Machame Route: It is the most popular route at mountain Kilimanjaro and it is located at the southern part of the mountain. This route is very scenic and it has gradual ascent. You can climb it in 6days, 7days or 8 days depend with your time and budget it is camping route and one of the two ‘whisky’ routes in Mount Kilimanjaro.
Getting there: The drive to Machame gate is an about 45 minutes from Moshi and it crosses the cultivation zone. You can see numerous of villages, coffee and banana farms on your way to the gate. Once you arrive at the gate we do registration in Kilimanjaro national park log book, pay the entrance fee and get validly permit, after which hiking can start at 1800m/5905ft.
8 Days Machame Climb
Climbing Machame in 8 days is very comfortable, and it provides enough time for acclimatization. No camp is skipped, also you will have opportunity to explore crater and overnight at the highest camp in Kilimanjaro, the route follows the pattern of hiking to a high altitude during the day and sleeping at a lower altitude at night, despite of crater camp.
Day 1 to Machame Camp (2835m/9300ft)
The first part of the 11km trail from Machame gate at 1800m/5905ft to Machame camp follows a gravel road and is very easy to walk. It is a gradual ascend and not very steep. You cross the rain forest and on the way you might see Black and White Colobus and Blue Monkeys. After a short lunch break the trail gets steeper and the forest gets thinner. If the weather conditions allow it, you will get a nice view of your ultimate destination, Kibo Peak, at the end of the day.
Day 2 to Shira Cave (3750m/12303ft)
The way from Machame camp to Shira camp is only 5km long, but quite steep at the beginning. It leads through the moorland zone of the mountain. There are several viewpoints with a nice view of mount Meru, the forest you walked through on day 1, Shira and Kibo peaks.
After reaching the camp you can optionally take a short walk of about 45 minutes to 1 hour for acclimatization and a nice view of the sunset.
Day 3 to Baranco Camp (3940m/13044ft)
The way from Shira Cave to Baranco camp is 10km long and will take 6-7 hours, including lunch. At the beginning it will be a gradual walk to the junction point where we meet people from the Western routes. Join them and walk straight to Lava Tower (4600m), a 150m high volcanic lava plug that juts out of the side of mountain. The lunch will be at lava tower rest for few minutes then descend down to Baranco camp.
Day 4 to Karanga Camp (3995m/13106ft)
From Baranco camp to Karanga camp it takes 3 – 5 hours and distance is 6km and you will cross Breakfast or Baranco Wall, which is 300m high. The peak of the wall is at 4200m. This part is challenging because the trail is narrow and the number of hikers, porters and guides is large. In some parts you have to use your hands for climbing. You will cross the famous places called Kissing Rock. Shorty before Karanga Camp you will cross the Karanga Valley at 3930m which is the last point where porters can fetch water.
Day 5 to Barafu Camp (4673m/15530ft)
It will only take 3 to 4 hours to the cover distance of 4km from Karanga to Barafu Camp. It is gradual steep walk and (pole pole) slow walking is recommended for acclimatization. You will be in the alpine desert and at the left side you can see the Kibo Peak and few meters before Barafu you will cross the section occupied with Sedimentary rocks. Barafu camp is the dry camp but our team will carry water from Karanga valley.
Day 6: To crater camp (5700m/18700ft) Today it’s our difficult and challenging part of our hike we will start by gradual ascent through volcanic screed meet zigzag trail which starting to get steep and keep moving to carter rim at Stella’s point 5756m/18880ft, where we will break for a while to get some pictures and light food before heading into crater from this point. You will rest for a while and after you will have an optional hike to explore the inner crater and ash pit which is raised circular inner rim the inside of which slopes down to a flat floor and then 200m deep inverted cone at the very center of volcano, Also mount Kilimanjaro has one of the mostly perfect formed volcanic ash pit of any mountain in the world.
Day 7: To Uhuru summit 5895m/19340ft and Descend to Mweka camp 3100m/10170ft: Today we will wake up earlier enjoy our breakfast start our ascent to the summit early enough in the morning to be at the summit by sunrise. This final hike to the summit is about 195m but very tiring. The beginning part of the trail is very soft, loose, and dusty and very few steep rocky scrambling to the top followed by relatively flat terrain about 230m to Uhuru sign. This is quite difference compare to 1200m long required to summit from other base camp. The reward of seeing glacier and standing of Africa highest peak are well worth the efforts. At the summit you will spend 10 to 20 minutes for pictures and view before join other hikers to descend to Barafu base camp for 2 to 3 hours where we will have short break for brunch before descend to Mweka hut 3100m for overnight.
Day 8 to Mweka Gate (1640m/5380ft) and Drive to Moshi:
Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate: It is a long and steep downhill walk of about 10km which takes about 4-5 hour. The rain forest floor is wet and slippery, requiring careful and slow walking. You are again in the rain forest where you will see various species of flowers like Impatiens Kilimanjari and different trees species and also if you’re lucky you might see Blue Monkey and Black and White Colobus Monkeys.
At the Mweka Gate:
Once you reach Mweka Gate you have to sign out in Kilimanjaro national park log book, our guide will collect certificate for those who made successful climb to Stella Point and Uhuru Point. Then we will drive you via Mweka village to your Hotel in Moshi/Arusha for long shower and Kilimanjaro beer.