Mt Kilimanjaro – Climb to the Roof of Africa via Machame Route
Destination: Moshi, Tanzania
Routes: Machame 7 Days (+ 2 Days in Moshi)
Team Size: 4 – 10
Accommodation: Hotel (Moshi) & Tents (on trek)
Minimum Age: 16 Years
High-altitude trekking in mountainous regions calls for flexibility and adaptability to many conditions. In the wilderness, nature has the final say. For us to survive, we need flexibility and adaptability to circumstances as they unfold. While we endeavour to follow the itinerary below, we may need to change it to suit conditions. The end point will always be returning safely to our families. It is imperative to commit to training at least three to six months beforehand to cope with the demands of high altitude trekking. If you have access to The Altitude Gym, then we will help you with pre-acclimatization training. During the trek, our blood oxygen will be monitored and your guide will advise you how to handle any issues that will inevitably crop up. With this in mind, we will have the best time on a trek that has unparalleled mountain views.
Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest mountain at 5,895 metres and one of the ‘7 Summits’. Kilimanjaro used to be within the boundaries of Kenya. Legend has it that Queen Victoria gave the mountain to Kaiser Wilhelm in 1848 because he commented that it was unfair that Kenya had the two highest peaks. Since 1889, several attempts have been made to determine the exact height of the mountain. The Kilimanjaro 2008 Precise Height Measurement Expedition used GPS and gravimeter methods to output the value of 5,891.8m (19,330ft). Due to Kilimanjaro’s equatorial location and high elevation, almost every climate type on earth is represented, including a year-round snow-topped summit.
This trek is not easy! It involves back-to-back days of trekking at high altitude, sometimes over rugged terrain. We expect all trekkers to have a high level of fitness so they can deal better with the altitude and the physically demanding nature of the trek. Our itinerary is tried and tested – the longer Lemosho routes will suit those wanting more time to acclimatize while climbing and we also have the option to climb Mt Meru to pre-acclimatize. However, we can’t predict how each team member will react to the altitude so we ask that all participants come well prepared for the demand of this trek (which means you need to train!). At The Altitude Gym, we will have a great opportunity to pre-acclimatize and all trekkers must commit to an agreed training program to make our collective journey a success.
TRIP ITINERARY: SEVEN DAYS MACHAME ROUTE
The Machame route (aka “Whiskey” route) is an all-time classic route to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. It has the rawness that comes with camping all the way up a mountain and seven days is just right. It is challenging enough that it requires a diligent training routine and a robust mindset to reach the summit. There is no hiding for those who are unprepared. Any shorter however, makes the experience unnecessarily arduous.
Day 1: Arrival
Pick up from Kilimanjaro airport (or other specified location) and transfer to hotel for gear check and team briefing. Anything still needed may be organized at the company’s gear shop. The rest of the day is free. Overnight at Parkview Inn.
Day 2: Machame Gate to Machame Camp; Elevation: 1,790m – 3,010m.
Distance: 11km; Hiking Time: 5 – 7 hours; Habitat: Rain Forest.
The drive from Moshi to Machame Gate takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. We now leave the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. Lower down, the trail can be muddy and slippery. We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp.
Day 3: Machame Camp to Shira Camp; Elevation: 3,010m – 3,845m.
Distance: 5km; Hiking Time: 4 – 6 hours; Habitat: Heath.
After breakfast, we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the little valley walking along a steep rocky ridge, covered with heather, until the ridge ends. The route now turns west onto a river gorge. Time for rest, dinner, and overnight at the Shira campsite.
Day 4: Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp; Elevation: 3,845m – 4,640m – 3,960m.
Distance: 10km; Hiking Time: 6 – 8 hours; Habitat: Alpine Desert.
From the Shira Plateau, we continue east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we walk, our direction changes to the southeast towards Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth.” Shortly after, we come to the second junction which brings us near Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 4,877m. We now continue down to Barranco Hut at an altitude of 3,976m. Although we end the day at the same elevation as we started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help prepare for summit day.
Day 5: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp; Elevation: 3,960m – 4,035m.
Distance: 5km; Hiking Time: 4 – 5 hours; Habitat: Alpine Desert.
Our first challenge is a climb and scramble over the volcanic rock of the 366m Barranco Wall. On reaching the top, we have a well-earned lunch break and enjoy fantastic views of Barafu and Mount Meru. We continue across the ridges and valleys to the Karanga Valley campsite. This is a short day meant for acclimatization.
Day 6: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp; Elevation: 4,035m – 4,640m.
Distance: 4 km; Hiking Time: 4 – 5 hours; Habitat: Alpine Desert.
After breakfast, we leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to Barafu Hut. At this point, we have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy an early dinner, and prepare for the summit day. Mawenzi and Kibo peaks are visible from this site.
Day 7: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Point to Mweka Camp; Elevation: 4,640m – 5,895m – 3,080m.
Distance: 17km; Hiking Time: 11 – 14 hours; Habitat: Arctic.
At around midnight, we put on many layers of clothing and begin our climb to the summit. We head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point (5,669m), we stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see.
From Stella Point, we have just one more hour before reaching the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit. From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Day 8: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate to Moshi; Elevation: 3,080m – 1,630m.
Distance: 10km; 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. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to hotel in Moshi for hot shower. The rest of the day is free and we will have a celebratory dinner tonight.
Day 9: Departure / Free Day.
We will make the necessary arrangement for your departure today. However, if you’re extending your stay, we highly recommend making a trip to Chemka Hot Spring for a relaxing free half day. Alternately (or additionally), a short walk from our hotel is Lala Salama spa where you can enjoy an amazing massage by masseuses trained by our very own Altitude Gym member a few years ago. Nearby is the Blue Zebra Art Studio where you can do all your gift-shopping.
– Pick up from Kilimanjaro airport, and drop off after climbing
– Two nights’ accommodation at Parkview Inn – Bed and Breakfast
– All park fees for seven days Kilimanjaro climb
– Salary for Guides, Cook and Porters
– Camping facilities such as sleeping tents, mess tents, table, chair, sleeping mattress
– Three meals a day while on trekking. Breakfast, lunch and dinner
– Oxygen and O2 saturation meter will be available for health check up every day
– Transport from hotel to Machame gate and from Mweka village to hotel
– Flights to Kilimanjaro airport
– Tipping for climbing team
– All personal needs
– Meals at hotel (other than breakfast)
– Any extra days on mountain and hotel
We offer a choice of three service levels on our treks depending on ability to pre-acclimatise at our gym and experience level:
1. Premium Package: $4,198.00
2. Standard Package: $3,685.00
3. Out-of-area: $3,268.00
Trekkers can contact us at any time for any concerns that they may have about the trip.