Details of Machame Route – Climb Kilimanjaro – 6 days
The Machame Route is located in the south-western part of the Kilimanjaro National Park. This route is also called “the Whiskey Route” and is considered as the most beautiful and scenic of all of the routes. This route is appropriate for more adventurous hikers as it is harder and physically more demanding than the Marangu route and you will need to be well prepared and fit to do this route. Although this route is not as easy as Marangu route, you will get amazing photo opportunities of Shira and the Barranco Wall. About 25% of climbers choose this route. The accommodation on this route is in tents only. This route can be done in 6 days (5 nights) or 7 days (6 nights). If you choose the 7 days Machame route tour, you will spend your overnight stay on the fourth day at the Karanga camp, whereas at the 6 days Machame route tour you will continue your hike on the fourth day from Karanga camp to Barafu camp.
DAY 1 Start of Machame Route at Machame Gate (1790m) – Machame Camp (3010m)
You will walk the first meters on the way to the first camp on a well-developed forest road. The rain forest is responsible for the wet and humid climate. Right and left of the road you will find the Kilimanjaro Bright red giant ferns and impatiens.
Walking distance: approximately 9 km
Duration: 6-7 hours
Vegetation zone: Ascent in the rainforest zone
On the first day of your Kilimanjaro climb you will be picked up after breakfast from your hotel and transferred to Machame Gate. From Arusha, the journey takes about 2 hours. On the way you get a first glimpse of Tanzanian life. Just after the village Weru Weru you leave the main road and make your way on a small mountain road, past banana plantations to the gate. There all the paperwork is done and your luggage will be distributed to the porters.
Once registered in the official book of TANAPA you can finally start climbing. You will walk the first meters on the way to the first camp on a well-developed forest road. The rain forest is responsible for the wet and humid climate. Right and left of the road you will find the Kilimanjaro Bright red giant ferns and impatiens. On the way enjoy your picnic lunch. Strengthened you will continue your way after lunch. The path gets narrower and steeper winding through the jungle, past the gargantuan trees and ferns. After another hour, the landscape is slowly changing. You enter the moorland zone. After 6 hours of climbing to reach the Machame Camp at an altitude of 3010m.
The porters have already built your tent and welcome you with tea and biscuits. After resting, get a briefing for the next day and enjoy a tasty dinner. With luck, you will experience a beautiful sunset and see the first snow-capped peak of Kibo.
DAY 2 Machame Camp (3010m) – Shira Camp (3845m)
The route begins in the moorland zone. At an altitude of 3200 meters large rock formations obstruct the now only 50 cm wide path. After passing those rocks you will be rewarded with a magnificent view over the Machame Camp and down to Machame Village.
On this day you have only a short stage. Wake up with the first rays of sun to start your day with a good breakfast. Enjoy an incredible view of the summit of Kilimanjaro and start to walk towards Shira Camp. The route begins in the moorland zone. At an altitude of 3200 meters large rock formations obstruct the now only 50 cm wide path.
After passing those rocks you will be rewarded with a magnificent view over the Machame Camp and down to Machame Village. The air is already much thinner and the lunch break is held at an altitude of 3400 meters. After lunch you have the most difficult part of today’s stage. The vegetation is decreasing and the black lava sand is increasing. Again and again, it goes up and down, past the small mountain streams to rocky walls and deep ravines. At an altitude of 3700 meters, the landscape changes again. The Shira Camp is situated at an altitude of 3845 meters in the middle of the Shira Plateau. If you are still fit, ask your guide to go with you to the Shira Cathedral and the Needle and the Shira-Hill. The view of Mount Meru, among other things is more than worthwhile.
The rest of the evening is as the previous day.
DAY 3- Shira Camp (3845m) – Barranco Camp (3960m)
The route is well passable. On Lavatower at an altitude of 4430 meters you have reached your altitude goal for today. It is very quiet up here, so you can hear your own heartbeat and the wind in your ears.
Walking distance: approximately 10 km
Duration: 6-7 hours
Vegetation zone: Ascend in Moorland / alpine desert
After breakfast you start your 3rd stage. First trek south of the Shira / Lemosho route. The path runs through a black lava desert past millions of heavy rocks. Some of them remind us of cairns. The route is well passable. On Lavatower at an altitude of 4430 meters you have reached your altitude goal for today. It is very quiet up here, so you can hear your own heartbeat and the wind in your ears. During the lunch break you can glimpse the snowline above the Lavatower and the temperatures are very close to freezing point. After lunch break move on to Barranco Valley. The path runs along the mountain range over the Kibo Circuit.
Slowly the stonedesert disappears and along the way you find again the typical giants cross herbs, as well as heath and moorland. After about 7 hours you reach your destination. From the Barranco Camp you can see the Great Barranco Wall, the Western Breach of Kibo, the window and the south glacier. In the evening sun occurres a wonderful play of colors. The evening is similar to the evening of yesterday.
DAY 4 – Barranco Camp (3960m) – Barafu camp (4550m)
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall, through the Karanga Valley to the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Hut.
Walking distance: approximately 13 km
Duration: 8 hours
Vegetation zone: Alpine Desert
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall, through the Karanga Valley to the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Hut. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp with views of the summit in the distance.
DAY 5 Summit Day: Barafu Camp (4640m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mweka Camp (3080m)
Night ascend to the summit and then descend to Mweka Camp…
Walking distance: approximately 19 km
Duration: 14-16 hours
Vegetation zone: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
Night ascend to the summit and then descend to Mweka Camp. After a short night wake up at midnight and take a small snack and then start for the final part of your ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro. Together with your guide you will step into the freezing cold and silent night. Step by step the path leads steeply up and over boulders to reach the crater rim after 5-6 hours, and thus the Stella Point, at an altitude of 5740m. From here there are only 150 meters left to reach your gaol. Accompanied by the first rays of the day you pass the Rebmann Glacier and move to the Hans Meyer Point. During sunrise occurs an amazing play of light across the ice formations.
Soon you can see the summit sign of Mount Kilimanjaro and then you have actually done it. Congratulations you have reached the highest point of Africa. At an altitude of 5895 meters, you will be rewarded with a fabulous view of the hardships and you can proudly make the typical summit picture.
After a short break, the descent is made along the crater rim back to Stella Point and further down to the Rebmann Glacier. The descent is via the same route as the ascent back to Barafu Camp. There, a hot lunch is waiting for you. After that you will go further down to Mweka Camp. The vegetation is of increasing interest and in the late afternoon you will reach your camp. The rest of the day is to relax and gather strength.
DAY 6 – Descend: Mweka Camp (3080m) – Mweka-Gate (1680m)
After 10 kilometers you will reach the Mweka Gate. Your driver is already there waiting for you and transfers you back to your hotel. At the end of the tour your guide will present to you a more than earned certificate for your Kilimanjaro climb. Transfe
Walking distance: approximately 10 km
Duration: 3-4 hours
Vegetation zone: Descent through moorland and rain forest
Your last day of the Kilimanjaro climb begins with a good breakfast. There is one last souvenir photo of the whole team before your way towards Mweka Gate continues. The route is a well-developed forest road and in the second half it is mainly characterized by rain forest. After 10 kilometers you will reach the Mweka Gate. Your driver is already there waiting for you and transfers you back to your hotel.
At the end of the tour your guide will present to you a more than earned certificate for your Kilimanjaro climb. Transfer back to Arusha. Dinner and overnight at the hotel/lodge, according to the type of accommodation options requested.