Our TK Lemosho Route

The Lemosho Route is a very beautiful and unspoilt route that still enjoys sighting of wild game along the forest section. For those seeking a quiet route away from the crowds it clearly a superior option for the first two days of movement. Thereafter however, the route is precisely the same as the Machame Route.

The start point of the Lemosho Route is particularly inaccessible during the wet season and climbers should be prepared to walk the final 2-5 kilometres of the road following heavy rains. The journey time to reach the start point is quite long and joined to the possibility of not reaching the end of the road by vehicle head torches may well be needed to reach Forest Camp on day 1.

The Lemosho Route

On day two the route ascends towards the eastern side of the Shira Ridge, the third summit of Kilimanjaro, before bending left to round the north side of the Shira Ridge and attain the Shira Plateau, pictured at the bottom of this page.

Having crossed the Shira Plateau and reaching Shira 2 or Shira Cave Camp, the conventional Lemosho Route is precisely the same as Machame, however, Team Kilimanjaro has pioneered its own Lemosho Route that moves north round Kilimanjaro’s summit cone, avoiding all the crowds and enjoying a very quiet assault from School Hut.

The descent is along the Mweka Route, a descent-only route.

If Machame is crowded the conventional Lemosho Route loses its advantage by day 3 so it’s necessary to decide whether the additional costs involved with the Lemosho Route are worthwhile, or whether the TK 7 day Rongai Route or 8 day TK Lemosho Route might instead be better options.

Another method of avoiding crowding is to combine Lemosho with the Western Breach assault, which we are very happy to arrange, providing the climber making the booking makes it clear to us in writing that he or she is aware, as is the rest of the group being represented, that it is understood that there is an ongoing potentially fatal risk of rockfall on the Western Breach and that the group is willing to expose itself to such risks on the basis of informed consent.

We are frequently asked which is Kilimanjaro's best route, but this question does not have an answer that applies to all climbers at all times of year. The volume of misleading information elsewhere on the Internet requires that we offer quite a comprehensive, and clarifying perspective on how to ensure you're enabled to choose the best Kilimanjaro route.


According to local accounts, the Italian Balletto discovered the Machame Route with the help of his dog. When trying to surpass complicated obstacles through the rain forest Balletto is said to have thrown a piece of meat for his dog who found the most efficient route to it. Balletto then forged his route by watching where his dog walked.


Traditionally, the Rongai Route’s premier advantage has been that it is the quietest route on the mountain, however one of the reasons that it is so quiet is that the likelihood of summiting on this route on the conventional six and seven day schedules is the second worst of all the six official routes because there are no topographical features that allow the β€˜climb high / sleep low’ principle to be exploited, even if one incorporates a rest day that features a modest acclimatisation excursion (such as on Martina Navratilova’s unsuccessful attempt). Typically, crew members that we speak to that work with operations that use this route report a failure rate of around half the climbing group.