This, our latest blog on Kilimanjaro, features two routes that allow you to climb Kilimanjaro via the less-trodden Western Approach – KILIMANJARO LEMOSHO ROUTE and NORTHERN CIRCUIT
The Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route
The increasingly popular Lemosho route approaches Kilimanjaro through forest and moorland from the west. Crossing the caldera of Shira Plateau as the route heads to the visually dramatic southern flank. The route goes under the Southern ice fields of Kibo. The final ascent to the summit is via the Barafu route.
Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route 8 days is a relatively little-used approach route with many advantages. The rain forest is particularly beautiful on this side of the mountain, making the early stages of the climb especially pleasurable. Moreover, the route is longer than Rongai, and crossing the wilderness of Shira Plateau gives the climber a good chance to get used to the altitude before tackling the busy Barafu Route to the summit.
A diversion to the wild, forbidding and rarely visited north flank overlooking Kenya may be taken with the Lemosho 9 day climb. This is one of the best itineraries on the mountain for giving the climber a great overview of its varied scenery as well as good acclimatisation. It gives you the maximum chance of reaching the summit.
Lemosho9 and Northern Circuit both visit our favourite regions on the Kilimanjaro massif around Moir Hut and the Lent Group. Here there are good chances of spotting the shy eland (an antelope that has grown long coats especially to deal with the cold Kilimanjaro nights). Occasional buffalo come to lick minerals from the natural caves high on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. From the airy viewpoint of the Lent Group (15400ft. /4700mts.) you can look down onto the plains of Kenya to the north of Kilimanjaro. This is great altitude acclimatisation prior to crossing to Barafu and the summit.
The Kilimanjaro Northern Circuit Climb
The Northern Circuit is for me the most wonderful way to see the entire Kilimanjaro massif. It requires 9 days and 8 nights on the mountain, during which you will trek through remote terrain on this little-explored side of Kilimanjaro.
The route follows the circuit trail that goes right around the mountain at a relatively high altitude. Typically between 3000 and 4000 m, then up to the summit via Gilmans Point and around the rim to Uhuru Point – the Roof of Africa!
This trail is used by the National Park for accessing the entire massif. It is also as a training route for Kilimanjaro guides. It does not see many recreational climbers, and is more remote than even the Lemosho route.
As the climber gets onto the remote north flank (via Lemosho approach and Moir Hut) an element of excitement and risk is present. It is extremely remote here (rescue from the north takes longer and is more difficult), a feeling of isolation that is missing from other Kilimanjaro approaches. We have even seen lion pug marks high on these remote slopes of Kilimanjaro! One thing that you are unlikely to see is another climbing group!
Gane and Marshall are one of very few UK operators who organise Kilimanjaro climbs via the unique Northern Circuit route – for more, see the example itinerary below or contact us directly.
You can read full itineraries for the Lemosho and Northern Circuit Kilimanjaro routes below.
If you would like any advice in choosing your Kilimanjaro climb route please call me, Jeremy Gane, for a chat on 01822 600 600. I have climbed Kilimanjaro many times, using all the routes, and will be very happy to share my experience with you and help make your climb the best it can be.
For more information see our Climb Kilimanjaro pages here.
For earlier blogs on Kilimanjaro routes and climbs see: