10 Days Mt Kilimanjaro Trekking & Climbing – Machame Route

Tour Information

The Machame route is regarded as a challenging camping route which allows for excellent acclimatisation and stunning diverse scenery. It takes a total of seven days with five days ascending through the forest from Machame Gate on the southwest side of the mountain, circling the massif, and summitting from Barafu Camp on day six, followed by descent back down to the gate on day 7.

From the start you will have experienced people who have climbed Kilimanjaro several times and can give an honest appraisal of the Kilimanjaro climb. This personal service extends to Tanzania where our country director Castro Kapela will give a team briefing along with our head guide and cook and be on hand all the time. He will introduce you to the guides who all speak good English and understand that this is more than a holiday, it is a personal dream to summit the roof of Africa.

Price: from $4000 per person

The climate on an equatorial mountain like this is split between wet and dry seasons. The rains come around April for about six weeks, and then again around October for a month. Global climate change has made the predictability of these rains harder, but during those weeks you can expect a build of cloud and some rain during the day which then clears during the afternoon and night. May to October and December to March are dry periods, but during the day it is very hot and humid on the lower sections in the forest so it is important to keep hydrated. The nights will be clear but cold.

The entire climb and descent covers just over 38 – 50 miles depending on which route you choose and the routes traverse the mountain, except for the Marangu which requires ascent and descent on the same path. Generally speaking each day will take about 5 – 7 hours of walking, and the distance reduces as you go higher. The height gain from the gate to the summit is 4157 metres.

The Itinerary:

Day 1: This is the day which you should arrive into Tanzania. Most people fly into Kilimanjaro airport either directly or via Kenya. Others travel overland from Kenya. We can collect you from Kilimanjaro airport or assist you to travel from Kenya. Overnight in Keys Annexe Hotel in Moshi Town.

Day 2: Briefing day in Moshi Town, meet the AA Tanzania staff and have time for hiring equipment or relaxing in the hotel.

Day 3: Transport to Machame Gate (1 hour, 1790m). Registration (sometimes it can take an hour or so before the park allows everyone to enter, they have to weigh all the porters bags first). Trek to Machame Camp through beautiful montane forest on good path. Camp overnight at the edge of the forest.

Day 4: Machame Camp to Shira Plateau uphill through thinning forest and onto a huge volcanic plateau. Camping is more exposed here with great views of the summit massif.

Day 5: Shira Camp to Barranco Camp traversing two valleys skirting the base of the summit massif. High desert environment with amazing rock formations, quite exposed to the weather, dropping into the Barranco Valley right beneath the Western Breach. This day ascends a maximum of 700 metres but the net height gain is only about 100 metres.

Day 6: Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley, starting with a scramble over the Barranco Wall and over a further two valleys to get to this open campsite with great views of the Heim Glacier. Another up and down day but no net gain in height, which is all good for acclimatisation.

Day 7: Karanga Valley to Barafu Camp, now heading more directly upwards towards the open rock and colder temperatures. This is the average freezing level on the mountain and Barafu means ‘ice’. Camping in amongst the rocks and an early night.

Day 8: Night-time ascent on rock and scree, occasional snow and ice, to the crater rim and the summit. Cold temperatures with windchill. Final slope to the crater rim is steeper and has loose scree. Descend in sunlight to Barafu for early lunch, and then walk to Millennium Camp, normally arriving mid-afternoon.

Day 9: Descending through the lush forest to Mweka Gate where you sign out and pick up the summit certificate. Legs will be tired! Meet Castro at the gate for transport back to the hotel, arriving normally at about 2pm. The gate is where tips are handed out and you say goodbye to the mountain staff. A hot shower and an afternoon relaxing before an overnight in the hotel

Day 10: Either start your safari or depart home.

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