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Mt. Kilimanjaro Machame Route

Descriptions

Mount Kilimanjaro Machame Route begins in the south west of the mountain and proceeds steeply north over two days until attaining the edge of the Shira Plateau at 3900m. From here it drops 50m to Shira Camp where it joins the Lemosho and Shira Routes onwards to the summit. From Shira Camp the view west over the jagged peaks forming the southern edge of the Shira Plateau is phenomenal at sunset.

Day 1: Machame Gate to Machame Camp

The day starts with a hearty breakfast and briefing with your tour guide. From Arusha we drive to Moshi. 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.

Elevation (ft.): 5,400ft to 9,400ft

Distance: 11 km

Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

Habitat: Rain Forest

Day 2: Machame Camp to Shira Camp

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. Dinner and overnight at the Shira campsite

Elevation (ft.): 9,400ft to 12,500ft

Distance: 5 km

Hiking Time: 4-6 hours

Habitat: Moorland

Day 3: Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

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.

Elevation (ft.): 12,500ft to 13,000ft

Distance: 15 km

Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

Habitat: Semi Desert

Day 4: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite. This is a short day meant for acclimatization.

Elevation (ft.): 13,000ft to 13,100ft

Distance: 5 km

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 5: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

After breakfast, 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.

Elevation (ft.): 13,100ft to 15,300ft

Distance: 4 km

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 6: Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut

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 1hour 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.

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

Habitat: Arctic

Day 7: Mweka Camp to Moshi – Transfer to Arusha

We save the best for last. After breakfast, we embark on our final 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 Arusha. Dinner and overnight at Outpost Lodge

Elevation (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft

Distance: 10 km

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Rain Forest

Day 8: Departure

You will be picked up from your hotel and driven to the Airport to catch a flight back home.

Included Services

  • Local tourist taxes
  • All mountain trekking fees
  • Park or reserve entry fees – where applicable
  • Certified and Experienced Mountain guides and Porter
  • All meals as mentioned in the itinerary – ( Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner )
  • Pick up from airport of arrival and drop off to the airport of departure while on safari
  • Full board Accommodation and If accommodation is fully booked we’ll suggest a comparable alternative

Excluded Services

  • International flights
  • Tips and gratuities, which are optional
  • Airport customs entry visas (currently US$ 50 per person)

Optional Services

  • Optional safari tours to Northern National Park

PLEASE NOTE: The tour can be upgraded to a higher standard accommodation at an extra cost. It can also be cheaper if less expensive (but still good quality) accommodation is used. The final cost of the tour depends on your budget and preference.