Video: Kilimanjaro – Lemosho Route – Day 2

If Day 1 climbing Kilimanjaro’s Lemosho Route had any of us thinking this trek would be easier than expected, shit got real on Day 2.

We were awoken just before dawn to what sounded like a rooster. I thought aloud, “was that a rooster?” Turned out that one of our porters, Felix, does an uncanny impersonation of a rooster. Chuckles could be heard spreading across the camp and the morning routine began.

It was a groggy start to the day. The porters came around asking us what we’d like to drink, coffee or tea, and within minutes a piping hot drink appeared at our tent entrance. Coffee in bed?! I could get used to this. We got dressed for the day, packed up our sleeping bags and main packs, and enjoyed a hearty breakfast of oatmeal, toast, eggs and bacon.

From the outset we were looking at a much longer day than we previously had. We were expected to be on the trail for about 7-8hrs and we would be leaving the rainforest section of the trail and entering the heather zone. I was interested to see what this meant.

A photo posted by Arienne (@seeusoontravel) on

For the first couple of hours, we hiked through the rainforest. Trees grew up and over the path creating a canopy effect and many of them had long-wispy Spanish moss hanging off them. Our guides said they call them “Grampa’s beard” but from afar it looked as though someone had strung toilet paper all over the trees. The vegetation then started to thin out and reduce in size. We had now entered the heather zone. Alongside the trail, 6 to 8-foot high heathers (a type of vegetation) grew up from the trail. In fact, it seemed as though the path had been cut right into the vegetation. We were no longer protected by trees and now fully exposed to the sun.

Climbing Kilimanjaro
Making our way through the heather zone.

The trail wound itself up and down along a ridge of the mountain but soon turned rocky and steep. For about 2 straight hours, we zig-zagged our way higher and higher. I could feel it in my thighs, glutes, and even my knees, and I had to rely heavily on my hiking poles to help relieve the strain on my legs. I was really mindful about where and how I was walking. I didn’t want to sprain an ankle this early in the game and I was trying not to put too much pressure on my knees and ankles. This was the Kilimanjaro I was expecting and I wasn’t enjoying it very much.

Climbing Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route
Mother Nature’s very own Stairmaster
Lemosho Route
At times it felt like this part of the trail would never end.

By the time our lunch break rolled around, I was sweaty and exhausted. It was a great feeling to sit down, eat some food, and relax for about 30 minutes before continuing along the trail. The view from this spot was amazing. As I looked back, all I could see was a sea of green rolling hills and a small dirt line, marking the trail we had just come across.

Lemosho Route
L to R: Our guide Daniel, JD Scott, and TJ Grant showing the trail who’s boss.

Thankfully, after lunch the path flattened out and even dipped down a bit! The vegetation continued to shrink in size and a thick cloud hovered overhead. With the sun gone, we all had to layer up. We descended down the ridge and made our way across a wide-open valley. The only vegetation to be seen were small ankle-height shrubs that looked particularly dry. We came across an Inukshuk site where people had built various sized Inukshuks. We all added a stone and continued on. Off in the distance we could see our camp. Hurrah! It was another 10 minutes until we reached our camp, apparently earlier than expected! We had been told that the day’s trek could take between 7-8hours but we had managed to complete it in a little over 6 hours. We were all quite stunned, especially because we didn’t feel like we were going particularly fast throughout the day.

Lemosho Route Shira Camp
A panoramic view of Shira One Camp

We found our tents and got settled in. A group of us did some yoga to stretch out the muscles and we even got our first peak of our destination. Uhuru Peak could be seen way off in the distance. My first thought was “that’s still really far away”, which was quickly followed by “that’s really high!” We spent the night at Shira One Camp at an elevation of 11,900 feet (2,800 feet gain from the previous day). With no protection from the elements at this camp the wind carried right across the valley. I could immediately feel the temperature drop once the sun set.

A photo posted by Arienne (@seeusoontravel) on

But sleeping out in the valley had its perks. With no trees to impede the view of the sky, all above us a blanket of stars could be seen. I had never seen the sky look so magical. Just before heading to bed I brought out the camera and snapped a few long-exposure shots. It was the perfect reward to a challenging day.

Have any questions about Day 2 on Kilimanjaro’s Lemosho Route? Let me know in the comments below!


Come back again next week for Episode 3 of my Kilimanjaro video series!

Want to read more about Kilimanjaro? Check out these posts:

5 thoughts on “Video: Kilimanjaro – Lemosho Route – Day 2

  1. Hi!

    As I told you before, thanks to this videos I can really understand what you had to do and face at Kili.

    First at all, your pics are amazing! Really awesome (I’m in love with the night starry sky one) and the trees are magical! It’s incredible that you could manage to climb, breathe (this one was really important) and take photos and record videos (I mean, you had to carry your camera too). I would probably kill myself because I’m a hopeless clumsy.

    And now, all my questions: Did you have to wake up very early? How many ligth hours did you have? Did you see animals this day? I know you had a lot of preparing but I suposse it was hardest and more difficult that everybody expected. Did you have stiff at nigth? What about blisters? May I ask about what kind of meals do you have?

    Thanks for sharing, I will be waiting for day 3!!!!

    1. Hi Vanessa! Thank you again for the awesome comment 🙂 And I love the questions!

      Our days started very early, wake up time was 6am. The sun would rise around 6:15am and set around 7:30pm. The first 2 nights were comfortable temperature wise, so I didn’t feel stiff, but the other nights were cold! I didn’t get any blisters until our very last day when we were coming down the mountain quickly. The meals were very filling and very tasty! They were usually made of lots of carbs to keep our energy up, some protein, vegetables and fruit. Next week I’ll be showing you what our lunch boxes consisted of 🙂

      Thanks for following along!

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