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Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing, Machame Route

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Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing, Machame Route

Overview

Safari Highlights

Enjoy great scenery on your up and down Mount Kilimanjaro

Sleep in tents which are pitched by porters for you

The ideal route for the more adventurous hikers

The Machame Route has a high success rate due to acclimatization points

Take in the continuous changing scenic slide show

Overview

Machame is a scenic route up Kilimanjaro that allows you to experience the southwest and south sides of the mountain, since you go up one way and down the other. All your equipment and supplies are carried by porters and a cook prepares all your meals. Unlike the Marangu Route where you sleep in huts, on the Machame you sleep in tents (tents are included in the cost) and the porters will pitch your tent for you. Meals are served in a dinner tent or on a blanket outside. This makes the Machame, which is referred to as the "Whiskey Route," better suited to more adventurous hikers, and it also rewards you with better views than the Machame Route. From late afternoon sunsets at Shira, to the misty revelations of Kibo's great Barranco Wall, the Machame Route offers the spunky hiker a continuous scenic slide show. The Machame Route is normally completed in 6 days, and this greatly helps your acclimatization. The Machame Route takes you to the high Lava Tower (15,190 ft) on day 3 then brings you down for an overnight at Barranco Camp (3,950 m/12,960 ft). This intermediate ascent and descent is the secret to a successful acclimatization, and is the reason that this route has a high success rate.

Full Safari Itinerary

Day to Day Itinerary

DAY 1: Moshi

Upon arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met at the airport and transferred to Moshi for overnight at Springlands Hotel.

DAY 2: Machame Gate – Machame Camp (9,780ft) 11 Miles 5-7 Hours Trek (Montane Forest)

Your day starts early with a briefing, followed by breakfast and a 50-minute drive from Moshi to the Machame Village (4,890 ft) where your guides and porters prepare and pack your equipment and supplies. You will receive a lunch pack, and you can also buy mineral water in the village. If the road is very muddy, it may be impossible to drive from the village to the Machame Gate, and in this case, it will take you an hour to complete the muddy 3 km walk to the gate. After registering at the park office, you start your ascent and enter the rain forest immediately. Heavy rains on this side of the mountain often transform the trail into a soggy, slippery experience, so good footgear, trekking poles, and gaiters are useful. You will enjoy a welcome lunch stop halfway up and will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon. Your porters will arrive at camp before you and will erect your tent before you arrive. In the evening, the porters boil drinking and washing water while the cook prepares your dinner. Night temperatures can drop to freezing at the Machame Camp.

DAY 3: Machame Camp - Shira Camp (12,600ft) 6 Miles, 4-6 Hours (Moorland)

You rise early at Machame camp, and after breakfast, climb for an hour to the top of the forest, then for 2 hours through a gentle moorland. After a short lunch and rest, you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira Plateau where you will be able to see Kilimanjaro’s great Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. Sometimes, the walls of the Western Breach are draped with extensive ice curtains. You are now west of Kibo on the opposite side of the mountain from the Marangu Route. After a short hike west, you reach the Shira campsite. The porters will boil drinking and washing water before serving dinner. The night at this exposed camp will be colder, with temperatures dropping below freezing.

DAY 4: Shira Camp – Lava Tower – Barranco Camp (15,190ft) 9.3 Miles, 7 Hours Semi-Desert

After breakfast, you will hike east up asteepening path above the highest vegetation toward Kilimanjaro’s looming mass.After several hours, you walk through a rocky landscape to reach the prominentlandmark called LavaTower at 15,190ft. This chunky remnant of Kilimanjaro’s earlier volcanic activity is severalhundred feet high, and the trail passes right below it. For extra credit, thesure-footed can scramble to the top of the tower. After a lunch stop near Lava Tower,descend for 2 hours below the lower cliffs of the Western Breach and BreachWall to Barranco Camp at 12,960 ft. There are numerous photoopportunities on this hike, especially if the walls are festooned with ice.Barranco Camp is in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Walls, whichshould provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for your dinner. Onthis day, be careful to notice any signs of altitude sickness.

DAY 5: Barranco Camp – Barafu Camp (14,930ft), 8 Miles, 8 hours Alpine Desert

After spending a night under the imposing Great Barranco Wall, you climb this awesome obstacle, which turns out to be easier than it looks. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you can now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley and goes over intervening ridges and valleys to join the Mweka Route, which will be your descent route. You have now completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. For now, all eyes are still on the summit, so turn left and hike up the ridge for another hour to the Barafu Hut. The last water on the route is in the Karanga Valley; there is no water at Barafu Camp, even though Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice.” The famous snows of Kilimanjaro are far above Barafu Camp near the summit of the mountain. Your tent will be pitched on a narrow, stony, wind-swept ridge, so make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. Prepare your equipment and warm clothing for your summit climb. This should include replacing your headlamp and camera batteries, and to prevent freezing, consider carrying your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed by 7 PM, and try to get a few hours of precious sleep.

DAY 6: Summit Day! Barafu Camp – Uhuru Peak – Mweka Camp, 4.3 Miles, 8 hours (oneway)

You will rise around 11:30 PM, and after some steaming tea and biscuits, you shuffle off into the night. Your 6-hour climb northwest up through heavy scree between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers to Stella Point on the crater rim is the most challenging part of the route for most climbers. At Stella Point (18,650 ft) you stop for a short rest and a chance to see a supremely sanguine sunrise. At Stella Point you join the top part of the Marangu Route, but do not stop here too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Depending on the season and recent storms, you may encounter snow on your remaining hike along the rim to Uhuru Peak. On the summit, you can enjoy your accomplishment and know that you are creating a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. After your 3-hour descent from the summit back to Barafu Camp, you will have a well-earned but short rest, collect your gear, and hike down a rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest to Mweka Camp (10,170 ft). This camp is in the upper forest, so you can expect mist or rain in the late afternoon. Dinner, and washing water will be prepared, and the camp office sells drinking water, soft drinks, chocolates, and beer!

DAY 7: Rain Forests

Begin hike back to Moshi through the beautiful rain forests.

DAY 8: Mweka Camp – Mweka Gate – Moshi 9.3 Miles, 5-7 hours

After a well-deserved breakfast, it is a short, scenic, 3-hour hike back to the park gate. Don’t give your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely, but do remember to tip your staff at the gate. At Mweka Gate, you can sign your name and add details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Climbers who reached Stella Point are issued green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate, you will continue down to the Mweka Village, possibly a muddy, 3 km, 1 hour hike if the road is too muddy for vehicles. Inthe Mweka Village you will be served a delicious hot lunch after which you are driven back to Moshi for an overdue hot shower and comfortable night in our Springlands Hotel or similar hotel.

DAY 9: End of Mount Kilimanjaro Climb

Depart for the airport or other destinations in Tanzania or Kenya. A trip to the beaches at Zanzibar is a good way to relax and recover. We can arrange many reasonably priced trips and safaris in Northern Tanzania.

Included

All transfers; from and to the airport

Transport from and to your hotel in Moshi

Accommodation and all meals

Porter services

All park fees and Taxes where applicable

Excluded

International Flights

Airport taxes

Tips and gratuities

Items of a personal nature

Safari Rates & Prices

All rates are quoted per person sharing unless otherwise stipulated

Dates From Dates To 2 Persons 4 Persons 6 Persons Single Suppliment
01-Jan-2015 30-Jun-2015 US$ 2,750 US$ 2,400 US$ 2,000 US$ 450
01-Jul-2015 30-Oct-2015 US$ 2,850 US$ 2,500 US$ 2,100 US$ 500
01-Jul-2015 30-Oct-2015 US$ 2,675 US$ 2,375 US$ 2,075 US$ 500

Notes about these Rates

Pricing is meant as a guide only.

Vision Adventure Safaris provides significantly lower rates below general public rack rates. Due to contract confidentiality and Safari Customization we are not able to publish our best rates for this Safari. Once you contact us we will tailor your Safari and give you accurate rates depending on your accommodation, stay duration, number of travellers and season.

All prices are subject to availability, change or increase without notice and seasonality.

Single supplements are often applicable. Options and rates vary from supplier to supplier.

Safari Maps

We are working hard to integrate Maps for all our Safaris. Maps for this Safari will be added in the coming days.

Evie Treen
  • Evie Treen, Founder
  • “This is more than going on safari; it’s a celebration with fun filled adventure full of African Safari experiences.”

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