Private Kilimanjaro Tours: The Pros and Cons of the Lemosho Route

Climbing Kilimanjaro is often listed as one of life’s greatest challenges, but for many, choosing the route to climb up Africa’s highest mountain is the biggest challenge of all!

The Machame Route, the Rongai Route, the Shira Route and the Umbwe Route are all good options, but if there is one route that seems to stand head and shoulders above the rest in terms of scenery and success rate, it would have to be the Lemosho Route.

The Lemosho Route is one of the newer routes on Mount Kilimanjaro. Often described as the longest and most scenic trail to the Roof of Africa, it approaches the mountain from the west, starting at the Londorossi Gate, and traverses across the Shira Ridge, before meeting up with the Machame Route at Barranco Camp.

You only have to look at the statistic to see that the Lemosho Route is the most successful route on Kilimanjaro, with most tour operators advertising a success rate of 95%.  There’s a reason for this, as we’ll explain in our Pros and Cons of the Lemosho Route:

Climbing the Lemosho Route: The Pros

  • Climbing Kilimanjaro along the Lemosho Route takes time, and while some companies allow you to do it in just 7 days, a reputable climbing company will recommend that you spend at least 8-days hiking this trail. With more time on the mountain, your body has more time to adjust to the altitude, and this is what results in the high success rate. While there are no official figures, it is widely reported that over 90% of climbers on the Lemosho Route make it to Uhuru Peak, and I’m inclined to believe this to be true.
  • While it is getting busier, the Lemosho Route is still less crowded than the Marangu Route and the Machame Route, and so it is a superb choice for those who are looking for a more relaxed and personalised climbing experience.
  • The Lemosho Route is, undoubtedly, the most scenic route on Kilimanjaro, and so if you are interested in photography, fauna and flora, this is the route for you.
  • When you climb Kilimanjaro along the Lemosho Route, you’ll enjoy fully catered camping, and don’t have to worry about sharing huts with complete strangers.
  • If you are up for a challenge, and intend to climb the Western Breach to the summit, you can easily do this on the Lemosho Route.

Climbing the Lemosho Route: The Cons

  • As it is longer than other routes on the mountain, the Lemosho Route is, understandably, more expensive than the shorter 5, 6 and 7-day climbs. If your sole aim is to reach Uhuru Peak, then it’s definitely worth investing the extra dollars…, but you will need to take this into consideration when budgeting for your climb.
  • The Lemosho Route joins up with other routes at Barranco Camp, and after 3 days of virtual solitary, it can feel very crowded from here on in.
  • With more days on the mountain, you’ll need to allocate more funds to your tip budget for your mountain crew. This is another expense that many companies fail to mention when signing up for you climb, so check how many crew you will have before signing on the dotted line.
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