The popular and scenic Machame route approaches Kilimanjaro through forest and moorland from the south – west joining the Shira route before traversing beneath the southern ice fields of Kibo. The rainforest is absolutely beautiful and there is a tangible sense of wilderness once you reach the higher elevations.
Spectacular views of Mt. Meru floating on the clouds are simply unforgettable. You make your final ascent by the Barafu route. The seven day itinerary is specially designed to give you maximum possible acclimatization, and also gives you plenty of time to enjoy the magnificent scenery.
Day 01 Arriving, Tanzania
Your Machame route climb begins as you arrive at Kilimanjaro International airport, where you will be warmly welcomed by a representative of Active Kilitop & Safaris.After completing customs formalities, enjoy a private transfer to Arusha town, the nerve center of East Africa, and getaway to several national parks in the north of the country.
Day 02 Arusha National Park (Optional)
Today, your driver will take you into Arusha National Park. This is a small forested Park lying between the peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru. Arusha National Park is an outstandingly beautiful area.
The Park has a wide range of habitats, from the string of crater lakes where many water birds can be watched, through the highland montane forest and on up to the imposing summit of Mount Meru. Get a rare opportunity to walk in the park with an armed ranger for acclimatization and game viewing on foot.
Day 03: Arusha – Kilimanjaro
After breakfast in Arusha, you will be transferred to Machame Gate (1,800m.) where your climb starts. Enjoy a short walk through the attractive banana and coffee farms of Machame village. The path follows a ridge through dense mountain forest. This is arguably the richest forested area on the mountain and also the zone from where 96% of the water on Kilimanjaro originates.
On sunny days and especially in dry season, this section is very lush and beautiful. You will have lunch at ‘Halfway Clearing’ a small opening in the trees, 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.). You may get your first closer look at the glaciated dome of Kibo if the evening clouds permit. [3-4 hours walking].
Day 04: Kilimanjaro
Today is a shorter day that begins by climbing up a steep ridge to reach a small semicircular cliff known as Picnic Rock. Enjoy extremely spectacular views of Kibo and the jagged rim of Shira Plateau from here, and it is a good resting point too! The trail continues further but less steeply to reach the Shira Plateau. Today, you camp near Shira Hut (3,840m.) which has some of the most breathtaking views on Kilimanjaro, close to the huge volcanic cone of Kibo, the spectacular rock formations of Shira Plateau, and looking across to Mt. Meru floating on the clouds. [4-5 hours walking].
Day 05: Kilimanjaro
After your breakfast in camp, experience a gentle ascent and magnificent views, leaving the moorland plateau behind to walk on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western breach. Stop for lunch near the Lava Tower junction (4,550m.).Afterwards descend to the bottom of the Great Barranco valley (3,900m.) which is sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains far below. [6-7 hours walking].
Day 06: Kilimanjaro
Today you have a steep climb up the Barranco Wall which leads you to an undulating trail on the south – eastern flank of Kibo, with fantastic vistas of the Southern Ice fields. As you continue with your trek, the terrain changes to scree, with pockets of lush vegetation in sheltered hollows, and there is only a short distance to our camp at Karanga (4,000m.), the last water point on the approach to Barafu, in a narrow valley. You will have plenty of time to rest, or for a short optional acclimatization walk in the afternoon up the valley above the camp. [4-5 hours walking].
Day 07: Kilimanjaro
You have a tough trek today with a short but steep climb out of Karanga, and an easy path on compacted scree with wide views. Afterwards, you climb steadily to reach the Barafu campsite (4,600m.).On reaching the camp, spend balance of the day resting in preparation for the final ascent before an early night. [3 hours walking].
Day 08: Kilimanjaro
Excitement is expected as you start your ascent by torch-light at about 1 a.m so that you can be up on the Crater rim by sunrise. This is a steep climb over loose volcanic scree which has some well- graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take you to Stella Point (5,735m.), in about five or six hours. Spend a short time here resting and to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi Peak.
If you are still feeling strong, you can make the two hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,895m.), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area.You will discover that, the descent to Barafu is fast than you would expect, and after some refreshment, we continue to descend to reach our final campsite (3,100m.) at the edge of Mweka Forest. [11-15 hours walking]
Day 09: Kilimanjaro/Arusha
After breakfast, continue your descent to the base of the mountain (Mweka 1,650m.) where you arrive, exhausted but exhilarated, to meet your Kilitop & Safaris Travel driver/guide to a lodge to freshen –up till evening when you will be transferred to the airport where you will board your home bound flight. [3-4 hours walking].
INCLUDED: All park entry fees, camping fees, rescue fees, transport to/from the gate, food, drinking water, Experienced, professional guides act as trail leaders and will interpret the various eco-zones the trail crosses, a chef and porters, all camping equipment, accommodation in Arusha prior to your climb. A day room to freshen up on the last day, three meals a day while on the mountain, flying doctors emergency services
NOT INCLUDED: Personal climbing gear, tips for your guide and porters and other personal things of nature, international flights