Climb the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, along the Machame Route with its diverse landscapes and fantastic views of the surrounding lowlands and ancient glaciers. An amazing trekking safari with the opportunity to reach the top of Africa, to test your will power and mental strength and experience the sense of accomplishment that comes with realising a lifelong dream. The route takes you through lush rainforest, heathland and moorland, semi-desert, stone scree and eventually, the ice-capped peak. A beautiful and challenging 7-day adventure that will take you through a range of emotions, teach you about yourself and help create memories of a time you conquered the mountain.
After an early breakfast at your hotel in Arusha, you will be picked up by one of our representatives and driven to the Machame village to stop for some supplies. From the village, you will make your way to the Machame gate where you will meet your porters, organise your belongings and begin the trek you have come for. You will start by making your way through the rainforest where you can expect some rain, mud and fog. Be on the look out for some wildlife in the trees, in particular, the colobus monkeys. In the late afternoon, you will reach Machame Camp where you will spend the night. Arrive to a fully set up camp and a warm meal before experiencing your first starlit evening on the mountain.
Habitat: montane forest | Elevation: 1,490m – 2,980m
After an early breakfast, you will begin your trek out of the rainforest, making your way into the heathland and moorland. Today you will cross many streams and walk over a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau that leads to Shira Camp. The campsite is located beside a stream and offers spectacular views of the western breach and its glaciers to the east. As on the first night, your tents will be set up prior to arriving at camp and the porters will prepare drinking and washing up water for you. You will enjoy evening snacks before dinner and then have some time to relax before an early night.
Habitat: moorland | Elevation: 2,980m – 3,840m
Today you will leave the moorland and enter a rocky, semi-desert landscape. After 5 hours of trekking to the east, you will reach the Lava Tower. Enjoy a packed lunch and climb the massive tower, if weather allows. Today is an acclimatisation trek, giving climbers the chance to experience the high altitude and to prepare their bodies for the summit attempt. After lunch, you will descend for about 2 hours, reaching Barranco Camp in the late afternoon. The camp is located in a valley below the breach and the Great Barranco Wall. Witness a beautiful sunset before another cold evening below freezing.
Habitat: semi-desert | Elevation: 3,840m – 4,630m – 3,950m
After breakfast, you will make your way towards the Great Barranco Wall. An intimating sight at first glance that will see you reaching the top of the wall with new confidence, as reported by previous climbers that found the hike to be easier than anticipated. At the top of the wall and above the clouds, you will have an amazing view of Heim Glacier. The trail then winds up and down through the Karanga Valley, another ideal day for acclimatising.
Habitat: alpine desert | Elevation: 3,950m – 3,959m
Leave Karanga Camp after breakfast and join the trail that joins up with the Mweka Route trail, the descent trail you will use. Trek for an hour, before reaching Barafu Hut. This is the last water stop before Barafu Camp. The Swahili word ‘barafu’ means ‘ice’ which aptly describes the cool air that blows through the camp, located on a rocky, exposed ridge. Familiarise yourself with the campsite’s rocky terrain before dark and enjoy an early dinner before heading to bed, ensuring you get enough rest for your summit attempt in the early hours of the morning. Your guide will brief you on the details for the next day’s adventure.
Habitat: alpine desert | Elevation: 3,959m – 4,600m
Your guide will wake you before midnight for some tea and biscuits before you begin your summit attempt. The route heads northwest, ascending over the stone scree. Many hikers regard this section as the most challanging part of the climb, both mentally and physically. After about 6 hours of trekking, you will reach Stella Point, located on the crater rim. Here you will stop for a breather and witness the most magnificent sunrise you may ever experience. You will then continue your ascent for another 2 hours on a snow-covered trail to the iconic Uhuru Peak, reaching the summit of the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro. Overwhelmed with joy and a sense of accomplishment, take in the views of Africa below from the continents highest peak. Take some photographs and drink some tea before heading back down the mountain. You will have a 3 hour descent to Barafu Camp for some lunch before heading to Mweka Camp for a well deserved dinner and rest.
Habitat: stone scree and ice-capped summit | Elevation: 4,600m – 5,895m – 3,100m
Enjoy your final breakfast, followed by a celebratory ceremony with lots of singing and dancing, put on by the staff. It is here that you will bid farewell to the people who helped you summit the mountain and present them with any tips you wish to give. After the celebration, you will descend to Mweka Gate where you will receive your summit certificates. Then make your way to Mweka village for a delicious hot lunch before driving to Arusha for a long overdue shower and more celebrations, marking the end of your time on the Mountain.
Habitat: forest | Elevation: 3,100m – 1,980m