After completing the necessary registration formalities at Londorossi National Park gate, we drive through varied farmland with open views over the plains to reach the Lemosho road head. The last section of the road is of deprived quality and difficult to drive after rain, and the drive there should be considered as part of the adventure, sometimes we start walking a kilometer or two below the road head. We often have our lunch at the roodhead before starting to walk. It is an easy day of walking up a small path through beautiful and lush forest. We camp at Lemosho Big Tree Camp (2,650 m) [2-3 hours walking].
We soon leave the forest behind and enter the moorland zone of giant heather. 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 walk part way across the plateau to Shira One Camp (3,550 m) [6-8 hours walking]
An easy day to help acclimatization and to explore the grassy moorland and the volcanic rock formations of the plateau. We walk to the summit of Shira Cathedral (3,750 m), a huge buttress of rock surrounded by steep spires and pinnacles. There is a tangible sense of wilderness here (especially when the afternoon mists come in) and the views from our comp near Shira Hut (3,840 m) of Mt. Meru floating on the clouds are simply unforgettable. [4-5 hours walking]
We explore beneath the Northern Ice fields, an area almost totally unvisited by tourists and with unusual views of Kibo. The morning walk is a steady climb away from the moorland of Shira Plateau to reach the brood upland desert beneath the Lent Hills, with expensive views in all directions. After lunch in our camp close to Moir Hut (4,200m) there is the option of a more strenuous afternoon walk to reach the summit of the Little Lent Hill at 4,375m. Few visitors get to this remote corner of Kilimanjaro [3-6 hours walking].
A morning of gentle ascent and panoramic views, walking on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. After lunch at our Lava Tower campsite (4,550 m), there is a steep and spectacular afternoon walk on the rocky lower slopes of the Western Breach to reach the ruins of the old hut at Arrow Glacier (4,800 m). This afternoon excursion is highly recommended both for acclimatization purposes and for the superb views of hanging glaciers on both sides of the Breach [3 – 6 hours walking]
A steep descent into the bottom of the Great Barranco valley (3,900m) sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains for below. A short climb up the formed Barranco Well leads us to an undulating trail on the South Eastern flank of Kibo, with superb vistas of the Southern Ice fields. The terrain is volcanic scree, with pockets of vegetation in sheltered hollows, and a powerful sense of mountain wilderness. Our next camp is at Karanga (4,000 m), the last water point on the approach to the summit. [5-7 hours walking].
We follow an easy path on compacted scree with wide views that gains altitude unrelentingly to reach the Barafu campsite (4,600 m) for lunch. There is a short walk to the plateau at the bottom of the South East valley (4,800 m). The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night [3-5 hours walking]
We will start our ascent by torchlight about 1 am so that we can be up on the crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zigzags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point (5,735 m), in about five or six hours. We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the two hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshment, we continue to descent to reach our final campsite (3,800 m) Millennium. [11-15 hours walking]
A sustained descent on a well constructed path through lovely tropical forest alive with birdsong and boasting lush undergrowth with considerable botanical interest. Our route winds down to the National Park gate at Mweka (1,650 m). Here we sign out from the national park before walking on for a further 15 minutes through coffee and banana forms to Mweka village where our vehicle awaits. The shower, the beer and the swimming pool are tantalizingly close! [4-6 hours walking]