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Kilimanjaro Machame Route

Kilimanjaro Climb Machame Route

9 day trip from £3,300pp (excl. international flights)
Arusha  → Kilimanjaro  → Arusha

Our specialists say

Machame is a popular route due to its lovely scenery, but it is a challenging trek so more suited to those with high altitude hiking experience.

The Machame route is the most popular route on Kilimanjaro due to its scenic beauty. However, the trail is considered difficult, steep and challenging and thus more suited to those who are more adventurous and have high altitude, hiking or backpacking experience.

The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the south starting from 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.

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The itinerary…

Day 1: Time to fly

Overnight flight to Kilimanjaro

Day 2: Relax for the first day and prepare for the climb

Arumeru  River  Lodge

Arumeru Lodge in Arusha

Arrive in the morning at Kilimanjaro Airport where you will be met by a Far & Wild representative and driven to Arumeru Lodge, which has views of Kilimanjaro. Spend the day relaxing before embarking on your trek up Kilimanjaro. Dinner and overnight at Arumeru Lodge.

Day 3: Start your ascent at Machame Gate to Machame Camp

Kilimanjaro Trekking

The Machame Trail

After an early breakfast head out to Kilimanjaro National Park and Machame Gate. The trek starts in the dense rainforests of the lower slopes and the trail winds it's way up along a ridge to Machame Camp where you will camp for the night.

Elevation: 5,380 ft to 9,350 ft
Distance: 11 km/7 miles
Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
Habitat: Rainforest

Day 4: Machame Camp to Shira Camp

Kilimanjaro Shira Plateau

The Shira Plateau

Leave the glades of the rainforest and continue on an ascending path up to a steep, rocky ridge to the Shira Plateau where we pass through heather and open moorlands. Then cross a large river gorge to Shira Camp

Elevation: 9,350 ft to 12,500 ft
Distance: 5 km/3 miles
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Habitat: Heath

Day 5: Shira Camp to Barranco Camp

Kilimanjaro Alpine Terrain

Alpine Terrain on the Trail

The trail continues to the east up a ridge and then you will 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 almost the same elevation, the time spent at higher altitude is very beneficial for acclimatization.

Shira Camp to Lava Tower Elevation: 12,500 ft to 15,190 ft

Distance: 7 km/4 miles

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Lava Tower to Barranco Camp Elevation: 15,190 ft to 13,044 ft

Distance: 3 km/2 miles

Hiking Time: 2-3 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 6: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Barranco Wall On Kilimanjaro

The Barranco Wall on Kilimanjaro

The day begins by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then you climb the non-technical but steep cliff, which is nearly 900 ft. From the top of the Barranco Wall you cross a series of hills and valleys until descending sharply into Karanga Valley. One more steep climb up leads takes you to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day in order to acclimatize.

Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft

Distance: 5 km/3 miles

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 7: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

In the morning leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail and continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut where you will see clear views of the summit. You will camp here and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. The peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are visible from the camp.

Elevation: 13,106 ft to 15,331 ft
Distance: 4 km/2 miles
Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 8: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak, then descend to Mweka Camp

Kilimanjaro Machame Sunrise

Sunrise at the top of Kilimanjaro

At midnight you will begin your 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. 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 arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and 'the roof of Africa'

After a short time to take photographs and enjoy the incredible view you will start to descend by 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.

Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak

Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft
Distance: 5 km/3 miles
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
Habitat: Arctic

Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp

Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft
Distance: 12 km/7 miles
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Habitat: Rainforest

Day 9: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

Swimming Pool At  Arumeru  River  Lodge

Swimming pool at Arumeru River Lodge

On the last day continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka Village to drive you back to Arumeru Lodge.

After freshening up enjoy the rest of the day relaxing at Arumeru Lodge.

Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
Distance: 10 km/6 miles
Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
Habitat: Rainforest

Day 10: Fly back home

Spend the day at Arumeru Lodge and relax in their beautiful gardens and enjoy the swimming pool. In the late afternoon you will be escorted to Kilimanjaro Airport for your return flight home.

Duration: 10 days

Location: Kilimanjaro Climbs, Tanzania

Price: £2999pp

A 10 day trekking holiday to Mt Kilimanjaro using the Machame Route.

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