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Tanzania – 7 Days Mt. Kilimanjaro Climbing via Machame Route

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From$2,500
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7 Days 6 Nights
Availability : Nov 19’ - Dec 22’
New York City, USA
Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Min Age : 9+
Max People : 20
Tour Details

Machame Route, a beautiful route up Kilimanjaro that allows you to experience the southwest and south sides of the mountain, since you go up one way and down another. All your equipment and supplies are carried by porters and a cook prepares all your meals. Unlike the Machame Route where you sleep in huts, on the Machame you sleep in tents (tents are included), and the porters will pitch your tent for you. Meals are served in a dinner tent or on a blanket outside.

This makes the Machame, which is referred to as the “Whiskey Route,” better suited to more adventurous hikers, and it also rewards you with better views than the Machame Route. From late afternoon sunsets at Shira, to the misty revelations of Kibo’s great Barranco Wall, the Machame Route offers the spunky hiker a continuous scenic slide show. The Machame Route is normally completed in 6 days, and this greatly helps your acclimatization. The Machame Route takes you high to Lava Tower (4,630 m/15,190 ft) on day 3 then brings you down for an overnight at Barranco Camp (3,950 m/12,960 ft). This intermediate ascent and descent is the secret to a successful acclimatization, and is the reason that this route has a high success rate.

Departure & Return Location

John F.K. International Airport (Google Map)

Departure Time

3 Hours Before Flight Time

Price Includes

  • 2 nights accommodation (before and after the climb)
  • Qualified guides with mountain crew
  • Park Fees
  • All transportation in destination location
  • All meals on the mountain (breakfast, lunch & dinner)

Price Excludes

  • Guide Service Fee
  • Driver Service Fee
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Room Service Fees
  • Air fares
  • Single rooms at Springlands Hotel (except on the 1 person rate)
  • Airport transfers

Complementaries

  • Umbrella
  • Sunscreen
  • T-Shirt
  • Entrance Fees
What to Expect

If you arrive at the Kilimanjaro Airport, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Moshi or Arusha. We recommend at least one rest day before starting your trek. If you are transferring from Nairobi, this can act as your rest day. If you have time, enjoy a guided walk through the local rice fields and rainforest, do a little shopping in the town of Moshi, relax at the swimming pool, or get a massage.

Your guide will provide a briefing the evening before your trek, and you must separate one bag for the trek from your other luggage. Rental equipment is available. Extra luggage can be stored in a locked storage room at your Moshi hotel at no charge.

The next morning, enjoy a hearty breakfast before last-minute trip preparations at the trekking office. Depending on the route you take, the drive to the trailhead can take up to one hour and can be very bumpy.

Once you reach the park gate, climbers are requested to make their final preparations for the climb and sign the national park registration book. Porters will be seen arranging their packs containing the food, water, and other equipment. Make sure that you have all your day pack items with you as the porters travel very quickly. Your guide will be pleased to assist with any additional information.

The average hiking day begins between 8-9am and is about 5 to 6 hours, walking very, very slowly. The distances you will hike each day are very moderate so as to acclimate a little at a time. Your guides will repeat over and over, “pole pole” (po-ly, po-ly), which means “go slowly” in Swahili.

The terrain lower down is absolutely gorgeous and fascinating. Higher up, the views are vast. There is little to do at the camps themselves, so take advantage of the slow pace to absorb the scenery and take every photo opportunity.

The hike to the summit starts around midnight depending on your route and speed of your group. You will go as high as you feel fit. Some people stop at the crater rim, and others continue to the very highest point on the mountain. Your guides will then take you down as quickly as possible to minimize any altitude problems. You will continue past your last campsite to the next one for overnight.

You can add an extra day at the Horombo Huts (3,690 m/12,100 ft). You can spend a full day and a second night at Horombo. On this day, you can either rest at the huts or take a stroll up to the Mawenzi basecamp then return to the Horombo Huts. This extra day will help your acclimatization, and further your understanding of the mountain’s weather and altitude. After your pause, you will continue up to the Kibo Huts on your fourth day for your midnight start to the summit.

  • Machame Route is one of the most popular routes on Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Approximately 50% of trekkers use the Machame Route to ascend Kilimanjaro
  • The route is very scenic, providing hikers with incredible views and varying landscapes
  • One can complete the Machame route on a 6 or 7 day itinerary
  • The total Machame route distance is approximately 62 kilometers from gate to gate
Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in Kilimanjaro

Arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport/Alternative Airport pick up and transferred to the Springlands Hotel for overnight Dinner and breakfast included.

Day 2Machame Gate (1490 m) - Machame camp (2980 m), Hiking time: 7 hours,

Distance: About 18 km’s – Habitat: Montane forest.

Your day starts early with a briefing, followed by breakfast and a 45-minute drive from Moshi (910m) to the Machame village (1490m). The guides and porters prepare and pack the supplies and your equipment in the village. Depending on the condition of the road, it is possible to drive from the village to the Machame gate, but if not, the muddy 3 km walk will take about 1 hour to complete. After registering at the gate office, you start your ascent and enter the rainforest. You will receive a lunch pack at the gate and you can also drink bottled water you bought at Springlands Hotel in Moshi. There is a possibility of rain in the forest, which will transform the trail into a very soggy, muddy and slippery experience. In the evening the porters will boil drinking and washing water and the cook will prepare dinner before you retire to your tent for the night. Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at Machame campsite. Machame Gate (1490 m) – Machame camp (2980 m), Hiking time: 7 hours,

Distance: About 18 km’s – Habitat: Montane forest.

Your day starts early with a briefing, followed by breakfast and a 45-minute drive from Moshi (910 m) to the Machame village (1490 m). The guides and porters prepare and pack the supplies and your equipment in the village. Depending on the condition of the road, it is possible to drive from the village to the Machame gate, but if not, the muddy 3 km walk will take about 1 hour to complete. After registering at the gate office, you start your ascent and enter the rainforest. You will receive a lunch pack at the gate and you can also drink bottled water you bought at Springlands Hotel in Moshi. There is the possibility of rain in the forest, which will transform the trail into a very soggy, muddy and slippery experience. In the evening the porters will boil drinking and washing water and the cook will prepare dinner before you retire to your tent for the night. Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at Machame campsite.

Day 3Machame camp (2980m) - Shira camp (3840m), Hiking time: 6 hours. Distance: About 9 km's – Habitat: Moorland

You rise early at Machame camp and after breakfast, you climb an hour or so to the top of the forest and then for 2 hours at a gentler gradient through the moorland zone. After a short lunch and rest, you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau. By now you will be able to see in an easterly direction, the Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. You are now due west of Kibo and after a short hike, you will reach the Shira campsite at 3 840m. The porters will boil drinking and washing water, before serving dinner. The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing.

Day 4Shira (3840m)-Lava Tower (4630m)-Barranco camp (3950m), Hiking time: 7 Hrs, Distance: About 15 km's - Habitat: Semi-desert

The route now turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower, where you reach an altitude of 4630m after about a 5 hours walk. Lunch is served in a designated area before ascending the rocky scree path to Lava Tower (4630m). Definitely the toughest day so far. It is normally at this point, where for the first time, some climbers will start to feel symptoms of breathlessness, irritability, and headaches. After lunch, you descent again by almost 680m to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, the true acclimatization benefit of this day becomes clear. This descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for the preparation of your dinner and overnight at Barranco Campsite.

Day 5Barranco to Karanga Valley - Barafu camp (4550m), Hiking time: 7 hours

Distance: About 13 km’s – Habitat: Alpine desert

Totally exposed to the ever-present gales the tents are pitched on a narrow, stony, and dangerous ridge. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. The summit is now a further 1345m up and you will make the final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski stick and thermal clothing for your summit attempt. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get some precious rest and sleep for not more than 5 Hours.

Day 6Summit/Descent Attempt

Barafu camp (4550m)-Uhuru Peak (5895m)-Mweka (3100m), Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 7/8 hours to descend to Mweka, Distance: About 7 km’s ascent – 23 km’s descent, Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit.

You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. You will head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This 6-hour walk to Stella point is for many climbers, mentally and physically the most challenging on the route. At Stella Point (5685m) you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point, you will normally encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your life. The walk back to Barafu from the summit takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned but short rest and collect the rest of your gear, before heading down to Mweka Camp (3100m) for Dinner and Overnight.

Day 7Mweka Camp (3100m) - Mweka Gate (1980m)

Hiking/Descend time: 3 hours,

Distance: About 15 km’s Habitat: Forest
After Breakfast, From the Mweka Gate, you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy and long hour walk. In the Mweka village drive to Springlands Hotel and you will be served a delicious hot lunch!! You now drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, Overnight in Springlands hotel. It is recommended and tips are highly appreciated at the end of their trip. Tips can be given to the Guide at Springlands Hotel. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates.

Map
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