The route begins through some banana and coffee farms of Machame village. The path follows a ridge through dense Montane forest. This is the richest forested area on the mountain. The gradient becomes gentler as the forest slowly merges into giant heather close to the next camp near the ruins of Machame Hut. Machame route is ideal for people who want to enjoy a scenic hike yet on a challenging route in the shortest time.
Day 1: Arrive in Arusha
Arrive Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). A private transfer awaits you from Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) to Arusha at a hotel that suits your budget where you will spend the rest of the day at leisure. The mountain guide will come at the agreed time at the hotel for a pre-climb briefing and an equipment check. We recommend that this is done on the eve of the climb.
Day 2: Machame Hut (3,000 m); 6-8 hours walking.
The climb starts from Machame gate (1800m), enjoy the short walk through some banana and coffee farms of Machame village, the path is through a ridge along some dense Montane forest. This area boasts of being the richest forested area on the mountain. Even in the dry season the area retains its green beauty. However, gets very muddy during the rainy season. You will have lunch halfway and continue climbing steadily. The gradient becomes gentler as the forest slowly merges into giant heather close to the next camp near the ruins of Machame Hut (3,000m). Evening clouds permitting you may get your first view of the glaciated dome of Kibo. (6-7 hours walking).
Day 3: Shira Hut (3,840m); 4-6 hours walking.
Begin this day by climbing up a steep ridge to reach a small semi circular cliff known as Picnic Rock. Some magnificent views of Kibo and the jagged rim of Shira Plateau from here are visible. As the trail continues the steep is less and this will take you to Shira Plateau. This day you will camp around Shira Hut (3,840m.), enjoy the most stunning views of Kilimanjaro! The huge volcanic cone of Kibo is clearly visible & the spectacular rock formations of Shira Plateau cannot go unnoticed.
Day 4: Great Barranco valley (3,900 m.); 5-7 hours walking.
After breakfast start the morning with a gentle ascent and panoramic views, leaving the moorland plateau behind to walk on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. Break for lunch near the Lava Tower junction (4,550 m.) after which start descending to the bottom of the Great Barranco valley (3,900 m.), sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains far below.
Day 5: Karanga camp (4,000 m); 4-5 hours walking.
After breakfast start your steep climb up the Barranco wall leading you to an undulating trail on the south-eastern flank of Kibo, with superb vistas of the Southern Ice fields. The terrain changes to scree, with pockets of lush vegetation in sheltered hollows, as you approach Karanga Camp (4,000 m.), the last water point on the approach to Barafu, in a narrow valley. You will have ample time to rest, and for a short optional acclimatisation walk in the afternoon up the valley above the camp.
Day 6: Barafu campsite (4,600 m.); 3-4 hours walking.
After breakfast start a short but steep climb out of Karanga, and an easy path on compacted scree with wide views to reach Mweka Junction (4,150 m.). A steady climb will lead you to reach the Barafu campsite (4,600 m.) and will then continue to the plateau at the bottom of the South-East valley (4,800 m.). Spend the remainder of the day resting in preparation for the final ascent. We suggest you have an early night here.
Day 7: Mweka forest camp (3100 m); 13-15 hours walking.
Start ascending by torchlight at about 1 a.m. in order to be up on the Crater rim by sunrise. Go up the steep climb over loose volcanic scree with some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace reaching Stella Point (5,735 m) in about 5 – 6 hours. Rest here for a while and enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. For those who are still feeling strong they can make the two hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Barafu is fast, and after some refreshment, continue to descend to reach the final Mweka Forest Camp.
Day 8: Mweka Forest camp to Mweka Gate (1,650 m);3-4 hours walking.
After breakfast descend through the lovely forest enjoy the lush undergrowth that will lead you to Mweka National Park gate. We will meet you and transfer you back to Jacaranda Hotel in Arusha.
Day 9: Arusha to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)