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Kilimanjaro – Machame Route

Trip type: 
Walking & Trekking
Trekking level: 
5. Strenuous
Max group size: 
17
Avg user rating: 
5
Africa, Tanzania | 10 days
Trip code: 
YKXA
What's included: 

Transport - Minibus or 4WD, on foot.

Accommodation - Lodge (2nts), camping (5nts).

Meals - 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 7 dinners.

All Kilimanjaro park fees are included in the price.

Trip Highlights: 
Ascend and descend on different paths with great 360 views
Camp on the mountain for five nights
Climb the impressive vertical Barranco Wall
Diversity of scenery
see full itinerary >>

Trip Highlights: 
Ascend and descend on different paths with great 360 views
Camp on the mountain for five nights
Climb the impressive vertical Barranco Wall
Diversity of scenery
see full itinerary >>
What's included: 

Transport - Minibus or 4WD, on foot.

Accommodation - Lodge (2nts), camping (5nts).

Meals - 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 7 dinners.

All Kilimanjaro park fees are included in the price.

Trip Overview: 

A Kilimanjaro climb through the Machame route is arguably the most challenging option. The day walks are longer and steeper than the others, but your extra efforts are rewarded with breathtaking views of Kibo Peak, the eternal ice fields and Kili’s scree-covered dome. During your climb to Kilimanjaro you’ll also enjoy great access to the remaining glacier and the Western Breach. From late afternoon sunsets at Shira, to the misty revelations of Kibo at the great Barranco Wall, the Machame route offers the adventurous hiker a stunning scenic view over 6 days.

Itinerary: 
Day
1-2
Arusha

Arusha

Take an overnight flight to Arusha. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Jambo! Welcome to Tanzania.

Your hike begins at the Marangu Hotel in the foothills (1,300 m/4,500 ft) of Mt Kilimanjaro. On clear days, in the evenings and early mornings, the snow-capped mountains are visible from the hotel grounds.

Your tour commences here with a full briefing and kit inspection before dinner by an experienced Kilimanjaro climber, in preparation for the start of your trek.

Please note that it is sometimes necessary to have this meeting on the morning of Day 3 if someone arrives late. Please check at reception for up to date information on where and when this important meeting will take place.

Marangu Hotel is a beautiful farmhouse set in 12 acres of delightful tropical gardens and located the foothills (1,300 m/4,500 ft) of Mt Kilimanjaro. On clear days, in the evenings and early mornings, the snow-capped mountains are visible from the hotel grounds.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly.

Accommodation

Hotel (1 nt)

Day
3
Machame camp (3000m)

Machame camp (3000m)

You meet your guides and porters after breakfast and sort out all our gear before you set off for your 1-hour transfer by road to the Western side of Kilimanjaro and the Machame Gate at the entrance to the Mt Kilimanjaro National Park. Each person has a personal porter and there are extra porters for the food, etc. Please read your trip notes on for further information about your guides and porters and a detailed packing list.

You begin the walk around lunch time, starting with a pleasant stroll through the rainforest. In the forest, there are many species of brightly coloured birds and different types of monkey can be seen and heard. Beneath the leafy canopy it can be wet and muddy but it is not very cold.

You arrive mid-afternoon at the Machame Huts where you make camp. The huts fell into disrepair some years ago, so with the help of our porters, you set up tents for the night. Enjoy an evening meal prepared by the porters and savour the first night of sleeping outdoors.

From Marangu Hotel to Machame Huts, you ascend to 3,000 m (9,800 ft) and walk for 15 km (approximately 6-8 hours).

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)

 

Day
4
Shira Cave (3840m)

Shira Cave (3840m)

Your second day on the mountain takes us out of the rainforest and up a steep ridge into moor land. You'll notice the vegetation getting more sparse as you ascend and several distinct species, including the giant groundsel and lobelia, will soon be the only plants dominating the harsh landscape. You camp on the edge of Shira plateau where there are excellent views of the snow-dusted Kibo peaks.

From Machame Camp to Shira Camp, you ascend to 3,840 m (12,600 ft), covering 12 km (approximately 5-7 hours).

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)

Day
5
Barranco Camp (3900m)

Barranco Camp (3900m)

Today is a great day's walk with many ups and downs as you traverse river valleys. The undulating landscape offers a great chance to acclimatise and as you ascend to the more rugged areas of the mountain, there are great views of the Kibo Massif and its magnificent surrounds. Tonight is spent at Barranco Camp.

From Shira Camp to Barranco Camp, you ascend to 3,900 m (12,800 ft) and cover 12 km (approximately 5-7 hours).

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)

Day
6
Barafu Hut (4600m)

Barafu Hut (4600m)

Today is a tough day hiking up and down the craggy landscape as you make our way up to Barafu Camp. Barafu is Kiswahili for 'ice' and it is a very fitting name. You start the day off with a most challenging ascent and then embark on a fascinating walk through the dry desert region of the mountain with spectacular views of the Hiem, Kersten and Rebmann glaciers above. It is a rather tough slog up a final ridge to Barafu Camp but the knowledge that you'll conquer the summit tomorrow is wonderful motivation.

From Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp, you ascend to 4,600 m (15,100 ft) and cover 12 km (approximately 8-9 hours).

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)

 

Day
7
Uhuru Peak/Summit

Uhuru Peak/Summit

At around midnight you are woken by your guides and hot tea and biscuits are served to give us energy before the long, difficult ascent up scree, and sometimes snow, to Stella Point (5,780 m). You pass the giant Rebmann Glacier en route and hopefully arrive at Stella Point in time for sunrise and superb views of the crater, the glacier glistening in the morning sun, and maybe even of the world around.

From Stella it is a further 1-hour hike along the rim of the crater to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m), the highest point in Africa. From the summit, take in unforgettable views of the crater, the ice fields and the vast and distant East African plains below. After photos and back-patting you begin our descent. Back at Barafu Camp, enjoy a well-earned lunch and much thicker air. After lunch, you continue on to Mweka Camp for the night and have a well-deserved rest.

From Barafu Camp to the Uhuru Peak summit, you ascend 1296 m and cover about 4 km (approximately 8 hours). The descent takes approximately 3 hours.

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (1 nt)

 

Day
8
Marangu

Marangu

Today you continue to descend the mountain, traversing alpine meadows and rainforest to the Mweka park gate. From Mweka Camp to the Mweka gate, you trek for 10 km (approximately 3-4 hours) descending a total of 1,300 m (4,300 ft). Here you have lunch after checking out of the park and then the transport sent to meet us returns us back to the Marangu Hotel for a relaxing shower or bath - a real treat after the physical exertions of the last few days! Relive and share our experiences of the past six days on the mountain with fellow travellers.

Accommodation

Hotel (1 nt)

 

Day
9-10

Tour ends

Your trip ends today as you transfer to the airport for your overnight flight home.

Machame Route

Get off the beaten track on the tougher Machame climb. This is a fully supported six-day camping trip through a remote wilderness area, with great access to the remaining glaciers and the western breach. You’ll enjoy inspirational views of Kibo Peak, the eternal icefields, and Kili’s scree-covered dome… before the ultimate achievement of summit morning!

We include the park fees in our price, worth US$635 (US$745 from July 2013)

The park fees, which are mandatory, are included in our price. When comparing prices make sure you factor this is in as they are US$635 or £420 per person (From July 2013 the fee increases to US$745 or GBP £480). It's a daily rate so it varies between trips, broadly speaking it's £80 a day. This includes the entrance permit to the National Park, the camping/hut permit within the park and the Mount Kilimanjaro Rescue Fee.

Adventurous and rewarding route

The trek begins at Machame Gate, located in the southern base of the mountain, within its lush, fertile rainforest. The route heads toward the Shira Plateau, before circling along the southern circuit halfway around the mountain, exposing the climber to great views from all angles. The approach to the summit is made from the east, and the descent follows the Mweka trail.

The Machame Route is approximately 50 miles from gate to gate. It is designed for physically fit people with some hiking experience.

Our Kilimanjaro Trek - Machame Route trip is just one of our many Tanzania tours. To find out more visit our Tanzania holidays page.