Known as the “Whiskey” route, the Machame route is presently the most prominent route on the mountain. Contrasted and Marangu, the days on Machame are longer and the strolls are more extreme. The Machame route is viewed as a difficult route and is more qualified for progressively courageous people and those with some climbing or exploring background. Machame Route is considered as the most striking route because of the spectacular view of the summit. The route in on the southern side of the mountain, the northern side of the mountain receives heavier rainfall and has a more dense forest. The route is quite a stepper but very good for acclimatization. The summit attempt path from Barafu camp has less loose scree (rocks) compared to the summit attempt path from Kibo Hut, making it slightly easier to reach the crater rim. The route starts from the south, at that point travels east, navigating underneath Kilimanjaro’s southern ice field before summiting. The base number of days required for this route is six days, albeit seven days is prescribed. The Machame route is grandly beautiful and varied. However, because of the substantial groups, it loses a portion of its splendour.

Description

The seven day Machame variation is the ideal schedule for this route. On the 7 day Machame route, the trek from Barranco to Barafu is broken up into two days, allowing for a short day just prior to the summit attempt.

This is important because summit day begins very early, around midnight, so climbers are sleep deprived going into the toughest day on the machameain. By having a short day beforehand, climbers can be better rested.

1. Arrival

Welcome to Tanzania! Upon your arrival into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), and after clearing customs and immigration, you will be met by our representative who will transfer you to your Hotel in Arusha. In the evening your guide who will brief you on your upcoming trek and do an equipment check to make sure you have all the necessary mountain gear. The missing gear can be rented on this day.

2. Machame Gate to Machame Camp

Elevation (ft): 5,400ft to 9,400ft

Distance: 11km

Hiking Time: 5-7 hours

Habitat: Forest

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

1st day Climbing will start with drive from Arusha to Machame Gate takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the machameain. We now leave the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. Lower down, the trail can be muddy and slippery. We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp.

3. Machame Camp to Shira Camp

Elevation (ft): 9,400ft to 12,500ft

Distance: 5km

Hiking Time: 4-6 hours

Habitat: Moorland

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 machame Meru to the east.

4. Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

Elevation (ft): 12,500ft to 13,000ft

Distance: 10km

Hiking Time: 6-8 hours

Habitat: Semi Desert

Following an early morning breakfast, you will leave the moorland environment and enter the semi desert and rocky landscape. After 5 hours of walking east, you will be come face to face with the Lava Tower (4630m). Packed lunches are served at the Tower and hikers have the option of climbing the massive Lava Tower weather permitting. At this point of the hike, it is normal for hikers to start feeling the effects from the altitude including headaches and shortness of breath.

After lunch, you will descend from Lava Tower (4630m) to the Barranco Campsite (3950m). The 6800m descent gives hikers a huge advantage to allow their bodies to adjust to the conditions of high altitude. The descent to camp takes around 2 hours to reach. It is located in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall (“Breakfast Wall”). Drinking and washing water and dinner will be served as hikers view the sun setting.

5. Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Elevation (ft): 13,000ft to 15,000ft

Distance: 9km

Hiking Time: 8-10 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Another exciting day for the climb will be a short day but fun! Start to challenge a rocky climb (not technical) at Barranco wall popularly known as Breakfast wall, which divides us from the southeastern slopes of Kibo. Passing underneath the Heim and Kersten glaciers, we head towards the Karanga Valley 4100m/13’120 feet for overnight. Will take us only 3-4 hours to make to Karanga camp but will spend some time on the top of the wall for some fun pictures of us!

6. Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

Elevation (ft): 4035 m/4640 ft

Distance: 6km

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Following breakfast, you will leave Karanga Camp (3959m). The trail intersects with the Mweka Route, which is the trail used to descend on the final two days. As you continue hiking for an hour, you will reach Barafu Hut. This is the last water stop for the porters because there is no accessible water at Barafu Camp (4550m). The word “barafu” in Swahili means “ice” and this camp is located on a rocky, exposed ridge. Tents will be exposed to wind and rocks so it is important for hikers to familiarize themselves with the campsite before dark. An early dinner will be served so hikers can rest before attempting the summit the same night. Your guide will brief you in detail on how to prepare for summit night. Get to sleep by 19:00!

7. Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut

Elevation (ft): 4680 m/15360 ft

Distance: 3.5 km/ 2.2 miles

Hiking Time: 3.5 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent

Habitat: Arctic

We start our day around 09:00am with a short hike of 2-3 hours toward Barafu camp 4680m/14784 feet; we will have a lunch at the camp then rest until early dinnertime before we start our challenge to the summit at mid night. This is our last night before we start our summit at mid-night thus why we need to have early dinner and sleep early.

8. Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Elevation (ft): 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft

Distance: 10 km/6 miles

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Habitat: Rain Forest

On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us back to the hotel in Arusha.

9. Departure

After breakfast and rest, we will Transfer you to Kilimanjaro International Airport for those returning home.

INCLUDE

  • Transport fees to and from Kilimanjaro Airport and your accommodation in Arusha
  • 2 nights of stay at a hotel in Arusha
  • Transfer to and from the Kilimanjaro Gate
  • Machameain guides, cooks, and porters who are both professional and friendly
  • Hot meals served three times per day
  • Ample amachame of treated and filtered drinking water throughout the trek
  • Hot water for washing
  • Set fair wages for the machameain crew which are approved by the Kilimanjaro Association of Tour Operators (KIATO), and Kilimanjaro National Park Authority (KINAPA), Kilimanjaro Association of Tour Operators (KIATO)Government taxes
  • Portable oxygen tanks & ox meter
  • Emergency first-aid kit

EXCLUDE

  • Lunch, dinner, and drink at your hotel both before and after your climb
  • International Flights
  • Visa Fees
  • Vaccination
  • Laundry
  • Gear for your climb
  • A portable flush toilet with a toilet tent. It can be rented at $70 for the entire trek
  • Items of personal nature

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