Kilimanjaro Shira and Lemosho

Henry Stedman discusses the two routes that cross the centre of the Shira Plateau

The Shira Plateau and Lemosho routes (6-8 days each) run from west to east across the centre of the Shira Plateau towards the Kibo summit. The Shira Plateau route is the original plateau trail though it is seldom used these days; much of it is now a 4WD track and walkers embarking on this trail often begin their trek above the forest in the moorland zone. The Lemosho route (aka the Lemosho Glades route) improves on the Shira Plateau by starting below the Shira Ridge, thus providing trekkers with more time to acclimatise with a walk in the forest at the trek’s start. As with the Shira Plateau route, you can ascend Kibo either by the Western Breach or by the Barafu route.

For me, Lemosho is just about as good as it gets. Quieter than Machame, with some good chances of seeing wildlife, a great forest zone on its lower slopes, beautiful views across the Shira Plateau to Kibo once you’re above the trees, and plenty of different variations on the standard path to enable you to get away from other groups makes this is a wonderful option. The only obvious disadvantage is that it does take a few hours extra on a bumpy road to get to the start of the path – but, believe me, that’s a small price to pay.

FOR: Beautiful views, quiet, wildlife
AGAINST: Longer to starting point


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