The Machame Route is a beautiful challenging route up Kilimanjaro that allows you to experience the southwest and south sides of the mountain, since you go up one way and down another. All your equipment and supplies are carried by porters and a cook prepares all your meals. Unlike the Marangu Route where you sleep in huts, on the Machame you sleep in tents (tents are included), and the porters will pitch your tent for you.
Meals are served in a dinner tent or on blanket outside. This makes the Machame, which is referred to as the “Whiskey Route”, better suited to more adventurous hikers, and it is also rewards you with better views than the Marangu Route. From Late afternoon sunsets at Shira, to the misty revelations of Kibo great Barranco Wall, the Machame Route offers the spunky hiker a continuous scenic show.
Duration of the safari is 8 days.
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
Elevation: 4,405 m/14,450 ft net gain; 3,915 m/12,845 ft descend Machame Gate (1,490 m/4890 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m/19,340 ft) and descend to Mweka Gate (1,980 m/6,500 ft) Length: 100 km/62 mi total; 62 km/38 mi to summit; 38 km/24 mi descend from summit
DAY 1: ARRIVE JRO ON KLM
Arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport. You will be met at the Airport and transferred to the hotel in Arusha or in Moshi for your overnight at a base hotel – Sal Salinero Hotel on Bed BB. (If you international flight is arriving in either Jomo Kenyata International Airport or Dar at Julius Kambarage Nyerere, you need to indicate on your original request so that we can arrange transfers and accommodation on extra cost)
DAY 2: ARUSHA OR MOSHI TO MACHAME GATE ONWARD TO MACHAME CAMP
After breakfast your day starts with a briefing, and a 50-minute drive from Moshi or a one and half hours drive from Arusha to the Machame gate (1,490 m/4,890 ft) where your guides and porters prepare and pack your equipment and supplies. You will receive a lunch pack, and you can also buy mineral water in the village. If the road is very muddy, it may be impossible to drive from the village to the Machame Gate, and in this case, it will take you an hour to complete the muddy 3 km walk to the gate. After registering at the park office, you start your ascent and enter the rain forest immediately. Heavy rains on this side of the mountain often transform the trail into a soggy, slippery experience, so good footgear, trekking poles, and gaiters are useful. You will enjoy a welcome lunch stop halfway up and will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon. Your porters will arrive at camp before you and will erect your tent before you arrive. In the evening, the porters boil drinking and washing water while the cook prepares your dinner. Night temperatures can drop to freezing at the Machame Camp elevation (m): 1,490m to 2,980m Elevation (ft): 4,890ft to 9,780ft and the Distance is approximately 18km the approximate Hiking Time is 5-7 hours. Overnight at Machame Camp on FB
DAY 3: MACHAME CAMP TO SHIRA CAMP
Early wake up then after breakfast, climb for an hour to the top of the forest, then for 2 hours through a gentle moorland. After a short lunch and rest, you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira Plateau where you will be able to see Kilimanjaro great Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. Sometimes, the walls of the Western Breach are draped with extensive ice curtains. You are now west of Kibo on the opposite side of the mountain from the Marangu Route. After a short hike west, you reach the Shira campsite. The porters will boil drinking and washing water before serving dinner. The night at this exposed camp will be colder, with temperatures dropping below freezing. Elevation (m): 2,980m to 3,840m; Elevation (ft): 9,780ft to 12,600ft and a walking distance is 9km while Walking Time is approximately 4-6 hours. Overnight stay at Shira Camp on FB
DAY 4: SHIRA CAMP TO LAVA TOWER TO BARRANCO CAMP
After breakfast, you will walk up thru a steep path above the highest vegetation toward Kilimanjaro looming mass. After several hours, you walk thorough a rocky landscape to reach the prominent landmark called Lava Tower, also called the “Shark’s Tooth.” at 4,630 m/15,190ft. This chunky remnant of Kilimanjaro earlier volcanic activity is several hundred feet high, and the trail passes right below it. For extra credit, the sure-footed can scramble to the top of the tower. After a lunch stop near Lava Tower, descend for 2 hours below the lower cliffs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall to Barranco Camp at 3,950 m/12,960 ft. There are numerous photo opportunities on this hike, especially if the walls are festooned with ice. Barranco Camp is in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Walls, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for your dinner. On this day, be careful to notice any signs of altitude sickness. Although you end the day at almost the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day. Elevation (m): 3,840m to 4,630m to 3,950m Elevation (ft): 12,600ft to 15,190ft to 12,960ft
and the walking distance: 15 km; Walking Time is approximately 5-7 hours Habitat: Semi-desert (OPTIONAL DAY (7-day trek): Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp; the elevation (m): 3950m to 4200m; Elevation (ft): 12,600ft to 13,800ft; walking distance is approximately 7km and the hiking Time is 4 hours. Overnight stay at Barranco Camp on FB
DAY 5: BARRANCO CAMP TO BARAFU CAMP
After breakfast today you climb this awesome obstacle, which turns out to be easier than it looks. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you can now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley and goes over intervening ridges and valleys to join the Mweka Route, which will be your descent route. You have now completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. For now, all eyes are still on the summit, so turn left and hike up the ridge for another hour to the Barafu Hut. The last water on the route is in the Karanga Valley; there is no water at Barafu Camp, even though Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice.” The famous snows of Kilimanjaro are far above Barafu Camp near the summit of the mountain. Your tent will be pitched on a narrow, stony, wind-swept ridge, so make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. Prepare your equipment and warm clothing for your summit climb. This should include replacing your headlamp and camera batteries, and to prevent freezing, consider carrying your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed by 7 PM, and try to get a few hours of precious sleep. Elevation in (m): 3,950m to 4,550m the Elevation in (ft): 12,960ft to 14,930ft; distance 13km; Hiking Time: 8 hours. Overnight stay at Barafu Camp on FB
DAY 6: TO THE SUMMIT “BARAFU CAMP TO UHURU PEAK TO MWEKA CAMP”
Early morning wake up around 11:30 PM, and after some steaming tea and biscuits, you shuffle off into the night. Your 6-hour climb northwest up through the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers to Stella Point on the crater rim is the most challenging part of the route for most climbers. At Stella sint (5,685 m/18,650 ft) you stop for a short rest and a chance to see a supremely sanguine sunrise. At Stella Point you join the top part of the Marangu Route, but do not stop here too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Depending on the season and recent storms, you may encounter snow on your remaining hike along the rim to Uhuru Peak. On the summit, you can enjoy your accomplishment and know that you are creating a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. After your 3-hour descent from the summit back to Barafu Camp, you will have a well-earned but short rest, collect your gear, and hike down a rock path into the moorland and eventually into the forest to Mweka Camp (3,100 m/10,170 ft) “You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down”. This camp is in the upper forest, so you can expect mist or rain in the late afternoon. Dinner, and washing water will be prepared, and the camp office sells drinking water, soft drinks, chocolates, and beers!
Elevation (m): 4,550m to 5,895m (and down to 3,100m) Elevation (ft): 14,930ft to 19,340ft (and down to 10,170ft) Distance is 7km up / 23km down; Hiking Time is approximately 6 – 8 hours up / 7 – 8 hours down
DAY 7: MWEKA CAMP TO MWEKA GATE TO MOSHI/ARUSHA
After breakfast, ascend to the gate 3-hour hike back to the park gate. 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). Don’t give your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely, but do remember to tip your staff at the gate. At Mweka Gate, you can sign your name and add details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Climbers who reached Stella Point are issued green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate, you will continue down to the Mweka Village, possibly a muddy, 3 km, 1 hour hike if the road is too muddy for vehicles. In the Mweka Village you will be served a delicious hot lunch after which you are driven back to Moshi/Arusha for an overdue hot shower and comfortable night in a hotel. On Bed and Breakfast
Elevation (m): 3,100m to 1,980m to 890m; Elevation (ft): 10,170ft to 6500ft to 2,920ft; the distance is 15 km Hiking time is approximately 3 – 4 hour
DAY 8: ARUSHA OR MOSHI TO AIRPORT
Depart for the airport or other destinations in Tanzania or Kenya. A trip to the beaches at Zanzibar is a good way to recuperate. We can arrange many reasonably priced trips and safaris to the Tanzania Northern Parks trips like wildlife expeditions to Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park and to Arusha National Park. Also we can arrange trips to Southern Circuit; trips features Selous Game Reserve, Mikumi or Katavi National Park and Ruaha National Park. Gombe stream or Mahale National park (If your departure flights is at other international airport other than Kilimanjaro please indicate on your original request so that we can arrange transfers and accommodation on extra cost)