The first day of a typical Lemosho route hike is typically a stop at Londrossi gate on the western side of Shira, and a short hike from Lemosho Glades to Mti Mkubwa (the Big Trees Campground.) The way we figured it would happen was something like…
We will wake early and eat breakfast at the hotel in Moshi Town, then our guide will scoop us up in a vehicle and drive us and our gear 2-3 hours to the park gate (Londrossi) on the western side of the mountain and on to the trailhead at Lemosho Glades. Today will be a short day – 3-4 hours walking through mountain rainforest to end at the Mti Mkubwa (Big Trees) campsite, where we’ll encamp at about 9500 feet.
It was sort of like that, except everything happens on Africa Time (pole pole) so instead of getting as early a start as we figured, there was a bunch of prep time and getting ready and the ride to Londrossi was more like 4 or 4.5 hours so we didn’t actually set foot to trail until 4 or 4:30 in the afternoon.
Additionally, we were surprised by the incline right at the beginning of the trail and we moved a bit more slowly than expected so our first day of hiking was 4-5 hours instead of 3-4 hours. Needless to say, the sun set on us before we got to Mti Mkubwa.