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Trek the most popular route with a reputation for high success rate as it approaches the mountain from south-west with 9 days spent on the ascent.

Trip Information

Kilimanjaro: The Western Approach Route

Western Approach Trek with the Crater Camp Stay & Daytime Summit bid!

Our personal favorite, the Lemosho-Crater Camp route which approaches from the south-west flanks of the mountain, is one of the most popular and remote routes on Kilimanjaro. Even though the route starts at a higher altitude than other routes, we spend 8 days on the ascent for maximum acclimatization. The longer we spend in the mountain offers sufficient time for great acclimatization and a really good climb high, sleep low profile all the way. Success rates are highest for this longer option and it is usually around 95%. The highlight of the climb is the surreal lunar-like experience of camping at 18,500 ft on the crater floor in the close vicinity of the famous ash pit and stunningly beautiful ice fields. Crater Camp is a unique place. It is the highest campsite on Kilimanjaro. It is located just about 180m lower than Uhuru Peak, the true summit.

What’s more, a shorter day-time summit bid from the crater floor to summit (a mere 800 feet of ascent) to view the sunrise on top of Kilimanjaro ( This trek does not have the grueling 9-hour zigzag climb that starts at mid night as required on other routes!) make this climb an unforgettable one of a kind experience.

We know attempting a hike on Kilimanjaro is a massive undertaking and the investment in time, the physical and mental effort, and money that goes into it. Wanderlust founder, his North American trek leaders and his logistical team in Tanzania have been leading Kili climbs for North American and international travelers for over 20 years. Check out our brochure titled ” Kilimanjaro – The Great White Mountain” for detailed information on how Wanderlust does it right to exceed your expectations. Read about —the best routes, our safety regimen, guide, chef and porter training, ideal weather and when to climb it, our responsible porter ethics, and in general how to prepare for your climb, and much more.

Kilimanjaro: The Western Approach Route

Western Approach Trek with the Crater Camp Stay & Daytime Summit bid!

Day 1: Kilimanjaro Airport – Arusha, Tanzania

Late evening arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport outside Arusha, where we are met by the Wanderlust Trip Leader and drive about 45 minutes to our lodge in Arusha. We head direct to enjoy a late dinner and a relaxing shower before settling in for the night. Hotel: Ilboru Safari Lodge, Arusha. (3 nights)

Day 2: Arusha – Wanderlust Community Projects

After breakfast, we spend a relative easy and axing day today. We will take time to visit two community projects of Wanderlust. First is a visit to the local village school and kindergarten in Olmuringiringa village under the care of Arusha Children’s Trust, a local charity we support. We meet the children, volunteers and teachers to learn about the project, watch a tribal cultural show with music and dances and participate in a ceremony where each group member will hand over a pre-ordered wooden desk and bench specially built using local materials and labour. They come with your name and hometown stenciled! Lunch in town. (Own account).

On our return to the lodge, we stop to show you another Wanderlust’s favorite support projects, The Neema House, a rescue center for orphaned, abandoned, and at-risk babies in Arusha, Tanzania, an initiative of Michael and Dorris Fortson, former US missionaries with a long history of service in Tanzania. A portion of Wanderlust’s profits from this adventure are used to support both NGO’s by way of essential needs and materials.

Relax by the pool and beautifully manicured gardens at the lodge. In the evening, meet our local head guide for a briefing and gear check-up to prepare you for the challenging days ahead. You will separate your Kili gear from your safari items (your safari baggage is left in the luggage room at the lodge). A welcome dinner at the hotel.

Day 3: Mt Meru Acclimatization Hike -Arusha National Park

Our full day hike takes us into the lush cedar and podocarpus forests of Mount Meru, set within Arusha National Park. The hike is a great way to acclimatize to the altitude and we’ll also have a good chance of seeing the unique black-and-white colobus monkeys of the park and perhaps bush-buck or giraffe along with a host of avian life. Our hike also offers impressive views of the dramatic ash cone of Mt. Meru’s summit. On our hike, we will reach an altitude of ……….m approximately, which would allow our bodies a sufficient test and adjustment for the longer and higher altitude hikes in the days ahead. Enjoy a picnic lunch during the hike. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 4: Arusha – Londorossi Gate (2100m) – Mti Mkubwa (Big Tree) Camp(2750m)

A morning drive of about three hours takes us across a rough dirt road through Kilimanjaro National Forest Reserve, with its plantations of pine and cedar.

We meet our mountain guides and the porter team and register at the gate office, and drive to the trail head, where we stop for picnic lunch. After lunch, start the hike at an altitude of 2100m, with a gradual ascent through the dense montane forest and a slight desce

Kilimanjaro: The Western Approach Route

Western Approach Trek with the Crater Camp Stay & Daytime Summit bid!

Ultimate Challenge

Ultimate Challenges are typically expedition style mountaineering (ascents above 5,000 metres altitude), arctic and polar trips (often done on skis or on foot) with prior experience involving similar activities that require both technical and non-technical abilities. In most of these trips, participants personally carry loaded backpacks of personal and group gear and pull weighted sledges. The participants have the experience in using technical gear including ice axes, crampons and occasionally demand application of safe roping, self-arrest and belay skills. These are rigorous endurance challenges, involve typically 10+ hour long days, camping or bivouac in remote and exposed locations away from the beaten trail. Proof of previous experience and personal physician’s release is required to undertake these trips.

Kilimanjaro: The Western Approach Route

Western Approach Trek with the Crater Camp Stay & Daytime Summit bid!

Wanderlust Mountain Camps, Kilimanjaro

Wanderlust Adventures travelers are provided with the high standard of comforts in our Kili mountain camps, considering the climb is a serious undertaking in high altitude under different weather conditions. On all our Kili climbing expeditions, We use sturdy 3-person Mountain Hardwear Trango tents, which we offer just for two people each, to give more room and enough living space for two people.

Ilboru Safari Lodge, Arusha, Tanzania

Nestled on the lower slopes of majestic Mt Meru, the legendary Ilboru Safari Lodge has been welcoming mountain climbers and safari travellers to northern Tanzania for decades.

Kilimanjaro: The Western Approach Route

Western Approach Trek with the Crater Camp Stay & Daytime Summit bid!

Sam Kisonga

Born in the Southern highlands of Tanzania, Sam is an exceptional Kilimanjaro mountain leader; calmly assured, pragmatic and in control. He is a professionally trained and a certified Kilimanjaro guide and attended numerous courses and training on wilderness first aid.


Said Makacha

Said is a friendly and enormously experienced mountain guide with more than 16 years of experience in guiding clients on Kilimanjaro. Having started his guiding career leading climbers up the tough Western Breach route, he now enjoys leading Wanderlust's clients on all three routes the company promotes.


Rob Chekwaze

Rob, a native Tanzanian, certified Wilderness First Responder, a keen naturalist and a climbing guide with over 10 years experience climbing on Kilimanjaro and leading Tanzania Safaris in which he possess a vast knowledge of the guiding business. Rob is based in Arusha, Tanzania and heads Wanderlust’s Kilimanjaro climbing and safari operations.


Susan McLoughlin

Susie is an adventurer with a wild heart! A marathon runner, cross country skier, a mother and a travel personality clearly on the move! A resident of Campbell River community in the Vancouver Island BC, Susie is a passionate wilderness traveler with experience in the remote continents of Antarctica and the Artic.


Meagan McGrath

In 2007 and at the age of 29, Toronto-born adventurer Meagan McGrath became the youngest Canadian Woman to climb the Seven Summits and to achieve both versions of this mountaineering challenge (Carstenz Pyramid version & Kosciusko version). She continues to pursue her dream to climb the highest peaks in the world.


Priyantha Amarasinghe

Pri, as he is affectionately known among his clients and peers was born and raised in Sri Lanka, where he began his career as a guide lecturer conducting tours in Sri Lanka before embarking on an extended 35 year career in adventure travel working in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

Kilimanjaro: The Western Approach Route

Western Approach Trek with the Crater Camp Stay & Daytime Summit bid!

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    Kilimanjaro: The Western Approach Route

    Western Approach Trek with the Crater Camp Stay & Daytime Summit bid!

    Looking to Climb Kilimanjaro Cheap? Think again

    We hope that once you are aware of the issues surrounding porter mistreatment, you will only support Kilimanjaro operators that demonstrate their commitment to porter welfare. The Kilimanjaro Porter Assistance Project (KPAP) is an independent organization that monitors and certifies Kilimanjaro operators that abide by their fair treatment guidelines. KPAP partner companies, like Wanderlust Adventures and their local counterpart, are leading the industry to improve working conditions for all porters on Mount Kilimanjaro.


    Kilimanjaro's Reutsch Crater & Ash Pit

    During your stay at the Crater Camp, you may take an one hour hike to the Reutsch Crater, or simply explore the areas around Furtwangler Glacier. Reutsch Crater is a magnificent sight. It is almost perfectly circular and the ash pit measures 400 feet (120 m) deep and 1,300 feet (400 m) wide. This is rarely seen by tourists. The video below puts the size of the ash pit and crater into perspective.

    Kilimanjaro: The Western Approach Route

    Western Approach Trek with the Crater Camp Stay & Daytime Summit bid!

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