|Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Machame Route, Mt Kilimanjaro Climbing in Tanzania, Hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro, Trekking on Mount Kilimanjaro, Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, Machame Hikes|
Hiking on Mount Kilimanjaro, Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
This is probably the most beautiful route up Kilimanjaro. All your equipment and supplies are portered and a cook prepares all your meals. Where accommodation on the Marangu route is in huts, the Machame route offers strictly tents only. This makes Machame (also referred to as the "Whiskey route") better suited to the slightly more adventurous hiker, rewarding him with a scenic splendor such as not seen on the Marangu route. From late afternoon sunsets at Shira, to the misty revelations of Kibo at the great Barranco Wall, the Machame route offers the adventurous hiker a stunning scenic "slide show" over 6 days. The Machame route is normally completed in a minimum of 6 days.
There is an added benefit to this, as you are afforded the most valuable commodity on the mountain - acclimatisation. The Machame route takes you high to Lava Tower (4630m) on the day 3 and brings you down by nearly 700m for an overnight at Barranco camp (3950m). This is the secret to successful acclimatisation.
The Machame route can be accomplished within 5 days. An extremely physically and mentally demanding option, not recommended for the average climber.
Day 1: Arrival Nairobi / Kilimanjaro Airport
Day 2: Machame Gate (1490m) - Machame camp (2980m)
The day starts with a briefing, followed by breakfast and a 45-minute drive from Moshi to the Machame village. Depending on the condition of the road, it is possible to drive from the village to the Machame gate, but if not, the muddy 3 km walk will take about 1 hour to complete. After registering at the gate office, you start your ascent and enter the rain forest almost immediately. Usually, there is a strong possibility of rain in the forest, which will transform the trail into a very soggy, muddy and slippery experience. You will have a welcome lunch stop about half way and will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon. Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at this campsite, B, L, D.
Day 3: Machame camp (2980m) - Shira camp (3840m)
After breakfast you climb an hour or so to the top of the forest and then for 2 hours at a gentler gradient through the moorland zone. After taking a short break, you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau. By now you will be able to see in an easterly direction, the Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. You are now due west of Kibo and after a short hike you will reach the Shira campsite at 3 840m. The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing, B,L,D.
Day 4: Shira (3840m) - Lava Tower (4630m)-Barranco camp (3950m)
The route now turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower, where you reach an altitude of 4630m after about a 5 hours walk. After lunch you descent again by almost 680m to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, the true acclimatisation benefit of this day becomes clear.
This drop to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours .The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for the preparation of your dinner, B, L, and D.
Day 5: Barranco camp (3950m) - Barafu camp (4550m)
After spending a night at the Great Barranco Wall, you make your way up this awesome looking obstacle, which in the end normally turns out easier than what you anticipated. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley over intervening ridges and valleys, and then joins up with the Mweka route. This is the preferred route down from the summit, so remember it.
Barafu is the Swahili word for "ice" and it is a bleak and inhospitable camping area to spend the night. Totally exposed to the ever-present gales the tents are pitched on a narrow, stony, and dangerous ridge. Make sure that you familiarise yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. Always carry spare part equipment with you. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get some precious rest and sleep, B, L, D.
Day 6: SUMMIT ATTEMPT, Barafu camp (4550m) - Uhuru Peak (5895m)-Mweka (3100m)
You will head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This 6-hour walk to Stella point is for many climbers, mentally and physically the most challenging on the route. The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue.
Day 7: Mweka camp (3100m) - Mweka Gate (1980m)
After breakfast, it is a short 3-hour and scenic hike back to the Park gate. At Mweka gate you sign your name and details in a register. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy 3 km (1 hour) hike. In the Mweka village you will be served a delicious hot lunch
You will be received by your tour guide and taken for an overnight at your hotel at Moshi before departure or proceed to Arusha town if you are to either continue on a safari or depart via Jomo Kenyatta international Airport in Nairobi.
Tips on What to Bring
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