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Kilimanjaro Climb – Lemosho Route with Valerie Parkinson

10 days
from
$7,049 USD
incl. taxes
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Walking & Trekking
Activity level:
Challenging / Tough
Activity Rating - Challenging/Tough
Trip code: 
TYRG
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
4–16
Ages:
16+

A superb ascent of Kilimanjaro on the much less-trekked Lemosho Route

Taking the western approach we cross the caldera of Shira Volcano, traversing beneath the southern icefields of Kibo, Kilimanjaro's highest volcano. We have eight days on Africa’s highest mountain, which means plenty of time for acclimatisation and soaking up the ever changing scenery. This is one of the least trekked routes allowing us to savour the immense and wild Shira Plateau. This itinerary gives you an excellent chance of reaching the summit: approximately 96% of people trekking the Lemosho route with Exodus stand on the roof of Africa.

Valerie Parkinson

Valerie was born by the seaside in Blackpool and spent much of her younger days walking with her parents in the Lake District. After finishing her studies, Valerie worked in Germany and Switzerland, until 1984 when she took a break that would change her life forever. She travelled to India for a three-week trek through Kashmir and Ladakh and found her spiritual home in the high Himalaya and developed her passion for trekking. In 2008 Valerie became the first British woman to summit Mount Manaslu at 8,163m, without the use of supplementary oxygen, and in 2009 she attempted Everest. Valerie has spent her life leading treks in mountainous regions and will share her knowledge and experiences during this trip.

Highlights

  • A fantastic eight-day route, carefully designed to maximise time in remote wilderness
  • Extra day to aid acclimatisation
  • To stand on top of the largest freestanding mountain in the world - Kilimanjaro
  • 1 guide to every 2 clients on summit day

Key information

  • 7 nights full service camping in three-man tents, private toilet tents provided, 2 nights comfortable en suite hotels
  • 8 days point-to-point walking
  • Full porterage throughout
  • Altitude maximum 5895m, average 4000m
  • Exodus is a member of the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP)
  • TYRG January 5th 2023 led by Valerie Parkinson, Wanderlust World Guide Awards Winner 2021
  • Countries visited: Tanzania

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 8 lunches and 9 dinners
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Kilimanjaro Park Fee

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single supplement
  • Equipment hire
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

8

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Approximately 7.1km/4.4miles walking per day

Terrain:

High altitude; including steep, rocky terrain

Day by day breakdown
Day 27.0km/4.0miles
Day 38.0km/4.0miles
Day 410.0km/6.0miles
Day 58.0km/4.0miles
Day 65.0km/3.0miles
Day 73.0km/1.0miles
Day 811.0km/6.0miles
Day 95.0km/3.0miles

Responsible Travel

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

Human porterage is an essential part of the Kilimanjaro Climb and here at Exodus we understand the importance to adhere to the strictest guidelines for the porter’s welfare on the mountain. Exodus is a member of the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) who has a clear mission to improve the working conditions of porters on Kilimanjaro by advocating for fair wages, providing educational opportunities and ensuring companies uphold a responsible treatment practice.

In late 2019, KPAP will be conducting a series of Leave No Trace environmental classes and first aid courses. Exodus have funded $7,650 for the first aid training where attendees are taught on the basics of first aid, the importance of it and how they should react and provide help in times of emergency. Following the concept of “train the trainer”, 2 representatives are selected to attend from each of the 35 partner companies of KPAP and are expected to train their colleagues on what they learnt when they return, ensuring that everyone in the company receives the training.

Exodus have also been supporting the Kilimanjaro Guide scholarship since 2010, where we sponsor at least one porter each year to undertake training during the low season which will help improve their future career aspects. We have sponsored 11 porters so far, with the most recent awarded to 2 female porters.

Traditional rural incomes of such areas are seasonal employment as porters and guides, hence employment out of these seasons are limited. A past project we did was done with our long-term operational partners, the African Walking Company where we created and sponsored three schools to teach the porters English during the low season periods. This provides a chance for the porters to improve their language and communication skills as well as career prospects. This initiative has benefitted more than 800 porters in Arusha, Magangu and Tarekea.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Itinerary

Arusha
to
Arusha
  • Day 1

    Start Arusha.

    There will be a trip briefing this afternoon/evening. Please bring with you your passport and insurance details, and your air ticket details. The briefing will cover all aspects of your trip and will include the distribution of any hired equipment you have booked.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    To Londorossi; begin ascent to Lemosho Forest (2650m).

    In the morning we transfer to Londorossi (2250 m), passing between the slopes of Kilimanjaro and the horseshoe-shaped volcanic crater of Mt. Meru (a distance of about 120 km). After completing the necessary registration formalities, we drive on for a short distance through farmland and plantations to reach the Lemosho roadhead. The last 5 km of the road to the park gate is of poor quality, particularly after rain, and the drive there should be considered part of the adventure. We often have our lunch in the glades before starting to walk. It is an easy day of walking up a small path through beautiful and lush forest, this area has a variety of game including buffalo. We camp at Lemosho Forest camp (2650 m). Approx 3-4 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Explore Shira Plateau; camp at Shira One (3550m).

    The trail starts out in the lush rich montane forest before ascending into the moorland zone of giant heather. The trail climbs steadily with views across the plains opening out as we reach the rim of the Shira Plateau. There is a tangible sense of wilderness especially if the afternoon mists come in. We camp in the centre of the plateau at Shira One (3550 m). Approx 6-7 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Walk to the summit of Shira Cathedral to camp at Shira Hut (3840m).

    A day to help acclimatisation and to explore the grassy moorland and the volcanic rock formations of the plateau. We walk to the summit of Shira Cathedral, a huge buttress of rock surrounded by steep spires and pinnacles. The views from our camp near Shira Hut (3840m) of Mt. Meru floating on the clouds are simply unforgettable. The afternoon is free to relax. Approx 4-5 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Descend to camp at Great Barranco Valley (3900m).

    A morning of gentle ascent and panoramic views, walking on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. After lunch near the Lava Tower junction (4550m), we descend to the bottom of the Great Barranco valley (3900m), sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains far below. Approx 5-7 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Over the Barranco Wall to Karanga (4000m).

    A short steep climb up the famed Barranco Wall leads us to an undulating trail on the south-eastern flank of Kibo, with superb vistas of the southern icefields. The terrain changes to volcanic scree, with pockets of lush vegetation in sheltered hollows, and a powerful sense of mountain wilderness. Our next camp is at Karanga (4000m) a short distance away. The valley floor has the last water point on the approach to Barafu and we camp on the higher sides of the valley with views towards the glaciers of the southern icefields. Approx 4-5 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Steep ascent to Barafu campsite (4600m), with optional afternoon ascent to bottom of S.E. Valley (4800m).

    The trail follows a path on compacted scree with wide views ahead including the Barafu Ridge where our camp lies. The trail climbs unrelentingly to reach the Barafu campsite (4600m) for lunch, after which there is a short acclimatisation walk to the plateau at the bottom of the southeast valley (4800m). The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent and includes a very early night. Approx 3-5 hours walking.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    An early start to reach Stella Point in time for sunrise; on to Uhuru Peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa; descend to Millennium Camp (3800m).

    We will start our ascent by torchlight around midnight so that we can be up on the crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zigzags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point (5735m), in about five or six hours. We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the two hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,895m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshments we continue to descend to reach our final campsite (3800m) at Millenium camp. Most of us will be too tired to notice the beauty of the forest surrounding the crowded campsite. This is an extremely long and hard day with between 11 and 15 hours of walking at high altitude.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    To Mweka Gate; transfer to Arusha.

    This day is a sustained descent on a well-constructed path through lovely tropical forest alive with birdsong and boasting lush undergrowth with considerable botanical interest. Our route winds down to the national park gate at Mweka (1650m); and on through coffee and banana farms to Mweka village. The shower, the beer, and the swimming pool are tantalisingly close! We return by bus to Arusha (a distance of about 100 km). Approx 4-6 hours walking.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    End Arusha.

    The morning can be spent resting in the hotel garden by the pool or exploring Arusha for souvenirs for those on group flights. Those not flying back to UK with the group will leave us in Arusha.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Extend Your Trip

Zanzibar

If you are keen to end your holiday on a very relaxed note Zanzibar is a place to relax on the beach, to explore the colourful reef offshore, or to simply relax and soak up the sun! You can choose to add on as many extra nights to your trip as you wish; your time on the island will be at leisure for you to do as you wish. We transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport and fly to Zanzibar, on arrival we transfer to the south west coast of the island. The accommodation used, Fumba Beach Lodge is far from other developments, the feeling of peace is all encompassing and there is a long strip of private beach, pool, spa, diving centre and spacious rooms. Please note that on Zanzibar you will be met and transferred between the airport and hotel but you are not escorted or guided. If you choose to take advantage of this opportunity then we can arrange flights for you to Zanzibar as well as booking the hotel on half board and included all the transfers needed.

We can also book other hotels for you on the island including Kichanga Lodge and Tembo Hotel.

Please call for details.

Safari extension- after Lemosho Route

Code: XYR

This extension is a perfect introduction to Africa’s wildlife, over three days you will discover three unique National Parks. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is as breath-taking for its landscapes as it is attractive for its animals. The walls of the crater provide a home for an abundance of animals acting like a giant enclosure. As a result only a few of the vast numbers of animals actually migrate out of the crater. Tarangire National Park has the largest number of elephants in the northern part of Tanzania and is dotted with Baobab trees. Finally Lake Manyara National Park is small but supports a high density of mammals including its famous population of tree climbing lions.  The detailed itinerary can be found here.

Please ask your sales consultant for more details.

 

Essential Info

Visas

Tanzania

Most nationalities require a tourist visa for Tanzania, including British nationals, most EC nationals, Australians, New Zealanders, Americans and Canadians. The visa is available at the border and the cost for British and most other European Nationals is USD50 cash, whilst for US citizens it is USD100 cash.

It is possible to get the visa online, this can take at least ten days and up to 3 weeks. For more information and to apply for the visa please visit - https://eservices.immigration.go.tz/visa/ 

If you are flying into Kilimanjaro Airport then we recommend arranging the visa in advance as the visa on arrival process has become more complicated and can now take longer.

Vaccinations

Tanzania

Please note that although Tanzania does not officially require proof of Yellow Fever vaccination, at most airports and other points of entry you may be required to show a certificate of vaccination or an exemption certificate. This includes coming from Europe via, or transiting through an endemic country including the airports of Nairobi (Kenya) and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). If visiting Zanzibar from mainland Tanzania border officials have been known to demand proof of Yellow Fever vaccination or an exemption certificate.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

All meals during the climb are included. Please allow about GBP20-30 (USD30-50) for the two lunches (day 1 and 10) not included. 

On trek the emphasis is on a varied and well-balanced diet with a greater amount of fresh fruit and soup to maximise the daily intake of fluids.

Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Please note that in Tanzania the availability of certain specialised products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free or dairy-free, is minimal or non-existent and we strongly recommend you bring these specialised dietary items from home.

The menu has a high liquid and carbohydrate content; the two important elements for successful
climbing. At higher altitudes, stimulants (such as coffee) and less digestible foods (such as meat) are
not recommended. Our evening meal at the highest camp on Kilimanjaro is a meatless stew as our
experience shows this to be the ideal preparation for the summit day. At mealtimes a
selection of hot drinks are available. Soup is served twice daily.

Daily Meals

Bed Tea - tea or coffee served in your tent.
Breakfast  - consists of seasonal fresh fruit (mango/banana/watermelon), porridge, cooked eggs,
sausage, bacon and toast.
Energy snacks are provided for the daily walk such as biscuits, bananas, and chocolate bars.
Lunch  -  either a packed lunch on longer days or, more usually, a hot lunch served in camp by a small
team who have raced ahead of the clients. A hot lunch typically consists of soup, bread or pancakes,
cheese, tuna, jam, peanut butter, pasta salad and cake.
Afternoon tea  -  served in late afternoon. It is an opportunity to drink lots of hot drinks and snack on peanuts or popcorn.
Dinner  -  the main meal of the day and always consists of three courses; soup and bread, followed by the main dish, which could be rice, potatoes or pasta with fish, meat or vegetables, and is followed by a dessert often of fruit.
Summit snacks - Whilst we provide enough food for the climb, we recommend that you bring some of your favourite snacks, and keep them for the summit day. This is because the summit day is a long and tough climb and having your favourite snacks can give you a very welcome boost.

Water

Whilst the water we provide on Kilimanjaro is suitable for drinking you may wish to be extra safe and treat it with your own water purification tablets. Biox Aqua drops or tablets are the best available alternative for sale in the UK as they kill giardia and cryptosporidium.

Weather

Although Tanzania lies in the tropics, the temperature depends more on altitude than on season. Northern Tanzania has temperatures ranging from 16ºC to 23ºC in August, rising to 18ºC to 28ºC in February. The 'long rains', during which we do not operate trips, occur from late March to May, and there are intermittent 'short rains' in November and December, though the latter have no great effect on mountain climbs. Kilimanjaro can be climbed at any time of the year but it is usually very wet in the rain forest in April and May. January and February are the warmest months. Above the cloud line the days are warm and pleasant, with temperatures in sunlight often above 20ºC, but the nights can get very cold. It is possible for temperatures to get as low as -20ºC at Barafu campsite, our highest overnight stop. The daily weather pattern on the mountain tends to be clear mornings with an afternoon cloud build-up that often clears before sunset. In the (European) summer, the weather is usually cloudy at lower altitudes and often sunny above 3,500 m. Please note that mountain weather conditions are never totally predictable and we may meet wet and snowy conditions at any time.

Is this trip for you?

Grade 6 . The summit attempt is graded 7 / tough because of the high altitude and the level of physical effort needed. Please be aware many clients find the summit day on Kilimanjaro the toughest physical challenge of their life. The rest of the trek is graded as 5- challenging more as a consequence of the high altitude and extended wilderness camping than the difficulty of walking; hence the overall grading of this trek as challenging/tough. We strongly recommend that you thoroughly read the Exodus grading system as outlined in the Walking & Trekking Brochure before booking this trip.

Walking Conditions This is a long and hard trek, which reaches an altitude of 5895m. Even if you consider yourself fit, you might still find the climb very hard, depending on how well your body acclimatises to high altitude. There is no scientific way to determine how easily you acclimatise, and be aware that the acclimatisation process also can differ from climb to climb. Most of the trails on the Kilimanjaro trek are well defined and of good quality but some forest sections are often slippery and moorland paths can be very wet in poor weather conditions. The final ascent to Uhuru peak is almost exclusively on scree and loose rock without permanent footpaths but no technical skills are required. During the course of the trip we shall spend time at both high and low altitude, experiencing both extremely cold and quite hot conditions. You should be prepared for an early start every day on Kilimanjaro.

 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Camping

You will spend 2 nights in comfortable hotels with en suite facilities.

During the climb you will have 7 nights of full-service camping, with a private toilet tent. Limited single accommodation is available and includes a single tent as well as the hotel nights. We can arrange extra accommodation before or after the trip.

Campsites
The campsites on Kilimanjaro are designated by the national park and are mainly are stone/dirt. They are not all level and can be crowded in peak season. We provide quality mountain tents that are rated as 3 person tents. Hence there is plenty of personal space and ample luggage storage area in the two porches. The tents are Vango Halo 300's Tents. A limited number of these tents are available as single tents at a supplementary charge and should be reserved in advance. Clients should bring their own sleeping bag and mat.

Breakfast and dinner are served in our communal mess tent with chairs, tables and a bright LED light. This tent is also available for communal use in the afternoon and evening. There are additional tents with our groups that are used by our mountain crew for sleeping and cooking in. We provide groundsheets for all of these tents.

Hygiene
We always ensure that there is a bowl of hot washing water for you in the morning and again after the walk at an agreed time in the afternoon. The only exception is the highest camp where there is no water source and hence all water must be carried from a lower level by porters.
Handwashing water treated with Dettol is available along with soap before all meals, and everyone is strongly advised to make use of it.
We supply a private toilet tent on all camping routes as we have found that the long drop toilets maintained by the national park are of sub-standard quality. The toilet tent has toilet paper within it, but we recommend clients bring their own toilet paper and wet wipes as well.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for private group trips:
1 844 227 9087
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

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Dates & Prices

Please call one of our experts to discuss your private group requirements on 1 844 227 9087, or fill out the form below and we will give you a call back.

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