Machame Route

One of the more scenic routes up the mountain
Known as the "Whiskey Route" - a contrast to the Marangu Route since overnights are in tents
Six (6) days to conquer the summit of the roof of Africa

The last kilometers of the road to Machame Gate

At Machame Gate

Rain forest

Day 1: Machame gate (1490m) to Machame camp (2980m)
Hiking time: Seven (7) hours
After a breakfast, you will be briefed on what to expect during the hiking and some secrets behind concurring the summit. And then one hour drive from Moshi town or Marangu village to Machame village (1490m). Guides and porters will pack your gears and food at the village. You will also be given lunch packs and mineral water at the village, which will save you as you spend seven (7) hours walking to the next stopover (Machame hut). After you have completed the registration process at the gate, you will then kick start the enjoyable hiking and will reach the Machame hut late in the afternoon. Accommodations on the mountain are tents.

The well maintained path on the Machame Route

Day 2: Machame Camp (2980m) to Shira Camp (3840m)
Hiking time: Six (6) hours
After breakfast you'll start the hiking again which will take you an hour to finish the Montane forest and enter the moorland vegetation. In the moorland vegetation you walk for about 2 hours through a gentle slope. Continue up a rocky ridge onto Shira plateau where you will be capable to see an easterly side, the western Breach with its dramatic glaciers. You are now on the west of Kibo and it will take you a short walk before reaching the Shira campsite. Tea/coffee and some nuts will be served to you to warm up your body before the main dish for the evening before retiring to your sleeping. The camp is very much exposed therefore you have to tolerate a much colder night as the temperature drop further than the freezing point.

Camping at Machame Huts

Day 3: Shira Camp (3840m) to Lava Tower (4630m) and then to Barranco Camp (3950m)
Hiking time: Seven (7) hours
The route now take into semi-desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava tower where it reaches an altitude of 4630m after a five hours walk. Before ascending on the rocky scree path to Lava tower, there is a resting site (pick nick site) also for taking your packed lunch. Usually at the Lava tower most of the hikers start experience the symptoms of breathless, tetchiness and headaches. Here you will be benefited with an acclimatization of the mountain weather. You will spend about 2hrs descending to Barranco camp at 3950m. All the way down to Barranco you will have a greater chance to take some great shots (photos) of the Western breach and Breach wall. The camp is in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which provide you with a superb sunset while waiting for your dinner.

Camp on the Shira Plateau

 

Panorama

 

Machame Route

Shira Plateau

Day 4: Barranco Camp (3950m) to Barafu Camp (4550m)
Hiking time: Seven (7) hours
Start hiking up hill over the awesome looking barrier, which turns out pretty easier than what you expected before. Below Heim Glacier you will now appreciate how fine-looking really Kilimanjaro is. Then you will head down through Karanga Valley over the superseding ridges and valleys to eventually join with the famous Mweka route (descent only). Within this valley you will also meet the last water point since there is no water at the Barafu hut so you will collect enough for further use. It is most preferred route descending from the summit as it passes through the Mweka route. You'll turn to your left up the ridge and have an hour or two walk before reaching Barafu Hut. The area to camp is desolate and hostile to spend the night. The tents are pitched over a narrow, stony and dangerous ridge. You will need to familiarize with environment of the area before it gets dark to avoid risk of accidents. At this point now you are 1345m away from the summit and you will make your final ascent to conquer the summit in the midnight of the same day. Get ready all the summit equipment including thermal clothing, replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries without forgetting to carry spare set with you. To prevent freezing you have to carry your water in a thermal flask bottle. Go to bed as early as 19:00 hrs and have a rest and sleep until 23 hrs ready for summit hiking.

Barranco Camp

 

Barafu Hut Camp

Day 5: Barafu Camp (4550m) to Uhuru Peak (5895m) and Down to Mweka Hut (3100m)
Hiking time: Eight (8) hours
To conquer Uhuru peak will take you eight (8) hrs and seven (7) to Eight (8) hours to Mweka hut. The summit attempt begins at 23hours, after some tea and biscuits. You will head northwest and ascend through the heavy stone scree towards Stella point which stands at 5685m on the crater rim. It is six (6) hours walk to reach Stella Point and for most climbers; the most challenging time on route mentally and physically. At Stella point you will take a short break and observe a magnificent sunrise if the weather permits. Normally it takes you a two (2) hours walk to ascend to Uhuru peak from here encountering snow all the way. The time to spend at Uhuru peak will depend on the weather condition. It is advised not to stay for too long at Stella point as it may be very difficult to start over due to extreme cold and fatigue. Walking back to Barafu hut will take you at least three (3) hours where you will be required to collect all your belongings before continuing to descend to Mweka hut (3100m). The route is easy and will take you through the rock and scree path down into the moorland and at last the forest. The forest is in the upper part of the forest hence receiving a lot of mist and rain in the late afternoon. Washing water and dinner will be served soon after their preparation here at Mweka hut.

Climbers on the last metres up the Barranco Wall

Day 6: Mweka Hut (3100m) to Mweka Gate (1980m)
Hiking time: Three (3) hours.
After taking your breakfast, you will begin the easiest part of your adventure on Mount Kilimanjaro over the scenic path through the forest to Mweka gate. When you reach the Mweka gate you will be required to register your name and details and for the successful climbers will receive their certificates. Climbers who reached Stella point will receive Green certificates and those who conquered the summit (5895m) will receive Gold certificates. From Mweka gate you'll have another walk on a muddy road for about 3km to Mweka Village where you will be served a lunch. After having your lunch you will drive back to Moshi town or Marangu village to have a long hot shower, dinner and celebration!! Overnight at the Lodge/Hotel.