This is probably the most beautiful route up Kilimanjaro. The accommodation on the way up and down is strictly camping (mobile tents) only. This trek is strenuous and may be better suited to more adventurous hikers. The Machame route is normally completed in a minimum of 6 days/5nights on the mountain.
Place to Visit: Mount Kilimanjaro National Park
DAY 1: ARUSHA TOWN OR KILIMANJARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – MOSHI
Pick up from Arusha town or Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to Moshi town, which is commonly known as the gateway to Mount Kilimanjaro. Half Board accommodation at a Salinero hotel in Moshi.
DAY 2: MOSHI – MACHAME GATE – MACHAME CAMP (3,000m)
Transfer to Machame Gate and begin the ascent of Mt. Kilimanjaro via Machame Route. Upon completion of entry formalities, begin walking through the mist on a 4 x 4 track for about an hour into the forest. The track ends, and the trail continues up through the dripping, verdant forest. Trekkers will likely hear the many exotic birds in the canopy above, and many even see black & white colobus monkeys and Sykes monkeys as they hike along the forest floor. The trek is quite long, though not very steep, and it takes from 5 to 7 hours trekking to reach the first camp. Machame Camp is just above the forest zone, in the heather zone. When it is clear, there are views of the jagged Shira ridge and the summit itself.
Day 3: MACHAME CAMP – SHIRA CAMP (3,840m)
Wake early to a steaming cup of tea or coffee served in your tent, and then after breakfast, begin up the steep track through a savannah of tall grasses, and trees of Giant Heather and Erica. The clouds should clear for a beautiful view of the Western Breach and the glaciers atop which mark the summit; Uhuru Peak. Scramble around large boulders as you enter the moorland zone, marked by the bizarre lobelia and Senecio plants, and volcanic rocks draped with lichen beards that protect wild alpine flowers growing at their bases. You’ll reach camp after descending a small valley and crossing a brook, then ascending up onto the Shira Ridge, after a total of about 4 to 5 hours of trekking.
Day 4: SHIRA CAMP – BARRANCO CAMP (3,950m)
Proceed steadily upward over long ridgelines of the high desert for about 4 hours, and break for lunch at about 14,500 feet (4,420 m). After lunch, continue to Lava Tower, a 300-foot-tall volcanic plug that marks an exposed pass at 15,000 feet (4,600 m). In the afternoon, descend the steep track into the Great Barranco Valley. Barranco Camp is set on a col (flat area) enclosed on three sides with steep valley walls and the Kibo massif itself. Hanging glaciers glint in the sunshine above, amidst the eerie landscape of plants such as the giant groundsels (Senecio Kilimanjaro), and the uniquely endemic Giant Lobelia. Trekking time is from 6 to 7 hours.
Day 5: BARRANCO CAMP – BARAFU CAMP (4,630m)
The day begins with a scramble up the steep ‘Barranco Wall’, then we trek 3-4 hours and stop in the Karanga Valley for a hot lunch. In the afternoon the trail turns steadily uphill. The temperature will grow colder and the landscape sparser as we near Barafu Camp. Barafu Camp is set on a small, exposed flat area on a ridge, acting as a base camp from which you will make your summit attempt at midnight tonight. Eat and drink as much as possible before retiring to your tent for rest and sleep.
Day 6: BARAFU CAMP – SUMMIT (5,895m) – MWEKA CAMP (3,110m)
The steaming hot drink will arrive very early on this momentous day. A midnight wake-up call is the start of a juggernaut (12-17 hours of trekking). You begin trekking from 12:30 to 1 am. The temperatures range from just below freezing at midnight, to between 10 deg. F (-12 deg. C) to –10 F. (-23 deg. C) just before dawn at the summit. The winding path of endless switchbacks will take form and shape in the shadows of the Ratzel and Rebman glaciers at early dawn, and behind you, the spires of Mawenzi will be silhouetted against the red glow of the sun from beneath the clouds. After about 6 hours of walking, you will come to the edge of the crater, at Stella Point, at 19,000 feet (5,790 m.), which is the end of the steep track. From here, there is a gentle slope upward about 1 hour to Uhuru Peak. After a short time at the summit, descend the steep scree trail back to Barafu Camp for some rest, then again summon your strength for further descent to Mweka Camp for the night.
Day 7: MWEKA CAMP – MWEKA GATE – MOSHI
Descend straight to the gate (2-3 hours), where you’ll have lunch and will be awarded climbing certificates. On arrival at the gate, you will have lunch, and then will be transferred back to a Hotel in Moshi/Arusha for dinner and overnight.
Day 8: MOSHI – ARUSHA
After breakfast, transfer back to Airport/ Arusha town.
• Park fees
• Conservation Fees
• All activities (unless labeled as optional)
• All accommodation as stated in the itinerary
• A professional Mountain Guide/crew
• All transportation (unless labeled as optional)
• Roundtrip airport transfer
• All Meals (as specified in the day-by-day section)
• Drinking water on all days
• Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees
• International flights (from/to home)
• Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
• Personal items (souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
• Services not mentioned in the program
• Travel insurance and medical repatriation
• Items of a personal nature