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KILIMANJARO CLIMBING MACHAME ROUTE

6 DAYS - TREKKING SAFARI

Also known as the whisky route’’, Machame is probably the easiest of the outfield routes, and is widely regarded as the most scenic route on the mountain. This route can be completed in either 6 or 7 days, with 7 days option being the norm thanks to the obvious advantage of an extra day of altitude adjustment.

What a great advantage of choosing this route? Is the fact that during the first few days see a substantial gain in elevation that eases the altitude stress on over the following days? After summit access, your descent is usually via the Mweka route which about more than 30% of Kilimanjaro climbers uses this route.

---- Airport Transit     ---- Trip Route

  • ARUSHA TO MACHAME GATE (1,634 M/5,363 FT.) TO MACHAME CAMP (2,834 M/9300 FT.)

    Hiking time: 7.5 hrs.
    Elevation Change: +1,200 m/+3,937 ft.
    Estimated distance: 10km/6.21 miles
    Final elevation: 3,100 m/10,170 ft.
    Your day starts early with a briefing, followed by breakfast and about 1 hour 45 minutes’ drive from Arusha to Machame Gate. The guides and porters prepare and pack the supplies and your equipment in the village. You will receive a lunch pack and after registering at the gate office, you start your ascent and enter the rain forest almost immediately. Dinner and overnight at the Camp.

  • MACHAME CAMP (2,834 M/9,300 FT.) TO SHIRA CAMP (3,749 M/12,300 FT.)

    Hike time: 7 hrs.
    Elevation change: +800 m/+3,000 ft.
    Estimated distance: 6km/3.75 miles
    Final elevation: 3,749 m/12,300 ft.
    You rise early at Machame camp and after breakfast you climb an hour or so to the top of the forest and then for 2 hours at a gentler gradient through the moorland zone. After a short lunch and rest, you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau. By now you will be able to see in an easterly direction, the Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. You are now due west of Kibo and after a short hike you will reach the Shira campsite at 3840m. The porters will boil drinking and washing water, before serving dinner. The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperature dropping to well below freezing.

  • SHIRA CAMP (3,749 M/12,300 FT.) TO LAVA TOWER (4630 M) TO BARRANCO CAMP (3,901 M/12,800 FT.)

    Hike time: 7 hrs.
    Elevation change: +800 m/+3,000 ft.
    Estimated distance: 6km/3.75 miles
    Final elevation: 3,800 m/12,467 ft.
    The route now turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower, where you reach an altitude of 4630m after about a 5 hours walk. Lunch is served in a designated are before ascending the rocky scree path to lava Tower (4630m). Definitely, the toughest day so far. It is normally around this point, where for the first time, some climbers will start to feel symptoms of breathlessness, irritability and headaches. After lunch you descent again by almost 680m to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, the true acclimatization benefit of this day becomes clear. This descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hrs. 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 should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for the preparation of your dinner.

  • BARRANCO CAMP (3,900 M/12,800 FT.) TO BARAFU CAMP (4,600 M/15,091 FT.)

    Hike time: 7 hrs.
    Elevation change: +700 m/+2,296 ft.
    Estimated distance: 8km/5 miles
    Final elevation: 4,600 m/15,091 ft.
    After spending a night at the Great Barranco Wall (a very imposing sight at first), you make your way up this awesome looking obstacle, which in the end normally turns out easier than what you anticipated. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley over intervening ridges and valleys, and then joins up with the Mweka route. This is the preferred route down from the summit, so remember it. Turn left up the ridge and after another hour or so, you reach Barafu Hut.

    The last water stop on the route is the Karanga Valley, as there is no water at Barafu camp. Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice” and 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. The summit is now a further 1345m up and you will make the final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski stick and thermal clothing for your summit attempt. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get some precious rest and sleep.

  • SUMMIT ATTEMPT, BARAFU CAMP (4,600 M/15,091 FT.) TO UHURU PEAK (5,895 M/19,343 FT.) TO MWEKA CAMP (3,100 M/10,170 FT.)

    Summit time: 7 hrs.
    Elevation change: +1,300 m/+4,265 ft.
    Estimated distance: 5km/3.3 miles
    Final elevation: 5,895 m/19,343 ft.
    Descent time: 5 hrs.
    Elevation change: -2,800 m/-9,186 ft.
    Estimated distance: 12km/7.5 miles
    Final elevation: 3,100 m/10,170 ft.
    You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits 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 walks to Stella point is for many climbers, mentally and physically the most challenging on the route. At Stella Point (5685m) you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point you will normally encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. 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 and a day to remember for the rest of your life. The walk back to Barafu from the summit, takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well-earned but short rest and collect the rest of your gear, before heading down to Mweka hut (3100m). The 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.

  • MWEKA CAMP (3,100 M/10,170 FT.) TO MWEKA GATE (1,828 M/6,000 FT.) – ARUSHA

    Hike time: 4 hrs.
    Elevation change: -1,250 m/- 4,101 ft.
    Estimated distance: 10 km/6.21 miles
    Final elevation: 1,828 m/6,000 ft.
    After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 3-hour and scenic hike back to the Park gate. At Mweka gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. Donak Safaris Vehicles will be waiting at Mweka Gate to take you back to Arusha in our affiliated Hotels.