Walk this less-trekked and scenic route
Taking the western approach we cross the caldera of Shira Volcano, traversing
beneath the southern icefields of Kibo, Kilimanjaro’s highest volcano. We
have eight days on Africas highest mountain, which means plenty of time
for acclimatisation and soaking up the ever changing scenery. This is one of
the least trekked routes allowing us to savour the immense and wild Shira
Plateau. This itinerary gives you an excellent chance of reaching the summit:
approximately 96% of people trekking the Lemosho route with Exodus stand on
the roof of Africa.
* A fantastic eight-day route, carefully designed to maximise time in remote
* Extra day to aid acclimatisation
* To stand on top of the largest freestanding mountain in the world –
* 1 guide to every 2 clients on summit day
* Why not extend your trip on beautiful Zanzibar for a few days
Day 2 Arrive Kilimanjaro airport; transfer to Arusha.
There will be a trip briefing this afternoon/evening. Please bring with you
your passport and insurance details, and your air ticket details. The
briefing will cover all aspects of your trip and will include the
distribution of any hired equipment you have booked.
Day 3 To Londorossi; begin ascent to Lemosho Forest (2650m).
In the morning we transfer to Londorossi (2250 m), passing between the slopes
of Kilimanjaro and the horseshoe-shaped volcanic crater of Mt. Meru (a
distance of about 120 km). After completing the necessary registration
formalities, we drive on for a short distance through farmland and
plantations to reach the Lemosho roadhead. The last 5 km of the road to the
park gate is of poor quality, particularly after rain, and the drive there
should be considered part of the adventure. We often have our lunch in the
glades before starting to walk. It is an easy day of walking up a small path
through beautiful and lush forest, this area has a variety of game including
buffalo. We camp at Lemosho Forest camp (2650 m). Approx 3-4 hours walking.
Day 4 Explore Shira Plateau; camp at Shira One (3550m).
The trail starts out in the lush rich montane forest before ascending into
the moorland zone of giant heather. The trail climbs steadily with views
across the plains opening out as we reach the rim of the Shira Plateau. There
is a tangible sense of wilderness especially if the afternoon mists come in.
We camp in the centre of the plateau at Shira One (3550 m). Approx 6-7 hours
Day 5 Walk to the summit of Shira Cathedral to camp at Shira Hut (3840m).
A day to help acclimatisation and to explore the grassy moorland and the
volcanic rock formations of the plateau. We walk to the summit of Shira
Cathedral, a huge buttress of rock surrounded by steep spires and pinnacles.
The views from our camp near Shira Hut (3840m) of Mt. Meru floating on the
clouds are simply unforgettable. The afternoon is free to relax. Approx 4-5
Day 6 Descend to camp at Great Barranco Valley (3900m).
A morning of gentle ascent and panoramic views, walking on lava ridges
beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. After lunch near the Lava Tower
junction (4550m), we descend to the bottom of the Great Barranco valley
(3900m), sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains
far below. Approx 5-7 hours walking.
Day 7 Over the Barranco Wall to Karanga (4000m).
A short steep climb up the famed Barranco Wall leads us to an undulating
trail on the south-eastern flank of Kibo, with superb vistas of the southern
icefields. The terrain changes to volcanic scree, with pockets of lush
vegetation in sheltered hollows, and a powerful sense of mountain wilderness.
Our next camp is at Karanga (4000m) a short distance away. The valley floor
has the last water point on the approach to Barafu and we camp on the higher
sides of the valley with views towards the glaciers of the southern
icefields. Approx 4-5 hours walking.
Day 8 Steep ascent to Barafu campsite (4600m), with optional afternoon ascent to
bottom of S.E. Valley (4800m).
The trail follows a path on compacted scree with wide views ahead including
the Barafu Ridge where our camp lies. The trail climbs unrelentingly to reach
the Barafu campsite (4600m) for lunch, after which there is a short
acclimatisation walk to the plateau at the bottom of the southeast valley
(4800m). The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the
final ascent and includes a very early night. Approx 3-5 hours walking.
Day 9 An early start to reach Stella Point in time for sunrise; on to Uhuru Peak
(5895m), the highest point in Africa; descend to Millennium Camp (3800m).
We will start our ascent by torchlight around midnight so that we can be up
on the crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has
some well-graded zigzags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella
Point (5735m), in about five or six hours. We will rest there for a short
time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong
can make the two hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak
(5,895m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still
occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast,
and after some refreshments we continue to descend to reach our final
campsite (3800m) at Millenium camp. Most of us will be too tired to notice
the beauty of the forest surrounding the crowded campsite. This is an
extremely long and hard day with between 11 and 15 hours of walking at high
Day 10 To Mweka Gate; transfer to Arusha.
This day is a sustained descent on a well-constructed path through lovely
tropical forest alive with birdsong and boasting lush undergrowth with
considerable botanical interest. Our route winds down to the national park
gate at Mweka (1650m); and on through coffee and banana farms to Mweka
village. The shower, the beer, and the swimming pool are tantalisingly close!
We return by bus to Arusha (a distance of about 100 km). Approx 4-6 hours
Free morning; afternoon depart Kilimanjaro airport.
The morning can be spent resting in the hotel garden by the pool or exploring
Arusha for souvenirs for those on group flights. Those not flying back to UK
with the group will leave us in Arusha.