The Machame route is a more difficult than the Forest/Shira/Western Breach route because of it's steeper initial ascent. You therefore ascend faster and have less time to acclimatize. It is best done by those who are a little more experienced and in better physical condition.
MOUNT KILIMANJARO CLIMB - MACHAME ROUTE - 7 DAYS/6 NIGHTS
ROUTE ITINERARY AND DESCRIPTION
Day 1: ARUSHA TO MACHAME GATE 1,800 M (5,905 FT) 2 HR DRIVE
MACHAME GATE TO MACHAME HUT 3010 m/9,876 ft, 5-6 hr hike, 10 KM (6.2 MILES)
We leave the lodge right after breakfast and drive 2 hours to Machame gate at 1,800 m/5,906 ft., sign in and start the hike through the natural mountain forest. The trail is gentle but gets tougher the higher you go. There is not much game to see but lots of forest birds such as Hornbills, Tropical Boubou, Hartlaub's Turaco, the Trogons, Olive pigeons, Chats, Eastern double colored Sunbird etc. Sykes/Blue and Black & White Colobus monkeys may be encountered as well. Picnic lunch is along the trail. The vegetation changes from forest to heather as we get close to camp. If it is clear the peaks of Shira and Kibo are in view. Machame Hut Camp at 3,010 m/ 9,876 ft is where we'll spend our first night on Mt Kilimanjaro, situated at the upper edge of the montane forest in the giant heather zone. On arrival at camp your personal bag porter will greet you and take to your tent wherehot water for washing is delivered to you. It is strongly advised that once you have washed you immediately take off wet/damp layers and put on dry layers to stay warm, healthy and comfortable. You will be welcomed at the mess tent for a cup of tea, hot chocolate and coffee to revitalize before orientation of the camp facility. 3 course Dinner is served early so that you go to bed and get plenty of rest.
Day 2: MACHAME HUT/ SHIRA CAMP 7 KM (4.5 MILES) 5 HOURS
ELEVATION 3010 M (9,876 FT) - 3800 M (12,468 FT)
Your usual morning wake up call is accompanied by a hot drink of your choice (coffee, tea, hot chocolate or water) served to your tent, followed by warm water for washing and time to pack and dress for the day's conditions before breakfast. Our 4-5 hours hike today will take us through heather and moorland zones. The view around is superb, and the rocky trail meanders through the ridge till we get to flat camping ground. Shira Cathedral and needle peaks are look gorgeous. We eat picnic lunch along the trail. Shira camp is located at a very vantage point commanding great view of both Tanzania’s big Mountains of Kilimanjaro and Meru. Shira Cathedral and Needle on Shira peaks and surrounding areas give a superb view from this camp. Evening short hike can be taken if the weather is conducive. The hike is normally to gain altitude to improve our acclimatization. Camp is located in moorland zone where wildlife especially big game is rarely seen, avian life present.
Day 3: SHIRA CAMP/ BARANCCO 10 KM (6.2 MILES) 7-8 hours hike
ELEVATION 3,800 M (12,468 FT) – 3,900 M (12,796 FT)
A long day hike but little altitude gain. Kibo peak is viewed right in front of our eyes while the Shira plateau is left behind for entire day. The trail goes through and around beautiful boulders and the scenery around is fantastic. We eat a picnic lunch along the trail, pass lava tower rock then descend into great Barancco valley for our camp tonight. Descending into camp is long/ steep and uncomfortable for the knees, taking about 2-3 hours. The camp is blessed with very beautiful alpine giant ground sells of lobelia and senecio plant species as well as a few bird species. From camp there is a great and fantastic view of downtown Moshi, Heim glacier, the cliff and Barancco valley.
Day 4: BARANCCO CAMP/ KARANGA CAMP 7KM (4.5 MILES) 4-5 hrs.
ELEVETION 3,900 M (12,796 FT) – 3,963 M (13,002 FT)
The trail crosses the great Barancco valley then up meandering through the cliff dubbed breakfast. It takes an hour to go through the cliff. Breathtaking beauty is seen from top of the cliff as we take short rest and snacks. Superb Heim glacier, Mount Meru, the valley and surroundings viewed from the spot. Slowly descend into Karanga valley then ascend to camp which is located in moorland. Hot lunch is taken in camp. Magnificent view of Kibo peak, Karanga valley and lowland areas.
Day 5: KARANGA CAMP/ BARAFU CAMP 6 KM ( 4 MILES ) 3-4 HRS.
ELEVETION 3,963 M (13,002 FT) – 4,600 M (15,092 FT)
Today is a short hike but tough due to altitude and thin air. Slowly we ascend through the alpine desert dominated with boulders of various size and shape making scenery awesome. As we approach the camp, an incredible view of Mawenzi peak is viewed from the east. Hot lunch is served in camp, siesta then short hike for acclimatization. Use the evening to organize for summit by preparing layers, snacks and head lamps as well as personal medical kit. Dinner and bedtime are early so as to have as long a rest/sleep as possible. We will get up around 11:30 pm, eat breakfast then leave for the summit by 12:30 am.
Day 6: BARAFU CAMP/ SUMMIT POINT 12 KM (7.5 MILES) 6-8 HRS.
ELEVETION 4,600 M (15,092 FT) - 5,896 M (19,344 FT)
Early in the morning around 12:30 am we start the summit assault. Dress up for the cold night and sometimes gets windy. Care should be taken to adjust layers whenever it gets too hot or cold. Take lots of fluids and snacks to replenish what get lost from sweat and pee while trekking. After trekking in darkness we get revitalized as dawn breaks with, weather permitting, a beautiful sunrise of glowing golden color from east. Glaciers, though receding, are still very interesting and give beauty to the summit area. From Stella point 5,792 m (19,000 ft) the trail goes around the crater rim and the view of crater, ash pit and the eastern ice fields is very fascinating.
The walk to the summit point is very demanding both mentally and physically. In 6 to 8 hours we should be at UHURU Peak, the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro. Take photos and start descending back to Barafu camp for some sleep and lunch. After lunch we descend to our last camp- Mweka 11 KM (7 MILES)
It takes 3 hours descending from the summit point to Barafu camp, and another 4 hours descend to Mweka camp 3,000 M (9843 FT). Descending is uncomfortable with knees, so trekking poles are essential.
Fresh supply of food, vegetables and fruits are brought to Mweka for our last dinner. Climbers/ guests should spare some evening hours to figure out when is appropriate for group photos and to say fare well to the crew.
Day 7: HIKE OUT - MWEKA CAMP TO MWEKA GATE 4 5 HRS
DRIVE TO ARUSHA 1 ½ - 2 HR DRIVE