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The Lemosho Shira - Machame route


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

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

Lemosho (Shira) - Machame route

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, in the area of Shira Hut the route joins up with the Machame route via Barranco and Barafu to the summit  (the Breach variation continues up the Western Breach). 


Descent is down the Mweka trail with a stay at the Mweka camp or nearby Millennium camp the final night on the mountain. This route is usually done in 7 days but 8 or 9 is recommended, with 10 being a very nice option as well. (The extra day(s) can be spent resting at Shira plateau or to add a slight acclimatization detour through Lava tower camp.

Lemosho (Shira) - Machame route Itinerary

6 to 8 days, 65 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) . This day can be cut into 2 separate days for an easier climb with better acclimatisation.
Day 3 To Barranco Hut
3840m to 3860m
About 6 hours
From the Shira Plateau, we continue to the east, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the "Shark's Tooth." Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 4,876 meters. We now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 3,860 meters. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
Day 4 To Karanga Valley 3860m to 4200m
About 4 hours
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, which requires scrambling but is not too technical. We continue through the Karanga Valley (4200m) where our camp will be located.
Day 5 To Barafu Hut
4200 to 4600m
About 4 hours
We pass the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue to the Barafu Hut, which is located at an altitude of 4,600 meters. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position. 
Day 6 To Summit and Mweka Hut
4600m to 5895m
(and down to 3100m)
About 11 hours
Early morning, we continue our way to the summit of Uhuru Peak at 5,985 meters. This part of the climb takes about 6 hours. It can be very cold at night at these elevations, but it will be quite warm by the end of the hiking day. You will want clothing for both extremes with you. At Uhuru Peak, we have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit. From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Millennium camp at 3800m or the Mweka Hut camp site at 3,100 meters. 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 7 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!

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

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