Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is a lifelong dream of many adventurers. It's easy to understand why. Rising to 19,340 feet, "Kili" as it is known, is the highest mountain in Africa.
There are multiple routes up the mountain. We take climbers up the Lemosho Route because it is not only the most beautiful, but it also has the highest success rate. Lemosho was created after some of the other routes and it was designed to provide shorter elevation gains and longer acclimitization times. The advanced design of Lemosho Route, along with our extensive guiding experience, help to ensure that you will reach the summit.
From the time you arrive in Tanzania, your comfort is our highest priority. While it is possible to make the climb in six days, we take seven, and also add a day of rest at each end of the climb. That ensures that you have plenty of time to rest, which is one of the reasons that we have such a high success rate.
You will find the same level of attention to detail in camp. Rather than letting you sleep on the ground, we carry special cots that you are not likely to find elsewhere. Our clients love them so much that we sometimes have trouble getting them out of bed in the morning!
+ Day 1: Welcome to Africa!
Upon arrival in Tanzania, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. You will have the rest of the day at leisure.
Expected arrival time: after 9 p.m.
Upgraded Accommodations at Lake Duluti Serena Lodge | Meals included | Airport transfer and immigration assistance included.
+ Day 2: Rest day in Arusha with optional activities
Rest Day: Village walk around Usa River village. If this day falls on a Sunday or Thursday, you will be able to visit Usa River Local market. Please be at your rooms starting from 5:00 pm for individual gear checks, followed by a climb briefing at 6:00 pm. The goal is to finish in time for you to have dinner at 7:30 pm. It is helpful if before the climb briefing/gear check, you have your Kilimanjaro clothing and gear laid out and organized on your bed. Upgraded Accommodations at Lake Duluti Serena Lodge | Meals included | City tour of Arusha included
+ Day 3: The journey begins at Londorosi Gate
From your lodge, we will make our way to the Londorosi gate on the Western side of Mt. Kilimanjaro (a few hours drive from Arusha). We will begin our hike at the Lemosho trailhead (elevation 7,500 ft). Please note that in rainy/muddy conditions, sometimes the vehicles can’t make it to the true trailhead so there can be some extra hiking – but our vehicles usually make it farther than any other company due to our great drivers and vehicles. After a picnic lunch, we will hike for about 4 hours to the forest camp. In the forest, exotic moss and flowers delight the eye while bird calls entertain the ear. You may see Black and White Colobus monkeys as well as signs of the elephants that travel in this area. We will overnight at Forest Camp.
Hiking: 4-5 hours | Elevation gain 1,317 ft. Above Seal Level | Overnight altitude: ~8,817’ | BLD
+ Day 4: Climb to Shira Plateau
As we leave the Montane Forest and enter the Hagenia zone, our views open and we will catch our first views of the Kibo peak. This is a good acclimatization hike, as we go up and down several ridges along the way to our highest point of the day at 11,500’ before descending to camp. Overnight at Shira Camp.
Hiking: 6-9 hours | Elevation gain 2,533 ft. Above Seal Level |Overnight Altitude: 11,300’ | BLD
+ Day 5: Traverse the Heath zone and begin climbing the Kibo Massif
We will traverse the Heath zone of the Shira Plateau and begin climbing the western slope of the Kibo Massif. Along the way, we will enjoy a picnic lunch at Scott Fisher memorial camp (the well-known Mt. Everest guide). We will continue on to the upper heath zone and Moir camp Depending on the weather, acclimatization hikes can be arranged in the late afternoon
Hiking: 5-6 hours | Elevation gain 2,350ft. Above Seal Level |Overnight Altitude: ~13,650' | BLD
+ Day 6: Enter the alpine zone and then into the Barranco Valley
We leave the heath zone and enter the alpine zone as we hike 4-6 hours past Lava Camp (up to about 14,300’) with its volcanic landscape and then down a bit into the scenic Barranco Valley to camp.
Hiking: 4-6 hours | Elevation lost 650 ft. Above Seal Level Overnight Altitude: ~13,500' | BLD
+ Day 7: Ascend the Great Barranco Wall and traverse around to Barafu Camp
Ascend the Great Barranco Wall with views of Kilimanjaro’s ice fields, then traverse around to Barafu Camp (hike about 6-8 hours). After settling into camp, we’ll have a demonstration on use of safety equipment such as the Gamow (hyperbaric) bag and oxygen.
Hiking: 6-8 hours | Elevation gain 1,600 ft. Above Seal Level Overnight Altitude: ~15,100’ | BLD
+ Day 8: Hike to Stella Point and then across the crater
Although the distance is relatively short, today’s hike is challenging due to high altitude. We climb for around 6-7 hours to Stella Point (views into the Crater and of surrounding Africa) then another hour into and across the Crater to camp in view of the glaciers.
You will spend the night at the crater camp! A life changing experience.
Hiking: 6-8 hours | Elevation gain 3,400 ft. Above Seal Level Overnight Altitude: 18,500’ |BLD
+ Day 9: Ascend to the summit! Begin the descent
Summit day. We will start our ascent to the summit (19,340ft - 5,896m) around 6:00 am (when it's starting to get light - perhaps hiking a short time by headlamp) and reach the summit in 1 1/2 to 2 hours. After taking in the view from Uhuru Peak we’ll begin the long descent down to Barafu Hut for lunch and then to our camp at Mweka Camp. Hiking poles will help protect your knees on this steep descent. A long day, around 8-11 hours for average speed groups.
Hiking: 8-11 hours | Summit ~19,341’ | Elevation lost 9,340 ft. ASL | Overnight Altitude ~10,448’ | BLD
+ Day 10: Make the final descent
We make the final descent to the trailhead today, about 3-5 hours hiking. Here we will have lunch and say goodbye to our mountain crew before leaving Mount Kilimanjaro and heading back to town. Arrive at your lodge usually between 3-5 PM.
Hiking: 3-5 hours Lake Duluti Serena Lodge Lodge – BLD
+ Day 11: Full day of rest in Arusha to recover
Full rest day to recover from the climb and acclimatize. Opportunity to visit local sites in Arusha.
Lake Duluti Serena Lodge (Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner)
+ Day 12: Transfer to the airport for your flight home
Day room at Lake Duluti Serena Lodge . Later you will be transferred to the airport for travel home.
Breakfast | Lunch provided
Catch flight home
Note: On longer days crew will setup kitchen and tent and prepare lunch before proceeding for the 2nd half of the day.
Lema is an experienced Mt. Kilimanjaro guide and a native Tanzanian of the Meru Tribe. He is unique on Kilimanjaro because he was raised in Africa but lived and traveled in America. He therefore knows both the mountain and the American traveler. He has been guiding for more than 15 years and has summited Mount Kilimanjaro more than 300 times, safely guiding many travelers and crew. Climbers of varying ages (from 10 to 81 years of age) and fitness level have successfully made it to the top of Mt. Kili with Lema. His client climb success rate is close to 100%! Lema personally guides some groups but oversees logistics for all our climbs and safaris.