Machame Route

The Machame route is also called the "Whiskey Route", even though this is a very difficult route, it is viewed by many Kili guides as the most enjoyable route. Despite this high difficulty level, the success rate of this route is very high, possibly because climbers have more time to acclimatize if they take the Barafu Route to the summit. An extra acclimatization day can be taken in the Karanga Valley. Also, this route gives you the option of taking the Western Breach to the summit.

It is not hard to see why most of the climbers prefer this route as it is beginning on the South-Western side of Mt. Kili, climbers pass through some of the mountain’s finest features, including the cloud forest of Kili’s southern slopes, the dry and dusty Shira Plateau and the lovely Senecio clad Barranco Campsite. In order to reach the actual summit, you have a choice of two paths: most people head for the lengthy, long-winded climb up the Barafu trail, with the Rebmann Glacier edging into your field of vision on your left as dawn breaks behind Mawenzi behind you. Alternatively, the more adventurous can go on the Western Breach Route, departing from the regular trail at Lava Tower on the western side of Kibo before heading up to chilly Arrow Glacier Campsite, then pressing on from there to the crater floor, gaining access to the crater at a point near the Furtwangler Glacier. Many climbers will spend a night here at the Crater Campsite, before pushing on up the crater’s southern rim to Uhuru Peak. To descend you come down via the Mweka Route, a steep but very pretty encompassing inhospitably dry mountain desert and lush lowland forest in a matter of a few hours.

  • OVERVIEW
  • 6 DAYS 5 NIGHTS
  • 7 DAYS 6 NIGHTS

Even though the Machame Route is widely estimated to be harder than the Marangu Route, the proportion of climbers who reach the summit using this route is marginally but significantly higher. Whether this is evidence that this route allows people to acclimatize more or whether is simply an indication that it is used by more experienced and hardened climber, we are looking forward to finding out.

OPTIONS

DAY 1

DAY 2

DAY 3

DAY 4

DAY 5

DAY 6

DAY 7

6 DAYS

(Option 1)

Machame Gate to Machame Camp

Machame Camp to Shira Camp

Shira Camp to Lava Tower then to Barranco Camp

Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp then to Barafu Camp

Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak then to Mweka Camp

Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

-

6 DAYS

(Option 2)

Machame gate to Machame Camp

Machame Camp to Shira 2 camp

Shira 2 to Lava Tower camp

Lava Tower Camp to Uhuru peak

Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

-

7 DAYS

(Option 3)

Machame gate to Machame Camp

Machame Camp to Shira camp

Shira Camp to Lava Tower then to Barranco

Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak then to Mweka Camp

Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Day 1: Machame Gate (1,80m) – Machame Camp (3,000m)
Distance Approximation: 11 km
Habitat: Rain Forest
After breakfast, you will be taken to the entrance gate of Kilimanjaro National Park. While your guide takes care of the registration forms, you can take the time to take in the surrounding area, read the information boards and watch the mountain crew prepare for the climb. Embarking on your climbing adventure, you will soon be immersed in the cool rainforest with lush green mosh and lichen carpeting the ground and tall trees and ferns sheltering you from the sun. In the branches, you might spot the black and white colobus monkeys watching you curiously as you walk past. In about 5 to 6 hours, you will reach the Machame Camp, situated 3,000 m above the tree line, where you will enjoy your evening meal and overnight stay in tents.

Day 2: Machame Camp (3,000m) – Shira Camp (3,840m)
Distance Approximation: 5 km
Habitat: Moorland
You will continue with your ascent, leaving the rainforest behind and entering the moor and heathland. On your way to New Shira Camp, you will enjoy spectacular views of the mountain range. In the mid-afternoon, you will finally reach your destination where you can enjoy a view of the sun glistening against the rock face and glacier of Kibo. Overnight at New Shira Camp.

Day 3: Shira Camp (3,840m) – Lava Tower Hut (4,640m) – Barranco Camp (3,950m)
Distance Approximation: 10.7 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
An 800 m climb is on the agenda for today, with your final destination only slightly higher than the night before. This will allow your body to become accustomed to the altitude changes, as a height of over 4,500 m will be reached over the following days. Your climbing begins with an ascent above the Shira Plateau in the direction of the Lava Tower. The surrounding vegetation becomes more sporadic as the landscape changes to an alpine desert. The route stretches through the sweeping Barranco Valley, with its lobelia and giant senecio plants, and in approximately 6 to 8 hours, you will arrive at the Barranco Camp, the most beautiful camp on the mountain.

Day 4: Barranco Camp (3,950 m) – Barafu Camp (4,680 m)
Distance Approximation: 9.4 km
Habitat: Alpine desert
Today you will climb the “Barranco Wall”, where a steady hold will be needed. Luckily a helping hand is never far behind and your guides will assist you wherever necessary. You will make your way across the ridge, whilst enjoying wonderful views of the Kibo’s south glacier. In the Karanga Valley, you will stop for lunch, before embarking on another 2 to 3 hours climb to Barafu Camp. At the camp, you will enjoy a well-deserved break, evening meal and an early night.

Day 5: Barafu Camp (4,680 m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895 m) – Mweka Camp (3,100 m)
Distance Approximation: 12 km
Habitat: Arctic and Rain Forest
At around midnight, you will be awoken with a hot tea and light snack before you start your climb to Uhuru Peak. Ascending in the dark, with only a headlight to shine the way, you will climb the screes of Kibo, reaching Stella Point in about 5 to 7 hours. Walking along the crater ridge you will finally reach Uhuru Peak high above the clouds. On the “Roof of Africa” you will enjoy a 360° view over the surrounding landscape before starting your descent along the same route. Just before midday, you will arrive at Barufu Camp, where you will have a warm meal and relax before continuing another 1 to 3 hours to Mweka Camp. Here you will have your evening meal and sleep with the sights of Mount Kilimanjaro still fresh in your mind.

Day 6: Mweka Camp (3,100m) – Mweka Gate (1,640m)
Distance Approximation: 10 km
Habitat: Rain Forest
The final day on the mountain is a short climbing. after breakfast and a traditional farewell ceremony by your mountain crew, you will start your final descent to Mweka Gate. A leisurely 3 to 4 hours walk will once again take you through the lush rainforest, where the endemic Impatiens Kilimanjaro flower grows. Go slowly and enjoy the wonderful rainforest scenery as you head towards Mweka Gate. Reaching Mweka Gate you will be greeted by our transfer driver, who will take you back to your Hotel. The rest of the day is for you to enjoy at leisure, enjoy a long shower, jump in the pool or just relax at the bar.

Day 1: Machame Gate (1,800m) – Machame Camp (3,000m)
Distance Approximation: 11 km
Habitat: Rain Forest
After breakfast, you will be picked up at the hotel and taken to the Kilimanjaro National park gate. After completion of all the necessary paperwork, your adventure commences. Your destination for today is the Machame Camp, a 5 to 7 hours climbing. Soon you will be climbing through the lush rainforest with its large ancient trees, primaeval ferns and endemic flowers, like the Impatiens Kilimanjaro. You might also spot black and white thumbless colobus monkeys, peeking through the leaves. Reaching the campsite, you will have time to relax, stretch your legs and enjoy a hearty meal, before snuggling into your tent for the night.

Day 2: Machame Camp (3,000m) – Shira Camp (3,840m)
Distance Approximation: 5 km
Habitat: Moorland
Today’s early start is not due to a long stretch, but rather to allow you to reach Shira Camp at around mid-afternoon. As you walk you will notice the dramatic change in the landscape – from lush and green rainforest to dry moor and heathland. Arriving at your campsite a beautiful view of the mountain range opens up before you. The glaciers of Kibo glistens in the golden hue of the setting sun as you enjoy another lovingly cooked meal before climbing into your tent.

Day 3: Shira Camp (3,840m) – Lava Tower Hut (4,640m) – Barranco Camp (3,950m)
Distance Approximately 10.7 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Acclimatization is on today’s menu, where you will climb roughly 700 m, but sleep on a level not much higher than the previous night. Starting at Shira Plateau, you will make your way up to Lava Tower, where you will rest a while, before continuing through the Barranco Valley to the beautiful Barranco Camp. The climb will take approximately 6 to 8 hours, but the various distractions of the alpine desert, as well as the Barranco Valley with its small lobelia plants and giant senecio’s, will keep your mind off the stretch still ahead. A well-deserved dinner and overnight await you at Barranco Camp.

Day 4: Barranco Camp (3,950m) – Karanga Camp (4,200m)
Distance Approximation: 5 km
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Today the Barranco Wall stands before you to conquer. Some stages will require you to use your hands for a better grip, but no actual climbing is necessary and your guide will be with you every step of the way to lend a helping hand. The route with its numerous ascents and descents allow for further acclimatization, before reaching the mountain ridge. Walking along the ridge you can take in the beautiful landscape with its stunning contrasts of desert and vegetation, before finally reaching the cloudy Karanga Camp. Your climbing will take between 4 – 5 hours, leaving more than enough time to rest and play a game of rummy. Evening meal and overnight at Karanga Camp.

Day 5: Karanga Camp (4,200m) – Barafu Camp (4,680m)
Distance Approximation: 4 km/2 miles
Habitat: Alpine Desert
Awakening to the sunlight dancing off the Kibo Summit, you will enjoy a hearty breakfast before setting out to today’s destination Barafu Camp. Most of the day will be spent walking through very dry desertic terrain, with Kibo ever present on your left side. After 4 to 5 hours you will reach Barafu Camp, where you will have an early dinner and overnight as the highlight of your trip is only a few short hours away.

Day 6: Barafu Camp (4,680m) – Uhuru Peak (5,895m) – Mweka Camp (3,100m)
Distance Approximation: 12 km
Habitat: Arctic and Rain Forest
At around midnight you will be awoken by your guide with a warm cup of tea and biscuits to get you ready for your final ascent. The moon and your headlamps will be your only source of light as you make your way up to Stella Point, reaching the crater rim in about 5 to 7 hours. Another 1 to 3 hours will take you to Uhuru Peak (5,895m), where you can enjoy the sun rising over the African landscape, casting a pink hue over the snowy peak and making the glaciers sparkle like diamonds around you. After capturing this incredible view and achievement on film, you will start your descent along the same route back to Barafu Camp, where your team awaits you with some snacks and refreshments. Rested and relaxed you will make your way to Mweka Camp for your last night on the highest mountain in Africa.

Day 7: Mweka Camp (3,100m) – Mweka Gate (1,640m)
Distance Approximation: 10 km
Habitat: Rain Forest
The final day on the mountain is a short climbing. after breakfast and a traditional farewell ceremony by your mountain crew, you will start your final descent to Mweka Gate. A leisurely 3 to 4 hours walk will once again take you through the lush rainforest, where the endemic Impatiens Kilimanjaro flower grows. Go slowly and enjoy the wonderful rainforest scenery as you head towards Mweka Gate. Reaching Mweka Gate you will be greeted by our transfer driver, who will take you back to your Hotel. The rest of the day is for you to enjoy at leisure, enjoy a long shower, jump in the pool or just relax at the bar.

Tour Package Includes:

🗸 Airport and Mt. transfer fees.
🗸 2 Night Hotel accommodation in Arusha or Moshi.
🗸 Quality, Waterproof, four-season private mountain sleeping tent.
🗸 Quality Mess tents with table and chairs.
🗸 Free Arusha/Moshi City walking tour.
🗸 Certified, experienced, English speaking mountain guides
🗸 All Tanzanian National Park Fees including Rescue Fees, Taxes and Permits.
🗸 Baggage Storage for excess unused staffs
🗸 All hot Meals prepared by our cook.
🗸 Clean, purified Drinking water during climbing..
🗸 Salaries for the mountain crew above KIATO payment requirement.
🗸 Personal Summit Certificate signed by the National Park and your Guide.

Tour Package Excludes:

🗙 International and local airfares.
🗙 Tips for guides, porters and cook and gratuities (high recommended).
🗙 Laundry services.
🗙 Tanzania Entry visa and other permits.
🗙 Travel insurance.
🗙 Meals and drinks not specified
🗙 Private mountain gears.
🗙 Other Items of a personal nature and unspecified services.

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