Kilimanjaro – Machame Route
Kilimanjaro – Machame Route
The most popular route to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro these days is Machame route, and for good reason. This trail offers stunning views, a reasonable challenge, and plenty of time to acclimate, making it a good choice for those who have a bit of extra time in their schedule.
Machame route has been nicknamed the “Whiskey Route” because it is often perceived as being tougher than Marangu route, which is often referred to as the “Coca-Cola” route. Unlike that trail however, camping is allowed on Machame, which means trekkers will be sleeping in tents all the way to the summit.
Trekkers who take the Machame Route pass several well known Mount Kilimanjaro landmarks while en route, including the famed Lava Tower and Shira Plateau. The route wanders up and down a series of valleys and ridges, which make the walk a bit more strenuous, but rewards hikers with some of the best views on the mountain.
It is for that reason that Machame route is widely considered to be the most scenic of all of the routes up Mount Kilimanjaro, providing unique and varied landscapes to pass through on each and every day. The trail starts on the south side of the mountain, passes underneath the Southern Ice Field and makes its summit approach from the Barafu Camp.
Day 1 (Airport Pick Up)
Our guides will be waiting for you upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport. You'll get picked up from here and taken directly to your accommodation, the Lindrin lodge. After a long flight, you may want to relax and enjoy the incredible facilities here. When you are ready, your guide Ramadhan will brief you on your climb, ensuring the highest chances of a successful summit. If time permits, you may choose to visit the Kikuletwa hot springs before your ascent. Alternatively, this can be a great way to relax and the end of your climb.
Day 2 (Machame Hut Camp)
A short drive brings us to the Machame trailhead (~5,380’). After the climbers and crew have checked in with the park rangers, we will hike up through the montane forests, winding up the mossy jungle, making our way to Machame Hut camp.
Day 3 (Shira Plateau)
After breakfast, our hike continues through the forest. We will take our time, soaking in the scenery as we make our way through the moorlands. We will be treated to spectacular views of Kibo peak.
Day 4 (Barranco Camp)
Today is a long day but lots of acclimatization as you climb high, sleep low. We will take an acclimatization hike to Lava Tower (~15,190’) for lunch, before descending to the Barranco valley. For those who have energy, and if time and weather permit, there’s the possibility to scramble up the Lava Tower itself. The scenery is amazing today, passing through different zones of the mountain.
Day 5 (Karanga Camp)
Today you’ll continue to acclimatize and let your body adjust to these higher altitudes, in preparation for your upcoming summit push. Climb the steep Barranco Wall and then go up and down several ridges and valleys before arriving at Karanga camp. There will likely be time for an acclimatization hike in the afternoon.
Day 6 (Barafu Camp)
Today you’ll continue your circuit and arrive at your final camp before the summit (Barafu camp). Some ups and downs along ridges and valleys along the way. You’ll have an early supper, sleep for a few hours, and then arise at about 11:00 PM to start tomorrow’s summit ascent.
Day 7 (Summit and Mweka Camp)
Start hiking at around midnight, using your headlamps to lead the way slowly up to Stella Point and then the summit. Due to the altitude, you will hike slowly, and will need to dress warmly for the cold. After celebrating with photos at the summit, descend down to Mweka camp.
Day 7 (Mweka Park Gate to Arusha)
We make the final descent through the rain forest to Mweka Gate. Here we will have lunch and say goodbye to our mountain crew before leaving Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. Drive back to Arusha for a hot shower and a celebratory dinner.
Got a Question?
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