I followed the Lemosho Glades route. This route is not used very often and and is very beautiful, specially because of the abundant wildlife and spectacular landscape. For this route a 4×4 is needed for the first part of the trail through the forrest and a ranger, to stay safe between the elephants and buffalos.
The Lemosho Route is an unspoilt, remote, little-used and beautiful way up to the Shira Plateau. It can either be used to gain the Western Breach route or followed by the Kibo South Circuit to ascend by the easier Barafu Route. The route is one of the few where groups may be accompanied on the first day by an armed ranger as the forests around the Lemosho Glades are rich in buffalo, elephant and other big game animals.
During this trip we'll use tents. There are no huts on this route, like there are on the normal routes Marangu and Machame. Inspite of the altitude of 5.895 meter the climb will only take seven days. A guide and porters – an obligatory feature on Kilimanjaro – will help to make this possible.
Day 1 – Flight from Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania, drive to the hotel.
Day 2 – Drive from Moshi or Arusha to Londorossi Park Gate (2250m, 2 hours). From here a forest track requiring a 4WD vehicle leads to Lemosho Glades (2100m, 11km, 45 minutes) and a possible campsite (park fees are not paid to camp here). Walk along forest trails to Mti Mkubwa (big tree) campsite, (2750m, 3 hours).
Day 3 – The trail gradually steepens and enters the giant heather moorland zone. Several streams are crossed then it gains the Shira Ridge at about 3600m and drops gently down to Shira 1 camp located by a stream on the Shira Plateau (3500m, 5 hours). This campsite could be omitted.
Day 4 – A gentle walk across the plateau leads to Shira 2 camp on moorland meadows by a stream (3850m, 1.5 hours). A variety of walks are available on the Plateau making this an excellent acclimatisation day.
Day 5 – The moorlands soon come to an end and the rocky path leads amongst outcrops to the Lava Tower where there are good campsites (4600m, 4 hours). A strong group may want to continue up a steep scree path to the site of the Arrow Glacier hut where there are poor campsites (4800m, 5.5 hours).
Day 6 – From the Lava Tower [or Arrow Glacier] steep scree and rocky outcrops requiring scrambling lead up the Western Breach to the crater floor. On rare occasions after snowfalls the route can become icy and in these conditions an ice axe or ski stick will be required, (5700m, 6 [or 4.5] hours). It is possible to camp almost anywhere in the crater or in a further 2 hours Uhuru Point may be reached. Descend the Mweka Route to Mweka Hut, 5 hours.
Day 7– A 3-4 hour descent through beautiful forest brings you to the Park gate and your waiting transport. Drive back to the hotel.
Day 8 – Restday and flight to Amsterdam at night.