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Arusha, Tanzania

7 Days Machame Route

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Hiking Itinerary

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro through the Machame route which is also referred to as the Whiskey route is one of the most spectacular adventure you’ll ever go through. The Machame route is one of the most popular routes on Kilimanjaro and one of the most scenic routes on the mountain. All climbers sleep in tents (tents are included) and meals are served in a dinner tent or on a blanket outside Machame route has one of the highest summit success rates given the topography of the route which allows climbers to “trek high & sleep low” hence making it a more favorable route for acclimatization.

The Machame route starts in the south west side of the mountain and proceeds steeply north, crossing the Shira plateau and eventually joining the Shira and Lemosho routes at the Shira camp. Descent is down the Mweka trail staying at the Mweka or Millennium camp the final night on the mountain.

  • Altitude: 1800m/5,961ft to 3000m/9950ft
  • Walking/Hiking Distance: 11km
  • Walking/Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest
  • Meals included: Lunch, Dinner
  • Budget Accommodations: Machame Camp

This is the first day of your Hike where you will drive from Arusha to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate (1 hour). The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. We depart the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. At lower elevations, 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.

  • Altitude: 3000m/9950ft to 3850m/12,600ft
  • Walking/Hiking Distance: 5km
  • Walking/Hiking Time: 4-6hours
  • Enviroment: Moorland
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Budget Accommodations: Shira Camp

In this day after breakfast we leave the open spaces of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the valley along a steep rocky ridge until we reach the steep ascent onto the Shira Plateau, where there are rewarding views of the mountain. Looking back, you will be able to see Mt Meru rising high above Arusha City in the distance.

  • Altitude: 3850m/12,600ft to 3900m/13,000ft
  • Walking/Hiking Distance: 10km
  • Walking/Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Enviroment: Semi-desert
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Budget Accommodations: Barranco Camp

In this third day of your hike we will proceed to hike from the Shira Plateau 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 (elevation 4600m/15,250ft). Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which goes to the Arrow Glacier. We now continue down to the Barranco Camp. The day has been spent at altitude (up to 4600m), but we have followed the mountaineering code of ‘walk high, sleep low’ to aid your body’s acclimatization to altitude.

  • Altitude: 3900m/13,000ft to 4000m/13,250ft
  • Walking/Hiking Distance: 5km
  • Walking/Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Enviroment: Alpine Desert
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Budget Accommodations: Karanga Camp

In this day after breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. This is a short day meant for acclimatization.

  • Altitude: 4000m/13,250ft to 4600m/15,350ft
  • Walking/Hiking Distance: 4km
  • Walking/Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Enviroment: Alpine Desert
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Budget Accommodations: Barafu Camp

In this day we continue up to the Barafu Camp. 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.

  • Altitude: 4600m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,340ft then Down to 3090m/10,150ft
  • Walking/Hiking Distance: 5km up / 13km down
  • Walking/Hiking Time: 6-8 hours up / 5-7 hours down
  • Enviroment: Alpine Desert
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  • Budget Accommodations: Mweka Camp

In this day very early in the morning (midnight), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You will head in a northwestern direction and ascend towards Stella Point on the crater rim.

This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point, you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit. From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit.

Once at Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa! From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain.

  • Altitude: 3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft
  • Walking/Hiking Distance: 10km
  • Walking/Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Enviroment: Rain Forest
  • Meals included: Breakfast

In this day after breakfast, we continue the 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, continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Arusha (about 2 hrs).

  • All accommodations per itinerary
  • All meals per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All tours and entrance fees per itinerary (unless listed as excluded)
  • All transportation and transfers per itinerary
  • National Park gate fees
  • Transport from Arusha to trailhead and return to Arusha
  • Camping fees
  • Certified, experienced, guides for all routes, cooks and porters
  • Salaries for all crew members
  • Rescue fees (as required by the national park)
  • Tents, foam sleeping pads, cooking equipment, and eating utensils
  • Emergency Oxygen (2L canister)
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals not listed
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff
  • Single room supplement
  • Personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, Internet, etc.)
  • Tips for guides, porters, and cooks
  • Sleeping bags and personal gear

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