Kilimanjaro Trek: Machame Route 6 Days

Machame Route has a nick name “Whiskey Route”, and despite the fact that is relatively short, it is not easy to climb. It is not technically difficult, but it is pretty strenuous, with many steep trails that require extra strength and physical condition to pass. But, Machame is very rewarding route, with spectacular sceneries such are Lava Tower, Barranco Wall, Shira Plateu which is why this route is considered the most scenic one. The route starts at Machame Gate, and thru the beautiful rainforest, heading West around Kibo. There are 6 and 7 day options to trek this route, but note that the shorter one does not include acclimatization day to get used to the high altitude conditions. Machame is also the route where you spend the nights in tents, and requires a lot of strengths to complete. Descend is at Mweka gate.

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Day 1: Machame Gate to Machame Camp

  • Distance: 11 km
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

You will be driven from your hotel in Arusha or Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate, passing through the village of Machame, located on the lower slopes of the mountain. As we leave park gate behind, our walk starts through the rain forest on a winding trail up the ridge. At some sections the trail can be muddy and slippery, so the gaiters and trekking poles are a good to bring.  At the end of our today’s trek lies Machame Camp, where we stay for the night.

Day 2: Machame Camp to Shira Camp

  • Distance: 5 km
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Habitat: Moorland

The second day continues through increasingly sparse trees and bushes into moorlands. The day finishes with Shira Camp, which is on a small plateau in the high moorlands, and features views of Kibo in the northeast and Mount Meru towards the west. White necked ravens can be seen throughout the day. There is also a set of small caves a short walk from the campsite known as the Shira Caves.

Day 3: Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp

  • Distance: 10 km
  • Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
  • Habitat: Semi Desert

Today’s route turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower. Lunch will be served in a designated area before ascending the rocky path to Lava Tower. After lunch you descent again to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, you will feel actual benefit of acclimatization. This descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall.

Day 4: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

  • Distance: 9km
  • Hiking Time: 8 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

After breakfast, we take short scramble to the top of the Great Barranco and then a traverse over scree and ridges to the Karanga Valley, beneath the icefalls of the Heim, Kersten, and Decken Glaciers. After a short and well deserved break we leave Karanga and cross the junction that connects with the Mweka Trail, used for descend from the mountain later. From here we continue up to the Barafu Camp. Here we will rest, have dinner and prepare for the summit day. From Barafu you can enjoy the view of two volcanic cones Mawenzi and Kibo peaks,  and that view is quite spectacular and you should not miss it.

Day 5: Barafu Camp to Summit to Horombo Hut

  • Distance: 5 km ascent / 12 km descent
  • Hiking Time: 7-8 hours ascent / 4-6 hours descent
  • Habitat: Arctic

An early start for the ascent to the rim of the Kibo Crater between the Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers. The last section before the rim can sometimes be snow-covered and an ice-axe or ski stick is useful for balance. At the rim we will reach Stella point, from where we have further hour to Uhuru Peak.  After a short stop for taking photos we descend to the Barafu Hut for a rest and lunch before continuing on past Millenium camp down to Horombo Hut in the giant heather zone on the forest edge. Those with the strength left from  the summit may wish to descend to the Reutsh Crater and visit the ice pinnacles of the Eastern Icefields. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Day 6: Horombo Hut to Mweka Camp

  • Distance: 10 km
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. From the gate, you continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at village to drive you back to hotel in Moshi or Arusha.

The price includes:

  • Professional, experienced, mountain guides:
  • All Park fees
  • Rescue fees
  • All meals while on the Mountain
  • Arrival and Departure transfers
  • Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
  • Quality Mess tents with table and chairs
  • Large portions of fresh, healthy, nutritious food
  • Clean, purified drinking water
  • Crisis management and safety procedures
  • Fair and ethical treatment of porters
  • Flying Doctors insurance (AMREF) during the trek

This price does not include:

  • International Flights
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks not included
  • Visa fees
  • Tips
  • Personal spending money for souvenirs etc.
  • Travel insurance
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