Mount Kilimanjaro marked with cairns

Kilimanjaro Lemosho route all you need to know

In October 2019, I summited Mount Kilimanjaro via the Lemosho route.  This is the full overview of my Kilimanjaro Lemosho hike. I have a full list of Kilimanjaro related posts on the bottom of this post.

For readability purposes, I chopped this post up in several parts:

Kilimanjaro?!

At the heart of the park is the 5896m Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain and one of the continent’s most magnificent sights. It’s also one of the world’s highest volcanoes, and the highest free-standing mountain on earth, rising from cultivated farmlands on the lower slopes, through lush rainforest to alpine meadows, and finally across a lunar landscape to summits of Kibo, Shira and Mawenzi.

Lemosho?!

Kilimanjaro hiking routes
Kilimanjaro hiking routes
There are different ways to get to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Seven (or eight if you count a separate route along the glacier) will lead you to the summit.
  • The Mweka route is merely an ‘exit’ route, it is the way out of the Mount Kilimanjaro park. After summiting Uhuru Peak from any of the routes, you will descent to either Mweka Camp or to Mweka gate directly (an extra 10 kilometers downhill). 
  • The Eastern routes, the Marangu and Rongai routes, are referred to by the locals as the ‘Coca Cola routes’. These are the most popular routes, these have huts (instead of tents) and usually attract the 
  • Umbwe is considered the toughest route as it has several steep climbs. Because of the way Umbwe is often broken down into smaller day portions (often into 5 days) it is actually quite doable, but still.
  • That leaves the Machame, Shira and Lemosho routes. Especially Shira and Lemosho are very similar.  

I finally decided on the Lemosho route to avoid the biggest crowds (Lemosho is now the 3rd/4th most popular route) and because of its gradual climb – a fairly safe bet to see how my body would react to higher altitude. It would at least allow my body to gradually acclimatise.

How I planned for my Kilimanjaro Lemosho hike

What happened during my Kilimanjaro Lemosho hike

Kilimanjaro view from Stella Point
Kilimanjaro view from Stella Point

It is hard to describe how special it is to stand on the top of a mountain, even if it is only for a few precious minutes. The feeling is amazing and the views of Kilimanjaro are just stunning. 

But there is a bittersweet dimension to my hike. Two hours after I reached the summit, another hiker died when he got dizzy and confused from altitude sickness, slipped, fell with his head on a rock and died. It’s all fun and games untill somebody dies.

Learnings from my Kilimanjaro Lemosho hike

Looking back, the Kilimanjaro Lemosho hike was certainly not one of the toughest things I have ever done. 

  • Bond with your guide and the rest of the team
  • Build a good pace
  • Don’t get sick
  • The top is one, the descent however is where it happens
  • Wear sunscreen

All relevant posts for my Kilimanjaro Lemosho hike

Find more detailed preparations for my Kilimanjaro Lemosho hike on:

And more general preparation for the trail …

Got additional tips, posts or ideas? Feel free to reach out!

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