KILIMANJARO – LEMOSHO GLADES ROUTE ~WITH CRATER CAMP~
Day 1 Arrival
Met by Climbing guides on arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport – transferred to your hotel for dinner and overnight
Day 2 Preparation Day
Travel recovery day, final preparation, gear check, in the afternoon a comprehensive Mount Kilimanjaro Climb briefing.
DAY 3 LEMOSHO TRAILHEAD (7,780 ft./ 2,370 m) ~ FOREST CAMP (9,300 ft./ 2,830 m)
Departure from Arusha will be at 8:30am for Lemosho gate, about 3 hours, where you will complete entry formalities. Then walk to the Lemosho trailhead (another 10min to reach the trailhead). Upon arrival at the gate, eat lunch, then commence through undisturbed forest which winds to the first camp, only about 3-4 hours of trekking. Overnight at Forest Camp (Mti Mkubwa Camp)
DAY 4 FOREST CAMP ~ SHIRA 1 CAMP (11,500 ft./ 3,500 m)
Once out of the forest, take a steep track into a Savannah of tall grasses, heather, and volcanic rock draped with lichen beards. Ascend through the lush rolling hills below the Shira plateau, finally reaching camp at the edge of the plateau, a day of 5-6 hours trekking. The view of Kibo from across the plateau is amazing.
DAY 5 SHIRA 1 CAMP ~ SHIRA 2 CAMP (12,800 ft./ 3,900 m)
Full day exploration of the Shira plateau; Trek east toward Kibo’s glacier peak, with the option to visit the ancient collapsed Shira cone, the oldest of Kilimanjaro’s three volcanoes. Arrive at Shira 2 camp (Fischers’s Camp), at 12,600 ft. Shira is one of the highest plateaus on earth, averaging over 12,000 feet. Trekking time without the optional excursions is about 3-4 hours.
DAY 6 SHIRA 2 CAMP ~ BARRANCO CAMP (13,050 ft./ 3,975 m)
Proceed steadily upward over expansive ridgelines of high desert to Lava Tower , for lunch. The trek is about 4 hours. Lava Tower , a 300 foot volcanic plug, marks an exposed pass at 15,000 feet. In the afternoon, descend the steep track into the Great Barranco Valley . Barranco Camp is set in a valley enclosed on three sides with the massive valley walls and the Kibo massif itself. Hanging glaciers glint in the sunshine above, amidst the eerie landscape of plants such as the giant groundsels (SenecioKilimanjari), and the uniquely endemic Giant Lobelia. Total trekking time is 6-8 hours.
DAY 7 BARRANCO CAMP ~ KARANGA CAMP (13,300 ft./ 4,000 m)
The day begins with a scramble up the steep ‘Barranco Wall’, then traversing the ridges and valleys of the mountain’s southern face, as Kibo’s glaciers loom above to your left and the jagged peaks of Mawenzi jut into the African sky at just under 17,000 feet straight ahead. We reached the Karanga Valley after 4-5 hours of trekking, for a hot lunch,and a big afternoon rest.
DAY 8 KARANGA CAMP TO BARAFU CAMP ( 15,300 ftt/ 4,670 m)
We begin our day steadily uphill. The temperature will grow colder and the landscape more sparse as we near Barafu Camp. Barafu Camp is set on a small, exposed flat area on a ridge, acting as a base camp from which many make their summit attempt at midnight. Eat and drink as much as possible before retiring to your tent for rest and sleep. Total trekking time is 4-5 hours on this day.
DAY 9 BARAFU CAMP ~ CRATER CAMP (18,800 ft./ 5,730 m)
A 5am wake-up call is the start of a juggernaut (7-8 hours of trekking). You begin trekking at 6am up the winding path of endless switchbacks. After about 6-7 hours of walking, you will come to the edge of the crater, at Stella Point, at 18,870 feet (5,750 m), which is the end of the steep track. From here, there is a gently sloped trek of 30 min across the lunar landscape of the inner crater, to reach the Crater Camp. Our camp is set in soft sands near the retreating vertical ice walls of the Furtwangler Glacier. Rest and enjoy snacks and hot drinks in the mess tent, then opt to explore the strange lunar landscape of the inner crater, to include a visit to Reusch Crater, the ash pit, and the glaciers. So few that trek Kilimanjaro ever experience the summit zone in this way.
DAY 10 CRATER CAMP ~ UHURU PEAK (19,340 ft./ 5,895 m) ~ MWEKA CAMP (10,070 ft./ 3,070 m)
Rise early to watch the sunrise from the summit, which will take about 1.5 hours from Crater Camp. After a short time at the summit, descend along the gently sloping crater rim to Stella Point, then descend back to Barafu Camp for lunch. In the afternoon continue the descent into the Heather Zone to Mweka Camp for the night. The trekking time from Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp will be from 6-8 hours. Total trekking time is from 7-8 hours.
DAY 11 MWEKA CAMP ~ MWEKA GATE (5,370 ft. /1,635 m)
Descend straight to the gate (3-4 hours), where you’ll have lunch and will be awarded climbing certificates. Transfer back to Arusha for a much-welcomed shower.
Day 12 Departure for home or optional Safari
The Lemosho Glades route is amongst the least-used approach routes on Kilimanjaro, partly because of the remote starting location and rough roads leading to the trailhead. The trailhead is at relatively high elevation, and thus we start slow and easy on this route. In previous years, Buffalo and elephant sightings were possible on the first day trekking through the forest,and the trail is sometimes overgrown. The trail leads up to the western edge of the Shira Plateau, and the hike across the plateau is said to be one of the most stunningly beautiful hikes in Africa.
On day four the trail merges with the Machame Route at Lava Tower (a volcanic plug which has endured the ravages of wind and erosion to stand a few hundred feet above a pass along the trail) and continues along the ridges and valleys of the the southern circuit trails, all the while trekking with Kibo’s massive glaciers above us to the north. The trail reaches Barafu Camp at 15,300 feet (4,670 m), and from here we trek to the crater for an up-close experience with Kilimanjaro’s dwindling glaciers. This part of the experience sets this trek apart from any other.
The Crater Camp is set in soft “beach” sand, and looking from the tent, trekkers can only see the vertical ice walls of the Furtwangler Glacier. The next morning is only 1.5 to 2 hours to the summit! All the trekking is done by daylight, and overall this trek is designed to get you closer to nature, and to experience Kilimanjaro in a way that so few others do. The trekking days on days 4, 5 and 6 make this trek quite beautiful , but generally more than adequate for acclimatization. The spectacular hike across the Shira Plateau and the beauty of camping at crater camp make this trek truly unique. There are no huts on this route; the accommodation is in mountain tents and dining is in our mess tents. Toilet tents with convenient and sanitary portable flush toilets are set up at all camps.
OPTIONAL: 3 DAY SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK SAFARI ITINERARY
Today you will have early breakfast at your lodge, after breakfast from the Hotel in Arusha you will be driven to Ngorongoro Carter. You descend 600 meters into the magnificent Ngorongoro crater for a game drive.
The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most densely crowded African wildlife areas in the world and is home to an estimated 30,000 animals including some of Tanzania’s last remaining black rhino. Animals that you may find in the crater include wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, eland, warthog, hippo and elephant. Another big draw card to this picturesque reserve is the dense population of predators, which include lions, hyenas, jackals cheetahs and the ever elusive leopard, which sometimes requires a trained eye to spot. Tour the Lerai forest with its yellow – barked acacias, searching for giant- tusked elephants, rare black rhino and black –maned lion. Bird lovers can view flamingos and other species, which share the shallow water with a big game. You may also see Maasai herdsmen and their cattle at the crater in their territory, and the Maasai continue to coexist with wildlife as they have for centuries. Ngorongor Osupuko for Dinner and Overnight.
DAY 2: FULL DAY GAME AT SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast in the lodge on your second day comes the pontifical highlight of your stay, as you spend an entire day exploring the Serengeti National Park. A sumptuous buffet lunch in the wilds of nature punctuates a day spent in watchful anticipation and delighted awe. Then come to perhaps a glass of chilled champagne. It's the ideal way to wind down before dinner. Dinner and overnight at Serengeti Osupuko Lodge
DAY 3: GAME VIEW ENROUTE TO NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AUTHORITY
After one day of exciting game viewing in Serengeti National Park, today you will drive to the scenic Ngorongoro Crater enjoying wildlife viewing along the way. En route, you’ll stop at olduvai Gorge, one of the most important pre – historic sites in the word. Here, you have a short lecture and a visit to the museum where you will get a chance to see the remains of the early man in time for lunch at Ngorongoro wildlife. Continue with your journey to Ngorongoro arriving at cultural interaction. In the late afternoon, Return to Arusha Hotel.
Day 4: DEPARTURE FOR HOME