Day 1: Machame Gate to Machame Camp. Ascent: 1800 meters to 3000 meters. Distance: 11 km. This is probably the most beautiful route up Kilimanjaro. All your equipment and supplies are portaged 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 hikers, however rewarding them with a scenic splendor 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 six days.
Day 2: Machame Camp to Shira Camp. Ascent: 3000 meters to 3820 meters. Distance: 5 km. Today's segment of the ascent will continue across beautiful heath land and alpine moorland with magnificent views of Kilimanjaro Peak. We begin up the steep track through a savannah of tall grasses, and trees of Giant Heather and Erica. Scramble around large boulders as you enter the moorland zone, marked by lobelia and senecio plants, and volcanic rocks draped with lichen beards, which protect wild alpine flowers growing at their bases. We'll overnight at Shira Camp (5-6 hours of walking).
Day 3: Shira Camp to Lava Tower then to Barranco Camp. Ascent: 3820 meters, 4640 meters then to 3972 meters. Ascend: 7.5 km. Descend: 5 km (total 12.5 km). We'll draw nearer the peak as we get closer to the Lava Tower. The trek becomes a bit more strenuous as the trail steepens on the approach to the lava Tower, a 300 foot tall volcanic plug which marks an exposed pass at 15000 feet. In the afternoon, descend the steep track into the Great Barranco Valley. Barranco Camp is set on a col (flat area) enclosed on three sides with steep valley walls and the Kibo massif itself. Hanging glaciers glint in the sunshine above, amidst the eerie landscape of plants such as the giant groundsels (Senecio Kilimanjari), and the uniquely endemic Giant Lobelia. Then we slowly ascent to our overnight stop at Barranco Camp (5-6 hours of walking).
Day 4: Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp. Ascent: 3972 meters to 4660 meters. Distance: 10 km. The day will begin with a descent into the Gorge, before we climb its eastern wall where we will enjoy views of Kilimanjaro's ice fields, an equatorial anomaly. We'll trek up through the Karanga Valley, the trail turns steadily uphill, following the lava ridge to the Barafu camp. The temperature will grow colder and the landscape more sparse as we near Barafu Camp. Barafu Camp is set on a small, exposed flat area on a ridge, acting as a base camp from which you will make your summit attempt at midnight tonight. Barafu camp (15200 feet, 8-10 hours of walking).
Day 5: Barafu Camp to Uhuru peak to Millennium/Mweka Camp. Ascent/Descent: 4660 meters to 5895 meters then to 3790, 3100 m. Distance: 15/20 km. Just after midnight we start a challenging trek (12-17 hours of trekking). You begin trekking at 12:30 to 1am, passing between the Rebmann and Tarzel glaciers to the rim at Stella Point. The temperatures range from just below freezing at midnight, to between 10 degrees F (-12 degrees C) to –10 F (-23 degrees C) just before dawn at the summit. As dawn nears, we'll summit at Uhuru Peak, the highest point in Africa at 19340 feet. Uhuru will be the culmination of - and the reward for 6-7 hours of strenuous hiking. We'll then descend back to Barafu Camp, resting for a while before continuing our descent to Mweka Camp (9840 feet, 3-4 hours of walking on the descent).
Day 6: Millennium/Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate. Descent: 3790/3100 meters to 1660 meters. Distance: 15/10 km. We'll make our final descent to the park gate, a walk of about 3 or 4 hours. After bidding our farewells to our guide and porters, we'll drive to Kilimanjaro to catch up your flight.
- Visas: check current requirement with the nearest Tanzanian High commission, embassy or consulate
- Tipping: the recommended minimal tipping to the guide is 20 USD and 10 USD for the porters per day
- Insurance: take out travel insurance to cover the loss of baggage or valuables, personal accident and medical expenses
- Health: yellow fever vaccination is compulsory. Malaria is endemic but is preventable. Use insect repellent, cover up at sundown, sleep under a mosquito net and take anti-malaria prophylactics as advised by your doctor. Bring prescription medicine, spare glasses, sunscreen. first aid kit, cram for bites, stings, and diarrhea remedy. Drink only boiled or bottled water or caned drinks, avoid ice cubes and salads. We strongly advise to consult your doctor for your personal health information.
Also see tour packages in:
Africa Tanzania Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking
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