Machame Route - 03/03/23
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March 3, 2023
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8 Days 7 Nights
Climbing Kilimanjaro - Machame Route
Min Age : +6

Mount Kilimanjaro Climb Overview – Machame Route

Also known as the Whiskey route, the Machame route is scenically stunning with a varied ecosystem. The Machame route approaches Mt Kilimanjaro from the south, beginning with a short drive from Mochi to Machame gate. Its path leads climbers through the rainforest of Shira plateau. Many of Mt Kilimanjaro’s routes converge here, then the Machame route turns east and traverses underneath Mt Kilimanjaro’s southern ice field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu.

The descent is made through the Mweka route. For a once in a lifetime experience, you too can climb the highest mountain in Africa crowned with an everlasting snowcap.

Here’s what to expect on 8-day climb en route Machame:

Itinerary at a glance:
  • Day 1: Kilimanjaro International Airport to Arusha City
  • Day 2: Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Machame Gate, Hike to Machame Camp
  • Day 3: Hike Machame Camp to Shira Camp
  • Day 4: Hike Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
  • Day 5: Hike Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp
  • Day 6: Hike Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp
  • Day 7: Hike Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, drive to Arusha
  • Day 8: Arusha to Kilimanjaro International Airport

Route Description

For those who wish to climb Kilimanjaro, the Machame route is the best choice because of its acclimatization profile. The Machame route exposes the climber to higher Heights quicker (day three) which kick-start the body’s adaptation to altitude.

However, this route requires that a person be in good shape to be able to tackle the challenging Height gains and losses. The 6 day Machame route requires 19-24 hours of demanding walking, at extremely high Height, with only 4-6 hours of sleep.

Departure & Return Location

Arrival and Departure: Kilimanjaro International Airport

Photos
Itinerary

Day 1Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport – Arusha City: 55kms/1hour

Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport, you will be warmly welcomed by one of our experienced drivers and your Mountain Guide who will escort you to your reserved hotel in Arusha Town.

Overnight at Zawadi House on Bed and Breakfast

Day 2Machame Gate to Machame Camp

  • Height (ft): 5,400ft to 9,400ft

  • Distance: 11 km

  • Climbing Time: 5-7 hours

  • Habitation: Rain Forest

The drive from Arusha to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate passing through the village of Machame which is located on the base 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 3Machame Camp to Shira Camp

  • Height (ft): 9,400ft to 12,500ft

  • Distance: 5 km

  • Climbing Time: 4-6 hours

  • Habitation: Moorland

After breakfast, we leave the glades of the rainforest 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, overnight at the Shira campsite.

Day 4Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

  • Height (ft): 12,500ft to 13,000ft

  • Distance: 10 km

  • Climbing Time: 6-8 hours

  • Habitation: 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 height as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.

Day 5Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

  • Height (ft): 13,000ft to 15,000ft

  • Distance: 9km

  • Climbing Time: 8-10 hours

  • Habitation: 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 6Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut

  • Height (ft): 15,300ft to 19,345ft (and down to 10,000ft)

  • Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent

  • Climbing Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent

  • Habitation: Arctic

Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You’ll head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through a 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 need 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 enjoyed our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Day 7Mweka Camp to Moshi/Arusha

  • Height (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft
  • Distance: 10 km
  • Climbing Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitation: Rain Forest

After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your certificates. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka Park Gate to drive you back to the hotel in Arusha.

Overnight at Karama Lodge on Bed and Breakfast

Day 8Arusha to Kilimanjaro International Airport

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the Airport for your onward flight.

“End of service”.

Map

Price includes and excludes

Price Includes

  • It's just one arrival and one departure. Each party will receive their own private vehicle and driver to transport them from Kilimanjaro International Airport to their accommodation.
  • Night in Arusha City before and after climbing Kilimanjaro.
  • Extra luggage will be stored at our office until you come back from the mountain
  • Transportation to and from the mountain
  • All entrance fees, camping/hut costs, and climbing permits for Kilimanjaro National Park
  • Rescue costs in Kilimanjaro National Park (Kilimanjaro Rescue Team)
  • A pulse oximeter is carried by the chief guide and is used to measure clients' blood oxygen levels twice day.
  • Oxygen for an emergency (for use in emergencies only – not as summiting aid)
  • First aid kit (for use in emergencies only)
  • Qualified mountain guides, porters, and cook
  • Salaries in accordance with KINAPA (Kilimanjaro National Park Authority) regulations.
  • 3 meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) on the mountain as specified in the itinerary
  • At the lunch stop, a hot meal is prepared and served inside the mess tent with a table and seats
  • Camping equipment (tents, mattress, camp chairs, camp tables, mess tent & cutlery for meals)
  • Certificate of Achievement if you reach Gilman’s point, Stella point or Uhuru point
  • Complimentary 3 litres of mineral water per hiker on the first day of the ascent, followed by 3 litres of purified water per person per day from first night onwards
  • Private portable toilet for the whole group

Price Excludes

  • International Flight
  • Personal Mountain Gears i: e Gloves, Sunglasses, sleeping bag, Hats, Rain suits, Warm Jacket, Heavy boots, Scarf's, Rain Trousers, Sleeping bag etc. Some of the gears/equipment could be rented in Tanzania.
  • Extras at the lodges i.e. drinks, telephone, laundry, etc.
  • Visa: US citizens pay $100 per person, whereas other countries pay $50 per person.
  • My own hotel room and mountain tent, respectively
  • Tips to mountain crew (highly recommended) – Guideline: Mountain guide: 25 USD per guide, per day, per group, Cook 15 USD per day, per group. Mountain Porter: 8 US per porter, per day on the mountain.

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