Machame route is second to Marangu route only in terms of popularity; It is a very scenic route one can confidently argue that it is the most scenic routes on Kilimanjaro. On this route, you will experience the south and southwest sides of the mighty Kilimanjaro since you go up on one side and descend on the other side.
This route is better cut for adventurous climbers; unlike other Kilimanjaro routes where you sleep in camps, on this route you will get to camp in tents. You supplies and equipments will be carried by potters who will also help set up your tents at night; meals are served in a dinner tent. The route is more demanding in comparison to the others; it has been nicknamed “whisky route” indicating that it is somehow challenging.
On this route you will experience amazingly beautiful evening sunsets over Shira Ridge, occasional views of Tanzania’s second highest mountain: Mount Meru and a distant view of Kibo submit which is the destination you are pushing towards along during the entire climb. This route also makes acclimatization easier and the success rate is fairly high.
Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)
.Accomodation during the climb (mountain camps & tents)
Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) you will be picked up our drive who will drive you to your hotel where you will spend the day relaxing awaiting the next day when the climb begins. On this day you will also be briefed about the climb and later in the night you will be served dinner.
Day 1: Arusha – Machame Gate (1,743 m) – Machame Camp (2,980 m)
You will be drive from Arusha to Kilimanjaro National Park after breakfast. At the gate the guides will take care of registration and the mountain crew will prepare equipments; you can use the waiting time to explore the surroundings and read the information boards.
The ascend will commence after registration and in no time you will find yourself inside a cool rainforest decorated by tall trees; in the branches you will most likely spot colobus monkeys watching you curiously as you trek past them. You will trek for 5 to 6 hours covering 18 Kms after which you will reach Machame Camp for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 2: Machame Camp (2,980 m) – Shira Camp (3,840 m)
At Machame Camp breakfast will be served and thereafter you will continue with the climb; after trekking for one hour you will enter the moorland leaving the rainforest behind. You will further trek through the moorland for another 2 to 3 hours after which lunch will be served in a designated location.
After lunch and a short rest the trek will take you into the Shira plateau after climbing a rocky ridge; from this point you will observe magnificent views of the Western Breach together with amazing glaciers. Late in the afternoon you will reach Shira Camp on time ready for dinner and overnight stay. Here the night will be colder than than the previous one with temperature dropping below freezing; worry not, our mountain gear will have you covered for the night.
Day 3: Shira Camp (3,840m) – Lava Tower (4,630 m) – Barranco Camp (3,960 m)
On this day you will ascend to 4,630m but the route will force you to descend to 3,560m before sunset; you will end up gaining only 700m in elevation compared to where you spent the previous night.
After breakfast the climb from Shira Camp will take you into a rocky arid semi desert terrain; lunch will be served and then you will ascend to Lava Tower which is situated at 4,630m. After lunch the terrain changes and hikers begin descending down to Barranco Camp located at 3,560 m. At Barranco Camp hikers can experience spectacular sunsets before being served with dinner before tucking in for the night. This day helps hikers acclimatize because their bodies experience an ascent followed by a descent.
Day 4: Barranco Camp (3,960 m) -Karanga Camp(4,200m)
On this day you will conquer the Barranco wall; some stages of the climb may require the use of hands for better grip but eventually you will make it. After climbing the Barranco wall you enjoy great views of the southern glacier of Kibo. You will reach Karanga Camp after trekking for 3 to hours; the rest of the day will be spent at the camp resting.
Day 5: Karanga Camp(4,200m) – Barafu Camp (4,640 m)
After breakfast you will set off for Barafu Camp; most of the day will be spent trekking through desert like terrain, with Kibo ever visible from your left side. After trekking for 3 to 4 hours you will reach Barafu Camp, where you will take a long rest and have an early dinner in preparation for the midnight ascent to the summit.
Day 6: Barafu Camp (4,640 m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895m) – Mweka Camp(3,100 m)
At midnight you will be woken to a warm cup of tea and light snacks after which you will head out into the night under the light of your torch and the moon. You will ascend through heavy scree for 5 to 7 hours before reaching Stella Point: mount Kilimanjaro’s crater rim; the trek to Stella Point is usually very challenging but if you conquer the heavy scree you will be rewarded with an unforgettable sunrise(if the weather is good).
The trek from Stella Point to Uhuru Peak(5,895 m) is through a snow covered trail and takes 1 to 2 hours. At Uhuru Peak you will will be standing on the “Roof of Africa”; you will observe the mighty Kilimanjaro in all its splendor, enjoy stunning views of lands far below you.
The amount of time you will spend here depends on the weather conditions; it is advised not to stay for a very long time because the cold and fatigue may make it hard for you to start moving again. The descent to Barafu Camp takes around 3 hours and at Barafu Camp you enjoy a short rest and a warm meal after which you will descend further to Mweka Camp(3,100m) for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 7: Mweka Camp(3100m) – Mweka Gate(1980m) – Arusha
After breakfast you will descend through the rainforest for 2 to 3 hours after which you will reach Mweka Gate where our driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel in Arusha. After a warm shower at the hotel, you will spend the rest of the day relaxing and celebrating your achievement.
Departure Day: Arusha – Kilimanjaro Airport
On this day you will be served with breakfast after which you be transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport to catch your flight back home; airport transfer time depends on the departure of your flight. If you are not ready to leave yet you can extend your stay and go on Safari or a beach holiday in Zanzibar.