Mount Kilimanjaro

(19,340ft/5,895m) Tanzania

Lemosho Route with Crater Rim Camp

Highlights:

  • Chance to sleep at crater rim.
  • Potential to explore the Furtwangler glacier and Northern ice field glaciers
  • Walk to the rim of the ash pit and view the blowhole of the volcano
  • Witness the sunset across the west from such a high vantage point
  • This is truly a 5 star trip with dining tents, commode toilet tents, chefs and a very talented African staff
  • Our trips are led by a member of the Alpine Ascents Kilimanjaro Guide Staff

Best for: Very fit adventurous trekker preferably with some high altitude trekking experience as one must acclimatize well to sleep at 18,700ft crater rim camp. (Lower camp available if needed).

Acclimatization: 9 day itinerary offers time to acclimatize and the opportunity to sleep at the crater rim.

Leader: Alpine Ascents Guide

More info at: Why Climb Kilimanjaro With Us?


Itinerary
Our climbs begin and end via flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania.

Day 1: Depart country of origin for Kilimanjaro International Airport, Tanzania. (JRO).

Day 2: Arrive in Tanzania. Airport pick up and transfer to Arusha Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania.

Day 3: Orientation and Gear check. We meet over breakfast at the hotel and join a detailed group orientation covering all aspects of the climb. After Lunch we have a through equipment check and those interested can join a walking tour (offsite) of Arusha, before a team dinner. O/N Arusha Hotel.

Lemosho Route start to finish. Data is approximate.
Distance: 76km / 47.2 miles
Elevation Gain: 4818m/ 15,807 ft
Elevation Loss: 4858m / 15,938 ft

Day 4: Drive to Londorossi gate approx. 2 hours. After completing the necessary registration formalities at Londorossi gate, we drive through varied farmland with open views over the plains to reach the Lemosho trail head. Here we will meet our local Tanzanian staff, most of whom are Chagga tribe from the area around Kilimanjaro. It is an easy day of walking up a small path through beautiful and lush forest. We camp at Big Tree Camp/Mti Mkumbwa.

Start: Lemosho trail head 2,100m / 6,750 ft
End: Big Tree Camp 2850m / 9,200 ft
Elev gain: 750m/ 2,440 ft.
Time: 4 hours on average
Distance: About 5km / 3 miles

Day 5: Big Tree/Mti Mkubwa camp- Shira I camp. We soon leave the forest behind and enter the moorland zone of giant heather. This is perhaps the most unique of the different ecological zones on Kilimanjaro. The trail climbs steadily with wide views to reach the rim of the Shira Plateau. There is a tangible sense of wilderness, especially if afternoon mists come in! We camp in the centre of the large Shira volcanic plateau at Shira I.

Start: Big Tree camp 2850m / 9,200 ft
End: Shira I camp 3505m / 11,500'ft
Elev gain: 700m, 2,300 ft.
Time: 7 hours average
Distance: About 9km, 5.6 miles

Day 6: Shira I camp to Moir camp, 13,500 ft (4114m), tucked away at the end of a large gorge, below a giant lava flow. We travel through the upper range of the moorlands zone, crossing the large Shira plateau, and ascending gradually on easy terrain. Here we are on the Northwest side of the mountain, above Kenya. This spectacular camp is located beneath the Northern Ice Fields of Kilimanjaro.

Start: Shira I camp 3505m / 11,500 ft
End: Moir camp 4114m / 13,500 ft
Elev gain: 600m / 2,000ft
Time: 6 hours average
Distance: About 10km, 6 miles

Day 7: We ascend through the upper moorland zone into the alpine desert zone arriving at Lava Tower camp- 15,090ft. As noted this day takes us out of the heath zone and into alpine desert. This is a shorter day, where we are very close to the dramatic Western face of the mountain. We sleep at just over 15,000 feet, critical for acclimatizing to the elevation of our high camp, which we will reach on climb day 6. There is time for short acclimatization walks for those that are interested. Very scenic mountain views.

Start: Moir camp 4114m / 13,500 ft
End: Lava Tower camp 4600m / 15,090 ft
Elev gain: 490m / 1,500 ft
Time: 3.5 hours average
Distance: About 5km, 3.1 miles

Day 8: We descend 2,000 feet thru dramatic scenery to the Barranco Valley, before ascending the famous Barranco wall to Karanga Valley Camp. This is one of our longer days but excellent for acclimatization. From camp we can see some wonderful sunsets and have views of the glacier valley and ice fields above.

Start: Lava Tower camp 4600m / 15,090 ft
End: Karanga camp 4053m / 13,300 ft
Elev gain: 442m/ 1,450 ft
Elev loss: 762m / 2,500 ft
Time: 7 hours average
Distance: About 11km, 7 miles

Day 9: From the Karanga River we climb about 5-6 hours to our camp at Kosovo (15,600'). As we wind through beautiful and rarely traveled regions, we enter a high desert plateau, littered with volcanic boulders. Looking south we view the desert plains as the pinnacles of Mawenzi Peak tower before us. Another night above 15,000 feet prepares us for sleeping in the crater. At Kosovo we prepare for the summit attempt. We spend our time resting, and preparing for our departure the next morning. There will be a detailed summit briefing covering the climb and the crater camp, with options to sleep lower than the crater if needed.

Start: Karanga Valley 4055m / 13,300 ft
End: Kosovo Camp 4,760m / 15,600 ft
Elev gain: 700m, 2,300 ft.
Time: 5-6 hours
Distance: About 5km, 3 miles

Day 10: Summit day and Crater Camp. Awake early in the morning and prepare for the ascent, leaving at approximately 6 am. Following a distinct ridge, we approach the crater's rim, then traverse northwest along the rim to the main summit, Uhuru Peak (19,344'). From here we view the Bismarck Towers, rock pinnacles along the rim and the hanging Rebman Glaciers.
After enjoying the view from the top, we descend down to the crater to camp for the day and night. There are options to visit the tiny Furtwangler Glacier in the crater floor, as well as climb up to the ash pit rim to look down into the blow hole of the volcano.

High camp to Summit Start: Kosovo camp 4,760m
Summit: Uhuru Peak 5896m / 19,344 ft
Elev gain: 1136m, 3726 ft.
Time: 7-9 hours avg.
Distance: About 7 km, 3.4 miles

Descent Start: Uhuru Peak 5896m / 19,344 ft
End: Crater Camp 5600m / 18,700 ft
OR
Kosovo Camp 4,760m / 15,600
Elev loss: 200m or 1,100m
Time: 1-3 hours

Day 11: The sunrises are exquisite as we awaken in the crater. After breakfast, we descend down from the crater all the way to Mweka camp at 10,000' on the edge of the forest zone. We enjoy views of the towering mountain above us as we descend through the heather to our last night on the mountain.

Start: Crater camp 5600m / 18,700 ft
End: Mweka Camp 3000m / 10,000 ft
Elev loss: 3000m / 9,344 ft
Time: 7-8 hours descent
Distance: About 14.2km / 9 miles

Day 12: We descend the lush green landscape of the Mweka route into the thickest jungle we have yet encountered. The environment becomes primordial, with 40 foot-tall fern trees creating a prehistoric atmosphere. After reaching the Mweka Gate we have a celebration lunch and drive to Arusha, clean up at the hotel, and enjoy a celebratory dinner. O/N Arusha Hotel

Start: Mweka Camp 3100m / 10,200 ft
End: Mweka Gate 1800m / 5,580 ft
Elev loss: 1300m, 5,900ft.
Time: 4 hours avg.
Distance: About 7km, 4 miles

Day 13: (Safari itinerary subject to change. Based on team size and availability, travel order of safari parks may be reversed). Begin the safari driving to Tarangire National Park. This beautiful valley overlooks African grassland, sprinkled with acacia and baobab trees and is known for its variety of large mammals. Here we overnight comfortably in a deluxe safari lodge, after an extended game drive all afternoon.

Tarangire Sopa Lodge lies hidden among the kopjes, ancient baobab and grasses of the Tarangire National Park - home to the greatest concentration of elephants in Africa. Many can be seen around the lodge, allowing visitors a close encounter.

Day 14: After an early breakfast we enjoy a game drive exiting the park, and continuing on towards Ngorongoro Crater. We pass over the Great Rift, climbing into the lush highlands. We check into the conservation area, proceed up the the rim and continue down to the floor of this vast caldera for an extended afternoon game drive. Here we encounter herds of zebra, antelope, buffalo, elephant, rhino, cheetah and hippo. We overnight comfortably in a deluxe safari lodge perched on the rim of the crater.

Facing the always magnificent sunsets to the west, and located at the highest point on Ngorongoro crater's entire rim, Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge stands well over half a kilometre above the crater floor and offers unparalleled views across this enormous caldera.

Themed around traditionally circular African houses with conical roofs, and decorated with examples of Africa's rich tapestry of artistic traditions by way of rich woodcarvings and sculptures, the lodge harmonizes perfectly with its dramatic surroundings. But the drama does not just stop with the great outdoors: it also flows through the split level interiors of the main building which all offer an unsurpassed generosity of space while somehow managing to combine an almost magically welcoming ambience of both warmth and coziness.

Day 15: After breakfast we proceed along the crater rim and down towards the vast plains of the Serengeti. We enjoy an afternoon game drive through the South Western region of Serengeti National Park en route to a deluxe safari lodge and dinner.

Located on the edge of the escarpment overlooking the plains of the south-western Serengeti National Park, home to many thousands of wild and rare animals, Serengeti Sopa Lodge lies within an area of out-standing natural beauty. An oasis of cool relaxation from the equatorial sun. The lodge allows its guests to experience magnificent sights and enjoy interaction with the land and animals difficult to find elsewhere, while at the same time enjoying the highest level of cuisine and hospitality.

Day 16: There is an option for a spectacular sunrise balloon ride. We enjoy a game drive in route to the Seronera air strip. We fly back to Arusha (Approx. 50 minutes. Weather Permitting) for a farewell lunch at the Arusha Hotel and then prepare for evening / late night international departures.

Day 17: Arrive country of origin.

Flights: Note: Most flights directly to Arusha are not available for purchase online. For travel arrangements we recommend Charles Mulvehill at Scan East West Travel: 1-800-727-2157 or 206-623 2157. Or e-mail charles@scaneastwest.com

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