Mount Kilimanjaro stands on featureless part of the East African plateau, on the Tanzanian side of the Kenya border near Moshi, side by side with the smaller Mount Meru. These mountains are extinct volcanoes, with Kilimanjaro actually being the agglomeration of three distinct volcanoes, Kibo (5896m/ 19,340 ft), Mwenzi (5,149 / 16,896 ft) and Shira (3,962m / 13,000 ft). whose violent creation is geologically associated with the creation of the Great Rift Valley, 100km to the West.
The Machame Route
This is probably the most beautiful route up Kilimanjaro. 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 highlights and route description
- Highly recommended for scenic value
- Great for acclimatization with lots of walk high, sleep low opportunities
- Challenging trek with stunning scenery through 5 diverse climatic zones
- Good opportunity to split pre-summit day climb to leave climbers rested before summiting
- Very popular trail
- Fully catered camping only
- The Machame route is probably the most popular route these days and is also called “the whiskey route”. This route is steeper than the Marangu and Rongai routes and physically more demanding and for that reason better suited for the more determined and fitter climbers (view a map of Machame).
Day 1: Arusha
After breakfast, we will pick you up from your Hotel and thereafter depart for Kilimanjaro National Park. One reaching the park gate we will proceed directly to Machame hut campsite in an average hiking time of 6 hours for meals and overnight in tents. The altitude e here is 3,100m.
Day 2: Machame / Shira
After breakfast, hike to Shira hut. The trek 4 hours approximately via the rain forest past the valley and a steep rocky ridge ending westward at a river gorge. You will have a rest, dinner and overnight Shira hut campsite, 3,658m above sea level.
Day 3:SHIRA BARANCO
Shira, hike to Barranco hut, in an average hiking time of 6 hours. Pass the lava tower and pass the second junction which brings us to the arrow glacier, altitude 4,876m. We descend to Barranco hut campsite for our third overnight on Kilimanjaro, 3,860 above sea level.
Day 4: Barranco / Barafu
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue to the Karanga valley and the junction, which connects with the Mweka trail. We hike to Barafu hut where we set up camp. We will have walked for about 8 hours. Dinner and overnight at the hut campsite, altitude 4,600m with the possibility of sighting both Mawenzi and Kibo peaks.
Day 5: Barafu / Mweka via Stella Point / Uhuru Peak
We rise early and head for Stella Point altitude 5, 745 on our way to the summit Uhuru peak that is 5,896m above sea level. This part of the hike takes about 6 hours. From the summit we descend to the Mweka hut campsite, 3,100m above sea level. This part of the descent takes about 5 hours. Dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Mweka / Arusha
After breakfast, we descend to the Mweka Park Gate in an average hiking time of 4 hours and then drive back to Arusha for overnight.
End of the Tour