Overview Of The Machame Route
Among the most popular routes, Machame is preferred by the majority of the tourists became of the impressive views all around and variety of habitats. Most seasoned climbers which make up 50% of all the climbers choose this route.
The Machame route is nicknamed “The Whiskey Route” which is in contrast to the nickname of Marangu Route “Coca-Cola route.” It is so because Machame is a relatively difficult route to climb, and as opposed to Marangu where there is gradual incline and hut accommodations, there is a lack of such facilities in Machame and trekkers have to sleep in tents.
The climbing journey in Machame Route takes about six days and five nights, however seven days and six nights is set aside for better acclimatization purposes. The trek begins at Machame Gate which is located in the southern base of the mountain within a dense lush rainforest. The route then heads toward the Shira Plateau and then circles along the southern circuit around the mountain. The climbers, all along the way, are presented with unique views from all possible angles. You’ll approach the mountain from the eastern side and descend through the Mweka trail.
When measured from gate to gate, Machame Route is approximately 62 km in length. This route is recommended for people with some trekking experience and who are physically fit. The table below presents the variation of the entire 7 day Machame climb from starting to finish points including altitude, distance, and total hiking time. This is considered the ideal Machame route variation.
Day 1: Drive To Kilimanjaro National Park Machame Gate, Hike To Machame Camp
The Machame Route is one of the more scenic routes up the Kilimanjaro mountain Known as the “Whiskey Route” a contrast to the Marangu Route since overnights are in tents. Six (6) days to conquer the summit of the roof of Africa.
Drive from Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate takes about 45 minutes. You’ll come across the village of Machame which is situated on the lower reaches of the mountain.
Leaving behind the park gate, we move towards the Machame Camp covering rain forests on a winding trail up a ridge. Depending upon the rain, the lower elevations are often muddy and slippery. The trekking poles and gaiters will come in handy. We’ll continue our trek until we reach the Machame Camp.
- Elevation: 1830m/6000ft to 3050m/9950ftt
- Distance: 11km/7mi
- Haking Time: 5-6 hours
- Habitat: Montane Forest
- Meals: LD
- Budget Lodging: Machame Camp
Day 2: Hike Machame Camp To Shira Camp
After breakfast we leave the glades of the rainforest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the valley along a steep rocky ridge. The route now turns west onto a river gorge until we arrive at the Shira campsite.
- Elevation: 3050m/9950ft to 3850m/12,600ft
- Distance: 5km/3mi
- Walking Time: 4-5 hours
- Habitat: Moorland
- Meals: BLD
- Budget Lodging: Shira Camp
Day 3: Hike Shira – Lava Tower – Barranco Camp
From the Shira Plateau we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth‿ (elev 4650m/15,250ft). After covering some distance from the tower, we’ll come across the second junction which will lead us to the Arrow Glacier, but we’ll continue down to the Barranco Camp. You’ll be at the same elevation at the end of the day as when you began, but this is very crucial for acclimatization purposes which will aid your body for the summit day.
- Elevation: 3850m/12,600ft to 4000m/13,000ft
- Distance: 10km/6mi
- Hiking Time: 5-6 hours
- Habitat: Semi-desert
- Meals: BLD
- Budget Lodging: Barranco Camp
Day 4: Hike Barranco Camp – Barafu Camp
After having our breakfast, we’ll resume our trek on a steep ridge up to the Barranco Wall which is at an elevation of 4250 meters or 13,900 feet. After reaching at the Barafu Camp, we’ll have completed the Southern Circuit which offers splendid view of the summit from multiple angles. Here we make camp with views of the summit in the distance.
- Elevation: 4000m/13,000ft to 4700m/15,350ft
- Distance: 9km/6mi
- Hiking Time: 6-8 hours
- Habitat: Alpine Desert
- Meals: BLD
- Budget Lodging: Barafu Camp
Day 5: Hike Barafu Camp To Summit, Down To Mweka Camp
Early on the morning in between midnight and 2 am, we’ll continue on on our journey to the summit which is situated between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. Following a northwesterly direction, we ascend through heavy scree and snow to the Stella Point situated on the crater rim. The harsh conditions make the trek challenging, both physically and mentally. From the Stella Point, you’ll witness a stunning view of the sunrise. After spending some time here, you can move to the summit. Faster hikers have the option to trek all the way to the top to witness the sunrise.
From Stella Point, you’ll encounter snow your entire 1-hour trekking time as you move towards the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you’ll have reached the highest point in the continent of Africa!
After celebration at the summit, we’ll descend straight down to Mweka Camp stopping at Barafu for lunch. Gaiters and trekking poles will come handy on the loose gravel. We’ll arrive at Mweka Camp where we’ll enjoy our last evening on the mountain.
- Elevation: 4700m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,340ft
- Down to 3090m/10,150ft
- Distance: 5km/3mi up / 13km/8mi down
- Hiking Time: 5-7 hours up / 5-6 hours down
- Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
- Meals: BLD
- Budget Lodging: Mweka Camp
Day 6: Hike Mweka Camp To Mweka Gate, Drive To Moshi
Following morning breakfast, we’ll continue our descent down to the Mweka Park Gate where we’ll be handed our summit completion certificates. The lower elevations are often muddy and wet due to rain, so trekking poles and gaiters will come into play. Shorts and t shirts are more than enough to wear at this elevation, but rain gears and warmer clothes will come in handy at times.
From the gate, continue another hour to Mweka Village. Our rep will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi (about 30 minutes).
- Elevation: 3090m/10,150ft to 1680m/5500ft
- Distance: 10km/6mi
- Hiking Time: 3-4 hours
- Habitat: Forest
- Meals: B
- Park fees, camping fees & rescue fees
- 3 Season mountain tents
- Double layered Sleeping Mats
- Transportation to & from the mountain gate
- Professional mountain guides, cooks and porters
- 3 meals daily while on the mountain
- Filtered water throughout the trek
- Pre & Post Trek accommodation at the hotel in Moshi
- 2- way private airport transfers
- Tips to mountain crew
- Items of a personal nature
- Laundry Services
- Any service not mentioned above
- Portable flush toilet with a toilet tent is extra (US$65 per toilet + toilet tent)
|Machame Route Six day’s trekking + 2 night in the hotel|
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