ascend to Lava Tower at 4,600 meters at midday before descending again on the scenic route to Barranco Camp. This is a great example of the climb high/sleep low rule that helps people acclimatize safely.
BARRANCO CAMP (3,950M/12,960FT) TO KARANGA CAMP (4,200M/13,780FT)
Elevation Gain: 250 meters, 820 feet Hiking time: 3.5 hrs.
Distance: 4km Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You climb the Great Barranco Wall, which looks more intimidating than it really is, and down into the Karanga Valley. This day has many ups and downs and crosses many small streams before crossing the Karanga River just before camp.
KARANGA VALLEY (4,200M/13,780FT) TO BARAFU CAMP (4,600M/15,100FT)
Elevation Gain: 400 meters, 1,320 feet Hiking time: 3.5 hrs.
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You climb through rocky and otherwise barren terrain on your way to Barafu Camp. The camp is in another cold and windy area, but you will only be sleeping from around 7 p.m. until 11: 30 p.m. or so because you will be starting the summit climb at midnight.
BARAFU CAMP (4,600M/15,100FT) TO UHURU PEAK (5,895M/19,340FT) TO MWEKA CAMP (3,100M/10,170FT)
Elevation Gain: 1,295 meters, 4,240 feet
Elevation Loss: 2,795 meters, 9,170 feet Summit time: 7 hrs.
Descent time: 5 hrs.
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You will start at midnight with by far the most challenging 6-hour section of the entire climb as you reach Stella Point around sunrise. After a short rest, you will probably be walking in snow for the next two hours until you reach Uhuru Peak. After enjoying the moment briefly, you will begin your descent to the Mweka Camp back in the rain forest, which takes about 8 hours including a quick rest in the middle.
MWEKA CAMP (3,100M/10,170FT) TO MWEKA GATE (1,500M/4,920FT)
Elevation Loss: 1,600 meters, 5,250 feet Descent time: 4 hrs.
Distance: 10km Habitat: Forest
After the previous day, you will deserve this short and very scenic descent of about 4 hours down to the Mweka Gate, where you will sign the register to make your climb official. Donak Safaris Vehicles will be waiting at Marangu Gate to take you back to Arusha in our affiliated Hotels.