Lemosho(Shira) Glades Route
The Lemosho Glades route is perhaps the least used initial ascent route on Kilimanjaro, partly because of its remote location and likewise the difficult roads leading to the trailhead. The trailhead is at relatively high elevation, and thus we start slow and easy on this route. Buffalo and elephant sightings are possible on the first day trekking through the forest, and the trail is often overgrown from lack of use. The route 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
Pick up from Arusha town or Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to Moshi town, which is commonly known as the gateway to Mount Kilimanjaro. Half Board accommodation at a Base Hotel in Moshi.
LEMOSHO TRAILHEAD (7,800 ft./ 2,375 m) ~ FOREST CAMP (9,500 ft./ 2,895 m) Departure from the base hotel for Londorossi gate, where you will complete entry formalities. Then drive to the Lemosho trailhead (another hour to reach the trailhead). Upon arrival at trailhead, eat lunch, then commence through undisturbed forest which winds to the first camp, only about 3-4 hours of trekking. Overnight at Forest Camp (Mtee Mkubwa Camp)
FOREST CAMP ~ SHIRA 1 CAMP (12,200 ft./ 3,720 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.
SHIRA 1 CAMP ~ SHIRA 2 CAMP (12,600 ft./ 3,950 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 at 12,600 ft. Shira is one of the highest plateaus on earth, averaging 12,500 feet. Trekking time without the optional excursions is about 3 hours.
SHIRA 2 CAMP ~ BARRANCO CAMP (12,950 ft./ 3,950 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 (Senecio Kilimanjaro), and the uniquely endemic Giant Lobelia. Trekking time is 6-7 hours.
BARRANCO CAMP ~ BARAFU CAMP (15,200 ft./ 4,630 m). The day begins with a scramble up the steep ‘Barranco Wall’, then traversing up and down the slopes of valleys which have carved their way into the mountain’s southern face. 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 reach the Karanga Valley after 3-4 hours of trekking to find a hot lunch served. In the afternoon the trail turns 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 a base camp from which you will make your summit attempt at midnight tonight. Eat and drink as much as possible before retiring to your tent for rest and sleep.
BARAFU CAMP ~ UHURU PEAK (19,340 ft./ 5,895 m) ~ MWEKA CAMP (10,200 ft./ 3,110 m). The steaming hot drink will arrive very early on this momentous day. A midnight wake-up call is the start of a juggernaut (1217 hours of trekking). You begin trekking at 1 am. The temperatures range from just below freezing at midnight, to between 10 deg. F (-12 deg. C) to –10 F. (-23 deg. C) just before dawn at the summit. The winding path of endless switchbacks will take form and shape in the shadows of the Ratzel and Rebman glaciers at early dawn, and behind you, the spires of Mawenzi will be silhouetted against the red glow of the sun from beneath the clouds. After about 6 hours of walking, you will come to the edge of the crater; Stella Point, at 19,000 feet (5,790 m) on the crater rim is the end of the steep track. From here, there is a gentle slope of about 1 hour to Uhuru Peak. The strength it takes to ascend this final 340 feet is for many monumental. After a short time at the summit, descend the steep scree trail back to Barafu Camp for some rest, then summon your strength again for further descent to Mweka Camp for the night.
MWEKA CAMP ~ MWEKA GATE (6,000 ft. /1,830 m). Descend straight to the gate (2-3 hours), where you’ll have lunch and will be awarded climbing certificates. Transfer to the base hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Moshi – Airport or Arusha. After breakfast, transfer back to Arusha town.
Note: Additional Itinerary Available
As the vaccine rolls out, it is everyone’s hope to see the end of COVID-19 soon, and with it the return to normal international travel.
Tanzania has remained open to international travel since June 2020 but the number of visitor arrivals has stayed very low. Tanzania is endorsed as a Safe Travels destination by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in recognition of the measures being taken by the country in adopting the global standard health and hygiene protocols to contain the spread of corona virus.
A COVID-19 negative certificate is not a requirement for entry into Tanzania. As it is, the requirement for a COVID-19 negative certificate for entry or departure is dependent on the country of origin of the traveler and the airline of travel.
Departing travelers whose onward destinations and airline require a COVID-19 negative certificate, will undergo testing in Tanzania, this could be 72 hours or 96 hours before departure depending on the airline and onward destination. The cost for the COVID-19 test is USD 100 per person, please see attached guide for COVID-19 testing by the Tanzania Ministry of Health.
Given our experience with the few tests we have assisted so far, for example for clients departing on KLM or those crossing over to Kenya, guests’ operating itineraries are at times subjected to rerouting for COVID-19 samples to be taken at the designated health centers at the recommended time for testing. This may also involve some extra cost on the ground but you will be informed in due course to ensure that guests’ travel is as smooth as possible.
The safety and wellbeing of our guests, staff and the public remains our highest priority. We have placed a few policies in place to ensure as smooth a transition as possible for all our clients:
1. All Driver guides and staff members are subject to a temperature check before the start of any trip and/or day.
2. Driver Guides must present with a negative PCR test before taking on any safari trip.
3. Sanitizers and masks are at use throughout. As per CDC guidelines, those clients who are fully vaccinated are free to roam without masks and/social distancing. However, as Tanzania is still working through getting its population vaccinated, our driver guides and staff members ensure the use of masks and sanitizers throughout.
Covid Financial Policy:
1) 100% refund will be issued if cancelled 60 days prior to travel
If COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place in your country of residence or destination and/or other clear restrictions on your ability to travel due to possible complications associated with COVID-19, you are able to cancel your Jungle Safaris itinerary without any cancellation fees
2) Ability to defer your Jungle Safaris trip 60 days prior to travel
If COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place in your country of residence or destination and/or other clear restrictions on your ability to travel due to possible complications associated with COVID-19, you are able to defer your Jungle Safaris itinerary with no fees.
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