8Days Kilimanjaro Trekking Machame Route
The Machame route is our most popular and successful route leading to the summit of kilimanjaro. Hikers sleep in tents which are carried up the mountain by porters. The Machame route very scenic and beautiful route which can be completed in 6 days. However we strongly recommend hiking the route in 7 days , allowing for more time to acclimatize. The key to success of the Machame route is its topography, allowing hikers to climb high and sleep low helping towards better acclimatization. There are however two drawbacks on this route , firstly hikers will need to pass an area just before the Shira ridge and hike the Barranco wall both of which are physically demanding and also present a potential problem for hikers with fear of height. The Second problem relates to route’s high success rate, compounded by the fact that, other routes join the Machame route from day 3 onwards . Higher numbers of hikers can be therefore be encountered on this route.
Total round trekking distance is 62km/37miles
Day 1: Arrival - Hotel
On arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport/Border, met and assisted. Transfer to the Hotel for overnight on BB in readiness for the next day's hit to Kilimanjaro
Day 2: Machame Gate (1490m) - Machame camp (2980m)
Hiking time: 7 hours | Distance: About 18 km's | Habitat: Montane forest
Your day starts early with a briefing, followed by breakfast and a 45-minute drive from Moshi (910m) to the Machame village (1490m). The guides and porters prepare and pack the supplies and your equipment in the village. You will receive a lunch pack and you can also buy mineral water in the village. Depending on the condition of the road, it is possible to drive from the village to the Machame gate, but if not, the muddy 3 km walk will take about 1 hour to complete. After registering at the gate office, you start your ascent and enter the rain forest almost immediately. There is a strong possibility of rain in the forest, which will transform the trail into a very soggy, muddy and slippery experience. You will have a welcome lunch stop about half way and will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon.Your porters (arriving at the camp site long before you) will have erected your tent on your arrival. In the evening the porters will boil drinking and washing water and the cook will prepare dinner, before you retire to your tent for the night. Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at this campsite.
Day 3: Machame camp (2980m) - Shira camp (3840m)
Hiking time: 6 hours | Distance: About 9 km's | Habitat: Moorland
You rise early at Machame camp and after breakfast you climb an hour or so to the top of the forest and then for 2 hours at a gentler gradient through the moorland zone. After a short lunch and rest, you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau. By now you will be able to see in an easterly direction, the Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. You are now due west of Kibo and after a short hike you will reach the Shira campsite at 3 840m. The porters will boil drinking and washing water, before serving dinner. The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing.
Day 4: Shira (3840m) - Lava Tower (4630m)-Barranco camp (3950m)
Hiking time: 7 hours | Distance: About 15 km's | Habitat: Semi desert
The route now turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower, where you reach an altitude of 4630m after about a 5 hours walk. Lunch is served in a designated area before ascending the rocky scree path to Lava Tower (4630m). Definitely, the toughest day so far. It is normally around this point, where for the first time, some climbers will start to feel symptoms of breathlessness, irritability and headaches. After lunch you descent again by almost 680m to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, the true acclimatization benefit of this day becomes clear. This descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for the preparation of your dinner.
Day 5: Barranco camp (3950m) - Barafu camp (4550m)
Hiking time: 7 hours | Distance: About 13 km's | Habitat: Alpine desert
After spending a night at the Great Barranco Wall (a very imposing sight at first), you make your way up this awesome looking obstacle, which in the end normally turns out easier than what you anticipated. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley over intervening ridges and valleys, and then joins up with the Mweka route. This is the preferred route down from the summit, so remember it. Turn left up the ridge and after another hour or so, you reach Barafu Hut. The last water stop on the route is the Karranga Valley, as there is no water at Barafu camp. Barafu is the Swahili word for "ice" and it is a bleak and inhospitable camping area to spend the night. Totally exposed to the ever-present gales the tents are pitched on a narrow, stony, and dangerous ridge. Make sure that youfamiliarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. The summit is now a further 1345m up and you will make the final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski stick and thermal clothing for your summit attempt. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get some precious rest and sleep.
Day 6: SUMMIT ATTEMPT, Barafu camp (4550m) - Uhuru Peak (5895m)-Mweka (3100m)
Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak | 7/8 hours to descend to Mweka | Distance: About 7 km's ascent – 23 km's descent | Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You will rise around 23:30hrs, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. You will head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This 6-hourwalk to Stella point is for many climbers, mentally and physically the most challenging on the route. At Stella Point (5685m) you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point you will normally encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your life. The walk back to Barafu from the summit, takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned but short rest and collect the rest of your gear, before heading down to Mweka hut (3100m). The route is not difficult and will take you down the rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest. The camp is
situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Dinner and washing water will be prepared.
Day 7: Mweka camp (3100m) - Mweka Gate (1980m)
Hiking time: 3 hours | Distance: About 15 km's | Habitat: Forest
After anearly and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 3-hour and scenic hike back to the Park gate. At Mweka gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy 3 km (1 hour) hike. In the Mweka village you will be served a delicious hot lunch and get transferred to your Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, get transferred to airport for your flight back home or to the border for your next destination as per your schedule.
Tour price includes:
• Arrival & Departure transfer from the airport, Full briefing & Gear Check
• All meals while on climb (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
• 2 Man Camping tents
• All park and camping fees
• Guides’ and porters’ salaries
• English speaking, Professional guide
• 2 Nights accommodation at Moshi on BB(1 before and 1 after the Climb)
• Sleeping bags and climbing gear
• Items of a personal nature
• Traveler’s insurance
• Tips to guides and porters