MT. KILIMANJARO VIA MACHAME ROUTE 7 Days / 6 Nights

Day 1: Machame Gate (1800 m) to Machame Hut (3050m) (Approx:5-6 hrs walk )
You set off from the Machame Gate (1800m), around 11:00, climbing through rainforest  with giant ferns and moss covered trees, to the first campsite. The Machame camp, like all campsites on this route, is a shared campsite open to all registered climbers. Basic facilities include pit toilets and ground pump water. Dinner and Overnight at Machame Hut Campsite.

Day 2: Machame Hut (3050m) to Shira Hut (3800m) (Approx. 5 hrs walk)
After an early breakfast and tea, you head on a steep and twisting path into sparser terrain. At the en route lunch stop, you are treated to fantastic views of the eroded peaks of Shira thrusting the moorland ridges into the wispy cloudline. At the top of the Shira ridge the highest point for the day is reached (3840m), before you take a slight descent to Shira camp. Shira Cave Campsite offers fantastic views in every direction; the soft light of the sunset reveals Shira’s peaks and plateau, Mt. Meru in the distance floating in a golden sea of clouds,  and shimmering reflections off Kibo’s ice fields. Dinner and overnight at Shira Hut Campsite.

Day 3: Shira Hut (3800m) To Barranco Hut (3955m) Via Lava Tower (4610m)(Approx.: 6 hrs walk )
After breakfast at  Shira Camp, you start the day climb walking directly towards Kibo up a broad rocky ridge. The barren looking Shira plateau stretches out to your left and the snow-capped summit looks noticeably closer. Vegetation disappears as you climb over 4000m into the desert zone. The highest point of the day is reached at Lava Tower, a 50m high mound of solidified lava sticking up from the rolling ridges around the summit cone. From the tower you take a gentle descent to the Barranco Hut Campsite. Dinner and overnight at Barranco Hut.

Day 4: Barranco Hut (3955m) to Karranga Valley (3950m) (Approx.: 3 hrs walk )
The day’s first and main obstacle is the imposing looking lava face of the great Barranco Wall. After a short walk across the valley floor, the craggy, sheer-looking wall looms overhead. 30 minutes on easier, but still steep, slopes and you finally reach the top of the wall at an altitude of 4180m, your highest point for today. The reward is your best and closest view of Kibo’s glaciers. To the left, perched on top the sheer cliff of the western breach, the diamond glacier ‘drips’ over the cliff with enormous icicle tendrils reaching down to the Balletto Glacier on the shelf below. To the right, the Heim, Kerstien and Decken glaciers slump over their uneven rock bed. After traversing a series of valleys, you arrive at Karranga Valley, a barren landscape with a few hardy plants sheltered in gaps under and between rocks. You descend to a flat area towards the head of the valley above a cascading stream, where your camp is again set up for you when you arrive. After a welcome lunch, you can lounge around in the sun resting, reading and taking in the scenery as your body acclimates. Dinner and overnight: Karranga Valley Campsite. *(Those wishing to complete Machame in 6 days will travel straight on to the Barafu Camp this day.)

Day 5: Karranga Valley (3950m) to Barafu Hut (4610m) (Approx.: 3 hrs walk)
The morning’s short hike will take you out of the valleys and up a steep boulder strewn path to Barafu Ridge. You arrive at Barafu Hut Camp around 1200 after 3 hrs walking. The leisurely day at camp will give you time to acclimate and your body time to rest for the final push early tomorrow. The cloud shawl around Kibo and Mawenzi peaks usually clears by mid-afternoon, revealing spectacular views in all directions. An early dinner is prepared at 1700 and then you will go to bed to get some sleep before your wake up call at 2300. Wake up arrives with tea. Dinner and Rest: Barafu Hut Campsite.

Day 6: SUMMIT DAY
Barafu Hut (4610m) to Mweka Hut (3100m) Via UHURU Peak (5895m) (Approx.: 12 hrs walk)
The Summit climb starts at midnight, under a ceiling of stars. The first goal is Stella Point at 5794m, about a 6 hour hike. The pace will be slow and measured, with short breaks about every hour to help with acclimatization and cut off before the below-freezing cold creeps in.  In the darkness you will pass Rebman Glacier and Mawebzi Peak. At Stella Peak you will be rewarded with awesome view of the extinct volcanoe’s huge crater with the ash pit rising up in the center. As the sun rises over an endless sea of clouds, its light reaching in all directions around you and broken only by the smaller peak of Mt. Meru in the distance, you begin the final hour ascent around the gently sloped crater rim towards Uhuru Peak. Upon reaching the highest point of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Uhuru Peak, at 5,895 meters, you can finally say that you are on the “Roof of Africa”. You breathe in with satisfaction, sign the elite summit log, capture the feat with some pictures, and soon begin your descent, as the cold and high altitude take their toll. The whole eastern sky is lit by a golden, fiery glow. The horizon is visible so far in either direction that the curve of the earth can be clearly seen.  Physical relief comes as high altitude discomfort is soon dispelled by the quick 2 to 3 hour descent to Barafu and the air is warmed by the exposed sun. There you are rewarded with a short nap and a hearty lunch, before you continue your descent to Mweka Hut Campsite (3100m), approximately 3 hours. This comfortable altitude around the cloudline will allow you to get some much deserved rest. Dinner and Overnight: Mweka Hut Campsite.

Day 07: Mweka Hut (3100m) to Mweka Gate (1800m) (Approx.: 4 hrs walk)
On your final morning, after an early breakfast,  you start to descend from the camp. Discretional tipping of your guide, cook, and porters is customary at this time. You descend through the rain forest. After you reach the gate, you will go to the park office to sign out and receive your summit certificates. A car will be waiting to take you to your hotel.

 
 

Optional Activities

-Arusha National Park  
-Balloon Safari in Serengeti
-Night game viewing in Lake Manyara National Park for   about 3 hours

 
     

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