Machame Route: It is the most popular route at mountain Kilimanjaro and it is located at the southern part of the mountain. This route is very scenic and it has gradual ascent. You can climb it in 6days, 7days or 8 days depend with your time and budget it is camping route and one of the two ‘whisky’ routes in mount Kilimanjaro. 7 Days Kilimanjaro Climb – Machame Route Getting there: The drive to Machame gate is a about 45 minutes from Moshi and it crosses the cultivation zone. You can see numerous of villages, coffee and banana farms on your way to the gate. Once you arrive at the gate we do registration in Kilimanjaro national park log book, pay the entrance fee and get validly permit, after which hiking can start at 1800m.
Day 1: Machame Gate to Machame Camp
Elevation: 5,380 ft to 9,350 ft Distance: 11 km Hiking Time: 5-7 hours Habitat: Rain Forest The drive from Moshi to the Machame Gate takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. As we leave the park gate, we walk through the dense rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge until we reach the Machame Camp.
Day 2:Machame Camp to Shira 2 Camp
Elevation: 9,350 ft to 12,500 ft Distance: 5 km Hiking Time: 4-6 hours Habitat: Heath We leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path up to a steep, rocky ridge. On the Shira Plateau, we pass through heather and open moorlands, then cross a large river gorge to Shira 2 Camp.
Day 3:Shira 2 Camp to Barranco Camp
Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower Elevation: 12,500 ft to 15,190 ft Distance: 7 km Hiking Time: 4-5 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert Lava Tower to Barranco Camp Elevation: 15,190 ft to 13,044 ft Distance: 3 km Hiking Time: 2-3 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert We continue to the east up a ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower – a 300 ft tall volcanic rock formation. We descend down to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful Senecio Forest to an altitude of 13,000 ft. Although you begin and end the day at the same elevation, the time spent at higher altitude is very beneficial for acclimatization.
Day 4: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft Distance: 5 km Hiking Time: 4-5 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert We begin the day by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then we climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall we cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley. One more steep climb up leads us to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization.
Day 5: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
Elevation: 13,106 ft to 15,331 ft Distance: 4 km Hiking Time: 4-5 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert We leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are viewable from this position.
Day 6: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak
Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft Distance: 5 km Hiking Time: 7-8 hours Habitat: Arctic Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft Distance: 12 km Hiking Time: 4-6 hours Habitat: Rain Forest Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. Near Stella Point (18,900 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.
Day 7: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate
Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft Distance: 10 km Hiking Time: 3-4 hours Habitat: Rain Forest On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy, requiring careful and slow walking. You are again in the rain forest where you will see various species of flowers like Impatiens Kilimanjari and different trees species and also if your lucky you might see Blue Monkey and Black and White Colobus Monkeys.7 Days Machame Route At the Mweka Gate: Once you reach Mweka Gate you have to sign out in Kilimanjaro national park log book, our guide will collect certificate for those who made successful climb to Stella Point and Uhuru Point. Then we will drive you via Mweka village to your Hotel in Moshi/Arusha for long shower and Kilimanjaro beer.