Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Lemosho - 10 Days

This climb is ideal for those wanting more privacy, a slower climb, or a more scenic route. The traversing of the Shira plateau can be especially spectacular, and this route also ensures the best of the Machame route. The dates have been set to coincide with the full moon and the best weather conditions. All Hoopoe Kili Climbs include a large staff including the chief guide, an assistant guide, cook, and porters. Camp is superbly outfitted, including thick foam mattresses for all the igloo tents, a toilet tent, tables and chairs, and high frequency two-way radios for communication with base.

Day 1 - ARUSHA

Whenever you arrive, you'll be personally met and transferred to Moivaro Coffee Lodge in the foothills of Mt. Meru, Africa's 5th highest mountain. Those arriving specially early can book optional activities. Then, spend the afternoon with your mountain guide preparing for the climb.

Day 2 - FOREST

After picking up the requisite documentation at the park gate, the safari continues to the Lemosho Glades starting point. Less steep than the Machame route and less used, today's trek is through the forest that laces the foot of the mountain. This evening's camp is pitched in the forest at around 2,750m.

Day 3 - SHIRA 1

Today's trek takes you slowly up the edge of the Shira volcano. As you gain altitude the vegetation thins and exotic species of high altitude plants appear. Camp is situated near the rim of the ancient volcano and provides a good opportunity to get the first direct views of Kilimanjaro's peak. Camp is pitched at about 3,500m.

Day 4 - SHIRA 2

Trek to Shira 2 Camp across the Shira Plateau, the flat caldera of a volcano that was actually bigger and is much older than Kilimanjaro. Views can be very weather specific but on good days are breathtaking. Bilious clouds are often observed melting down from its rim onto the heath covered plateau. Kibo also shines with a silvery luminance as the glaciers reflect the strong sunlight. At times mist covers the plateau - views come and go quickly. You arrive in time for lunch and then have plenty time to relax and even go for a short acclimatisation walk in the afternoon.

Day 5 - BARRANCO

Today you walk for 7 hours enjoying sightings of the typical Kilimanjaro mountain vegetation (Senecios, Lobelia, Helichrysum) and reaching a high point of around 4,600m before descending for the rest of the day. On clear days the Lava Tower can be seen as well as some distinct glaciers. These glaciers are shrinking as world temperatures increase. It is speculated that in a mere 15 years many of these glaciers will disappear, forever. The path down to the Barranco Valley can be particularly rewarding and the view of Kibo peak is truly spectacular. In the evening the blanket of cloud often hangs just below the valley, pulsating in the dying light. Camp is pitched in the Barranco Valley at around 3,950m.

Day 6 - KARANGA

Today you ascend the Barranco wall, then walk across scree and ridges into the Karanga valley (4,100m) with breathtaking views of the Western Breach and the southern glacier. Our pace is very slow and designed to get you to the top while enjoying the journey up, but all climbers do make the valley by lunch. In the afternoon there is then the chance to climb further up the Karanga Valley, or simply relax in camp.

Day 7 - BARAFU

About 2 hours from Karanga you emerge onto the Barafu path (part of the Mweka Trail). It's then a further 1-2 hours to Barafu Hut. The final stage to Barafu is quite steep, and as always we take it very slowly. In the evening your guide briefs you for the final ascent.

Day 8 - SUMMIT/ MWEKA

The attempt on the summit occurs at night in the very early morning. The going is slow, and often quite frustrating on the scree, but persistence and patience ensure steady progress. At Stella point you can then choose to return - you are after all already higher than any point in Africa! Otherwise, continue to Uhuru peak (5,896m). Despite the distance being relatively short, progress is slow - there is less than half the oxygen than at sea level! Uhuru Peak provides a unique satisfaction and usually releases a plethora of emotions. If progress is good you can watch the sunrise from the rooftop of Africa. Most people then start returning quite soon after sunrise as the return journey today is quite long. Camp is pitched at Mweka camp at around 3,100m.

Day 9 - ARUSHA

The final descent takes you through the lower heath section that quickly turns into rainforest. Your time on Kilimanjaro ends at Mweka Gate where your landrover will be waiting to transfer you back to your evening's accommodation. You may now relax, take a hot shower or even relax by the pool. Enjoy a wonderful celebration dinner!

Day 10 - ARUSHA/DEPART

You will be privately transferred to Kilimanjaro or Arusha airports for your departure.


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