7 Days Machame Route
Climb Kilimanjaro for 7 Days Machame Route – This is probably the most beautiful route up Kilimanjaro. All your equipment and supplies are porttered 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. However, rewarding you 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 – acclimatization. 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 acclimatization.
TIME OF YEAR
7 Days Machame Route
Hiking time: 7 hours
Distance: ~18 km
Habitat: Montaine forest
Your day starts early with a briefing from the tour organizer and guides, followed by 70-minute drive from your Hotel (910m) to the Machame village (1490m). The guides and porters prepare and pack the supplies and your equipment in the village. You will receive a lunch pack and you can also buy mineral water in the 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 1 km walk will take about 30 minutes to complete. After registering at the gate office, you start your ascent and enter the rain forest almost immediately. There is a strong possibility of rain in the forest, which will transform the trail into a very foggy, 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. Your porters (arriving at the camp site long before you) will have erected your tent on your arrival. In the evening the porters will boil drinking and washing water and the cook will prepare dinner before you retire to your tent for the night. Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at Machame campsite.
Hiking time: 6 hours
Distance: About 9 km
You rise early at Machame camp and 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 a short lunch and rest, 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 porters will boil drinking and washing water, before serving dinner. The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing.
Distance: ~ 15 km
Habitat: Semi desert
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. Lunch is served in a designated area before ascending the rocky scree path to Lava Tower (4630m). Definitely the toughest day so far. It is normally around this point, where for the first time some climbers will start to feel symptoms of breathlessness,
irritability and headaches. After lunch you descent again by almost 680m to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4,600m at Lava Tower, the true acclimatization benefit of this day becomes clear. 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. 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 and overnight at Barranco Camp site.
Hiking time: 4-5 hours
Distance: About13 km
Habitat: Alpine desert
After spending a night at the Great Barranco Wall, you will proceed to make your way up this awesome looking obstacle. Hikers find that in the end this normally turns out easier than anticipated. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you will now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley crossing the last water point over intervening ridges and valleys and then joins up with the Mweka route. This is the preferred route down from the summit, so take note. We will finish with dinner and an overnight Karanga Valley Camp.
Hiking time: 4-5 hours
After breakfast at the Karanga valley camp, you will walk a ridge and enter a cold desert for about 4 hours and then reach the Barafu Hut. Crews will collect water from the last water stop at Karanga Valley in morning, as there is no water at Barafu camp. Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice” as 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 familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents as this is a dangerous area. The summit is now 1345m above you, and you will make the final ascent tonight. Prepare your equipment, ski stick, and thermal clothing for your summit attempt. Make sure and replace the batteries in your headlamp and camera and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing, it would be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed around 7 PM and try to get some good. Try not to sleep more than 5 hours.
Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak 7/8 hours to descend to Mweka camp Distance: ~ 7 km ascent – 23 km descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You will rise around 11:30 PM and have some hot tea and biscuits before you shuffle off into the night. 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 the most mentally and physically challenging part of the trip. At Stella Point (5685m) you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you will witness in your lifetime (weather permitting). From Stella Point you will normally encounter snow to Uhuru Peak (2 hour ascent). 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. Enjoy your accomplishment as this is a day to remember for the rest of your life. The walk back to Barafu from the summit will take about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned but short rest. You will then collect the rest of your gear before heading down to Mweka hut (3100m). This route is not difficult and will take you down the rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest. The camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Dinner and washing water will be prepared. Drinking water, soft drinks, chocolate, and beer is available from the camp office if you so desire.
Hiking time: 3 hours
After Hot breakfast from in Mweka Campsite you will start walking slowly towards the mountain gate the walk takes about 3hours to get to the Mweka campsite where our driver will pick you and transfer you to the Hotel in Arusha.
The End of 7 Days Machame Route
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