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Mt. Kilimanjaro: 7 Days 6 Nights Machame Route

This is probably the most beautiful route up Kilimanjaro. All your equipment and supplies are portered and a cook prepares all your meals. Where accommodation on the Marangu route is in huts, the Machame route offers strictly tents only. This makes Machame (also referred to as the “Whiskey route”) better suited to the slightly more adventurous hiker, however rewarding him with a scenic splendor such as not seen on the Marangu route. From late afternoon sunsets at Shira, to the misty revelations of Kibo at the great Barranco Wall, the Machame route offers the adventurous hiker a stunning scenic “slide show” over 6 days. The Machame route is normally completed in a minimum of 6 days. There is an added benefit to this, as you are afforded the most valuable commodity on the mountain – acclimatisation. The Machame route takes you high to Lava Tower (4630m) on the day 3 and brings you down by nearly 700m for an overnight at Barranco camp (3950m). This is the secret to successful acclimatisation. 

Day 01:  Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Machame Gate, Hike to Machame Camp

Elevation: 1830m/6000ft to 3050m/9950ft
Distance: 11km/7mi
Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
Habitat: Montane Forest

Drive from Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate takes about 45 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. We depart the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. At lower elevations the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp. Meal plan: {B, L, D}

Day 02: Hike Machame Camp to Shira Camp

Elevation: 3050m/9950ft to 3850m/12,600ft
Distance: 5km/3mi
Walking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Moorland

After breakfast we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the valley along a steep rocky ridge. The route now turns west onto a river gorge until we arrive at the Shira campsite. Meal plan: {B, L, D}

Day 03: Hike Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

Elevation: 3850m/12,600ft to 4000m/13,000ft
Distance: 10km/6mi
Walking Time: 5-6 hours
Habitat: Semi-desert

From the Shira Plateau we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth” (elev 4650m/15,250ft). Shortly after the tower we come to the second junction which goes to the Arrow Glacier. We now continue down to the Barranco Camp for overnight. Although you end the day around the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day. Meal plan: {B, L, D}

Day 04: Hike Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Elevation: 4000m/13,000ft to 4050m/13,250ft
Distance: 5km/3mi
Hiking Time: 34 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. An overnight at Karanga Camp. Meal plan: {B, L, D}

Day 05: Hike Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

Elevation: 4050m/13,250ft to 4700m/15,350ft
Distance: 4km/2mi
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

We continue up to the Barafu Camp. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. An overnight at Barafu Camp. Meal plan: {B, L, D}

Day 06:  Hike Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp

Elevation: 4700m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,340ft
Down to 3090m/10,150ft
Distance: 5km/3mi up / 13km/8mi down
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours up / 5-6 hours down
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit.

From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. Once at Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa!

From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain. An overnight at Mweka Camp. Meal plan: {B, L, D}

Day 07: Hike Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, drive to Moshi

Elevation: 3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft
Distance: 10km/6mi
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Forest

After breakfast we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). From the gate, continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes). You now drive back to Moshi for a long over due hot shower and celebrations!! Overnight in Buffalo hotel. Meal plan: {B, L}

Mount Kilimanjaro Includes;

  • Quality, waterproof, four-season private mountain sleeping tents
  • 2 Nights accommodation in Moshi Buffalo hotel – bed and breakfast
  • Professional, experienced, mountain guides
  • All park fees
  • Rescue fees
  • Private toilet
  • All meals while on the mountain
  • Arrival and departure airport transfers
  • Guides, porters, cook salaries and park fees
  • Quality mess tents with table and chairs
  • Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food
  • Clean, boiled purified drinking water on the mountain
  • Crisis management and safety procedures
  • Sleeping Mattress

Excludes:

  • Tanzania Visa: $50 per person on arrival
  • Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)
  • Meals not listed above
  • Optional Tours (short safari after your climb etc)
  • Tips and any items of personal nature
  • Sleeping bag

Package Options

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