7 Day Route
The Kilimanjaro Machame Route is an extraordinary experience, offering great views on an amazing and very diverse landscape in both directions – to the east and to the west. Understandably enough, this route is claimed to be the most beautiful route of all. As a consequence, it is highly frequented during high season. In general a climb takes 6 days. The height profile impacts the acclimatization of the body in a very positive way.
The Machame route can be done in minimum 6 days but a 7 day trek is recommended to allow climbers been well rested and acclimatized before making the final ascent to the summit. This route offers some of the most spectacular scenery while on the mountain. The Machame route starts in the south west side of the mountain and proceeds steeply north, traversing the Shira plateau and eventually joining the Shira and Lemosho routes just after the Shira cave camp.
DAY 1: MACHAME GATE – MACHAME CAMP: Rainforest
Elevation: 1811m/5942ft to 3021m/9911ft
Altitude gained: 1210m
Distance: 10.75k /7mi
Time: 5-6 hrs
Departing from Moshi a 45-minute drive will take you through the Village of Machame to the Kilimanjaro National Park Gate.Once you arrive, you will have a chance to wait at the gate while the staff registers your climb and the porters and guides make final preparations.
Your first day’s destination is Machame Camp. Each day, porters and cooks will walk ahead to set up the camp in time for your arrival. On the first day, hike through the moss-covered trees of Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest. The forest will thin at the end of the hike and vegetation will change to include heathers, tall grasses and wildflowers. If the weather is clear, view the surrounding area and your ultimate destination, Kibo Peak.
DAY 2: MACHAME CAMP – SHIRA CAMP:| Moorland
Elevation: 3021m/9911ft to 3839m/12,595ft
Altitude gained: 818m
Although considered to be the easiest day on the Machame Route, today’s trek includes several uphill sections. Carry plenty of drinking water, as the exposed hike can be hot on a clear day.
There are several viewpoints from which you can see the plains and forests below and Kibo and Mawenzi peaks above.
As you gain altitude, notice the change in vegetation. The trees diminish in size, giving way to Kilimanjaro’s famous high altitude plants, Scenecio kilimanjari and Lobelia deckenii. After eating lunch, climb the Shira Plateau, created when Kibo’s lava flows filled the Shira crater.
Continue to Shira Camp, where you will relax for the rest of the day. Kibo lies to the west and Mount Meru to the east.
DAY 3: SHIRA CAMP – LAVA TOWER – BARRANCO CAMP:
Elevation: 3839m/12,595ft to 3986m/13,077ft
Altitude gained: 147m
Although this up and down day ends with an elevation gain of only 110 meters, by early afternoon you will have climbed 690 meters to a height of 4,530 meters before beginning your descent to Barranco Camp. This day is crucial for acclimatization. After breakfast, hike east on the Shira Plateau before reaching the junction for the Shira and Lemosho Routes.
Continue on through the barren landscape before stopping for lunch. Shortly after lunch, reach the highest point of the day before descending quickly to Barranco Camp. Faster hikers can take a detour via Lava Tower, a 300-foot lava formation jutting out of the mountainside.
Barranco Camp, set among stands of Senecio kilimanjari, is considered to be the most scenic campsite on the Machame Route.
DAY 4: BARRANCO CAMP – KARANGA CAMP: Alpine Desert
Elevation: 3986m/13,077ft to 4034m/13,235ft
Altitude gained: 48m
Leave Barranco Camp after breakfast for Karanga Valley. The day begins with a 1.5 hour scramble up Barranco Wall. This is the hardest part of the day and in some places you will have to use your hands to pull your body up. After reaching the top make a short descent into the greener Karanga Valley. We generally camp on the ridge above the valley to allow for greater acclimatization.
DAY 5: HIKE KARANGA CAMP – BARAFU CAMP: | Alpine Desert
Elevation: 4034m/13,235ft to 4662m/15,295ft
Altitude gained: 628m
After breakfast, begin the hike to Barafu Camp. On the way to Barafu, view several of Kibo’s glaciers as well as the junction that connects the descent route, Mweka, with the Machame trail. During day four, hike by the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers. Although the trail to Barafu passes through alpine desert with little vegetation, Barafu Camp offers stunning views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks. Try to sleep as soon as you finish dinner as you will awake before midnight for your summit hike.
DAY 6: BARAFU CAMP – SUMMIT: 4.86km /3mi up | 5-7hrs | – MWEKA CAMP: 11.5km /7.2mi down | 5-6hrs | Glaciers, Snow Capped Summit
Elevation: 4662m/15,295ft to 5895m/19,341ft
Altitude gained: 1233m
Descent to 3106m/10,190ft
Altitude lost: 2789m
Around midnight, begin the final ascent to Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa. For the next six hours, hike by the light of your headlamp. The ascent to the crater rim is the most challenging part of the entire trek. The trail is very steep until you reach the crater rim at Stella Point. The hike from Stella Point to Uhuru Peak is a gradual climb and, as far as hikes go, not very difficult. The altitude, however, makes the hike long and tiring. The crater rim hike takes approximately one hour.
Upon reaching Uhuru, take as many photos as you would like,enjoy the scenery and the views and you allowed to do anything that you would enjoy to do before beginning the descent to Mweka Camp. On the way down from Uhuru, enjoy views of the mountain, crater, clouds and glaciers. At Barafu Camp, eat breakfast and take a short break. You still have another three to five hours to go before reaching Mweka Camp.
DAY 7: MWEKA CAMP – MWEKA GATE – MOSHI: 9.1km/6mi |3-4hrs | Rainforest
Elevation: 3106m/10,190ft to 1633m/5358ft
Altitude lost: 1473m
Distance: 9.1km/5.48mi Time: 3-4hrs
After breakfast, finish the trek with a descent to Mweka Gate. Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one, passing through Kilimanjaro’s cloud forest. Watch your step during the descent, as the trail can be slippery. Our vehicles will be waiting at the lower station of Mweka Gate to take you back to Moshi.
At Mweka Gate you sign your name and details in a register book. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive Golden certificates. You now drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, dinner descent bed and celebrations!!
- Kilimanjaro trekking according to the itinerary
- Professional, English-speaking
- Proper Ration of Mountain crew (Cook & Porters 4.5)
- Pre and Post accommodations (2 nights Bed and Breakfast)
- Airport Transfers
- Meals according to the itinerary
- Drinking water and Full Board meals
- All National Park & Camping Fees, Crew Permits and VAT
- Rescue Fees and Emergency Evacuation Coverage with AMREF
- Fair and Sustainable Salary Crew Wages
- Gate Transfers
- Complimentary Oxygen Cylinder
- Portable Private Toilet and Porter
- Quality Imported Equipment
- Visa fees
- Travel Insurance (Required)
- Gamow Bag
- Tips for porters and mountain crew (20% Industry Standard Recommended)
- Personal spending money for souvenirs etc.
- Energy food & beverages, alcoholic and soft drinks
- Personal hire gear such as trekking poles, sleeping bags, etc.
- Additional lodge nights if early decent from the mountain
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