6 Days/5 NIGHTS | 7 Days/6 NIGHTS Machame route
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ABOUT THIS ROUTE:
The Machame route, also referred to as the Whiskey route, is one of the most popular routes on Kilimanjaro and a favorite for Africa Unique Safaris & Travels. Despite being a tough climb compared to the Marangu route, the Machame route has one of the highest summit success rates given the topography of the route which allows climbers to “trek high & sleep low” hence making it a more favorable route for acclimatization. Unlike the Marangu route which is a gradual ascent, the Machame route is has steeper trails and climbers walk longer distances.
This route offers some of the most spectacular scenery while on the mountain. The Machame route starts in the south west side of the mountain and proceeds steeply north, traversing the Shira plateau and eventually joining the Shira and Lemosho routes at the Shira camp. The Machame route can be done in minimum 6 days but a 7 day trek is recommended so climbers are well rested and acclimatized before making the final ascent to the summit.
DAY 0: ARRIVE IN TANZANIA
You will be picked up at the Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to your hotel in Moshi town; you will meet your guide who will brief you on your upcoming trek and do an equipment check to make sure you have all the necessary mountain gear. Gear which is missing can be rented on this day. Overnight at Selinero Mellie Lodge (or alternative).
Meals: No Meals Included
DAY 1: MACHAME GATE TO MACHAME CAMP
•Elevation (ft): 5,400ft to 9,400ft
•Distance: 11 km
•Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
•Habitat: Rain Forest
The drive from Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain.
We now leave the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. Lower down, 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.
DAY 2: MACHAME CAMP TO SHIRA CAMP
•Elevation (ft): 9,400ft to 12,500ft
•Distance: 5 km
•Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
After breakfast, we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the little valley walking along a steep rocky ridge, covered with heather, until the ridge ends. The route now turns west onto a river gorge. Time for rest, dinner, and overnight at the Shira campsite.
DAY 3: SHIRA CAMP TO LAVA TOWER TO BARRANCO CAMP
•Elevation (ft): 12,500ft to 13,000ft
•Distance: 10 km
•Hiking Time: 6-8 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.” Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft. We now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
DAY 4: BARRANCO CAMP TO KARANGA CAMP TO BARAFU CAMP
•Elevation (ft): 13,000ft to 15,000ft
•Hiking Time: 8-10 hours
•Habitat: Alpine Desert
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite. Then, we leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Hut. At this point, 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. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.
DAY 5: BARAFU CAMP TO SUMMIT TO MWEKA HUT
•Elevation (ft): 15,300ft to 19,345ft (and down to 10,000ft)
•Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent
•Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am), 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 (18,600 ft), 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 may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit. From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
DAY 6 : MWEKA CAMP TO MOSHI
•Elevation (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft
•Distance: 10 km
•Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
•Habitat: Rain 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, you continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to hotel in Moshi.
MAIN FEATURES: OPTION – 7 DAYS/6 NIGHTS MACHAME ROUTE
Most challenge summit –bound route
Most scenic route on the mountain. The traditional Machame route via Barafu circumnavigates Kibo’s face offering gorgeous views of mountain and surroundings.
Best route for obtaining acclimatization as a result of the position of the campsites ( trek high, sleep low) and highest success rate as well as popularity route.
Different options to the summit: the summit can be reached via Western Breach (Arrow Glacier camp or crater camp) and via Barafu camp. Extra acclimatization can be obtained at various stages of the trek ( Shira, Lava Tower, Barranco camp and Karanga valley), As a result of all the above mentioned points the Machame route has surpassed the Marangu minimum trek to the summit requires 6days.
DAY 1: MACHAME GATE ( 1840M) TO MACHAME CAMP (2980M) – ALTITUDE GAIN: 1140M.A.S.L
From Machame gate – to Machame Camp (3000m) – distance: 9 km – duration: 6-7 hours walk.
Trek to Machame Camp, through the dense mountain forest along a ridge, rising steadily with a small opening in the trees known as Halfway Clearing, a good place for a rest. The gradient relents as the forest merges into giant heather, and the path leads more easily to Machame Camp. Cloud permitting, the summit of Kibo is visible beyond the foothills.
DAY 2 : MACHAME CAMP (2980M ) TO SHIRA CAMP ( 3870M) – ALTITUDE GAIN 890M
machame camp – shira camp (3870m) – distance: 9 km – duration: 5- 6 hours walk.
From Machame Camp, follow the clear path up the steep rocky ridge, crossing and re-crossing the crest a few times. You’ll rest at Picnic Rock, where you can view the Shira Plateau. You pass through clumps of grass and across patches of sand and ash. Then you reach Shira Cave. Beyond the cave the path climbs over a small ridge, then drops across a stream before another small rise up to Shira Camp.
DAY 3: SHIRA CAMP (3870M) TO BARRANCO CAMP (3970M) ALTITUDE GAIN 700M DOWN 600M.A.S.L.
Shira Camp – Barranco Camp (3970m) – distance: 10 km – duration: 6 – 7 hours walk.
From Shira Camp, the path is clear as it climbs gradually in an easterly direction towards the main peak of Kibo. The northern path passes Moor Hut, the start of the northern circuit path dropping sleeply down the side of the ridge to reach Barranco Camp.
DAY 4 : BARRANCO CAMP (3970M) TO BARAFU CAMP: ( 4620M.A.SL.)- ALTITUDE GAIN- 650M.A.S.L
Barranco Camp – Barafu Hut (4600m) – distance: 11 km – duration: 4-5 hours walk.
Leave Barranco Camp and walk down up to the junction where you ascend up to the Barafu camp for camping. If you took one extra acclimatization day, your walk today will start from Karanga Valley (4 km; 2-3 hours).
DAY 5: BARAFU CAMP (4620M) TO UHURU PEAK 🙁 5895M)-ALT. GAIN:1275M-DESCEND- 2105M.A.S.L.
Barafu Hut – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – distance: 5km – duration: 6-7 hours walk.
The trek involves between 10 -15hrs of walking, which is made even more strenuous by the effects of altitude and extreme cold. You start this day walking very early in the morning to see the sunrise at the crater rim and try to avoid the mist. Sunrise is at about 6.00 am and it takes 5-6 hours to get from Barafu camp to the rim of Stella Point (5700m) plus another 1.30hrs to Uhuru Peak. The route from Barafu Hut joins the route from Gillman’s Point, continue westward round the Kibo rim to reach Uhuru Peak. Uhuru Peak – Mweka Camp (3100m); 19 km; 12-14 hours walk via Millennium camp (550m.a.s.l.)
DAY 6: MWEKA/MILLENNIUM CAMP ( 3730M) TO MWEKA GATE: ( DESCEND 1650M)
Mweka Camp – Mweka Gate (1500m) – distance: 13 km;duration: 5-6 hours walk.
Descend steeply through forest on a narrow path along the crest on a broad ridge between two river valleys down to Mweka gate.
Option: You can add an extra acclimatization day: walk to Karanga Valley (6 km, 2-3 hours walk) and rest in the afternoon for acclimatization. Overnight in Karanga Valley.
Total: Distance: 63kms – Time: 61hrs – Altitude gain and loss 9340m
DAY 7 : DEPARTURE DAY
After breakfast Lago Safari Team can organize a private departure transfer on request to Arusha Airport or to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your flight back home
- Pick up from Kilimanjaro airport (round trip),
- 2night accommodation at a premium hotel – standard room (bed and breakfast in Moshi – Kilimanjaro)
- All mountain Kilimanjaro entrance fees, hut, camp and rescue fees
- Experienced and professional English-speaking guide and Porters
- Full board -3 meals a day whilst on trek and camping gears
- Tents and mess tent (dining mess)
- First aid kit, Private toilet and Sleeping bag
- Lunch boxes the first day on the mountain and at the last day on descent from the mountain
- Purified water on the mountain (2botlle of water 1.5-liter x 2 = 3litre a day)
- Transfers to and from the mountain gates from and to Moshi
- Your successful International certificate of Mount Kilimanjaro (KINAPA)
- Hot shower tent
- Foam mattress and pillow
- Mountain Hardware Trango 4 tent
- Guides and porters’ salaries
- All Government taxes
- Administration cost
- Drinks, (Alcoholic and non- alcoholic)
- Personal climbing gears,
- Travel Insurance and flight ticket
- Hire of any clothing / equipment, personal toiletry & requirements and All items of a personal nature.
- Water purifying tablets, Insulation pad,
- Boots and light walking shoes
- Balaclava and Woolen hat or Scarf Snow goggles
- Sun glasses
- Gaiters and Gloves -Sweaters
- Jumpers Pants and Jackets (waterproof)
- Water bottle
- Anorak / raincoat & several pairs of socks
- Insect repellent Sun protection cream and lip salve,
- Flash light with spare