Summit Mount Kilimanjaro via the Machame Route

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Machame is the route of choice amongst most climbers because it provides spectacular views and a variety of habitats.

All trekking equipment and supplies are portered and a cook prepares all your meals. (some personal gear is required-see below) Machame route accommodations are tents only. The Machame route (also referred to as the “Whiskey route”) is more suitable for the adventurous hiker, rewarding him/her with a scenic splendor such as not seen on the Marangu route.

Mount Kilimanjaro Machame Route Duration: 6 Days. (for 5 and 7 day variations see below)
Total hiking distance: About 100 km.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Machame Gate (1490m) – Machame camp (2980m).

Hiking time: 7 hours.
Distance: About 18 km’s.
Habitat: Montane forest.
Your day starts with checking your personal climbing gears, 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. Kilimanjaro outfitter will provide Lunch box and mineral bottled water. You will depart to Machame gate by Car. After registering at the gate office, you start your ascent and enter the rain forest almost immediately. 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 guide 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..

African Safari Guide Direct Contact – ask all your African Safari and Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Questions.

Day 2: Machame camp (2980m) – Shira camp (3840m).

Hiking time: 6 hours .
Distance: About 9 km’s.
Habitat: Moorland.
You wake early at Machame camp and after breakfast you trek 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 3: 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 acclimatisation 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.

African Safari Guide Direct Contact – ask all your African Safari and Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Questions.

Day 4: 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 attractive 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 point 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. 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.

Day 5: 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 24h 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-hour walk 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.

African Safari Guide Direct Contact – ask all your African Safari and Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Questions.

Day 6: Mweka camp (3100m) – Mweka Gate (1980m).

Hiking time: 3 hours.
Distance: About 15 km’s .
Habitat: Forest
After an early 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!! You now drive back to Arusha for a long over due hot shower, dinner and celebrations!!

Trip Variations

The Machame Route climb should be done in a minimum of six days (five nights) on the mountain. However, it is most often tackled over seven days (six nights), for a better altitude acclimatization schedule.

5 Day – The Machame route can also be completed in 5 days. On day 3 on the itinerary above, you go directly to Kibo with an overnight at the Arrow Glacier camp, with your final summating attempt on day 4.

7 Day – If you have more time, you can add one more day (7 days climbing Kilimanjaro) this extra day is used for acclimatization to and maximize chance to reach summit.

Personal Gear
Climbing Kilimanjaro you must have some Personal Mountain gear: Please ask us and we will send you a list of what personal gear you need. The Company provides MountainTents, Tables, Chairs, and all the Food and Water you need.

African Safari Guide Direct Contact – ask all your African Safari and Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Questions.

Additional Services
Costs of additional services:
Bottled oxygen, only for rescue/emergency use $30
Extra acclimatization day $180
Extra hotel night, per room $60
Mount Meru climb (3 nights/4 days), per person $625

NOTE: After Kilimanjaro trekking, you can extend your vacation holiday with Wildlife safari tour, adventure safaris, cultural tourism and beach holidays in Tanzania.

African Safari Guide Direct Contact – ask all your African Safari and Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Questions.

Mount Kilimanjaro Guided Trips and Tours

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Comment (1)

  1. Mount kilimanjaro climbing is a professional guided mountaineering adventure trip. On Mount kilimanjaro climbing, there are several route to follow for trekking the kilimanjaro top. One of the beautiful and scenic trail is Machame. Machame route is also easier and has more sight seeing view.

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