6 days Kilimanjaro climb Machame Route the challenge to Uhuru peak. Hike the top of the world’s highest free standing peak.
Day 1 Machame Gate (1490m) – Machame Camp (2980m)
Hiking time: 7 hours
Habitat: Montane forest
After an early breakfast at your hotel, you will be picked up by Ababa safaris driver guide at around (1400m) and driven to the Machame Village. In the village, you can buy mineral water and will receive a packed lunch. From the village, depending on the time of the year, you will either continue to drive from the village to the Machame gate, but if not, the muddy 3 km walk will take about 1 hour to complete. After registering at the gate office, you start your ascent and enter the rain forest immediately. You will have a welcome lunch stop about half way and will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon.
Your porters (arriving at the camp site long before you) will have erected your tent on your arrival. In the evening the porters will boil drinking and washing water and the cook will prepare dinner and later enter for our overnight at the tent. Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at this campsite.
Day 2 Machame camp (2980m) – Shira camp (3840m)
Hiking time: 6h
Distance: Approximately 9 kms
You rise early at Machame camp for breakfast, after breakfast you climb an hour or so to the top of the forest and then for 2 hours at a gentler gradient through the moorland zone. We then get lunch break and some rest. After lunch you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau. You are now due west of Kibo and after a short hike you will reach the Shira campsite. The porters will boil drinking and washing water, before serving dinner. The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than the previous night.
Day 3 Shira (at 3840m) to Lava Tower (at 4630m) to Barranco camp (at 3950m)
Hiking time: 7h
Distance: Approximately 15 kms
Wake up early for breakfast before we continue with our day’s hike. The route now turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower, where you reach an altitude of 4630m after about a 5 hours walk. Lunch is served in a designated area with some resting break taken. After lunch break we continue ascending the rocky scree path to Lava Tower (4630m). This is definitely the toughest day so far. It is normally around this point, where for the first time, some climbers will start to feel symptoms of breathlessness, irritability and headaches. After you descent again by almost 680m to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower. The true acclimatization benefit of this day becomes clear. This descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall. You will enjoy clear sunset views you wait for the dinner time. Dinner and overnight at the tent.
Day 4 Barranco camp (3950m)- Barafu camp (4550m)
Hiking time: 7h
Distance: Approximately 13 kms
Habitat: Alpine desert
After spending a night at the Great Barranco Wall, you make your way up this awesome looking obstacle. It starts hard but alter on the finishing point it turns to be more easy than you expect. You now enjoy the great scenic views of Mount Kilimanjaro at this point of Heim Glacier. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley over intervening ridges and valleys. You will later join the Mweka route at this point of hike. Turn left up the ridge and after another hour or so, you reach Barafu Hut.
The last water stop on the route is the Karranga Valley, as there is no water at Barafu camp. Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice” and it is a bleak and inhospitable camping area to spend the night. Totally exposed to the ever-present gales the tents are pitched on a narrow, stony, and dangerous ridge. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. Prepare your equipment, ski stick and thermal clothing for your summit attempt. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get some precious rest and sleep.
Day 5 (Summit attempt) Barafu camp (4550m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mweka (3100m)
Hiking time: 8h to reach Uhuru Peak, 7 – 8h to descend to Mweka
Distance: Approximately 7 kms ascent – 23 kms descent
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. You will head in a north-westerly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. For many climbers, this 6-hour walk to Stella point is mentally and physically the most challenging on the route. At Stella Point (5685m) you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point you will normally encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. The time you will spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Walk back to Barafu from the summit, takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned but short rest and collect the rest of your gear. The camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Dinner and washing water will be prepared.
Day 6 Mweka camp (3100m) – Mweka Gate (1980m)
Hiking time: 3h
Distance: Approximately 15 kms
Following a well-deserved breakfast, your staff will have a big celebration full of dancing and singing. It is here on the mountain that you will present your tips to the guide, assistant guides, chef(s), and porters. After celebrating, you will descend for three hours back to Mweka Gate. The National Park requires all hikers to sign their names to receive certificates of completion. Hikers who reached Stella Point (5685m) receive green certificates and hikers who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. After receiving certificates, hikers will descend into the Mweka village for 1 hour (3 kilometers). You will be served a hot lunch then you will drive back to Arusha for long overdue showers and more celebrations.
Quality, waterproof, four-season private mountain sleeping tents:
Professional, experienced, mountain guides:
All Park fees
All meals while on the Mountain
Guides, Porters, cook salaries and park fees
Quality Mess tents with table and chairs
Large portions of fresh, healthy nutritious food
Clean, purified drinking water
Crisis management and safety procedures
Fair and ethical treatment of porters
Items not included:
Accommodation in Arusha
Personal Expenses (e.g. laundry, telephone, beverages, etc.)
Meals not listed above
Optional Tours (short safari after your climb etc)