Day One: Londorossi Gate to Mti Mkubwa Camp
Beginning Elevation: 2100m, 6900ft
Ending Elevation: 2750m, 9000ft
Elevation Gain: 650m, 2100ft
Hiking Time: 4 to 5 hours
The Lemosho Route offers a more private Kilimanjaro experience than the other routes of Marangu and Machame. Although the trail joins with the more popular Machame route on day three, the first two days on the mountain are relatively private, with few other trekking groups around. On the first day, arrive at Londorosi Gate at about 11am. Once you arrive, youll spend about an hour waiting at the gate while Buffalo Tours registers your climb and the porters and guides make final preparations. At around 12pm, you will begin hiking with your guides to Mti Mkubwa Camp. Hike through the rain forests of Kilimanjaro viewing trees and birds along the way. You will eat a packed lunch on the trail while enjoying the sounds of the forest. Arrive at the campsite at about 4pm to rest for the next day.
Day Two: Mti Mkubwa Camp to Shira I Camp
Beginning Elevation: 2750m, 9000ft
Ending Elevation: 3500m, 11500ft
Elevation Gain: 750 meters, 2500 feet
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
You will be walking through exposed heather and moorland. Carry plenty of drinking water, as the hike can be quite hot on a clear day. There are several viewpoints from which you can see the plains and forests below and Kibo and Mawenzi peaks above. As you gain altitude, you will notice a change in the vegetation. The trees diminish in size, giving way to Kilimanjaros famous high altitude plants, Scenecio kilimanjari and Lobelia deckenii. Shira I Camp is located on the Shira Plateau near a stream.
Day Three: Shira I Camp to Shira II Camp
Beginning Elevation: 3500m, 11500ft
Ending Elevation: 3840m, 12600ft
Elevation Gain: 340m, 1100ft
Hiking Time: 2 to 3 hours
This is an acclimatization day that allows you to take day hikes that explore the Shira Plateau. If interested in a seven day itinerary, this camp will reached on day two instead of day three.
Day Four: Shira II Camp to Barranco Camp
Beginning Elevation: 3840m, 12600ft
Ending Elevation: 3860m, 12700ft
Elevation Gain: 20m, 100ft
Hiking Time: 6 hours
Although it seems that there is little elevation gain, this day is filled with up and down terrain. Shortly after leaving camp, you will join the Machame trail. Continue up to the highest point on the trail from where you will view Lava Tower, a 300-foot lava formation jutting out of the mountainside. Descend through the clouds to Barranco Camp. Faster hikers can take a detour via Lava Tower. Barranco Camp is considered to be the most scenic campsite. It is set in a valley among forests of Senecio kilimanjari. From the campsite you will see magnificent views of Mount Meru, Heim Glacier and Kibos southern face.
Day Five: Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley
Beginning Elevation: 3950m, 12960ft
Ending Elevation: 4200m, 13780ft
Elevation Gain: 250m, 820ft
Hiking Time: 4 to 5 hours
Leave Barranco Hut after breakfast to begin the hike to Karanga Valley. The day begins with an hour and a half scramble up the Barranco Wall. This is the hardest part of the day and in some places you will have to use your hands to pull your body up. After reaching the top, you will make a short descent into the greener Karanga Valley passing through valleys of spindly lobelias.
Day Six: Karanga Valley (4,200m) to Barafu Camp (4,550m)
Beginning Elevation: 4200m, 13780ft
Ending Elevation: 4550m, 14927ft
Elevation Gain: 350m, 1147ft
Hiking Time: 4 hours
On the way to Barafu Camp, you will see several of Kibos glaciers as well as the junction that connects our descent route, the Mweka trail, with the Machame trail. During this day you will hike by the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers. Although the way to Barafu is a bleak, alpine desert with little vegetation, Barafu Camp offers stunning views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks, and Rebmann Glacier. Try to sleep as soon as you finish dinner as you will be waking up at midnight for your summit hike.
Day Seven: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp (optional camp at Millennium)
Beginning Elevation: 4550m, 13780ft
Ending Elevation: 3100m, 10170ft
Elevation Gain: 1345m, 4413ft
Elevation Loss: 2795m, 9170ft
Hiking Time: 11-14 hours
At midnight you will begin your ascent to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. For the next six hours, you will hike by the light of your flashlight. It is helpful if you have a headlamp so your arms are free during the ascent. The Machame ascent to the crater rim is the most challenging part of the entire trek. For much of the hike you will walk on a gravel slope that causes you to slip back with every step forward. The going is extremely slow until you reach the crater rim at Stella Point.
The hike from Stella Point to Uhuru Peak is a gradual climb and, as far as hikes go, not very difficult. The altitude, however, makes the hike a psychological battle and you will need to go slowly, and be very stubborn if you want to make it to the top. The Buffalo Tours guide will give you advice on what you can do to make the hike easier.
The crater rim hike takes about forty-five minutes and you should reach Uhuru Peak around sunrise. Take photos of your guide and group at the peak before beginning the long descent to Mweka Camp. On the way down from Uhuru you will enjoy breathtaking views of the mountain, crater, glaciers and Tanzania. If it is a cloudy day, you will enjoy views of the clouds belowwhich is equally as beautiful.
At Barafu Camp, eat breakfast, drink lots of liquids and take a well-deserved nap. You still have a few hours to go before reaching Mweka Camp, the next overnight destination.
Day Eight: Mweka Camp (3,100m) to Mweka Gate (1,500m)
Beginning Elevation: 3100m, 10170ft
Ending Elevation: 1500m, 4920ft
Elevation Loss: 1600m, 5250ft
Hiking Time: 3 to 4 hours
After breakfast youll finish the trek with a descent to Mweka Gate. Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one, passing through the enormous trees of the cloud forest. Watch your step during the descent, as the trail can be extremely slippery. Buffalo Tours Land Rovers will be waiting at the lower station of Mweka Gate to take you to Arusha. You will be able to buy t-shirts and sodas at the gate.
End Of Tour