|Total hiking distance 100km
Duration 7 Days 6Nights
This is probably the most beautiful route up KILIMANJARO. Accommodation on the Marangu Route is in huts, the Machame Route offers strictly tents only where all the equipments and supplies are carried by the porters and the delicious meals are prepared by the cook during your trek.. This makes Machame (also referred to as the “Whisky Route”) better suited to the slightly more adventurous hiker, however rewarding him/her a scenic splendor such as the sunset at Shira and the lovely view of Kibo at the Barranco Wall, not seen on the Marangu Route. There is an added benefit to this, as you are afforded the most valuable commodity on the mountain – acclimatization. The Machame Route takes you high to Lava Tower (4630m) on the day 3 and brings you down by 700m for an overnight at Barranco Camp. (3950m). This is the secret to successful acclimatization recommended for a successful summit climb and applying the rule of high altitude CLIMB HIGH AND SLEEP LOW.
Machame Gate (1800m) – Machame Camp (3000m)
Hiking Time: 7hours
Distance: 18 km
Habitat: Montane Forest.
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 slope of the mountain. Upon reaching the Park Gate, climbers are requested to make their final preparations for the climb. Porters will be seen arranging their packs containing food, water and other equipment. Make sure that you have all your day pack items with you as the porters travel very quickly. The guides will be pleased to assist with any additional information. From the Park Gate you walk through the main forest on a winding trail to the first camp, which is located at an altitude of 3,840 meters. Lower down, the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are good idea here. You continue a short distance until you reach the Machame Hut, where camps are already put up for rest and enjoy dinner and camp overnight.
Machame Camp (3000m) – Shira Camp (3840m)
Hiking Time: 6 hours
After Breakfast, you trek through 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, onto the Shira plateau where you shall be able to see the western breach with its stunning glaciers. The route now turns west onto a river gorge at 3,658 meters and shall reach the Shira Camp. Time for rest, dinner and overnight at the Shira Campsite.
Shira Campsite (3840m) – Lava Tower (4600m) Barranco Camp (3950m)
Hiking Time: 7 hours
Habitat: Semi desert.
From the Shira Plateau, you continue to the east, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As you continue, the direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth”.
It is usually at this point where for the first time some climbers will start feeling symptoms of breathlessness and headache due to high altitude and one should walk slowly –POLE POLE as they say in Kiswahili. You now continue down wards to the Barranco Camp at an altitude of 3,950meters, situated in a valley below the breach and the great Barranco Wall. Here, you rest enjoy dinner and camp overnight. Although you end the day at the same elevation, as when you started, this day is very important for acclimitization (climb high and sleep low) and will help your body prepare for the successful summit day.
Barranco Camp (3840m) – Karanga Campsite (4200m)
Hiking time: 4 hours
Distance: 7 km
Habitat: Semi desert.
After Breakfast, you will depart from Barranco Camp and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall through the Karanga Valley at 4200m and it is the LAST WATER STOP as you shall not find water at the Barafu Camp.. Here, one gets a better chance to view the glaciers at a very near distance. You shall have hot Lunch at Karanga Valley campsite. After a short rest, you can view the Mawenzi Slopes as well as the Tanzania Sugar Plantation farms. (TPC) with a short walk to see the sedimentary rocks which sound like iron when stepped on and return to the Karanga Valley Campsite for dinner and overnight.
Karanga valley Campsite (4200m) – Barafu Camp (4600m)
Hiking time: 3 hours
Distance: 8 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
After Breakfast, you will depart from Karanga Valley campsite at (4200m), for the junction that connects with the Mweka Trail. You continue to the Barafu Hut, which is located at an altitude of 4600 meters. You have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views for the summit from many different angles. There is no water at Barafu Camp, even though Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice.” The famous snows of Kilimanjaro are far above Barafu Camp near the summit of the mountain. Your tent will be pitched on a narrow, stony, wind-swept ridge, so make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. Prepare your equipment and warm clothing for your summit climb, and drink a lot of fluids. Here you can, rest, enjoy dinner and go to bed for a few hours of your precious sleep.
Barafu Camp – (4600m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mweka Camp (3
Hiking Time: – 8hrs to reach Uhuru Peak. 7-8 hrs down to Mweka camp.
Distance: 8km – 23km down to Mweka Camp
Habitat: Stone scree and ice capped summit
Early morning, you continue towards the summit of Uhuru Peak at 5895meters.
It can be bitterly cold at night at these elevations, but it will be quite warm by the end of the hiking day. You will want clothing for both extremes with you. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point of Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit. You now make your descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut Campsite, stopping at Barafu Camp for lunch. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Mweka Camp at 3100meters,is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected during the late afternoon. This part of the descent takes about 7 to8 hours. Later in the evening, you enjoy your last dinner on the mountain and a well earned sleep.
Mweka Camp (3100m) – Mweka Gate (1500m)
Hiking Time: 3 -4hours
After Breakfast, you continue the descend down to the Mweka Park Gate. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi.
|Don’t forget to tip your guides, cooks and porters.
It is time for celebrations !!!!!
Machame Route admin