Duration: 6 Days trekking; 4 and a half days ascending, 1 and a half days descending.
Length: 100 km/62 mi total; 62 km/38 mi to summit; 38 km/24 mi descend from summit
Elevation: 4,405 m/14,450 ft net gain; 3,915 m/12,845 ft descend Machame Gate (1,490 m/4890 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m/19,340 ft) and descend to Mweka Gate (1,980 m/6,500 ft)
Description: The Machame Route is a beautiful route up Kilimanjaro that allows you to experience the southwest and south sides of the mountain, since you go up one way and down another. All your equipment and supplies are carried by porters and a cook prepares all your meals. Unlike the Marangu Route where you sleep in huts, on the Machame you sleep in tents (tents are included), and the porters will pitch your tent for you. Meals are served in a dinner tent or on blanket outside. This makes the machame, which is referred to as the "Whiskey Route", better suited to more adventurous hikers, and it is also rewards you with better views than the Marangu Route. From Late afternoon sunsets at Shira, to the misty revelations of Kibo's great Barrance Wall, the Machame Route offers the spunky hiker a continous scenic slide show. The Machame route is normally completed in 6 days, and this greatly helps your acclimitization. The Machame Route takes you high to Lava Tower (4,630 m/15,190 ft) on day 3 then brings you down for an overnight at Barranco Camp (3,950 m/12,960 ft). This intermediate ascent and descent is the secret to a successful acclimatization, and is the reason that this route has a high success rate.
We recommend you to bring gears like; smaller personal backpack, thick hiking socks, windproof/waterproof pants and jacket, heavy gloves, heavy winter jacket, water bottles, gaiters (covers top of boots and bottom of pants), hiking boots, larger backpack for clothes, cold weather sleeping bags, safari style hat protecting face and neck from sun, headlamp style flashlight, camera of course, dried fruit and energy bars, sun block, malaria pills, water purification tablets, inflatable pillows, your regular clothes.
Note: We do not place groups together. This way you are ensured the full attention of our guide, but with the added knowledge of our guides’ experiences. It also means that we can start the climb on the day you prefer.
Arrival Day: Arrive at the Kilimanjaro International Airport. You will be met at the Airport and transferred to the hotel in Arusha or in Moshi for your overnight and briefing by our mountain guide.
Day 1: Machame Gate to Machame Camp Elevation (m): 1,490m to 2,980m Elevation (ft): 4,890ft to 9,780ft Distance: 18km Hiking Time: 5-7 hours Habitat: Montane Forest
Your day starts early with a briefing, followed by breakfast and a 50-minute drive from Moshi or a one and half hours drive from Arusha to the Machame Village (1,490 m/4,890 ft) where your guides and porters prepare and pack your equipment and supplies. You will receive a lunch pack, and you can also buy mineral water in the village. If the road is very muddy, it may be impossible to drive from the village to the Machame Gate, and in this case, it will take you an hour to complete the muddy 3 km walk to the gate. After registering at the park office, you start your ascent and enter the rain forest immediately. Heavy rains on this side of the mointain often trasform the trail into a soggy, slippery experience, so good footgear, trekking poles, and gaiters are useful. Yo will enjoy a welcome lunch stop halfway up and will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon. Your porters will arrive at camp before you and will erect your tent before you arrive. In the evening, the porters boil drinking and washing water while the cook poepares your dinner. Night temperaturs can drop to freezing at the Machame Camp.
Day 2: Machame Camp to Shira Camp Elevation (m): 2,980m to 3,840m Elevation (ft): 9,780ft to 12,600ft Distance: 9km Walking Time: 4-6 hours Habitat: Moorland
You rise early at Machame camp, and after breakfast, climb for an hour to the top of the forest, then for 2 hours through a gentle moorland. After a short lunch and rest, you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira Plateau where you will be able to see Kilimanjaro's great Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. Sometimes, the walls of the Western Breach are draped with extensive ice curtains. You are now west of Kibo on the opposite side of the mountain from the Marangu Route. After a short hike west, you reach the shira campsite. The porters will boil drinking and washing water before serving dinner. The night at this exposed camp will be colder, with temperatures dropping below freezing.
Day 3: Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Camp Elevation (m): 3,840m to 4,630m to 3,950m Elevation (ft): 12,600ft to 15,190ft to 12,960ft Distance: 15 km Walking Time: 5-7 hours Habitat: Semi-desert
After breakfast, you will walk up a steepening path above the highest vegetation toward Kilimanjaro's looming mass. After several hours, you walk thorough a rocky landscape to reach the prominent landmark called Lava Tower, also called the "Shark's Tooth." at 4,630 m/15,190ft. This chunky remnant of Kilimanjaro's earlier volcanic activity is several hundred feet high, and the trail passes right below it. For extra credit, the sure-footed can scramble to the top of the tower. After a lunch stop near Lava Tower, descend for 2 hours belowthe lower cliffs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall to Barranco Camp at 3,950 m/12,960 ft. There are numerous photo opportunities on this hike, especially if the walls are festooned with ice. Barranco Camp is in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Walls, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for your dinner. On this day, be careful to notice any signs of altitude sickness. Although you end the day at almost the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
OPTIONAL DAY (7-day trek): Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp Elevation (m): 3950m to 4200m Elevation (ft): 12,600ft to 13,800ft Distance: 7km Hiking Time: 4 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite. There is water at this camp. Then, on Day 5 you will hike from the Karanga Valley Camp to the Barafu Camp, summit on Day 6, and finish your descent on Day 7.
Day 4: Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp Elevation (m): 3,950m to 4,550m Elevation (ft): 12,960ft to 14,930ft Distance: 13km Hiking Time: 8 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert
After spending a night under the imposing Great Barranco Wall, you climb this awesome obstacle, which turns out to be easier than it looks. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you can now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley and goes over intervening ridges and valleys to join the Mweka Route, which will be your descent route. You have now completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. For now, all eyes are still on the summit, so turn left and hike up the ridge for another hour to the Barafu Hut. The last water on the route is in the Karanga Valley; there is no water at Barafu Camp, even though Barafu is the Swahili word for “ice.” The famous snows of Kilimanjaro are far above Barafu Camp near the summit of the mountain. Your tent will be pitched on a narrow, stony, wind-swept ridge, so make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents. Prepare your equipment and warm clothing for your summit climb. This should include replacing your headlamp and camera batteries, and to prevent freezing, consider carrying your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed by 7 PM, and try to get a few hours of precious sleep.
DAY 05: Summit Day! "Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp" Elevation (m): 4,550m to 5,895m (and down to 3,100m) Elevation (ft): 14,930ft to 19,340ft (and down to 10,170ft) Distance: 7km up / 23km down Hiking Time: 6 - 8 hours up / 7 - 8 hours down Habitat: Stone scree, seasonal snow and ice-capped summit
You will rise around 11:30 PM, and after some steaming tea and biscuits, you shuffle off into the night. Your 6-hour climb northwest up through heavy scree between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers to Stella Point on the crater rim is the most challenging part of the route for most climbers. At Stella Point (5,685 m/18,650 ft) you stop for a short rest and a chance to see a supremely sanguine sunrise. At Stella Point you join the top part of the Marangu Route, but do not stop here too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Depending on the season and recent storms, you may encounter snow on your remaining hike along the rim to Uhuru Peak. On the summit, you can enjoy your accomplishment and know that you are creating a day that you will remember for the rest of your life. After your 3-hour descent from the summit back to Barafu Camp, you will have a well-earned but short rest, collect your gear, and hike down a rock and scree path into the moorland and eventually into the forest to Mweka Camp (3,100 m/10,170 ft) "You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down". This camp is in the upper forest, so you can expect mist or rain in the late afternoon. Dinner, and washing water will be prepared, and the camp office sells drinking water, soft drinks, chocolates, and beer!
Day 6: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate to Moshi/Arusha Elevation (m): 3,100m to 1,980m to 890m Elevation (ft): 10,170ft to 6500ft to 2,920ft Distance: 15 km Hiking Time: 3 - 4 hours Habitat: Forest
After a well-deserved breakfast, it is a short, scenic, 3-hour hike back to the park gate. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy). Don’t give your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely, but do remember to tip your staff at the gate. At Mweka Gate, you can sign your name and add details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Climbers who reached Stella Point are issued green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate, you will continue down to the Mweka Village, possibly a muddy, 3 km, 1 hour hike if the road is too muddy for vehicles. In the Mweka Village you will be served a delicious hot lunch after which you are driven back to Moshi/Arusha for an overdue hot shower and comfortable night in a hotel.
Arusha/Moshi: Depart for the airport or other destinations in Tanzania or Kenya. A trip to the beaches at Zanzibar is a good way to recuperate. We can arrange many reasonably priced trips and safaris to the Tanzania Nothern Parks such as trips to Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park and to Arusha National Park. Also we can arrange trips to Southern Circuit such as trips to Selous Game Reserve, Mikumi National Park and Ruaha National Park.
Price: US $1,575 per person sharing (minimum 2pax) - 6 days climb
Extra days on the Mountain: US $263 per person per day
* Discounts available for groups of 4 persons and above
Please note: The prices above are valid to June 2013, for the rest of the Years the prices are subject to change due to increased park/mountain climbing fees
Price Above Includes: - Transport to and from mountain gates. - All parks entry fees. - All camping fees. - Rescue fees. - Guide and porters fees. - Guide and porters salaries. - All accommodations on the mountain based on three meals a day. - Cook and all kitchen utensils.
Price Above Excludes: - International and domestic flights (we can arrange on request) - Accommodation on the first night upon your arrival before climb and on the last day after climb (book with us) - Airport transfers (book with us) - Tips, drinks and all items of personal nature - Hard and soft drinks and tips - Sleeping bags but we can provide for hire on request. - All Mountain Gears (we can arrange hire of this)
All our tours are tailor made to suit our client’s needs, so should you require any changes or inclusions please complete the enquiry form below for more information
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The trip was very good and our guide was very good as well. The safari operator gave us confidence while we were planning our trip and they responded quickly with our enquiry.
We are so great to see many wild animals especially big five in the national parks. We had the chance to see the lions hunting but they failed. The African Tulip is very good and we can order food from their dinner manual while other hotels were providing dinner buffet with similar dishes.
The trip could score 8. It was really a very remarkable trip for our couple.
I am very happy to provide feedback on our recently completed trip to Tanzania.
We had a thoroughly enjoyable time on all our days in Tanzania and couldn't have asked for a better guide than Apollo.
Despite the odd puncture, which seems to be an occupational hazard for any vehicle which drives on unmade-up roads, the entire trip went off without a hitch.
We were happy with the hotels that we stayed in and all the other parts of the trip that could be controlled by the tour operator, although to the surprise of our guide we preferred the Sopa hotels we stayed in to the Serena hotels.
The only downside was that the animals at times didn't co-operate by coming into close range for taking photos, but that's not something the tour operator can control and we don't consider that we can blame them for that (just our bad luck in some respects)
We would have no hesitation in recommending this safari operator to anyone, especially if they are lucky enough to get Apollo as their guide, and would rate the entire experience as a 9 out of 10 holiday. (we have been to quite a few places in the world including the Galapagos Islands, Borneo, China, India, Hong Kong and Japan and have yet to rate anything a 10. But this last trip has probably come the closest)
I just returned from a 13 day safari to Kenya and Tanzani. It a was fantastic trip and the price was great too !! It was my second trip to Africa and my first with this tour operator.
We were 4 women (aged 25-69) and we had our own private safari vehicle in both Kenya and Tanzania. This is very important, especially for first time safari travelers, to have your own window even with the pop-up top. The vehicle we had seated 9, but it was our private vehicle as promised by the safari operator. We saw countless safari vehicles so packed with people that it was obvious that not everyone would have a great view.
We first went to Kenya, then Tanzania, then back to Kenya to spend our final night at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi.The guide for Kenya was Jonathon. He was wonderful, the best! Reliable, knowledgeable about the parks, the animals and so accommodating that when we returned to Nairobi after Tanzania we asked for him again. I just can't say enough good things about Jonathon. He was there upon our arrival in Nairobi and for the next 8 days in Kenya. When I lost my battery charger he found a place for me to replace it and drove me into the town. (warning...the lodges we stayed at did not carry camera equipment). Saw the Big 5, saw the aftermath of a kill, saw lions, giraffe, leopard, cheetah...you name it, we saw it - every day!
Our guide for Tanzania was Apollo and again we had the best guide in Tanzania. Apollo clearly loves his job and is so enthusiastic its infectious. He is very knowledgeable and fun to be with...great sense of humor as he loved to tease us. Apollo also was very accommodating (stopping when we screamed "simama" because we saw a shop we wanted to spend some time in or we wanted to back up for a certain picture. When we were in the Serengeti he pulled over to the side of the road because he spotted a male lion. (both of our guides had vision that's hard to believe) Right after we pulled up the lion came out of the high grass, walked across the road in back of our truck, then came around to the front and sat down in the road in front of us. Amazing! This is how we saw many animals, up close and personal.
We also got to meet Chislon, our agent, in Arusha. I can't tell you how many emails we sent back and forth to get the final itinerary. He worked very hard for us to get exactly what we wanted.
The food and accommodations were great, especially the SOPA Lodges. You will never go hungry. Too much food...we all gained weight! The one place I wasn't comfortable in was the Katikati Tented Camp in Serengenti. I think this would be wonderful for families but it was a little too rough-hewn for us older women. The 25 year old didn't mind it at all...she said that's what camping is about.
Our final night was spent at Giraffe Manor. This is very pricey but well worth it. You get to feed the giraffes up close and they even come to your bedroom window for food. You can also have breakfast with them as they stick their heads in the dining room. The really cater to you at Giraffe Manor and if you can afford to splurge this is the place to do it, even if only for one night.
Our itinerary was Samburu Reserve, Mount Kenya, Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara in Kenya, then Serengeti, Ngorongoro and the Crater, Tarangire National Park, Arusha in Tanzania and then Giraffe Manor in Nairobi.
It was a very busy itinerary and my only regret was not scheduling time in Zanzibar between Kenya and Tanzania.
I really enjoyed this tour. Of all the things I had planned for my dad's visit, he enjoyed this the most, and said it's what he would remember the most.
The tour guides were very friendly, professional, and knowledgeable on what the tour covered. All the people in the duration of the tour knew them and that gave the tour a more authentic and welcoming vibe. Very good tour, very good guides, and a very good experience.
If anyone else comes to town, this is a tour I will always set up for them. To show them the real Tanzania.
My customized 13-day trip in Tanzania was absolutely amazing!
From breathtaking Ngorongoro hiking to a taste of Kilimanjaro and local village visits, it was truly a life-changing experience.
My driver and tour manager went out of their way to accommodate my whims and made sure that my stay in Tanzania was a pleasant one. Unfortunately I fractured my ankle during one of the hikes I took, but I was taken to the hospital immediately, and taken a great care of.
I would definitely recommend this operator to anyone who's looking for a tour that's much more than just game drives.'