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Lemosho Route – One Of The Best Routes To The Summit Of Kilimanjaro

  • Updated: December 12, 2019
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This page provides a comprehensive and impartial guide to climbing Kilimanjaro via the Lemosho Route.

Please note: We are not a tour operator, but we can put you in touch with our recommended partner, see details below.

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Lemosho Route Overview

The Lemosho Route has long been considered one of the best overall routes up Kilimanjaro.  

Often completed in seven days, trekkers on the Lemosho Route have an excellent chance of reaching the summit and the path they take to get there tends to be much less busy in the first couple of days than the more-popular Machame Route.

The route approaches the mountain from the west and enjoys breathtaking and unique views from the Shira Plateau. 

Later in the trek, the Lemosho Route follows the same spectacular route up the mountain as the Machame Route, past Lava Tower and the Barranco Wall. Trekkers descend via the Mweka route.

The Lemosho Route also offers trekkers the opportunity to see large wildlife in their first two days on the trail, including antelope, buffalo or even elephants!

Lemosho Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Can be completed on a 6, 7 or 8 day route variation. The latter has better summit success!
  • Great Walk High, Sleep Low profile which aids acclimatisation
  • Excellent summit success rates. On the 8-day variation summit success rates are about 90%

Cons

  • Relatively high starting point can mean one feels the effects of altitude early on

Lemosho Route Map

The map illustrates the Lemosho Route, which begins on the remote Western side of Mount Kilimanjaro. The route crosses the Shira Plateau before ascending up to Lava Tower and then back down to Barranco.  From here one scales the Barranco Wall before the final push to summit base camp, called Barafu. The route descends via the Mweka trail.

Lemosho-Route-Map

Lemosho Altitude Map

The Lemosho Route has one of the better altitude profiles on Kilimanjaro for acclimatisation. Despite a relatively high start at Londorossi Gate, the ascent on the first few days is quite gradual.

The route also builds in the important Walk High, Sleep Low principle with the ascent to Lave Tower on day 3 (7-day Lemosho) or day 4 (8-day Lemosho).

lemosho-altitude

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Lemosho Route - Typical Itinerary

The Lemosho route can be completed in 6, 7 or 8 days. The 7 day option is the most popular and provides for good acclimatisation. Below we have set out the standard route variation for the 6 day option. For the 7 and 8 day variations see the next section. Click each day to read more.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Lemosho Route Variations

The Lemosho Route is also operated as a seven or eight-day trek. For the seven-day version, trekkers spend their second night on the trail at Shira Camp 1, rather than Shira Camp 2. Their third night is spent at Moir Hut, and the fourth night is spent at Barranco Camp. Seven-day trekkers arrive at Barafu Camp on their fifth day, and make their summit bid on the sixth day of trekking. They descend via the Mweka route on the seventh day.

Eight-day trekkers gain another valuable day for acclimatization. The eight-day route is identical to the seven-day route, except that trekkers split the journey from Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp into two days, spending the night at Karanga Camp after scrambling up the Barranco Wall. The eight-day version of the Lemosho Route is highly-recommended by tour operators as it gives trekkers the best chances of reaching the summit.

Video Overview

A dramatic and detailed video overview of the eight-day Lemosho Route narrated by Brandon Perlow, offering tons of interesting details of the unique experiences on this route.

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We do not sell tours, we simply provide impartial advice. If you would like an exact quote from our recommended partner click Get a Quote.

Recommended Guidebook

mount-kilimanjaro-guide

Mount Kilimanjaro: Trekkers Guide to the Summit

Mount Kilimanjaro: Trekkers Guide to the Summit is a practical and super insightful guidebook that has been used by 1000s of climbers as an authoritative resource to prepare for Mount Kilimanjaro.

The book is available on Amazon Kindle or an eBook version can be downloaded here.

Preparing for the Lemosho Route to Kilimanajro

1.

When is the best time to trek Lemosho Route?

September is the best time to climb Kilimanjaro, as the weather is best. That said, since it is close to the equator it is possible to climb the mountain at any time of the year. April and May are the rainy season so most hikers avoid these months.

2.

How much does the Lemosho trek cost?

The costs of trekking on the Lemosho Route will vary based on a few factors, such as what season you choose to hike, whether you choose the six, seven or eight-day option, or whether you choose to use a Western guiding company or communicate directly with a local guiding company. Here are the major costs to consider when planning to undertake the Lemosho Route:


  • Visa, Vaccinations, Insurance etc: ~$300-$500
  • Equipment (buying and hiring): ~$200-$300
  • Flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport/Dar es Salaam/Nairobi: ~$800
  • Tour Agency: About $1,500 for a very cheap local agency (not recommended) to ~$3,500 for an expensive Western agency. You could do an independent trek for ~$1,500 employing a local guide (only recommended for experienced high altitude trekkers).
  • Tips: ~$200-$300
  • Misc (additional food, unplanned travel / hotels etc): $200

Total Costs: $3,200 – $5,100

3.

Are permits required for the Lemosho hike?

A permit is required to climb Kilimanjaro, regardless of route. Furthermore, all trekkers must be accompanied by a guide and porters. If you are joining an organised tour, these will be arranged for you.

4.

How difficult is the Lemosho Route?

The Lemosho Route is widely considered to be one of the easiest routes up Kilimanjaro. Hikers of all ages regularly reach the summit via the Lemosho Route, with a summit success rate of above 90% (on the 8-day variation). That said, it's a good idea to work on your aerobic fitness before taking on the trek. Kilimanjaro is a serious undertaking that should not be approach lightly.

5.

Is altitude sickness a risk on XYZ?

The Lemosho Route is designed to allow hikers some time for acclimatization before the summit push. That said, altitude sickness is a serious concern and trekkers should be informed of the risks, symptoms and warning signs before they go. If you are particularly concerned about altitude sickness, the eight-day Lemosho Route is probably your best chance to reach the summit as it allows ample time for acclimatization.


It is important to have a solid understanding of the risks associated with high altitude trekking and how the body acclimatises to high altitude. See our detailed article on Altitude Sickness and Acclimatisation.

6.

What gear do I need for the XYZ trail? (Packing List)

Trekking Mount Kilimanjaro requires a number of essential pieces of trekking clothing and equipment. You will be exposed to a range of altitudes where temperatures fluctuate dramatically between night and day.


To help you plan and prepare for your trek we have written a detailed Kilimanjaro gear list.


For more packing lists see our Resources page, as well as detailed gear reviews.

7.

What kind of insurance do I need for the XYZ trek?

Trekking to the summit of Kilimanjaro carries with it certain inherent risks. Chief among these is the risk of altitude sickness. It's a good idea to look into travel insurance before your journey. Make sure your insurance covers trekking up to 6,000 meters, which does not come standard in most travel insurance packages.


Check out World Nomads for a quick calculation of the cost of travel insurance for your trip.


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