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The Lemosho Shira - Western Breach route


Machame | Machame/Breach | Marangu (tourist) | Umbwe/Breach | Umbwe/Machame 

Lemosho (Shira)/Breach | Lemosho (Shira)/Machame | Rongai/Loitokitok  

Lemosho (Shira) - Western Breach route

Important update: currently the Western Breach routes are closed until further notice due to dangerous rockfall! The information below if just for reference, no trips are being offered through the Breach as this moment and the best option is to do the combined Lemosho-Machame route instead.


The Lemosho - Shira route is comparable with the Machame route, but uses a more remote approach from the west. In fact they are 2 parallel routes merging at Shira plateau, but mostly the Lemosho variation is used. 

As this is the one of the 2 routes where wildlife can be encountered (with the Rongai) you will be accompanied by an armed ranger. 

It is a mix of the wild en remoteness of the Rongai and the variety and toughness of Machame route. For the fitter and more experienced mountain hikers as it is a long way if you are not fit. 

Approaching across the remote Shira Plateau, the route joins up with the Machame climb in the area of Shira Hut where the route continues up the Western Breach or joins the Machame variation via Barranco and Barafu to the summit. 


This variation cuts off to summit via the Western Breach. This route is shorter in distance, but the final day is very steep up rock in the dark. Or you can use extra days (recommended anyway), climb the steep sections during the day and sleep in the crater.

Most people descend down the Mweka trail and stay at the Mweka camp the final night on the mountain. An alternative is to descend the Marangu route if you like crowds, but availability may be limited in the Horombo Hut.  

This route is possible in 6 days if you are already acclimatised, but 7, 8 or more is recommended. (The extra day(s) can be spent resting at one of the higher camps or even in the crater itself.)


Please also see this FAQ about length of Kili trips and advantages and dangers of the Western Breach routes.


Lemosho (Shira) - Western Breach Route Itinerary

6 to 7 days, 55 km


Moshi Booked into accommodation in Moshi for overnight
Day 1 to Mti Mkubwa campsite 2100- 2750m, 3 hours) Drive from Moshi to the Londorossi Park Gate (2250m, 2 hours). From here a forest track requiring a 4WD vehicle leads to Lemosho Glades (2100m, 11km, 45 minutes or more if you want or have to walk) and a possible campsite. 

Continue along muddy forest trails to Mti Mkubwa (big tree) campsite, (2750m, 3 hours).

Day 2 To Shira Hut/cave
2750m to 3800m
About 4 hours
We continue along the moors; depending on the schedule, fitness and acclimatization we can sleep either at the Shira 1 campsite (3500m), the Shira Cave (3600m or at the Shira plateau (3800m) 
Day 3
Acclimatization Day
We walk around the Shira plateau and maybe walk towards the Lava tower for acclimatization (you can also camp there).
Day 4
To Arrow Glacier
3840m to 4850m About 3 hours
 Depart from Barranco, ascending slowly to the Arrow Glacier at 4,850 meters. Dinner and overnight at the Arrow campsite. 
Day 5 To Summit and Mweka Hut
4850m to 5895m
(and down to 3100m)
About 11 hours
Early morning, commence the ascent to the summit on very steep rocky and heavy scree up to Uhuru Peak (5, 895 meters), the highest point in Africa. Scrambling will be needed and it can be snowy and icy up this way. From here we descend going straight down to the Mweka encampment (lunch and rest at Barafu Hut) for dinner and overnight. This part of the descent takes about 5 hours. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep. Beer and soda may be available for purchase at the Mweka Hut -- the only place on this route.
Day 6 To Moshi
3100m to 1830m
About 4 hours
After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep raingear and warmer clothing handy). A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to hotel in Moshi. Don't forget to tip your guides and porters. It is time for celebration!

Check out the trips page for the current 7summits Kilimanjaro trips prices

Machame | Machame/Breach | Marangu (tourist) | Umbwe/Breach | Umbwe/Machame 

Lemosho (Shira)/Breach | Lemosho (Shira)/Machame | Rongai/Loitokitok