Lemosho Glades Route - Kilimanjaro
Lemosho Glades Route: an unspoilt, remote, little-used and beautiful way up to the Shira Plateau. It can either be used to gain the Western Breach route or followed by the Kibo South Circuit to gain the easier Barafu Route. The route is one of the few where groups are accompanied by an armed ranger as the forests around the Lemosho Glades are rich in buffalo and other big game animals.
Day 1 Drive from Moshi or Arusha to Londorossi Park Gate (2250m, 1.5 hours). From here a forest track requiring a 4WD vehicle leads to Lemosho Glades (2000m, 11km, 45 minutes) and a possible campsite (park fees are not paid to camp here). Walk along beautiful forest trails to Mti Mkubwa (big tree) campsite, (2750m, 3 hours). A fine site, water is quite a long way from the camp but will be brought by porters. The ranger normally does nor go beyond here.
Day 2 The trail gradually steepens and enters the giant heather moorland zone then crosses the Shira Ridge at about 3600m to drop gently down to Shira 1 camp located by a stream on the Shira Plateau (3500m, 5 hours).
Day 3 A gentle walk across the plateau leads to Shira 2 camp on moorland meadows by a stream (3850m, 1.5 hours). A variety of walks are available on the Plateau making this an excellent acclimatisation day.
Day 4 The moorlands soon come to an end and the rocky path leads amongst outcrops to the Lava Tower where there are good campsites (4600m, 5 hours). A strong group may want to continue up a steep scree path to the site of the Arrow Glacier hut where there are poor campsites (4800m, 6.5 hours).
Day 5 From the Arrow Glacier camp steep scree and rocky outcrops requiring scrambling lead up the Western Breach to the crater floor. After snowfalls the route can become icy and in these conditions an ice axe or ski stick and maybe even crampons may be required, (5700m, 4.5 hours). It is possible to camp almost anywhere in the crater or in a further 2 hours Uhuru Point can be reached by a variety of routes).
Either the Marangu or the Mweka Routes may be used for descent, either the Horombo Hut or the Mweka Hut may be reached in about 6 hours allowing for a short lunch stop and rest at either the Barafu or Kibo Huts.
Day 6 Descend to the Marangu or Mweka Park Gates (4 and 3 hours respectively).2/9/2014