Kilimanjaro is the African continent’s best-known and highest mountain. With its snow-capped peak, it justifiably features on nearly every adventurer’s list of ‘must- dos.’
If you’re not in a tearing hurry, why not consider the Machame route, which takes one day longer than the more popular Marangu but is slightly more challenging. Accommodation on the ascent is in tents, adding to the sense of adventure. Extra time taken acclimatizing means a higher success rate! The Machame is actually the second most popular route for Mount Kilimanjaro climb. From the village at Machame (altitude: 1490 meters), the approach is from the south-west of the summit. Led by an expert guide and a team of porters and cooks, you at once enter into lush rainforest, as heavy rains frequently visit this side of the mountain.
It can be a muddy and slippery experience! Alpine moorland is another characteristic landscape in the early stages of this ascent. During the ascent, an optional scramble up the imperious Lava Tower is an option – for those with energy to spare. With our experienced, knowledgeable and, above all, passionate staff, we take care of all the complex and important arrangements for the ascent of this legendary mountain, essential to giving you the best Kilimanjaro experience. Happy climbing, indeed!
Please arrive by 07:30 AM for a prompt departure at 08:00 AM
Approximately 5:30 PM
.2 Nights accommodation in Arusha in a Standard Hotel Quality, waterproof private mountain tents Professional, experienced, mountain guides
.All Park fees:
.All meals while on the Mountain
.Arrival and Departure transfers
.Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
.Mess tents with table and chairs
.Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food:
.Clean, purified drinking water
.Crisis management and safety procedures
.Insurance and ethical treatment of porters
.2 nights luxury hotel in Arusha / Moshi (FB)
.Emergency Oxygen Tank
.Extra Sleeping Bag
.Assistant porter to carry your daypack everyday
Day 1: Airport – Hotel in Arusha
Your first night is to be spent at Lodge or hotel in Arusha. If you have chosen to be picked- up by us from Kilimanjaro International Airport, your driver will be waiting to meet and welcome you and take you to your lodge in Arusha to relax after your flight.
Day 2: Machame Gate – Machame Camp
Elevation (ft): 5,400ft to 9,400ft
Distance: 11 km
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours Habitat: Rain Forest
After an early breakfast (07.00), we leave the hotel one hour later to arrive at the Machame Gate for around 10.00, passing en-route the house of the village chief. We arrive ready for registration and the start of our trek. Excitement builds as the porters load up equipment and you meet the trekking team who will accompany you up the mountain. The Machame- Mweka Route (normally just referred to as the Machame Route) approaches from the mountain's south-western side. Your first day of walking, starting at an altitude of 1800 meters, will end at a height of over 3000 meters, cover a distance of 11 km and take around 4.5 to 5 hours of actual walking time. The beginning of today's walk is characterized by a wide track that winds its way up through dense forest, beautiful tall trees laden with green moss. As the route becomes steeper and narrower, so the vegetation changes and the
appearance of flowers such as impatiens Kilimanjaro and impatiens pseudo viola introduce
some bright colors to the scenery. The cloud forest trees can reach over 25 meters in height. A picnic lunch is enjoyed around 13.00, water bottles can be refilled and then our walk continues. The emblematic giant heathers appear as you reach heath land and the forest thins out. You get your first glimpse of Kibo peak. Machame Camp is reached at around 17.00. You will be surprised by the richness of the birdlife here. Dinner is served at 19.30.
Day 3: Machame camp – Shira Camp or Shira Cave
Elevation (ft): 9,400ft to 12,500ft Distance: 5 km Hiking Time: 4-6 hours Habitat: Moorland
You will soon become used to the early, 07.00 breakfasts and today we aim to leave the camp at 08.30. We have a further 800 meters of ascent, finishing the day at 3800 meters, and although the overall distance is short (5km) we will spend around 4.5 to 5 hours actually walking. Our path today is dusty, narrow and steep. The vegetation is initially made up of forests of heather but soon we will encounter the first of the giant groundsels. The climb before our midday picnic lunch is steep, but there are then great views to the
south and to Kibo, all to savor as you eat. With today's early start and the short distance, we should be at the camp by 14.00, by which time we will have met the moorland lobelias and the distinctive dark obsidian rock of Shira Plateau for the first time. Once at the camp, you will have plenty of time to admire sights such as the so-called Shira Cathedral, Klute Peak and Mount Meru, before your dinner at 18.00.
Day 4: Shira Camp/Cave – Barranco Camp
Elevation (ft): 12,500ft to 13,000ft Distance: 10 km Hiking Time: 6-8 hours Habitat: Semi Desert
Today's trek is longer than yesterday's, though our overall gain in height is modest. Starting
at 3800 meters, by the time we reach camp this afternoon we will only be 140 meters higher, though in between our start and finish we climb up to the base of the famous Lava Tower at 4627 meters, before descending again to our camp. The benefits for the purposes of acclimatization today are enormous, as you climb high and then descend again for the overnight stop. The overall distance of around 10km means that we will actually be walking for around 6.5 to 7 hours, excluding breaks. Once again, our day will begin with breakfast at 07.00 and departure at 08.30, when we begin our trek across the stony landscape of Shira Plateau. The vegetation is sparse at first, with just a few hardy lichens to admire. You climb towards the Lava Tower and your picnic lunch is taken at 13.00. After passing the highpoint of the day by the Lava Tower, we descend down to the Barranco Camp. Once at camp, which we expect to reach by 16.00, you should take time to admire the views of the southern face of Kibo as well as the Heim Glacier. Dinner tonight is served at 19.00
Day 5: Barranco Camp – Karanga Camp
Elevation (ft): 13,000ft to 13,100ft Distance: 5 km Hiking Time: 4-5 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert
Today we breakfast slightly later (07.30) and our walk is short, being only 4km but still taking between 3.5 and 4 hours of walking time. Our departure time today will be 08.30 and we will enjoy a hot lunch at 13.00 at Karanga and have the afternoon to enjoy the views before dinner at 18.00. Our altitude gain today is only 160 meters. At the beginning, we encounter the hardest part of today's stage as we have to scramble up the near-vertical face of the Barranco Wall (also commonly referred to as the 'Breakfast Wall' as you tackle it right after your breakfast!). At the top of this climb, you will be rewarded with views of the Heim Glacier. After this, the rest of today's walk becomes a bit easier as we first descend to the gully below, and into the cold but beautiful Karanga Valley. We then continue and finally climb up a steep series of zigzags until reaching the Karanga Camp
Day 6: Karanga Camp – Barafu Camp
Elevation (ft): 13,100ft to 15,300ft
Distance: 4 km Hiking Time: 4-5 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert
Another short day -in terms of distance - begins with our breakfast at the camp at 07.30 and another 08.30 departure. Today we will ascend about 500 meters in a distance of around 5km and walking time once again is between 3.5 and 4 hours. We might arrive the Barafu Camp by 13.00, when we will be rewarded with a hot lunch. (With tomorrow being the summit day, it will be important to relax and prepare for the hard work ahead.) Dinner tonight is served at 17.30, giving you time to get to bed early. After leaving Karanga, today's stage climbs steadily, passing through barren, rocky landscape, with the Decken and
Kersten glaciers visible away to your left. At the top of the climb, the landscape remains
bleak as you descend into a valley and you get your first sight of another glacier, Rebmann. At the end of this valley is today's goal, the Barafu Camp, at which you arrive after a short, steep scramble and a walk.
Day 7: Barafu Camp- Summit – Mweka Camp
•Elevation (ft): 15,300ft to 19,345ft (and down to 10,000ft) •Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent •Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent
Today is the most challenging day, but hopefully with the great sense of achievement of reaching your goal - the summit of Kilimanjaro! Our schedule for our 'Summit Day' is of course very different. Rising at 23.00, we take our tea and biscuits (23.30) before a midnight departure. The day starts with the long, tough climb from Barafu at 4600 meters to Stella Point at 5745 meters; for some of this you will be walking on scree, making your trek more difficult. From there it is another 150 meters of ascent and 45 minutes walk to the summit. Our goal is to reach the summit by around 07.00 then celebrate reaching the top, take our precious photos and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience. After the summit, we return to Barafu, where we rest for a couple of hours, take a hot lunch and then leave again at 13.30 to continue to descend to Mweka Camp (3100 meters) where we spend the night. We would expect to arrive at 17.00 and take our dinner at 19.00. (In total, we cover around 17km today with about 13 hours of walking.)
Day 8: Mweka Camp – Mweka Gate – Arusha/Moshi
Elevation (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft Distance: 10 km Hiking Time: 3-4 hours Habitat: Rain Forest
Still thrilled by your achievement, breakfast is taken at 07.00 and at 08.00 you can take the
chance to reward your trekking team at the 'Tipping Celebration.' Departure is at 09.00 and you descend down to Mweka Gate at an altitude of 1640 meters, where you will be served a hot lunch at midday and be presented with your hard-earned certificate. Your transport will be waiting to return you back to your in Arusha, where you can choose to relax - or go celebrate!
Day 9: Departure
After a good night's rest at your lodge, you will take breakfast ready for the scheduled check-out by 10.00. (If you wish to remain in the hotel during the day, please advise us of this when you book your trip and we will inform you of the cost for day room which ends at 18:00hrs, and then make the booking on your behalf.) If you have booked a transfer to the
airport, you will be collected from your hotel and dropped off at the airport. For those travelers who have booked to go on safari, our guide will be meeting you in the evening to provide you with a briefing.