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8 Days Western Breach Route

Tour Overview

With fewer than 10 percent of climbers on this trail and the potential to see a variety of wildlife through dense jungle, Lemosho is our favorite way to enter the mountain. At 72 km (almost 45 miles), the longer route allows for more thorough acclimatization and a higher success rate to the summit.

The trail passes through five ecosystems, from dense forest and heather up through alpine desert and the glorious summit. Explore the many variations in landscape and climate on the way up the mountain and spend time capturing breath-taking photos of your surroundings as you move from the jungle, to the high desert, to snowy terrain on one of the more exciting routes on the mountain, but still manageable by the average adventurer

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ITINERARY / tour schedule

Welcome to Moshi- the more quaint, laid-back of the small towns sitting at the base of the famed Mount Kilimanjaro! Upon arrival in Kilimanjaro International airport you will be met by our Real Life Adventure Travel representatives, who will provide transportation to your hotel. No activities are planned for the day. You are free to explore picturesque downtown Moshi.

Group briefing and pre-trip discussion. You will be introduced to your trekking guide, have a comprehensive gear check. You are free to explore some more, take part in informal group tour around town; visit the market or a local coffee shop for lunch. Moshi is a relatively small, comfortable city that has a reputation for being somewhat laidback compared to it’s sister city of Arusha so fee free to wander. There will also be time to do last-minute shopping for the trek if needed.

Depart Moshi for Londorossi / Lemosho Gate, which takes about 4 hours, where you will complete entry formalities. With flora and fauna heavier and richer here than on any other route through the thick rainforest, the Lemosho Route cuts through underbrush that is so untouched it at times grows right across the narrow trail. After 3 to 4 hours, we’ll reach our camp, Mti Mkubwa, which means “Big Tree” in Kiswahili.

We continue on the trail leading out of the forest and into a savannah of tall grasses, heather, volcanic rock draped with lichen beards. Ascending through the lush rolling hills and cross several streams, we reach the Shira Ridge before dropping gently down to Shira 1 camp. The view of Kibo from across the plateau is amazing.

After breakfast we head east across the Shira Plateau and past the Shira Cathedral to Shira Camp. Shira is one of the highest plateaus on earth. It is about a four-hour hike to camp. On the way we pass the first of many Giant Senecios, some of Kilimanjaro’s otherworldly massive plants.

From the Shira Plateau, we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower,as we continue trekking we come up to the second junction, which brings us up to the Lava Tower at an altitude of 15,000ft / 4,600m. We now have lunch at the camp in lava tower as here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight at 15,000ft. This is a very important night for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit night.

This is another important acclimatization day, you have to take things slow and steady so as to allow your body adjust to the altitude, a crucial pause before climbing on the rim at 18,500ft,you’re going to hike upwards the Arrow Glacier Camp 4630m/15,300ft and then return to the lower elevation of Lava Tower Camp for lunch. Hiking time is about 3 hours round trip. Dinner and overnight at lava tower camp

Today you will continue the climb toward the Western Breach ascent route. Rather than traversing farther around the southern slopes of the mountain we ascend up and slightly westward, climbing easy terrain through scree and rocky ridges.
The ascent gives us stunning views of the Western Breach wall and the Breach Icicle. As we get near the Arrow Glacier and our campsite, the views will open towards the west and the entire Shira Plateau lies below us. Hiking time is about 2 hours round trip.

All the preparation, acclimatization, and hiking we’ve done to prepare for the Kilimanjaro climb will be put to the test today as we ascend the Great Western Breach, an imposing, steep wall of rock leading to the edge of Kibo’s crater. The high altitude of Crater Camp makes it a physically demanding experience, but the reward of the glaciers makes it all worthwhile. Hiking time is 6-7 hours to Crater Camp (5580m/18,300ft’)

From crater camp we make the final 1,000 ft (1 hour and 40 minute) hike to Uhuru Peak. You will reach Uhuru Peak, the summit of Kilimanjaro at 19,340 feet, around 8 a.m. At this early hour, before the clouds close in, we have spectacular views of Africa in all directions. The hiking time is 8 to 9 hours. You then head back down, via the Mweka route, where your tents will be pitched for the last time. The section from Uhuru down to Barafu (3 to 4 hours) is scree (as on the way up), then you head down through the various vegetation zones, on a continual downhill, into Mweka which is located on the edge of the rainforest area (3-4 hours). At an altitude of approx 3100meters, it’s nice to have some ‘air’ to ‘breathe! It is a long descent and trekking poles are recommended. Congratulations, you made it to the Roof of Africa!

After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. 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 rain gear and warmer clothing handy).

For those returning home, will be tranfered to the airport to catch your flight. For those going on a safari or Zanzibar will be picked up at your hotel on the next day for your trip.

Note: The Western Breach is the most difficult of all the routes due to the ascent up the Western Breach wall on Day 8. Depending on the weather, time of year and other factors such as rock fall the Western Breach route may be deemed too dangerous and closed at the discretion of the Tanzania National Park Service (TANAPA).

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