6 Days Machame Route
The Machame route, also known as the “Whiskey” route, a very route on Kilimanjaro. It is considered one of the most scenic and beautiful routes. However, the trail is considered difficult, steep and challenging, particularly due to its shorter itinerary. Therefore this route is better suited for more adventurous tourists or those with some high altitude, hiking or backpacking experience.
The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the south, beginning with a drive from Moshi or Arusha to Machame Gate. The path leads hikers through the rain forest to Shira Plateau. Here, many of Kilimanjaro’s routes converge. Then the route turns east and traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route. It is also the route with sufficient acclimatization opportunities and you go high and sleep low on the third day.
DAY 1: Arrival in Arusha
You will be picked up from the airport (Kilimanjaro International Airport/ Arusha Airport) and be transferred to your hotel in the town of your choice where you will rest and have a short pre-climb briefing from your Guide who will as well check your gears.
DAY 2: Machame Gate to Machame Camp
You will be picked up from your hotel early in the morning by your driver and some porters. The porters will load your bags into the car ready for a big adventure ahead of you. You will have a few stops on the way for shopping and there after you head straight to the gate. As you check in, the porters will be weighing the luggage. After registration completion you start hiking through a lush green tropical rain forest. Congratulations! Your adventure has just begun.
DAY 3: Machame Camp to Shira Camp
Distance: 5 km
Time: 4-6 hours
We wake up early in the morning for breakfast. We then leave around 7am heading to Shira camp. After breakfast, we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path walking along a steep rocky ridge. The route now turns west onto a river gorge. Once we arrive we set camp and rest. The guide will then take you to Shira caves for a short excursion. If the sky is clear we are going to have a good view of the mountain from the camp.
DAY 4: Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
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 South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth.” Shortly after the tower, we come to a junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft. We now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft. Here we rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight sleep. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
DAY 5: Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, this is where you will come across the famous “kissing rock”. At the top you will be rewarded with perfect picture opportunities. Congratulations! You are now above the clouds! We thereafter head to Barafu
DAY 6: Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Camp
Elevation: 15,300ft-19,345-ft10, 000ft
Distance: 5km ascent/12km descent
Time: 7-8hrs ascent/4-6hrs descent.
In the midnight, we leave Barafu and hike our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. 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. From Stella it takes 45min-1hr to Uhuru peak. Congratulations! You are now at Uhuru peak! We then head down to Barafu camp where the porters will be waiting to congratulate us. We rest, have a hot meal and head down to Mweka camp for an overnight sleep.
DAY 7: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate to Arusha
We start our descent after breakfast in the morning to the Mweka Park Gate to receive the 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 our driver will pick us up and drive us to Moshi or Arusha depending on the location of your hotel.
DAY 8: Departure
Today we drive you the airport. It will be sad to say goodbye after spending the last couple of days together. As we wave you goodbye we hope to see you again.