Route & Itinerary
The Classic Way Up...
To climb Kilimanjaro on our 11 day Lemosho Route itinerary (trekking for 7 days), you can join one of many Open Group Challenge climbs throughout the year, departing from the UK. Our group climbs bring like-minded people together to share a Kilimanjaro experience. You can sign up on your own, as a couple, or with a group of friends or family.
Day 1 Departure from UK
We will meet our group and Action Challenge staff at the airport and check in together before boarding our flight to Kathmandu.
Day 2 Arrive in Kilimanjaro
On arrival we transfer to the hotel and meet our team of local guides. In the afternoon there is the chance to relax before the welcome briefing, and kit check. Then we enjoy an evening meal together before an early night.
Day 3 Big Tree Camp
After breakfast a transfer to the west of the Kilimanjaro National Park and the Londorossi Gate, where we meet the rest of our Kilimanjaro support team – including guides, cooks and porters. Our bags are weighed to ensure it’s within the 15 kg limit – and finally the moment we have all been waiting for! We’re driven to the Kilimanjaro trail head, and we begin our trek through lush forest vegetation; the ascent is steady and the pace is always quite slow. We have short breaks en route, allowing time to snack and keep hydrated. Eventually we reach our camp at Big Tree Camp (2,780m) positioned in the higher reaches of the rainforest. There is a chance of spotting Colobus monkeys on today’s trek.
Day 4 Shira Camp
Our first full day trekking – with over 1,200m of ascent. It’s a long day, but a great way to kick start the process of acclimatisation. We leave rainforest zone, and within 2 hours notice a big change as we enter the Moorland zone – with shrub like trees and unique flora. After a few breaks we start the sustained ascent up to the Shira Plateau, along what the locals call ‘the Elephants Spine’ – a broad ridge with incredible views to the plains below Kilimanjaro. On the Shira Plateau we stop for a cooked lunch – and then onwards towards our camp for the night. A slow and steady ascent allows our bodies to acclimatise to the higher altitude as we cross Kilimanjaro’s Shira plateau, and enter the High Alpine Desert zone. It’s a tough day, and our local crew will have the camp and some welcome hot food ready for us. We sleep at Shira Camp, with great views of the imposing southern face of Kilimanjaro above – and the Shira Plateau below.
Day 5 Barranco Camp
Today is one of the most scenic – and prepares our bodies for the Kilimanjaro summit push in 3 days time. We head east across beautiful barren moon-like landscape and around craters that scar the earth. We trek in the shadow of mighty Kibo, with it’s southern ice field visible above us, until reaching the Lava Tower where we stop for some lunch and the highest point of the day – at 4,630m. This afternoon we descend through ravines into a scenic valley with a wonderful micro climate and flora unique to Kilimanjaro. We reach our camp late in the afternoon. This ascent up to Lava Tower, followed by the descent to a lower overnight camp aids the acclimatisation process – and Baranco Camp is perhaps the most scenic on Kilimanjaro. Cliffs and glaciers tower above us, with views down into the forested Umbwe Valleys below.
Day 6 Karanga Camp
Our first challenge today is a climb and scramble over the volcanic rock of the Barranco Wall. This is a real highlight of the challenge, breathtaking views and a real sense of achievement! On reaching the top, we have a well-earned snack break and enjoy fantastic views over to Barafu and Mount Meru, this is a brilliant spot for a Kilimanjaro group photo. We then head onwards to Karanga Camp, first through undulating terrain and then across the steep-sided Karanga Valley, a challenging end to a short but hugely varied and interesting day! We’ll be arriving at Karanga camp in time for a large cooked lunch, and spend the afternoon resting and building our energy for the Kilimanjaro summit push in the days to come.
Day 7 Kosovo Camp
Today is about arriving at high camp – and prepared for our Kilimanjaro summit push overnight. We’ll benefit from all of the good trekking habits we’ve got into – eating well, staying hydrated, walking slowly and generally looking after ourselves – and your leadership team are on hand with advice. We make the steady climb to Barafu Camp at 4,600m – and then on and up to Kosovo Camp, positioned on a ridge. We reach our camp in the afternoon, and after a good meal we put on some extra layers and try to sleep in preparation for our early morning Kilimanjaro summit bid. Our camp, at a higher altitude and quieter location, gives us a real advantage for our summit push, allowing us more rest and a shorter route to the summit.
Day 8 Summit
And so to the Kilimanjaro summit day! We awake just before midnight – and after a hot drink & snacks we begin our climb. For the next 6 hours we trek the steepest and most demanding part of the route by torch light. This is a long and gruelling trek to reach Stella point (5,730m) at Kilimanjaro’s crater rim. After a short rest we make our final traverse to Uhuru Peak, the highest point on the African continent at 5,895m. The rising morning sunlight gives us spectacular views across the plains below and of Mount Meru in the distance – and we feel on top of the world! After some photos we have a tough decent back to Kosovo Camp where we stop for a rest and brunch, before continuing down to Millennium Camp at 3,950M. After a long and exhilarating day we can finally rest our tired legs and get a good night’s sleep!
Day 9 Moshi
After an early breakfast we continue our descent of Kilimanjaro back through the rainforest to Mweka Gate. The warm and oxygen rich air is most welcome! The descent is long, but trekkers develop a spring in their step as the finish line is finally within reach. The gate marks the end of our unforgettable time on Mount Kilimanjaro. A final farewell to our local support team includes singing and dancing, and an emotional goodbye. A short transfer takes us to our hotel, where we can finally take off our walking boots and enjoy a hot shower! We have the afternoon to relax by the pool with a drink, and this evening we enjoy a fantastic dinner to celebrate our remarkable achievements – and for those who have the energy we can party into the night!.
Day 10 Departure Day
Enjoy a free morning either by the pool, or exploring Moshi, before transferring to Kilimanjaron airport for our overnight flight back to the UK.
The Challenge brochure details the full itinerary, inclusions, dates & prices – download for a full run down of the challenge details.