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Embark on this 7 day Machame Route itinerary. The Machame route, commonly known as “the Whiskey Route,” is the climbers’ second most preferred alternative. The vistas, scenery, and experiences along this journey are diverse. Machame Gate, the route’s beginning point, is only a 20-minute drive from Aishi Machame Hotel. Machame Gate, located on Mt Kilimanjaro’s southern slope, will take you to the summit by an interesting route that begins in the tropical forest, continues through all temperature zones, and ends in the Arctic desert in the summit region.
The trek’s camps are strategically placed to provide for a smooth and progressive acclimatization adjustment. At Barranco camp on the third day, the Machame Route meets up with the Lemosho and Umbwe routes.
A six-day or seven-day climb is available. The latter is strongly recommended for a smoother acclimatization process.
Pick up from your accommodation at 8am and drive to the Machame Gate of Kilimanjaro National Park (approximately 45 min drive from Moshi town). Here we will process your park fees and the fees for the crew before you will start your ascent. Day 1 trekking takes you through the montane forest ecosystem of the national park- your guide will show you a variety of fauna and flora including a high chance of seeing the Black and White colobus monkey. You will reach the camp between 35pm (you will always be able to go at your own pace so the time varies!) where you will be welcomed with hot water for washing and a nice cup of tea! If you have time and energy there is the option to do a short hike, which offers you extra acclimatization, to a point 100m higher from the camp before returning to camp for dinner and overnight.
This day’s hiking time is much shorter as it is a much steeper route. Following breakfast at 7:30am you will start your heading out of the forest and heading into the moorland area of the national park. From here you can have a great view of your summit so far and even Mt Meru on a clear day. After a short break for lunch you will start to ascend the undulating rocky ridge of the Shira plateau. Once reaching camp you will again be welcomed by your team of porters and chef with hot water before dinner and overnight. Optional extra 30min hike to Shira Camp 2 (100m extra altitude) where you can see evidence of buffalos that previously came to find calcium here and have a great view of the Shira cathedral (where the 3rd peak of the mountain collapsed millions of years ago).
Following breakfast you will leave camp to start your ascent to the Lava Tower Rock. We won’t lie, this will be quite a tough hike and may be the first time you experience altitude sickness due to the higher elevation. It gives you a good opportunity to adjust to the climate at this altitude and the great thing is that, following lunch at the big rock, you get to descend down to Barranco Camp where you will have dinner and overnight.
A shorter day, giving you a good chance to adjust but still a little challenge just when you leave the camp as you climb up what has been nicknamed the ‘breakfast rock’. It’s all worth it though as at the top of this rock you can have a great view to Kibo peak and its magnificent glaciers, whilst at the same time in the other direction you’ll be able to see Mt Meru. This day also includes a lot of ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ until you reach the valley which marks the last point for water passing on the Machame route. Head back up the valley to Karanga camp where you can relax for the afternoon before dinner and overnight.
During your trekking this day you will find the trail to get steadily steeper all the way to Barafu camp. On the way you will pass over the volcanic rocks from previous explosions of this volcano and you will be able to view the entire landscape of the mountain. You will arrive at Barafu camp around 1pm for a hot lunch and then rest up and get some sleep in preparation for your summit night! Although during the day time it can be a little hot at this time, the Barafu or ‘ice’ camp really lives up to its name once the sun goes down.
Your friendly guide will give you a warm wakeup call at approximately 11pm (depending how well you have fared so far you may get up earlier or later!). From here you will start your ascent to the summit. This is the final push to the top and so your guide will take you at a much slower pace compared to your trekking the previous days, to make sure you have the best chance of getting to the peak, giving your body time to cope with the high altitude. Once you reach Stella Point at 5735m you really have almost made it- only another 45 minutes until you will find yourself at Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa. Enjoy your time here, take in what will surely be your most memorable sunrise and celebrate with your guide.
From the summit you will descend back down to Barafu Camp where you will be welcomed by the rest of the crew and enjoy a short break and breakfast. Here you can have a nap for a couple of hours if you wish and depending on the time you arrive. From Barafu Camp you will make your way down to Mweka Camp, passing from desert to moorland terrain. You will reach Mweka Camp at approximately 5pm where you will dinner and overnight.
Passing through the montane forest, similar to your first day trekking, you will make your way down to Mweka Gate where you will sign out and exit Kilimanjaro National Park. From here you will picked up by our company transport and transferred back to our office in town where you will be presented with you certificate before returning to your hotel for a well-deserved rest!
A great value option, offering fantastic acclimatisation and scenic views on the way up and down this circular route.
We always recommend you have at least 1 day in town before starting your trek. This gives you time to rest, relax and prepare. On this day we make sure you meet your guide(s) so that they are able to check all your gear, we can rent anything else that you require and you have the opportunity to ask them any questions you may have!
If you are not pushed for time we highly recommend you to take this route. The Machame route itself is quite undulating giving you a good variety of altitudes each day. With the 7 day itinerary you can take things a notch slower, giving you more time to relax and enjoy the scenery and of course a better chance of reaching the summit. If you don’t have previous experience of trekking at altitude then this is the itinerary for you!
The best time to climb Kilimanjaro is between the warm and dry months of January through early-March and June through October. When the skies are clear and warm comfortable hiking conditions
Cost for safaris in Tanzania depends with the number of people, number of days visiting Tanzania and the type of accommodation on the safari (luxury, midrange and budget options ). Read more
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