Machame Route

Although the Machame route is longer and more arduous than the other routes, it has however emerged as a popular choice for trekkers in recent years. This 42km trail passes through moorland zones and cloud forests to glaciated precipices of Kibo’s southern area. Trekkers also descend through the Mweke route which is a steep but scenic path through dry mountain desert and lowland forest.

Itinerary: 7 Days on the Mountain

Day 1 Arrival

Jambo!  You’re warmly welcome to Tanzania. We start our trail at any Hotel or Lodge located at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, Moshi town or Arusha.

Remember to be at your Hotel early in the evening for full briefing and kit inspection before dinner by our experienced chief guide in readiness for the trek. Kindly note that sometimes, it’s necessary to have the meeting in the morning of day 2 if someone comes late.

You can always obtain current information at the reception regarding when and where the meeting will take place. Both Kibo Hotel and Kilimanjaro Mountain Resort are located in the heart of Marangu and a short walk from the village’s bustling shops and market. It’s one of the most historic buildings in Northern Tanzania and located within close proximity to ancient Chagga caves and beautiful waterfalls. It was initially used to hide cattle from invading Maasai tribes.

Day 2 Machame Camp

On day two, we will meet with our porters and guides after taking breakfast and then sort out all our gear before we go for our 1-2 hours transfer by road to the South Western side of Mt Kilimanjaro and the Machame Gate which is at the entrance to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. Each trekker has equivalent ratio of 3 up 4 porters who are carrying food and other needs. Read your trip notes to get further information about your porters and guides and the detailed packing list.

Our walk starts around lunch time with a pleasant stroll through the rainforest. You’ll enjoy the sight of several species of brightly colored birds and monkeys. Although it can be wet and muddy beneath the leafy canopy, it’s not very cold.

At late-afternoon, we arrive at the Machame Camp where we will make camp. We will set up tents for the night since the huts fell into disrepair several years ago. Look forward to a tasty evening meal that’s prepared by the porters and enjoy sleeping outdoors.

We ascended to 3000 meters (9800ft) while trekking from your Hotel to Machame Camp and walked for approximately 5-6 hours and a distance of 11km.

  • Accommodation- Camping for a night with basic facilities
  • Activities included- Fully catered trek which includes National Park entrance fees, tented camps, rescue services, and climbing fee (7 days)
  • Mt Kilimanjaro- comprehensive first aid kits
  • Mt Kilimanjaro- Summit Emergency Oxygen if the size of group is above 5+
  • Mt Kilimanjaro- Porterage of 1 bag (15kg max)
  • Mt Kilimanjaro- Return transfers from hotel to park gate
  • Meals- Breakfast, Lunch, and dinner

Day 3 Shira Camp

We’ll leave the rainforest on our second day on the mountain and the trip leads us up a steep ridge into moorland. At this point, you’ll discover that the vegetation is getting more sparse while we ascend and you’ll also notice that some distinct species such as groundsel and lobelia will gradually become the only plants that dominate the harsh landscape. Our camp will be made at the edge of Shira plateau where you will enjoy the excellent views of the snow-dusted Kibo peaks.

This trip started from Machame Camp to Shira camp and we ascended to 3,840m (12,600ft) trekking for approximately 4-5 hours and covering a distance of 7km.

  • Accommodation- Camping with basic facilities for a night
  • Meals- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 4 Barranco Camp

While we embark on this stretch of the trip, it promises to be exciting with ups and downs as we traverse river valleys. You’ll get a good chance to acclimatize with the undulating landscape as we ascend to more rugged areas of Mt Kilimanjaro to Lava tower 4,600 meters. Experience great views of the Kibo Massif and its surroundings and finally, we rest for the day at Barranco Camp.

We trekked for approximately 5-7 hours as we ascended from Shira Camp to Barranco Camp for a distance of 3,900 meters (12,800ft).

  • Accommodation- Camping with basic facilities for 1 night
  • Meals- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 5. Karanga Valley

Day 5 is an important acclimatization day as you’re going to walk only in the morning. Climb the Barranco Wall which isn’t a technical climb and then follow the Kibo South Circuit. With a clear weather, you can expect to enjoy some magnificent views of Kibo’s glaciers. As soon as you arrive at the camp, you will also enjoy great views by the river in the Karanga valley.

We trekked for approximately 4 hours from Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley Camp (4,000 m), covering a distance of 5.5 km. We ascended to 4,200 meters (13,780 ft.).

  • Accommodation- Camping with basic facilities for one night
  • Meals- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 6 Barrafu Camp/Uhuru Peak

We’ll depart from Karanga and head up to the intersection of the South Circuit. At this point, we’ll start climbing up a ridge to Barrafu Hut. In Swahili, Barrafu is the word for ice and it’s usually cold here at night. Around late lunchtime, we’ll arrive at Barrafu giving us plenty of time to rest before embarking on the final summit.

We trekked from Karanga Camp to Barrafu Camp for approximately 4 hours covering a distance 3.5 km of 4,600 meters (15,100ft)

  • Accommodation- Camping with basic facilities for a night
  • Meals- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 7 Uhuru Peak

We’ll be woken up by our guides around midnight and served with hot tea and biscuits to provide us with energy before the long difficult ascent up scree and sometimes snow to Stella Point (5,780 m). We’ll pass through the giant Rebmann Glacier and reach Stella Point hopefully in time for sunrise and the superb view of the crater and the glacier glistening in the morning sun. It’s another interesting one-hour hike from Stella along the rim of the crater to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) which is the highest point in Africa.

At this point, take an unforgettable view of the ice fields, the crater and the vast and distant East African plains below. There’ll be time for photos and back-patting and thereafter, we shall begin our descent back to Barrafu Camp where you will enjoy a well-deserved lunch and a thicker air. We shall continue to Mweka Camp after lunch and take a well-deserved rest.

We ascended 1295 meters covering about 5km for approximately 8 hours and the descent takes approximately 3 hours.

  • Accommodation- Camping with basic facilities for a night
  • Meals- Breakfast, dinner, and lunch

Day 8 Mweka gate

We’ll continue our descent traversing alpine meadows and rainforest to Mweka Park gate. We’ll trek for about 3-4 hours from Mweka Camp to Mweka gate, a distance of 10 kilometers descending a total of 1,300 meters (4300ft). After checking out of the park, we’ll have lunch and then be transported back to your Hotel for a relaxing shower which is a real treat after the physical exertions of our treks over the last few days. At this point, we shall relive and share our individual experiences for the past seven days on Mt Kilimanjaro.

Accommodation- Hotel for one night

Meals- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Day 9

On the final day of the trip, you’re free to depart at any time. We can arrange for transport to Kilimanjaro Airport or a shuttle to Nairobi which can be locally arranged. You’ll be served breakfast on this last day of the wonderful experience.

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