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Kilimanjaro 5895m, Lemosho trek
Links: Overview / Machame route / Rongai route / Mountain focus / Safari extensions
Course overview
We also offer ascents via the Lemosho route, which we can also provide for private groups of four people or more. As such, there are no scheduled dates for this trip, but if you have a group, and would like to book, just get in touch as we can list a bespoke course online for you to book immediately.
The pricing is similar to the Machame route, but due to the extra transfer to the western side of the mountain, an extra charge of £100 per person is levied (based on a group of 4).
The Lemosho Route is the route that is furthest from Moshi on the far west of the mountain, and the drive to the start of the trek takes over two hours. The vehicle transfer drives along narrow roads through Tanzanian farmland, and you pass busy villages and maize and vegetable fields.
This is a very scenic route and you walk through a series of valleys, and up to Mti Mkubwa Camp you will bee accompanied by an armed ranger in case you meet elephants, buffalo or other big game. You will often see Black & White Colobus Monkeys and Blue Monkeys in the forest
This route ascends from the western side of the mountain, over a quiet trail onto the broad Shira plateau. At the equator the seasons are different, and it is key to avoid the rainy seasons of mid-October to mid-December, and April to June. During these months there is often too much snow on the upper mountain.
This expedition will appeal to those who really want to explore this region and who wish to experience the thrill of high altitude climbing for the first time. This especially appeals to those with aspirations of higher peaks such as Aconcagua or Denali, who are either working towards ascents of the "Seven Summits" (the highest peak on each of the continents), or those who only have Alpine mountaineering or trekking experience.
Standard Kilimanjaro Lemosho Expedition Itinerary
Day 1 Fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport, where typically the KLM flight arrives around 19:00. You will be met by some of our team at the Airport and transferred to your hotel for dinner. After that your guide will brief you and you will have time to prepare your bags for tomorrows climb. You can pack all the equipment that you need for the summit and the higher altitudes, in a waterproof bag (max 16kg), which will be carried by the porters throughout the climb. Your personal belongings, camera, passport, anything you need while hiking will go into your small waterproof day pack. Anything you need for the rest of your holiday can be left with the team in Moshi, and it will be stored in the office lock up. Night in hotel.
Day 2 Trek day one: Moshi to Londorossi Park Gate to Mti Mkubwa Camp (2821m), Time: 3 ½ hours, Distance: c.5.4 km. After breakfast there's a 2 hour drive from Moshi 910m to the Londorossi Park Gate 2100m. You obtain your permits, and sign in to the park, before driving about 1 hour further to the Lemosho route starting point at 2244m. Trek to the Mkubwa Forest camp 2821m, where you stay for the night. During the trek you will see Black & White Colombus monkeys, Blue Monkeys and maybe elephants on the way. The first day is an easy walk to Mt Mkubwa Camp. The camp is named after the big Podocarpus Milanjianus trees around the camp. These trees are very tall evergreen conifers found in montane cloud forests areas all over East Africa.
Day 3

Trek day two: Forest camp 2821m to Shira 1 Camp (3504m), Time: 6 hours, Distance: c.10.2 km. Trek for an hour to emerge above the forest, where the trail steepens. You cross the moorland landscape of the Shira plateau, crossing streams, to reach Shira One camp 3504m. The trek today is steady at first, before getting gradually steeper, before it enters the giant heather moorland zone. After several streams are crossed, you continue trekking over the Shira Ridge (3600m), then gently downwards to Shira 1 camp located by a stream on the Shira Plateau. About5 to 6 hours of steady hiking, with a hot lunch on the route, to reach the Shira 1 Camp, where you stay for the night.

Day 4 Trek day three: Shira One camp to Moir camp 3950m, Time 6 hours, Distance c. 10.1km. After breakfast, a gentle hike across the plateau leads to Moir camp (3,950m) on moorland meadows by a stream. The Shira Plateau is a World Heritage Site. The Camp is set amidst a typical upland moorland landscape with rough vegetation of Senecons (Giant Groundsel). There is a good view of Kilimanjaro's upper slopes from here. 5 to 6 hours walking.
Day 5

Trek day four: Moir Camp to Barranco Camp (3984m) via The Lava Tower (4600m), Time: 8 hours, Distance: c.10.3 km, Time: 8 hours, Distance: c.10.3 km. From the Moir Camp we continue to the east, passing the junction near the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes towards the Lava Tower, which we will walk to for acclimatisation. Trek towards Lava Tower 4642m, over an increasingly lunar landscape. Just before the Lava Tower, your trail is joined by the Machame route. This final climb is great for acclimatisation, and you should aim to walk slow and steady. Lunch is close to the Lava Tower 4642m. After lunch you descend, losing nearly 700m of altitude, which will be a relief to your body. Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier (4876m). You now continue down to the Barranco Camp (3950m). Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatisation. When you arrive at Barranco camp, there are great views of the Barranco Wall and Western Breach. Night in Barranco camp.

Day 6

Trek day five: Barranco Camp to Karanga camp (3963m), Time: 4 hours, Distance: c.6.4km. After breakfast, you leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge going up the spectacular Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley campsite (3963m) .Today is a short day of about 4 hours walking. By varying the altitude on this route, you are helping your body to acclimatise. The ascent of the Barranco wall, is far easier then it looks from camp! It is a very simple scramble, and the guides are there to assist. You reach the top of the wall below the Heim Glacier, which is stunning. You then follow the trail through the Karanga Valley.

Day 7

Trek day six: Karanga Camp to Barafu camp 4681m, Time: 4 hours, Distance: c.7.4km. After breakfast, you leave the Karanga Valley and pass the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. You continue to the Barafu camp (4681m). You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here you make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo can be seen from our campsite. Again about 4 hours walking in very sparse vegetation. This basic campsite is situated on a ridgeline, and means ice in Swahili. It's important to check all your kit for the summit day, to ensure head torches have good batteries in them, and your packs are well prepared. There's an early evening meal, then people head early to bed, as you get up around midnight to start the climb to the summit.

Day 8

Trek day seven: Barafu camp 4681m to summit 5895m and Mweka 3090m, Time: 14 hours, c.15.3km
After a quick snack breakfast, you start off in a north-westerly direction up the screes to ascend towards the crater rim at Stella Point 5739m. This unrelenting slope is best tacked at a slow plod, and typically takes around 6 hours. As you reach the edge of the caldera, you normally see a stunning sunrise. After a very short break, you set off on the final ascent to the summit, Uhuru Peak 5895m. This section is often in snow, and you reach the summit around 8am. There's time for photos, and to take in the view, but with the cold and the length of the day, it's important not to stop too long. It takes about 3 hours to descend to Barafu, where you have something to eat, then start the trek down to Mweka camp 3090m, which is situated in the forests, and you stay the night at Mweka camp.

Day 9

Trek day eight: Mweka camp 3090m to Mweka Gate 1641m, Time: 4 hours, Distance: c.8.5 km
Today there's no rush, as there's a fairly easy 4 hour trek down through the forest, to reach the park gates. In terms of any tips you choose to give, we operate a sealed envelope scheme, and it's recommended to wait to pay porters any tips only when you and all your bags are safely at the park gate. The trip dossier details more about recommended tips. You sign out of the park, and successful climbers get their summit certificates. You are driven back to the Moshi hotel, where an evening meal is provided.

Day 10 Breakfast in the hotel, and time off before your airport transfer. The KLM flight usually leaves in the late afternoon, arriving back in the UK on Monday around 06:00, so you could go to work!
ITINERARY NOTES: Where possible we follow the itineraries, but as mountaineering is always weather and conditions dependant, we are sometimes forced to alter the plans. If this is the case, a suitable different route will be attempted, and you will be informed at the first suitable opportunity. Please use this outline course itinerary as a guide to the style of expedition, with good conditions, as it will not necessarily be an exact blueprint for the exact routes and schedule that you will follow on the expedition.

Accommodation & upgrades

On your first and last night in Tanzania, you are based in a comfortable hotel in Moshi on a half board basis (evening meal, bed and breakfast). We vary the hotels that we use, but we always try to ensure that you stay in a hotel with a swimming pool and stay in twin rooms. Airport transfers to and from either hotel are included in the expedition price. The two hotel nights are half board, so your evening meal, bed and breakfast is included.
I just wanted to say a big thank you to you, Evance and the Icicle team for the great experience we had climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. The trip could not have gone better, from the initial help with kit, training and preparation to how we were looked after in Tanzania. Evance was superb and from picking us up at the airport he always ensured we were well briefed as to what would be happening each day. On the mountain Evance and his team were incredibly professional, keeping a close eye on us and making sure we were fit for each day. The camps were always well placed and the food was excellent considering how far we were from resupply. The route and days we spent on the mountain meant we felt little if any altitude sickness and on the summit night, when alot of climbers turned back due to the strong winds, he guided us safely to the summit perfectly timed for the sunrise on our fathers 70th birthday. It capped a perfect week. We would definitely recommend Icicle in the future to anyone wanting to climb Kilimanjaro.
Adam, Michael & Jolyon B , Kilimanjaro
Hotel in centre of Moshi Typical room in the Moshi hotel Swimming pool of the Moshi hotel
Course Prices
Kilimanjaro Lemosho
8 days guiding, 10 days in total £1099
Kilimanjaro + Mt Meru
12 days guiding, 14 days in total
(Standard Kili trip plus 4 day Mt Meru ascent)
Secure online booking system
Standard Course Inclusions: 1) Kilimanjaro guides for daily leading, 2) Icicle rep if a mixed scheduled group (not a bespoke or private group) has ten or more clients, 3) Pre expedition Info Booklet, 4) Equipment discount voucher for in UK, 5) All mountain tent accommodation in Africa on a full board basis, 6) Two nights hotel on a half board basis, 7) Road transport in Africa to national parks and airport transfers, 8) All costs for expedition leaders, local guides and porters, 9) Personal certificate for all those who reach the summit, 10) We provide all communal equipment such as tents and cooking kit (you provide your own clothing, walking boots, and sleeping bag with mat).
Exclusions: 1) Air travel to & from Kilimanjaro International airport, 2) Travel insurance, 3) Bar / restaurant bills & tips, 4) UK and foreign airport taxes, optional trips, souvenirs and tips, 5) Peak permit for Kilimanjaro / Meru parks, 6) Optional day safari on last day, 7) Your personal laundry, telephone calls, and any purchases in mountain huts / hotels / restaurants, 8) Extras before course: personal activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.
Icicle expedition kit bag for FREE
All those booking on this trip are entitled to a free Icicle expedition kit bag. This tough c.65 litre capacity kit bag is designed for full expedition usage and is made out of durable fabric, and features carry straps. It normally retails at £50. Postage within the UK is included in the prices. If you live overseas, it's not a problem at all. We'll let you know the price for postage. Want a second bag? Order another, click here.
Upgrade options
Flights UK to Kilimanjaro
From £600 (inc. airport taxes)
Icicle is fully bonded with ATOL, and so we are able to offer flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport. This is served by KLM, and flights from the UK are via its main hub at Schipol Airport in Amsterdam. See our ATOL licence, details.
National Park Fees
Valid for 2018
Kili Machame c.£800
Mount Meru c.£300
We do not force clients to have these obligatory park fees included in the prices, as they are paid locally in US Dollars, and some clients may benefit from the exchange rates by opting to pay these directly at the park gate(s). Note that we only accept Park Fee upgrades for trips during the current year, to allow for price changes by the Tanzanian National Parks which are made annually.
Client feedback

I am now back at work after the trip to Kili with you recently. It was brilliant! All logistics were seamless – Evans and the crew were superb, the food was great, and we all summitted. What could be better!

David Fletcher , Kilimanjaro

Thank you so much for your meticulously organised and operated expedition. Everyone in the group reached the top. Also, your local team was great

Tom Beesley , Kilimanjaro

An unforgettable holiday for all the right reasons. Watching the sun rise across the plains from the summit was amazing. You have a great local team, who love working for you, and looking after us so well

Samantha Budd , Kili & Mt Meru
Press & media
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Photo gallery
Trip photo gallery

Acclimatisation on Kili
Unlike some operators, we avoid the infamous four or five day summit dashes, as this gives you a very low chance of summiting, and a very high risk of mountain sickness.
As you can see from the altitude graphic below, our expeditions spend seven days on the mountain and four days around 4000m before the summit bid.
Our acclimatisation programme works. We are very aware of the symptoms and effects of altitude sickness (AMS), and will be briefed on this.
Climate change on Kili
The weather patterns on Kilimanjaro are changing, and the icefields are shrinking. Generally it is not necessary to use an ice axe or crampons on the mountain. The typical weather at present is clear mornings, then an afternoon cloud build up (often with short shower), then the clouds break in the evening and over night. This pattern explains why the day of the summit bid commences at midnight to take advantage of the clear skies.
The summit crater icefields on Kilimanjaro, lit by the sunrise on the summit day
Groups and experience
Our formula is to restrict the group sizes, so that there are a maximum of 10 clients. The small group sizes enable us to run specialist ascents, where the group can bond well, and each expedition member has great access to all the Icicle staff, local guides and porters. On the summit day the guiding ratio is one guide per two clients. This is more intimate than the mass group commercial style expeditions run by some operators, where the individuals needs and speeds cannot be catered for. Although you require no previous mountaineering experience for this expedition, you are advised to be a competant trekker who is familiar with up to six hour days with 1300m height gains. As you will note from the itinerary, this expedition is quite intensive in order to ensure your acclimatisation. Upon booking you will be sent an expedition dossier & training training schedules.
Group photo at the Lava Tower (4600m), with the head local guide Evans on the right
Guides and porters
For every two clients on an expedition, we use one local guide and up to three porters. The porters carry these tents and the sleeping bags, as well as the mess / cook tents and food, so you need not worry about carrying any major loads each day. When you stay in camps on Kilimanjaro, the tents are high quality tents designed for altitude use, such as the Mountain Hardwear Trango series tents. The porters pitch and strike the tents for you each day. At each camp site on the mountain, there are basic toilet facilities. We recommend you carry only a 20 litre bag at most, the size of a typical day sack for hillwalking in the UK. Evans is the Icicle head local guide, and he is ably supported by other guides such as John, McMillan and Rushtal. We ensure that all the guides and porters are suitable fed and clothed, and have forged close links with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistant Project (KPAP), www.kiliporters.org.
The team of local porters and some of the guides that are used on each expedition
Suggested reading and kit
View full course equipment list, with examples of kit, click here
Any further questions?
A key part of choosing a company is being able to come and talk about your plans with an experienced course advisor face to face. In an increasingly virtual world, we know our clients value speaking to real people, getting open and honest advice. The vast majority of our clients are British, and our office and outdoor store is based in Windermere in the English Lake District.

Get in contact to arrange a meeting, and come in for a coffee to discuss your course in person with a trip advisor. Many people opt for this service, and it is an integral part of what we offer, as we are keen to ensure that you are prepared as possible, and that you select a course that is suitable for you. It makes it easier and more enjoyable for you and us, if you are on the right trip.

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