7 Days Kilimanjaro Trekking Machame Route.
Day 1: Arusha – Machame camp
In the morning, we depart from our base hotel at approximately 8:00 AM for the Machame village where you begin the trek. From the park entrance gate (Machame), you will walk for about two to three hours through a dense forest of fig and rubber trees, begonia flowers, and other tropical vegetation. A stop for picnic lunch will be made halfway to this evening’s campsite. As you continue your ascent, you will find that the tropical forest has given way to tall grasses and giant heather. You will be walking on a ridge, to the left of which is the Semira stream, and on the right, the Weru Weru.
This initial stage of the climb is tranquil and relatively easy. There is no point in rushing to get to the camp, as there is little to do there. Guides tend to recommend a slow ascent, even at this point, for gradual acclimatization. Do not try to keep up with your porters, who will usually bound ahead. Instead, take time to admire the beauty of the rainforest.
Day 2: Machame Camp – Shira Camp
On this and subsequent mornings, wake-up call is at around 6:00 AM. You will be greeted with a steaming cup of tea or coffee, and weather permitting, by a fabulous view of Uhuru peak. Today’s trek takes you up a steep track through a savannah of tall grasses, volcanic rock, and bearded heather. You will encounter giant groundsels as you hike through a ghostly landscape of volcanic lava, caves, and foamy streams. Lunch will be taken just below the Shira Plateau, about three to four hours from Shira Camp. The hike to the next campsite takes approximately six hours and you should arrive between 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM. Most climbers tend to pace themselves, walking slowly and resting about every half-hour.
Day 3: Shira Camp to Barranco Camp
The entire Shira Plateau greets you this morning with sweeping vistas across to Meru and the Shira Needles. A steady walk takes you up to the pass at Lava Tower (15,000 ft), where you stop to have lunch. Crossing the Bastains stream, you will begin to descend towards Barranco Camp. The descent takes you along an immense canyon called Grand Barranco. Along the way, you will see numerous waterfalls, which are fed, by streams coming from the mountain, converging here to form the Umbwe River. Your camp is set at almost the same altitude as the night before. Today’s trek lasts for about six hours and arrival at camp is between 4:30PM and 5:30PM.
Day 4: Barranco Camp (13,000ft ) – Karanga Camp (13,100ft)
After an early morning breakfast, it is now time to conquer the Great Barranco Wall! Although it may look intimating at first glance, hikers state that this Class 2 hike is usually much easier than they anticipated. At the top of the Wall, you will have a view of Heim Glacier and will be above the clouds. The trail then winds up and down in the Karanga Valley. This is an ideal hiking day for acclimatization.
Day 5: Karanga Camp (13,100ft) – Barafu Hut (15,300ft)
Following breakfast, you will leave Karanga Camp (3959m). The trail intersects with the Mweka Route, which is the trail used to descend on the final two days. As you continue hiking for an hour, you will reach Barafu Hut. This is the last water stop for the porters because there is no accessible water at Barafu Camp (4550m). The word “barafu” in Swahili means “ice” and this camp is located on a rocky, exposed ridge. Tents will be exposed to wind and rocks so it is important for hikers to familiarize themselves with the campsite before dark. An early dinner will be served so hikers can rest before attempting the summit the same night. Your guide will brief you in detail on how to prepare for summit night. Get to sleep by 19:00!
Day 6: Barafu Camp (15,300ft) to Summit to Mweka Hut (19,345ft) and down to (10,000ft)
Your guide will wake you around 23:30 for tea and biscuits. You will then begin your summit attempt. The route heads northwest and you will ascend over stone scree. During the ascent, many hikers feel that this is the most mentally and physically challenging part of the climb. In about 6 hours, you will reach Stella Point (5685m), located on the crater rim. After enjoying the magnificent sunrise, you will continue ascending for about 2 hours on a snow-covered trail to Uhuru Peak (5895m). Reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro is a lifetime accomplishment! You will be able to spend a short time on the summit taking photographs and drinking tea before the descent to Barafu begins. The hike down to Barafu Camp takes about 3 hours.
Day 7: Mweka camp (10,000ft) – Mweka Gate (5,400ft) - Arusha
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. End of Service!!