This is the most beautiful route up Kilimanjaro. All your equip ment and supplies are ported and a cook will prepare all of your meals. The Machame route offers strictly tent camping. For this reason the Machame route (also referred to as the “Whiskey route”) is better suited to the slightly more advent urous hiker. This is a more scenic route than Marangu. From late afternoon sunsets at Shira, to the misty protrusions of Kibo at the great Barranco Wall, the Machame route offers the adventurous hiker a stunning scenic “slide show” over 7 days. The Machame route is normally completed in a minimum of 6 days, but some chose to take 7 days. There is an added benefit to taking an extra day, as you are afforded the most valuable commodity on the mountain – acclimation. The Machame route takes you high to Lava Tower (4630m) on the day 3 and brings you down by nearly 700m for an overnight at Barranco camp (3950m). This is the secret to successful acclimation.
Your day starts early with a briefing from the tour organizer and the guides followed by 70-minute drive from Your Hotel in Moshi (910m) to the Machame village (1490m). where you would find your porters and the guides ready with the packs- and if you need you can purchase the water bottles from here. Depending on the condition of the road, it is possible to drive from the village to the Machame gate, but if not, the muddy 1 km walk will take about 30minutes to complete. Immediately after your registration you would start your ascent through the rain forest and make sure that if it rains then your trail would turn into a very foggy, muddy and slippery experience. Before reaching in the Machame camping area in the afternoon you will have your lunch on the half way. Reaching in Machame camp area, you would find your camp ready by your porters who would have arrived there prior to you. The camp site is very chilling. You will have the boiled water for drinking and bathing. After taking our dinner, you would rest in your tent and make sure that the temperature here in the night can drop to zero. Hence get prepared for this.
You rise early at Machame camp and after breakfast climb an hour or so to the top of the forest. Next there will be a 2 hour gentle uphill gradient through the moorland zone. After lunch and a short rest you would continue to the Shira Plateau. Now you would find yourself in an easterly direction. The stunning glaciers of the Western Breach would mesmerize you.
Now you are in the West of Kibo and after a short hike you would find yourself in the Shira campsite at 840 meter. The porters will boil drinking and washing water, and then serve dinner. The night at this exposed camp will be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing.
The porters will boil drinking and washing water, and then serve dinner. The night at this exposed camp will be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing.
The route now turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surround ing the “Lava Tower” where you reach an altitude of 4630m after a 5 hour walk. Lunch is served in a designated area before ascending the rocky scree path to Lava Tower (4630m). This will be the toughest day so far. It is normally around this point where some climbers will start to feel symptoms of breathlessness, irritability, and headaches. After lunch you descend almost 680m to the Barranco camping. As this camping area is lower than the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, you will experience acclimation benefits. This is a proven method to help climbers adjust to the altitude of Kilimanjaro. The descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which could provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for the preparation of your dinner and overnight at Barranco Camp site.
After breakfast at the Karanga valley camp, you will walk a ridge and enter a cold desert for about 4 hours and then reach the Barafu Hut. Crews will collect water from the last water stop at Karanga Valley in morning, as there is no water at Barafu camp. Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice” as it is a bleak and inhospitable camping area to spend the night. Totally exposed to the ever-present gales the tents are pitched on a narrow, stony, and dangerous ridge. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents as this is a dangerous area. The summit is now 1345m above you, and you will make the final ascent tonight. Prepare your equipment, ski stick, and thermal clothing for your summit attempt. Make sure and replace the batteries in your headlamp and camera and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing, it would be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed around 7 PM and try to get some good. Try not to sleep more than 5 hours.
You will rise around 11:30 PM and have some hot tea and biscuits before you shuffle off into the night. You will head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This 6-hour walk to Stella point is for many climbers the most mentally and physically challenging part of the trip. At Stella Point (5685m) you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you will witness in your lifetime (weather permitting). From Stella Point you will normally encounter snow to Uhuru Peak (2 hour ascent). The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment as this is a day to remember for the rest of your life. The walk back to Barafu from the summit will take about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned but short rest. You will then collect the rest of your gear before heading down to Mweka hut (3100m). This route is not difficult and will take you down the rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest. The camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Dinner and washing water will be prepared. Drinking water, soft drinks, chocolate, and beer is available from the camp office if you so desire.
Hiking time: 3 hours
After Hot breakfast from in Mweka Campsite you will start walking slowly towards the mountain gate the walk takes about 3hours to get to the Mweka campsite where our driver will pick you and transfer you to the Hotel in Arusha.