After completing the neccessary registration formalities at Londorossi National Park gate, we drive through varied farmland with open views over the plains to reach the Lemosho roadhead. The last section of the road is of poor quality and difficult to drive after rain, and the drive there should be considered as part of the adventure, sometimes we start walking a kilometre or two below the roadhead. We often have our lunch at the roadhead before starting to walk. It is an easy day of walking up a small path through beautiful and lush forest. We camp at Lemosho Big Tree Camp (2,650 m); [2-3 hours walking].
We soon leave the forest behind and enter the moorland zone of giant heather. The trail climbs steadily with wide views to reach the rim of the Shira Plateau. There is a tangible sense of wilderness, especially if afternoon mists come in! We camp in the centre of the plateau at “Shira One” (3,550 m). [6-7 hours walking].
An easy day to help acclimatisation, and to explore the volcanic rock formations of Shira Plateau. We walk to the summit of Shira Cathedral before reaching the next camp at Shira Hut (3,840 m). This campsite has stunning views, close to the glaciated dome of Kibo and the jagged rim of Shira Plateau. The views from here of Mt. Meru floating on the clouds are simply unforgettable. [4-5 hours walking].
A morning of gentle ascent and panoramic views, leaving the moorland plateau behind to walk on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. After lunch near the Lava Tower junction (4,550 m) we descend to the bottom of the Great Barranco valley (3,900 m), sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains far below. [5-7 hours walking].
A steep climb up the 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 scree, with pockets of lush vegetation in sheltered hollows, and there is only a short distance to our camp at Karanga (4,000 m), the last water point on the way to the summit. [4-5 hours walking].
We follow an easy path on compacted scree with wide views that gains altitude unrelentingly to reach the Barafu campsite (4,600 m) for lunch. There is a short acclimatisation walk to the plateau at the bottom of the South-East valley (4,800 m). The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night. [3-5 hours walking].
We will start our ascent by torchlight at about 1 a.m. so that we can be up on the Crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point (5,735 m), 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 (5,896 m), 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 refreshment, we continue to descend to reach our final campsite (3,800 m) Millenium. [11-15 hours walking].
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 (1,650 m). Here we sign out from the national park before walking on for a further 15 minutes through coffee and banana farms to Mweka village where our vehicle awaits. The shower, the beer, and the swimming pool are tantalisingly close! [4-6 hours walking].