6 Days Kilimanjaro Climb via Machame Route

Day 1: Arusha to Machame Gate to Machame Camp

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.

Day 2: Machame Camp – Shira Camp

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.

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.

Day 3: Shira – Lava Tower – Barranco camp

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.

Day 4: Barranco camp – Barafu camp

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.

Day 5: SUMMIT ATTEMPT, Barafu camp – Uhuru Peak – Mweka camp

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.

Day 6: Mweka camp – Mweka gate – Arusha

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. From the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy 3 km (1 hour) hike. In the Mweka village you will be served a delicious hot lunch!!
At the Mweka Gate, meet Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Officials gives you the Certificate of Achievement.
You now drive back to Arusha for a long overdue hot shower, dinner, celebrations!! Â and Overnight

Package Cost Includes:

  • All transport to and from the mountain
  • Accommodation as detailed on the itinerary.
  • Free storage of excess baggage not required on the mountain trek.
  • Services of a private mountain guide, cook and adequate porters to carry both trip provisions and client’s private bags.
  • Park entry fee, accommodation and camping fees.
  • All meals and catering equipment – breakfasts, lunches (packed when necessary) and evening meals prepared by our own cook. Special dietary requirements are catered for with prior arrangements at no extra cost.

Package Cost excludes:

  • International Flights
  • Visa, passport, vaccinations, medicines.
  • Expenditure on alcoholic drinks, souvenirs and other personal items.
  • Optional excursions not detailed in the itinerary.
  • Porters to carry excess of 35 lbs. (15 kg). Personal luggage per client.
  • Travel and personal accident insurance.
  • Tips and Gratuities

Package Cost Includes:

  • All transport to and from the mountain
  • Accommodation as detailed on the itinerary.
  • Free storage of excess baggage not required on the mountain trek.
  • Services of a private mountain guide, cook and adequate porters to carry both trip provisions and client’s private bags.
  • Park entry fee, accommodation and camping fees.
  • All meals and catering equipment – breakfasts, lunches (packed when necessary) and evening meals prepared by our own cook. Special dietary requirements are catered for with prior arrangements at no extra cost.

Package Cost excludes:

  • International Flights
  • Visa, passport, vaccinations, medicines.
  • Expenditure on alcoholic drinks, souvenirs, and other personal items.
  • Optional excursions not detailed in the itinerary.
  • Porters to carry an excess of 35 lbs (15 kg). Personal luggage per client.
  • Travel and personal accident insurance.
  • Tips and Gratuities
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Kilimanjaro Climb via Machame Route