We enjoyed every moment of this trek. Climbing through the different climate zones of the Lemosho Route from rainforest to alpine desert meant that the terrain was different every day. Hearing the awesome dawn chorus of the Colobus monkeys at the first camp to setting foot on the summit was truly a journey of wonder, challenge, fun and achievement. As a family adventure, it is hard to see how it could be surpassed. We can seriously recommend it to anyone.
The Eley Family, UK
The complete Kilimanjaro experience: spectacular scenery, great success rate, and superb guides.
This nine day ascent to the roof of Africa - starting at Lemosho on the mountain’s western side and traversing some of its most spectacular landscapes - is the ultimate Kilimanjaro trip. The expedition is fully supported with spacious guest tents, mattress and pillow, as well as a mess tent with lightweight tables and chairs and cutlery. Our trips also include a toilet tent in camp and most importantly knowledgeable professional guides who go through bi-annual training. The logistics team at our base monitors your trip from start to finish.
Departures are throughout the year (please see the Rates & Dates tab).This trip is available as a set departure on a luxury specification only (please see the Accommodation tab).
On arrival into Kilimanjaro International Airport today you will be met by a representative and driven to Ilboru Lodge for an overnight stay. This is on a half board basis including dinner this evening and breakfast in the morning.
This evening the head guide of your Lemosho Kilimanjaro climb will meet you for a kit check and a climb safety briefing.
This morning you will be driven to Londorossi Gate - the entrance of the Kilimanjaro National Park, from where you will begin your seven night trek. You will need to register and produce your passport at the national park headquarters. You will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro via the Lemosho Route. All meals, hot drinks and water whilst on the mountain are included in your climb.
You begin to climb through Afro-montane forest which laces the foot of the mountain, with camp being pitched amongst the trees at around 2,860m. You will reach Forest Camp by mid-afternoon.
Camp altitude: 2,860m (9,383ft). Maximum altitude: 2,860m (9,383ft). Hike time: 3 hours. Hike distance: 6.21 miles (9.9km).
Today your trek takes you slowly up the edge of the Shira volcano. Vegetation will be visibly sparser, as high altitude plants take over and you enter the giant heather moorland zone. The gradient is relatively steep this morning, but levels out considerably towards the end of the day, allowing you to enjoy fantastic views of Kilimanjaro's Western Breach. You will arrive at Shira One Camp by mid-afternoon.
Camp altitude: 3,560m (11,680ft). Maximum altitude: 3,560m (11,680ft). Hike time: 5 to 6 hours. Hike distance: 7.4 miles (11.9km).
Crossing the Shira plateau can be one of the most scenic parts of the trip and this morning you hike around three to four hours to the lunch point. After lunch you ascend to Moir Camp, arriving in mid- afternoon. For those who would like, a hike in the late afternoon is possible.
Camp altitude: 4,100m (13,451ft). Max altitude: 4,100m (13,451ft). Hike time 5 to 7 hours. Hike distance 8.7 miles (14km).
You will trek for between six and seven hours today, ascending into alpine desert and passing through typical Kilimanjaro mountain vegetation such as lobelia and senecios. An acclimatisation trek up Lava Tower will give you an opportunity to experience altitude and the effects on your body, before descending towards the Barranco Valley. The descent to Barranco Valley is particularly rewarding and provides some recovery for your legs after climbing for two days. Camp will be at Barranco Camp.
Camp altitude: 3,910m (12,828ft). Maximum altitude: 4,600m (15,092ft). Hike time: 6 to 7 hours. Hike distance: 4.34 miles (7km).
An early start this morning for an approximate two hour hike of the Barranco Wall. Although daunting, most find it much easier to scale than expected, with well-placed foot holds and guides on hand to aid your ascent. Another two to three hours will take you across glacial valleys where you will camp for the night at Karanga Camp. Sunsets here are particularly spectacular with views of the southern glacial valleys and ice fields towering 1,000m (over 3,000ft) above you.
Camp altitude: 4,100m (13,451ft). Maximum altitude: 4,100m (13,451ft). Hike time: 3.5 hours. Hike distance: 2.46 miles (3.96km).
After two hours of trekking, you will join the Barafu path which is part of the Mweka Trail. A further two to three hours on the Barafu path (the last section of which is quite steep) will take you to Barafu where you will camp for the night. Arriving around midday, you will enjoy lunch at the Barafu camp before either taking an acclimatisation trek, or relaxing and enjoying the scenery.
Camp altitude: 4,600m (15,092ft). Maximum altitude: 4,600m (15,092ft). Hike time: 3.5 hours. Hike distance: 2.5 miles (4km).
The attempt on the summit occurs in the very early morning. Each climber is assigned a summit guide to ensure that everyone makes it to the top, or returns as required in complete safety. The going is slow, and often quite frustrating on the scree, but persistence and patience ensure steady progress. Near the summit you pass through the gap between the Ratzel and Rebmann Glaciers.
At Stella Point you can then choose to return - you are after all already higher than any point in Africa. Otherwise, continue to Uhuru Peak. Despite the distance being relatively short, progress is slow - there is less than half the oxygen than at sea level. Reaching Uhuru Peak is incredibly satisfying and is an emotional high point. If progress is good you can watch the sunrise from the rooftop of Africa. Most people start the downward climb soon after sunrise as the return journey is long. After photos have been taken and celebrations made, a rapid descent down the scree slopes past Barafu Hut is a great relief after a week of climbing. Past Barafu, you will arrive at Millennium Camp in time for lunch before you continue your descent to Mweka Camp.
Camp altitude: 3,100m (10,170ft). Maximum altitude: 5,896m (19,341ft). Hike time and distance from Barafu Camp to the summit: 7 hours and 3.2 miles (5km). Hike time and distance from the summit to Mweka Camp: 5 hours and 7.5 miles (12km).
After a leisurely breakfast, you will finish your trek through lower heathland and rainforest to Mweka Gate at 1,828m (6,000ft). From Mweka Gate, you will be met and driven back to your hotel in Arusha.
Final altitude: 1,828m (6,000ft) Trek time: 4 hours. Trek distance: 6.2 miles (9.9km).
Your overnight stay at Ilboru Lodge is on a full board basis to include all meals today.
Ilboru Lodge (luxury specification on a set-departure basis only) – pre and post climb accommodation (depending on availability). Please note that on a private climb we will tailor the before and after accommodation to your preferences.
specification climb – set departure or private basis
This is the most popular climb specification we sell, offering clients larger dome style tents with thick mattresses and sleeping bags, pillows and a thermal liner for a comfortable night’s sleep. It is a great compromise between cost and comfort.
During your climb your tents will be set up for you every day and are ready for when you arrive into camp in the afternoon. A separate, shared, portable chemical loo tent is also set up for climbers. Meals are prepared daily by the crew and are eaten in the mess tent.
This climb is offered as a set departure with a small group of fellow climbers, or as a private trip.
specification climb – on a private departure basis onlyFor guests wanting to climb the Lemosho Route on a private basis it is also
possible to upgrade to the VIP specification climb. The VIP climb includes a walk-in tent, a proper
bed to sleep on, sleeping bag, mattress, pillow and a thermal liner, as well as
a wash tent, and a chemical loo tent.
2013 Travel Dates
Q: What is the maximum number of people in each group
A: The maximum number on a scheduled departure climb on Kilimanjaro is ten climbers. Private trips can be any number within reason.
Q: What is your success rate for reaching the summit of
A: Our success rate for climbing Kilimanjaro is currently 98% due to the careful planning that we have in place, the choice of routes, and the experienced and skilled guides.
Q: Which routes do you use to climb Kilimanjaro and can
you briefly tell us why you recommend the routes which you use?
A: We recommend three Kilimanjaro routes, namely: Machame, Lemosho and Rongai. This is for several main reasons; they are the most scenically varied and beautiful, and offer the greatest chance of success due to the length of time spent gaining altitude slowly. Lemosho and Machame also have a shorter final ascent route via Stella Point to Uhuru Peak, and we like Rongai because it is very quiet, little used, and very scenic. The main point though is the time taken to climb – the longer and slower you go the better your chance of success, and having plenty of beautiful and varied scenery helps you to go slowly.
Q: Could we start to climb the day after arriving at
Kilimanjaro International Airport or do you recommend that we spend a day
locally before setting off on the trek?
A: In most cases, clients arriving in Tanzania on an overnight flight on day one spend the afternoon getting to know their Kilimanjaro guides and crew, and receive a full briefing. This gives them enough time to settle in, get over the long flight, and get ready for the climb. They spend the night in Arusha, and then proceed to the mountain the following morning.
It may sound like a waste of time at this stage, but preparation and familiarisation is crucially important to maximise your safety and chances of success. Climbing Kilimanjaro is a big task even with plenty of time, and it is simply not wise or worthwhile to rush it. We have seen several people who were fit, young and determined fail because they tried to rush the mountain.
Q: What extra costs can we expect to incur before, during
or after the climb e.g. tipping of porters; mountain tax; and additional
A: Tipping is discretionary but very much appreciated by the crew. The recommended amount would be around $300 per person for your group. Transfers to and from Kilimanjaro Airport and one night in a hotel before and after the climb are included in the cost of luxury climbs. The only additional costs you should expect to incur would be tipping, unless you wish to purchase any curios or drinks before and after your climb.
Q: Can children climb Kilimanjaro?
A: The minimum climbing age is 12 years, but anyone between the ages of 12 to 16 needs to take extra care and be monitored very closely as altitude sickness can creep up on undeveloped bodies, and can be much more severe than in adults.
Q: What washing facilities do you provide on Kilimanjaro?
A: Our luxury and VIP specification climbs both provide a wash tent where you may stand up to wash yourself with hot water, provided in a bowl. You may use as much as you wish within reason, as the water is sourced from streams on Kilimanjaro. A long drop loo in its own tent is provided for your group of climbers.
Q: What is the food like during a climb?
A: All meals on Kilimanjaro are prepared with as many fresh ingredients as possible. Breakfast during the climb would consist of a selection of fresh fruits, cereal, porridge, and something cooked such as eggs, sausage, tomato, along with tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Lunch during the climb is often eaten en-route in the form of a picnic. Your cook sets this up in advance and it would usually include: fresh vegetables, fruit juice, hot soup, sandwiches with cheese or ham, a chocolate bar, and tea, coffee or hot chocolate. Dinner on Kilimanjaro is always three courses, and usually follows these lines; starter of soup with bread, main course of a carbohydrate like rice or pasta with a meat dish such as bolognaise, a pudding which will be banana fritters or something like it, tea, coffee or hot chocolate.
On the mountain it is essential to try and eat as much as possible and to keep very well hydrated during the climb. Your body uses up to three times as much water as normally whilst at altitude, so keeping hydrated is essential. Take in as much liquid as you can during meals - hot drinks, cold drinks and soups are all there to keep you well hydrated. Keep drinking during the day - you should be drinking at every opportunity and at no point on Kilimanjaro should you be in need of a drink.
Special diets can be accommodated with prior notice.
Q: What procedures are in place if one of the team is
taken ill or injured during the climb and needs to be rescued from Kilimanjaro
- and in particular what system you follow to deal with altitude sickness.
A: All climbers and our Kilimanjaro crew are monitored with oximeters twice daily to assess their physical condition and their response to the increasing altitude. The information is relayed to the operations base, where there will be a duty manager dedicated to each climb. If the guide or the manager at base camp is unhappy with the situation for any client or crew member they are urged to either stop where they are, or to leave the mountain before an emergency situation arises. Every effort is made to allow climbers or crew to walk off the mountain, but if all goes wrong, we have special stretchers to carry people off.
Q: Do you supply oxygen?
A: Oxygen is carried on Kilimanjaro for emergency use, to assist with getting a sick person off the mountain.
Q: What emergency medical equipment and expertise do you
provide on Kilimanjaro?
A: All Kilimanjaro climbs are accompanied by fully qualified and regularly updated first aiders, including CPR training, and we have special stretchers to carry people off, as well as oxygen. On private climbs which include a night camping in the Crater a portable hypobaric chamber is also provided.
Q: Do you require your clients to wear helmets?
Q: What are your safety procedures on Kilimanjaro?
A: We believe that Kilimanjaro safety starts well before a climb with training our guides and crew to ensure that they know how look after our clients and themselves properly, including avoiding situations that could lead to risk, and watching for anyone who is struggling, not eating or drinking, or unresponsive. The next stage is to brief our clients well, to make sure that they do not put themselves in danger when on the mountain.
This is followed up with twice daily scheduled communications with base while on Kilimanjaro, and all trips carry a two way radio and a satellite phone for use at any time. Our climbs are always guided by highly experienced people who know the mountain and its characteristics well, and thus know how to deal with any situation such as a rapid change in weather. Every trip carries a pulse oximeter, supplementary oxygen, first aid kits, two way communications and a stretcher.
Q: What procedures do you follow for altitude
acclimatisation and at what heights are the overnight camp sites?
A: The procedure for acclimatisation on Kilimanjaro is to ascend very slowly, and to camp slightly lower than the greatest altitude reached each day. It also helps to ensure that you eat and drink far more than you feel you need to, and to snack and drink as often as possible during the ascent. The camps on the Lemosho Route are at 2,850, 3,560, 4,100, 3,910, 4,100 and 4,600 metres, and then back down to 3,100 metres.
Q: What level of comfort we can expect in the tents and
mess tent ie mattresses, sleeping bags, towels, mess tent facilities,
A: We operate two main climb specifications on Kilimanjaro, luxury and VIP. The luxury climb offers large dome tents designed for three people but used for two, a walk in mess tent, tables and chairs, and a loo tent. The VIP climbs include larger walk-in tents, cot beds, and a stand-up wash tent.
In addition to these frequently asked questions, we occasionally get more detailed questions, or questions relating to people's particular wishes for a climb. We've added some of these below as we feel they show how well our teams on the mountain in Tanzania work to get everyone to the summit:
Q: Do you have a sample menu? Can you tell us more about
the types of fruits and vegetables served? Our health provider informs us of
food items that we can/can't eat on trips and we would like to find out if
there are items that we are advised not to eat. Do they use safe food
A: All of our food on Kilimanjaro is freshly prepared. East Africa has wonderful vegetables and fruits, and we even have porters who come mid-climb to do a fresh re-supply. Some cans are used, for example beans and mushrooms, but even the soups are not packaged but freshly prepared. We have chicken and beef as proteins – we do not use fish as it is very perishable. Should you need vegetarian options, our cooks are well versed.
Q: Regarding the water preparation, if we would like to
use another product instead of iodine (aqua mira) after the water is filtered,
can we ask that this be used (if we provide it)?
A: Water comes from the streams on the mountain and is then purified by filters not iodine tablets. If there is another method you prefer that’s fine, but please note that the water is drinkable and safe.
Q: Is toilet paper supplied during the climb?
A: Yes, and our Kilimanjaro luxury and VIP specification include a portable toilet with a tent in camp.
Q: What happens if someone needs to make a "pit
stop" prior to a scheduled stop? I understand that they want people
to use safe practices, but they can't always pop up the toilet tent, correct?
A: The guides will make arrangements. The toilet tent can’t be popped up a moment’s notice as it will be up in camp.
Q: We would like to bring our own sleeping bags, if that
isn't a problem. Can you provide more information on the sleeping mattress pad?
A: The mattresses we use on Kilimanjaro climbs are custom made from foam and sealed with a canvas cover. They are about three inches thick and much more comfortable than a typical foam pad mattress. Our sleeping bags are –30f rated Mountain Hardware and dry cleaned after every climb, but you are more than welcome to bring your own, but note that they are included as well as thermal liners for extra warmth.
Q: I see that the tips are given all to the head guide.
Other sites recommend that we distribute the tip. Is that acceptable?
A: A sheet is given to clients to fill out how they would like tips distributed – we are very open about tips, so in essence guides cannot keep all tips.
Safety equipment included on all specifications of climbs:
** Each oxygen cylinder gives +/- 7 hours of constant flow supply and a minimum of two tanks per group is provided.