Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro, Machame Route - 9 Days

Experiencing that incomparable, ‘Top of the World’ feeling

Mount Kilimanjaro, Machame Route - 9 Days

Experiencing that incomparable, ‘Top of the World’ feeling

Trip Introduction

Approaching legendary Kilimanjaro from the south-west, we take the popular Machame Route, with a total trip time of nine days, thus giving us even more acclimatization time and an even better chance of reaching the summit. Lush rainforest and Alpine moorland characterize the Machame Route, a trek which is challenging, make no mistake, despite the extra time given to acclimatize. You will have a private vehicle to take you to and from the mountain. Accommodation on the mountain on this ‘Basic’ category trip will be in tented camps – a true adventure.

Trip Highlights

  • Reaching the summit! Experiencing that incomparable, ‘roof of the world’ feeling
  • A more relaxed pace than other routes, but longer in time and distance. But very challenging!
  • Stunning views as you ascend.
  • Discover Shira Plateau and Barranco.
  • Climb the Lava Tower.
  • Dedicated guides, porters and cooks – a great team to help you on your way.

Trip Style
Basic

Trip ITINERARY

DAY 1: KILIMANJARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TO ARUSHA

Location: Arusha

Your first night is to be spent at Karama Lodge in Arusha. If you have chosen to be picked-up by us from Kilimanjaro International Airport, your Easy Travel driver will be waiting to meet and welcome you and take you to your lodge in Arusha to relax after your flight

Accommodation: Planet Lodge
Journey time and Distance: 1 hour, 55 km from Kilimanjaro International Airport to Arusha

DAY 2: ARUSHA – MACHAME GATE – MACHAME CAMP

Hiking Time: 5 Hours
Elevation: 3,000m

After an early breakfast (07.00), we leave the hotel one hour later to arrive at the Machame Gate for around 10.00, passing en-route the house of the village chief. We arrive ready for registration and the start of our trek. Excitement builds as the porters load up equipment and you meet the trekking team who will accompany you up the mountain. The Machame-Mweka Route (normally just referred to as the Machame Route) approaches from the mountain’s south-western side. Your first day of walking, starting at an altitude of 1800 metres, will end at a height of over 3000 metres, cover a distance of 11 km and take around 4.5 to 5 hours of actual walking time. The beginning of today’s walk is characterised by a wide track that winds its way up through dense forest, beautiful tall trees laden with green moss. As the route becomes steeper and narrower, so the vegetation changes and the appearance of flowers such as impatiens kilimanjari and impatiens pseudoviola introduce some bright colours to the scenery. The cloud forest trees can reach over 25 metres in height. A picnic lunch is enjoyed around 13.00, water bottles can be refilled and then our walk continues. The emblematic giant heathers appear as you reach heathland and the forest thins out. You get your first glimpse of Kibo peak. Machame Camp is reached at around 17.00. You will be surprised by the richness of the birdlife here. Dinner is served at 19.30.

Accommodation: Machame Camp
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Picnic lunch box and Dinner
Journey time and Altitude: 5 hours, 3000 m from Machame Gate to Machame Camp

DAY 3: MACHAME CAMP – SHIRA CAVE

Hiking Time: 4.5 Hours
Elevation: 3,800m

You will soon become used to the early, 07.00 breakfast and today we aim to leave the camp at 08.30. We have a further 800 metres of ascent, finishing the day at 3800 metres, and although the overall distance is short (5km) we will spend around 4.5 to 5 hours actually walking. Our path today is dusty, narrow and steep. The vegetation is initially made up of forests of heather but soon we will encounter the first of the giant groundsels. The climb before our midday picnic lunch is steep, but there are then great views to the south and to Kibo, all to savour as you eat. With today’s early start and the short distance, we should be at the camp by 14.00, by which time we will have met the moorland lobelias and the distinctive dark obsidian rock of Shira Plateau for the first time. Once at the camp, you will have plenty of time to admire sights such as the so-called Shira Cathedral, Klute Peak and Mount Meru, before your dinner at 18.00

Accommodation: Shira 2 Camp
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Picnic lunch box and Dinner
Journey time and Altitude: 4.5 hours, 3800 m from Machame Camp to Shira Cave

DAY 4: SHIRA CAVE – BARRANCO CAMP

Hiking Time: 7 Hours
Elevation: 4,627m

Today’s trek is longer than yesterday’s, though our overall gain in height is modest. Starting at 3800 metres, by the time we reach camp this afternoon we will only be 140 metres higher, though in between our start and finish we climb up to the base of the famous Lava Tower at 4627 metres, before descending again to our camp. The benefits for the purposes of acclimatization today are enormous, as you climb high and then descend again for the overnight stop. The overall distance of around 10km means that we will actually be walking for around 6.5 to 7 hours, excluding breaks. Once again, our day will begin with breakfast at 07.00 and departure at 08.30, when we begin our trek across the stony landscape of Shira Plateau. The vegetation is sparse at first, with just a few hardy lichens to admire. You climb towards the Lava Tower and your picnic lunch is taken at 13.00. After passing the highpoint of the day by the Lava Tower, we descend down to the Barranco Camp. Once at camp, which we expect to reach by 16.00, you should take time to admire the views of the southern face of Kibo as well as the Heim Glacier. Dinner tonight is served at 19.00

Accommodation: Barranco Camp
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Picnic lunch box and Dinner
Journey time and Altitude: 7 hours, 4627 m from Shira Cave to Barranco Camp

DAY 5: BARRANCO CAMP – KARANGA CAMP

Hiking Time: 4 Hours
Elevation: 4,787m

Today we breakfast slightly later (07.30) and our walk is short, being only 4km but still taking between 3.5 and 4 hours of walking time. Our departure time today will be 08.30 and we will enjoy a hot lunch at 13.00 at Karanga and have the afternoon to enjoy the views before dinner at 18.00. Our altitude gain today is only 160 metres. At the beginning, we encounter the hardest part of today’s stage as we have to scramble up the near-vertical face of the Barranco Wall (also commonly referred to as the ‘Breakfast Wall’ as you tackle it right after your breakfast!). At the top of this climb, you will be rewarded with views of the Heim Glacier. After this, the rest of today’s walk becomes a bit easier as we first descend to the gully below, and into the cold but beautiful Karanga Valley. We then continue and finally climb up a steep series of zig-zags until reaching the Karanga Camp.

Accommodation: Karanga Camp
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Picnic lunch box and Dinner
Journey time and Altitude: 4 hours, 4787 m from Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

DAY 6: KARANGA CAMP – BARAFU CAMP

Hiking Time: 4 Hours
Elevation: 5,287m

Another short day -in terms of distance – begins with our breakfast at the camp at 07.30 and another 08.30 departure. Today we will ascend about 500 metres in a distance of around 5km and walking time once again is between 3.5 and 4 hours. We will be aiming to arrive the Barafu Camp by 13.00, when we will be rewarded with a hot lunch. (With tomorrow being the summit day, it will be important to relax and prepare for the hard work ahead.) Dinner tonight is served at 17.30, giving you time to get to bed early. After leaving Karanga, today’s stage climbs steadily, passing through barren, rocky landscape, with the Decken and Kersten glaciers visible away to your left. At the top of the climb, the landscape remains bleak as you descend into a valley and you get your first sight of another glacier, Rebmann. At the end of this valley is today’s goal, the Barafu Camp, at which you arrive after a short, steep scramble and a walk.

Accommodation: Barafu Camp
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Picnic lunch box and Dinner
Journey time and Altitude: 4 hours, 5287 m from Karranga Camp to Barafu Camp

DAY 7: BARAFU CAMP – UHURU (SUMMIT) – MWEKA CAMP

Hiking Time: 13 Hours
Elevation: 5,895m

Today is the most challenging day, but hopefully with the great sense of achievement of reaching your goal – the summit of Kilimanjaro! Our schedule for our ‘Summit Day’ is of course very different. Rising at 23.00, we take our tea and biscuits (23.30) before a midnight departure. The day starts with the long, tough climb from Barafu at 4600 metres to Stella Point at 5745 metres; for some of this you will be walking on scree, making your trek more difficult. From there it is another 150 metres of ascent and 45 minutes’ walk to the summit. Our goal is to reach the summit by around 07.00 then celebrate reaching the top, take our precious photos and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience. After the summit, we return to Barafu, where we rest for a couple of hours, take a hot lunch and then leave again at 13.30 to continue to descend to Mweka Camp (3100 metres) where we spend the night. We would expect to arrive at 17.00 and take our dinner at 19.00. (In total, we cover around 17km today with about 13 hours of walking.)

Accommodation: Mweka Camp
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Picnic lunch box and Dinner
Journey time and Altitude: 13 hours, 5895 m from Karranga Camp to Barafu Camp

DAY 8: MWEKA CAMP – MWEKA GATE – ARUSHA

Hiking Time: 3 Hours
Elevation: 1640m

Still thrilled by your achievement, breakfast is taken at 07.00 and at 08.00 you can take the chance to reward your trekking team at the ‘Tipping Celebration.’ Departure is at 09.00 and you descend down to Mweka Gate at an altitude of 1640 metres, where you will be served a hot lunch at midday and be presented with your hard-earned certificate. Your transport will be waiting to return you back to Planet Lodge in Arusha, where you can choose to relax – or celebrate!

Accommodation: Planet Lodge
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Picnic lunch box
Journey time: 3 hours from Mweka Gate to Arusha

DAY 9: DEPARTURE – KILIMANJARO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Hiking Time: 5 Hours
Elevation: 3,000m

After a good night’s rest at your lodge, you will take breakfast ready for the scheduled check-out by 10.00. (If you wish to remain in the hotel during the day, please advise us of this when you book your trip and we will inform you of the cost for day room which ends at 18:00hrs, and then make the booking on your behalf.) If you have booked a transfer to the airport, you will be collected from your hotel and dropped off at the airport. For those travelers who have booked to go on safari, our guide will be meeting you in the evening to provide you with a briefing.

Meal Plan: Breakfast
Journey time and Distance: 5 hours, 245km from Arusha to Kilimanjaro International Airport

Additional Trip Info

Transport: Coaster Bus

Trip Crew:
Mountain guide
Mountain chef
Mountain porters

Meals
8 Breakfast, 7 Lunch & 6 Dinner
Water

Accommodation: 2 night in Arusha, 7 nights on the Mountain
* First night: Planet Lodge
* Second night: Machame Camp
* Third night: Shira 2 Camp
* Four night: Barranco Camp
* Five night: Karanga Camp
* Six night: Barafu Camp
* Seven night: Mweka Camp
* Eight night: Planet Lodge

Park Entrance Fee:
Park Fee
Camp Fee

Camping Equipment:
* Sleeping Tents
* Dinning Tents
* Sleeping mattress
* Utensils
* Tables and chairs

Flight:
International Flights and Insurance

Visa:
$100 per person for US Nationals and $50 per person for other Country Nationals (read trip notes for more details)

Own Room
My Own Room ($230 per person)

Drinks:
All type of soft and hard drinks

Personal items:
* Laundry
* Toiletries

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