MACHAME ROUTE

Description

It’s popular no doubt! With Machame route, the only bickering point is whether it’s most popular or second most popular. The trek through the Machame route is a scenic journey through luscious forests, leading to heather moorland the Shira Plateau, the Lava Tower, the Barranco Wall on to the Barafu camp and finally submitting at Uhuru peak.

As one of the oldest routes it attracts a lot of traffic, so you can kiss of your hopes of a solitary trek interspersed with moments of reflection good-bye. And all that blathering about “easy” well that’s just easy talk. The days on Machame are long and the walks steep and the tag of ‘whiskey route’ is a reminder of the routes arduous nature. It’s physically demanding and trekkers with an adventurous spirit and experience behind them stand a better chance to make it to the top.

Starting from the south, the challenging trail will take you through the fertile lower slopes, leading unto the magnificent montane forests before you traverse the steep rocky ridge on to the stunning Shira Plateau (3600 meters)-  the scene of stunning views of the Western Breach and its glaciers in the East. From there you will ascend up to the Lava Tower (4630m) followed by a descent into the Barranco Campsite (3950m). The drop of 680m will bring into play of climb high/sleep low principles. After that, it’s a steep scramble up the Barranco wall followed by a descent into Karanga valley. From there it’s a hike to Barafu Camp (4550m).  From there it’s another challenging trek to reach the rim of the main crater, Stella Point, at 5685m- the scene of the final push to Uhuru peak for that rewarding feel atop of Kilimanjaro after seven long days.

The descent will be through Mweka Route.

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Day One: Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport

Arrive at JRO and meet with our staff who will take you to the Equator Hotel for overnight bed and breakfast.

Day two: Machame Gate (1,800m/5,905ft) to Machame Camp (3,000m/9,840ft)

Elevation Gain: 1,200 meters, 3,935 feet
Distance: 10 kilometers
At 9 am, leave Arusha for Machame Gate, where you will meet the Tanganyika Ancient Routes porters, guides, and cooks that will spend the next seven days trekking with you to Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa. The drive-through coffee farms and villages to Machame Gate takes about 1.5 hours. Once you arrive, wait at the gate while Tanganyika Ancient routes register your climb and the porters and guides make final preparations.

Your destination this day is the Machame Camp and porters and guides accompanying you will walk ahead to set the camp to receive you. The trail on the first day is a hike through the dense rainforest. As you continue to ascend the forests gives way to the heather moorlands. After you have reached the camp and settled down with warm refreshments enjoy the breathtaking views of Kibo from Machame camp.

Day Three: Machame Camp (3,000m/9,840ft) to Shira Camp (3,840m/12,600ft)

Elevation Gain: 840 meters, 2,760 feet
Distance: 7 kilometers
Today’s trek is a shorter one and although considered easy there are some steep sections to negotiate. Hydrate yourself well and carry water along as the hot unbuffered son will bake and drain you. The trails have many vantage points which offer sights of the plains and forests at the lower elevations and the twin peaks of Kibo and Mawenzi above.
As you gain altitude, notice the change in vegetation. The trees diminish in size, giving way to Kilimanjaro’s famous high altitude plants, Scenecio Kilimanjaro, and Lobelia deckenii. After eating lunch, climb the Shira Plateau, created when Kibo’s lava flows filled the Shira crater. Continue to Shira Camp, where you will relax for the rest of the day. Kibo lies to the west and Mount Meru to the east.

Day Four: Shira Camp (3,840m/12,600ft) to Barranco Camp (3,950m/12,960ft)

Total Elevation Gain: 690 meters, 2,264 feet Distance: 10 kilometers

This a day dedicated to acclimatization with only an elevation gain of 110 meters to show at the end of major ascents and descents. By afternoon, you would have gained an elevation of 4530 meters before descending into to Barranco Camp.

After breakfast, we continue the hike eastwards on the Shira Plateau to merge with the Shira and Lemosho Routes. The hike continues on the barren landscape before making a brief stop for lunch. After lunch, we continue hiking before descending into the Barranco Camp. Those with a little more fuel in the tank and imbued with a sense of adventure can continue climbing to the Lava Tower before their descent. Barranco Camp is a scenic stopover en route to the summit on the Machame Route

Day Five: Barranco Camp (3,950m/12,960ft) to Karanga Valley (4,200m/13,780ft)

Elevation Gain: 250 meters, 820 feet
Distance: 7 Kilometers

The journey from Barranco to Karanga Valley sets off after breakfast with a 1.5hour scramble atop the steep Barranco wall. This is a tough trek that will require you to use your hands to pull yourself to the top. After reaching the top you will make a short descent into the greener Karanga Valley. We generally camp on the ridge above the valley as it allows for better acclimatization.

Day Six: Karanga Valley (4,200m/13,780ft) to Barafu Camp (4,600m/15,100ft)

Elevation Gain: 400 meters, 1,320 feet
Distance: 6 kilometers

After breakfast, we ascend on a rising trail on to the Barafu camp. It’s a picturesque trail with spectacular views of Kibo and Mawenzi as well as well as the junction that connects the descent route, Mweka, with the Machame trail. The trail to Barafu camp makes it way through the desolate alpine desert characterised by sparse vegetation. After reaching the camp you will have your dinner and rest before  beginning your push to the Uhuru peak at midnight.

Day Seven: Barafu Camp (4,600m/15,100ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895m/19,340ft) to Mweka Camp (3,100m/10,170ft

Elevation Gain: 1,295 meters, 4,240 feet
Elevation Loss: 2,795 meters, 9,170 feet
Distance: 18 kilometers

The final ascent to the Uhuru peak begins at midnight. The challenging and taxing ascend on a steep trail continues in dark with the help of headlamp till you reach the crater rim at Stella Point. The trail from Stella point to the Uhuru peak is a gradual hike with only the altitude making it exhausting. Finally, you make it to the Uhuru and are rewarded with stunning sunrise atop the roof of Africa. Pull out your camera and click the photos with your guide and team for posterity. After that its a steady descent to Mweka Camp accompanied by scenic views of the mountain, crater, clouds, and glaciers.

At Barafu Camp, eat breakfast and take a short break. You still have another three to five hours to go before reaching Mweka Camp.

Day Eight: Mweka Camp (3,100m/10,170ft) to Mweka Gate (1,500m/4,920ft)

Elevation Loss: 1,600 meters, 5,250 feet
Distance: 10 kilometers
After breakfast, the descent continues to Mweka Gate making its way through the clouded rainforest of Kilimanjaro. The trail here is slippery so watch your steps. Tanganyika Ancient Routes vehicles will be waiting at the lower station of Mweka Gate to take you back to Arusha. You will be able to buy t-shirts and sodas at the gate. Late transferred to the Hotel in Arusha for overnight, washing and get rest after the climb. Stay at Equator Hotel bed and breakfast.

Includes

  • All Kilimanjaro National Park fees and rescue fees
  • All guides (WFR qualified) and porters
  • All food on the mountain with services of dedicated cook
  • Transfers from Arusha to Mount Kilimanjaro and back to Arusha
  • All safety equipment (including oxygen)
  • All camping equipment
  • All camping and hut fees
  • All communication techniques (mobile phones)
  • Packed lunch on the first day and last day
  • Sleeping mats, stools, a mess tent and hot water for washing are provided on the mountain
  • Bed and breakfast only at Hotel in Arusha on the first day of arrival and the last day

Excludes

  • All costs associated with obtaining any necessary passports, visas and permits
  • All costs associated with obtaining any necessary immunization, inoculation, and medication
  • Any and all meals, items of a personal nature and services not specified above.
  • Tips

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