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6 Machame Route Trekking Itinerary

Summary

This is a popular route up steep paths through magnificent forests to gain a ridge leading through the moorland zones to the Shira Plateau. It then traverses beneath the glaciated precipices of the Southern Icefields to join the Barafu Route to the summit. An extra day could be added to the itinerary, best spent on the Shira Plateau, where you could walk to the Shira Needles. Strong groups could omit camping at Karanga River. The Mweka Route is used for the descent.

Accommodation on the mountain is in tents which the porters will pitch for you. You will need a sleeping bag, warm clothes and walking poles. This is a steep, tough trek within the limits of a fit individual used to walking in mountain areas.

Day 0: Arusha, Arrival day

Upon your landing at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), our driver will meet you and escort you to a reserved hotel in Arusha, Moshi or near the airport where he will brief you of the next day’s program; ready you for the great six days on Africa’s highest mountain. You will dine and spend the night in the same lodge.

Day 1: Machame Gate, 1815 m – Machame Camp, 3,000 m

You will be picked up from your hotel in Arusha or Moshi town at around 8:30 AM and then transfer to Machame gate. Today you begin your trek from Machame park entrance gate, through a dense forest of fig and rubber trees, begonia flowers and other tropical vegetation. A walk of about two to three hours will take you to this evening’s campsite. As you continue your ascent, you will find that the tropical forest has given way to tall grasses and giant heather.

Watch your steps as you walk on a ridge, to the left of which is the Semira stream and on the right, the Weru Weru. Depending on the pace of climbers, arrival at Machame Camp is usually between 5 and 6 p.m. Tranquil and relatively easy are the words which best describe the initial stage of this climb.Take time to admire the beauty of the rainforest. Your guides are very knowledgeable about the botany in this area and listening to them will make the walk all the more interesting and rewarding.

Day 2: Machame Camp – Shira Plateau (3,840 m)

Enjoy the fabulous view of Uhuru Peak as it greets you this morning. Today’s trek takes you up a steep track through a savannah of tall grasses, volcanic rock and bearded heather. You will encounter giant groundsels as you hike through an ethereal landscape of volcanic lava, caves and foaming streams.

A trek of approximately six hours will take you to your next campsite; you should arrive between 2 and 3 p.m. Most climbers tend to pace themselves, walking slowly, sipping at their water bottles and resting about every half-hour.

Day 3: Shira Plateau – Barranco Camp (3,950 m)

On your 6 a.m. wake-up call today, you will find the entire Shira Plateau at your feet, with sweeping views across to Mount Meru and the Shira Needles. A steady walk takes you up to the pass at Lava Tower (15,000 ft), where you will stop to have lunch. After crossing the Bastains stream, you begin the descent towards Barranco Camp.

Grand Barranco is an immense canyon. Numerous waterfalls, which are fed by streams coming from the mountain, converge here to form the Umbwe River. Your camp is set at almost the same altitude as on the previous night. Today’s trek lasts for about six hours and arrival at camp is between 4.30 and 5.30 p.m.

Day 4: Barranco Camp – Barafu Camp (4,630 m)

The day begins with a scramble up the steep ‘Barranco Wall’, and 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 more sparse 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 5: Ascend to the summit (5,895 m) / Descend to Mweka Camp (3,110 m)

It is at this stage that the climb becomes much more difficult and hikers should carry as little as possible for this stage which starts at midnight. Temperatures range from -4 degrees to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Climbing steadily, flanked by the Ratzel and Rebman glaciers, for about six hours will bring you to the edge of the crater between Stella and Hans Meyer points. Another hour of climbing brings you to the summit.

Concentrate on your feet, and follow your guide very closely for this section of the journey – the track around the edge of the crater is rocky and icy. Uhuru towers at 19,340 ft and is the highest point on the continent of Africa – and this is where you now stand!

Relax and partake of refreshment at Kibo Hut before continuing on to Mweka Camp for the night. Arriving into camp at around 5 p.m. you will look back and realize that, today, you have trekked a total of thirteen hours!

Day 6: Mweka camp – Mweka gate (1,830)

Congratulate yourself today on your great achievement! The descent to the gate takes approximately five hours and climbers usually arrive before noon. Upon arrival at the gate, you will be rewarded with a certificate attesting your success at conquering Mount. After that you will be transferred to your reserved lodge in either Arusha, Moshi or at Kilimanjaro International Airport.

Day 0: Departure or Extend to safari/Zanzibar

Based on your flight schedule, our driver transfers your to airport to board the plane.

Price per person based on two persons group = $1,754

note: price is dependent on group size & composition

Booking Form

    Included in the price:

    • Transfers (pick up from the airport to the hotel during your arrival, and transfer to the airport during your departure).
    • Accommodations before and after the trek (FB).
    • Park entrance/Camping fees.
    • Transfers from base hotel to the park entrance gate and come back.
    • Food; 3 meals per day, breakfast, lunch and dinner (All meals are hot).
    • Water for drinking.
    • Professional and Experience Mountain Guide who have qualified in wilderness (ratio 3 clients for 2 guides).
    • First aid responder (WFR).
    • Water proof tents.
    • Oxygen tank.
    • Good number of porters.
    • Cook.
    • Pulse oxymeter, stetescope.
    • Hot water every day for washing.
    • Salaries to the Guides, cooks and porters.

    Excluded from the price:

    • Tips for the trekking crew; two guides, one cook and eight porters.
    • All items of personal nature such as clothing, sun glass, suncream and electrical devices.