This 9-day trek makes the most of the Lemosho Route, which heads up the western side of Mount Kilimanjaro. A lesser-known circuit, Lemosho winds up from lush rainforest into the moorland zone, taking in superb views of Shira Ridge and Mount Kibo’s glacier along the way, giving you a magical, crowd-free start to your trek.
Compared to the Marangu and Rongai routes, Lemosho is definitely a bucket list choice. It is more challenging, arguably more beautiful and offers one of Kilimanjaro’s few crowd-free experiences during the initial ascent. All routes converge at Barranco Camp, where the primary trekking path of Machame continues to the summit.
Technical climbing skills are not required but be prepared for a handful of very steep sections on this route. The trekking day ranges from four to eight hours long and guides use the longer days to trek up to a scenic spot then descend to sleep lower down. This technique helps acclimatize your body to the rigours of high altitude.
Most trekkers experience some effects of increased altitude - summiting Kilimanjaro is not for the faint hearted, but it is very achievable. To put it in context: Uhuru Peak rises to 5 895m (19 340ft), which is higher than Mount Everest’s South Base Camp at 5 364m (17 598ft), and a mere 2 953m (9 689ft) shy of Everest’s summit.
Once you have summited Africa’s highest mountain, it is worth celebrating with some R&R on the nearby island of Zanzibar, off Tanzania’s glorious sun-drenched coastline.