Tanzania

Kilimanjaro Family Climb

The Lemosho Route is one of the most picturesque and unspoilt routes up Kilimanjaro, with the possibility of sighting wild game along the way during the section through the forest. It is the ideal option for trekkers seeking a quieter route away from the crowds and has a high success rate due to the slow and steady ascent.

Highlights

  Picturesque unspoilt route
  Begin in the Lemosho Glades
  Take on the Great Barranco Wall
  Superb views of the Western Breach
  Summit Kilimanjaro

10 days from £2,125 pp

Plus international flights from £850

A 10-day round trip from Arusha to climb Kilimanjaro will cost from £8,500 for a family of four (excluding international flights).

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Kilimanjaro Family Climb day-to-day itinerary

Day 1 Arusha
On your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport you will be met by a Stubborn Mule Travel representative and transferred to your hotel.


Day 2 Londrossi Gate to Mti Khubwa Camp
After breakfast you will travel by 4WD to Londrossi gate where you will meet your guides and mountain crew. They will assist with all the national park formalities, registering you and weighing your duffle bags to ensure that the load carried by each porter does not exceed the mandatory 20kg limit.

After completing the registration process continue by car for 11kms along narrow dirt roads through pine plantations, gradually climbing to the Lemosho Glades where you will begin your trek.

Today’s hike takes around 3 hours, moving uphill through thick and undisturbed montane forest that is home to a multitude of birdlife. You may hear the grunting calls of the magnificent black colobus monkeys with their long ‘cape’ of white hair and flowing white tail.

Tonight you will camp in the forest zone, where podocarpus (African yellow-wood), hagenia and hypericum (St John’s wort) dominate. In the evening you may hear the unmistakable shrieking call of the tree hyrax.


Day 3 Shira Camp
Today is a long day over narrow tracks that weave in and out of the ridges as you ascend. Along the way you will see giant heather and erica and as you gain altitude you will encounter the unique giant levelia and giant groundsel. The mantra today is ‘pole pole’ which means ‘slowly slowly’ in Swahili. There is no rush to reach camp and you should take the route slowly to enable your body to start adjusting to the altitude and to enjoy the magnificent views of Kilimanjaro.

The Shira Plateau is one of the highest in the world with an average height of 3,810m; it is a caldera (a collapsed volcanic crater) and you may see a herd of eland in the distance or startle a grey duiker near camp.


Day 4 Moir Hut
Today you trek steadily northwards through the heather and into the barren high altitude desert towards the natural landmark called Shark’s Tooth. You will gain altitude slowly and continue to acclimatize.

The scenery today is fabulous as you enter the high desert zone, where only hardy everlastings and small senecios survive. Above you is a huge circular bowl created by glaciers, and there are many lava tube caves in the cliffs at the uppermost edge. Above the bowl is the Kibo Massif and the Northern Ice Field whilst below you will have extensive views of the Shira Plateau.


Day 5 Barranco Camp
You will descend the rocky scree path to Lava Tower (4,530m) for lunch. If you feel up to it you can take a (non-technical) rock scramble to the top of Lava Tower where you will have a spectacular panoramic vista of the Karanga Valley below, the Shira Plateau and the spectacular Western Breach above.

From Lava Tower, you will descend steeply for 2 hours down more than 600m into the Great Barranco Valley. This descent affords fantastic views and some great photo opportunities of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. You will also feel the clear benefits of this acclimatization day as you lose altitude.

Barranco Camp itself is set on a col (flat area) enclosed on three sides by the Breach Wall and the Kibo Massif itself. Hanging glaciers shimmer in the sunshine above amidst the eerie landscape of plants such as the giant groundsels, and the uniquely endemic giant lobelia.

This is definitely the toughest day so far, but incredibly beautiful.

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Day 6 Karanga Valley Camp
Today you undertake the Great Barranco Wall – an imposing face above Barranco camp. A steady climb up the eastern wall takes you just below the Heim Glacier, where you will have breath-taking views of the Heim Glacier and Mt. Kilimanjaro (depending on the weather!). Your trail continues down into the alpine desert of the Karanga Valley, where you finish this second acclimatization day at Karanga Camp at 4,046m.


Day 7 Barafu Camp
Your trail continues into the alpine desert of the Karanga Valley. Here the temperature will grow colder as you follow the trail climbing through this barren and dry landscape up to the Barafu camp. Barafu is the Swahili word for ice, and the camping area is on a ridge in a narrow and exposed flat area. Here there are ever-present powerful winds blowing down from the mountain peaks.

Your campsite at 4,600m offers spectacular views of the nearby peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi.

In preparation for your final ascent tonight, you will familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark, and prepare your equipment and thermal clothing for the summit attempt. Sleep will be difficult, though you will retire to your tents after dinner to rest for the 1,385m final ascent to the roof of Africa.


Day 8 Uhuru Peak – Mweka Camp
Rise early to leave camp at around 12am and after a warm drink and a light snack, you will begin the most difficult though most rewarding day of the trek. After approximately 6 hours of slow but strenuous hiking, you will reach the rim of the main crater, Stella Point, at 5,685m.

At this point you will stop to rest, eat lunch and take in the views over the clouds. From Stella Point the trail is normally snow-covered, and every step of the two-hour final ascent to Uhuru peak is challenging. Passing alongside the iridescent blue Rebmann and Tarzel glaciers you reach Elveda Point (5,882) and can see Uhuru Peak now only minutes away. The roof of Africa is within your grasp!

Arriving at the summit you feel a huge sense of elation and accomplishment that you have done it, you have made it to the highest point in Africa. You can spend as much time as you need to appreciate your feat although this is of course dependent on the weather conditions at the summit.

When you are ready you will start back down the same trail, descending to Barafu camp. Here you will have a well-earned but short rest and remove some of your many layers of clothing as the day begins to heat up. You will head down the rock and scree path into the moorland zone, reaching the forest, and eventually arriving at Mweka Camp in the early afternoon where a hot shower and meal awaits. Today is the longest, and the most mentally and physically challenging of the trek.


Day 9 Mweka Gate – Arusha
Today your legs will be further tested as the trail descends steeply through the lush Mweka rain forest. The trail is steep in places and the going slippery if wet. The route follows the crest of a broad ridge separating two river valleys until it meets with a road that leads you for the last 40 mins to the Mweka Park Gates. Here you stop for a well-deserved picnic lunch and successful climbers will receive their summit certificates (gold for Uhuru Peale, Green for Stella point) from the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority. After you have celebrated you will transfer to your hotel for the night.


Day 10, Arusha
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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