7 days Machame route
The seven day Machame variation is the ideal schedule for this route. On the 7 day Machame route, the trek from Barranco to Barafu is broken up into two days, allowing for a short day just prior to the summit attempt. This is important because summit day begins very early, around midnight, so climbers are sleeping deprived going into the toughest day on the mountain. By having a short day beforehand, climbers can be better rested. The 7 day Machame route is highly recommended and used by most prominent Kilimanjaro operators.
Day 0: Arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport
Arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport where you will be met at the airport and be transferred at Hibiscus Hotel in Moshi for overnight.
Day 1: Drive to Kilimanjaro National Park Machame Gate, Hike to Machame Camp
Elevation: 1830m/6000ft to 3050m/9950ft
Drive from Moshi to Machame Gate takes about 45 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. We depart the park gate and walk through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. At lower elevations the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp.
Day 2: Machame Camp to Shira Camp
Elevation: 3050m/9950ft to 3850m/12,600ft
After breakfast we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the valley along a steep rocky ridge. The route now turns west onto a river gorge until we arrive at the Shira campsite.
Day 3: Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
Elevation: 3850m/12,600ft to 4000m/13,000ft
From the Shira Plateau we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth” (elevation 4650m/15,250ft). Shortly after the tower we come to the second junction which goes to the Arrow Glacier. We now continue down to the Barranco Camp. Although you end the day around the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
Day 4: Barranco Camp to karanga Camp.
Elevation: 4000m/13,000ft to 4700m/15,350ft
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite. This is a short day meant for acclimatization.
5 days Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
Elevation (ft): 13,100ft to 15,300Ft
After breakfast, we leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position.
6 days Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut
Elevation (ft): 15,300ft to 1345ft (and down to 10,000ft)
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You 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 (18,600 ft), you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to 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. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. 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.
7 days Mweka Camp to Moshi
Elevation (ft): 10,000ft to 5,400ft
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. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). From the gate, you continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to hotel in Moshi.
- Pick up and drop off at Kilimanjaro International Airport.
- 4 Season mountain tents
- Professional mountain guides, cooks and porters
- Filtered water throughout the trek
- 3 meals daily while on the mountain
- Transportation to & from the mountain gate
- Park fees
- camping fees
- Pre Trek accommodation
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