6 Days Machame Route Kilimanjaro Climb
CLIMBING MOUNT KILIMANJARO VIA MACHAME ROUTE 6 Days – a slightly challenging but very scenic route.
Accommodation : Tents
Standard Duration : 6 Days altough an extra day at Shira or Karanga valley is recommended to help acclimatize. This is much quiter route as opposed to Marangu and involves a rather gradual ascent unlike that on Umbwe Route. The walking is rather strenous.
Often called the Whiskey Route this is a scenically beautiful trail, longer and much gentler than Umbwe or Marangu. Our itinerary provides valuable acclimatisation by having shorter walking days during the trek.
Day 1: From Arusha drive to the Machame route, often called the “Whiskey Route”. From the Machame Park gate is a gentle climb up through the original montane forest, carpeted with unique -busy lizzie- flowers, begonias and ferns. First camp amongst the giant heather at 3,000m. Ascent of 1,200m and 5 to 6 hours walking.
Day 2: Emerge from the giant heather zone and hike through fine open moorland to camp by the Shira Cave at 3,840m. Herds of eland up here (& occasional lion!) and there are fascinating geological features in the old volcanic caldera which can be viewed during a half-hour optional walk in the afternoon. Ascent 840m and 4 to 5 hours walking.
Day 3: From Shira, climb towards the main peak Kibo, with the western glaciers clearly visible across the rugged high-altitude desert of volcanic rocks and boulders. Skirting around its base and under the imposing western Breach, descend into the sheltered Barranco Valley for mid-way camp at 3,950m. 6 to 7 hours walking and only 110m total ascent but having climbed much higher and dropped back down assists acclimatization.
Day 4: Up the steep Barranco wall with some sections of very easy scrambling and drop down again to the Karanga Valley where you take a break for lunch.
After lunch hike on to Barafu Hut 4600m, having hiked a total of 7 to 8 hours and ascended 650m. You have fantastic views across to Mawenzi peak from the camp after having completed a longer day of hiking which now requires you to adequately relax in preparation of the challenging summit hike early the following morning.
Day 5: A bracing 1am start to climb the steep frozen scree. This is unavoidable on any route but we aim to go past Gillman’s Point to reach Stella Point on the crater rim for sunrise another 40 minutes and you are at the highest point on the continent (Kibo:5900m), usually in warm sunshine. Return on the Mweka descent route.
Ascent of 1,300m and about 7 hours trek to the summit; 2,600m descent and 6 to 7 hours trek to the Mweka campsite (3400m) above Mweka gate. This is a long hard day but you feel absolutely ecstatic when you have done it!
Day 6: From Mweka campsite it is a 4 to 5 hours descent through the forest to Mweka gate (depending on individual fitness) to collect certificates and meet the vehicle. Return to Arusha for the night.