The Machame route is the most popular path. It is the route of choice for many people because it provides impressive views and a variety of habitats. About 50% of all climbers, and most seasoned climbers, choose the Machame route. It is also one of the cheaper routes due to its easy access and shorter itinerary.
The Machame route is also known as the Whiskey route, given its reputation for being a tough climb, in contrast to the easier Marangu route, which is known as the Coca Cola route. Unlike the gradual incline and hut accomodations found on the Marangu Route, the climbers on Machame hike steeper trails, for longer distances, while sleeping in tents.
Reaching the summit! Experiencing that incomparable, ‘roof of the world’ feeling
A more relaxed pace than other routes, but longer in time and distance. But very challenging!
The Machame Route is approximately 62 km/ 37 miles from gate to gate.
It is designed for physically fit people with some hiking experience, but plenty of first time trekker use the route as well and do just fine.
It is rated as one of Kilimanjaro's better routes and thus is recommended.
It is certainly a better choice than the typical tourist’s route - Marangu.
Your first night is to be spent at Karama Lodge in Arusha. If you have chosen to be picked-up by us from Kilimanjaro International Airport, your Easy Travel driver will be waiting to meet and welcome you and take you to your lodge in Arusha to relax after your flight
After an early breakfast, we leave the hotel one hour later to arrive at the Machame Gate for around 10.00, passing en-route the house of the village chief. We arrive ready for registration and the start of our trek. Your first day of walking, starting at an altitude of 1800 metres, will end at a height of over 3000 metres, cover a distance of 11 km and take around 4.5 to 5 hours of actual walking time. The beginning of today’s walk is characterised by a wide track that winds its way up through dense forest, beautiful tall trees laden with green moss.
A picnic lunch is enjoyed around 13.00, water bottles can be refilled and then our walk continues. You get your first glimpse of Kibo peak. Machame Camp is reached at around 17.00. You will be surprised by the richness of the birdlife here. Dinner is served at 19.30.
You will soon become used to the early, 07.00 breakfast and today we aim to leave the camp at 08.30. We have a further 800 metres of ascent, finishing the day at 3800 metres, and although the overall distance is short (5km) we will spend around 4.5 to 5 hours actually walking.
With today’s early start and the short distance, we should be at the camp by 14.00, by which time we will have met the moorland lobelias and the distinctive dark obsidian rock of Shira Plateau for the first time. Once at the camp, you will have plenty of time to admire sights such as the so-called Shira Cathedral, Klute Peak and Mount Meru, before your dinner at 18.00
We leave the forest behind now and the trail gets steeper as it enters the moorland zone. A gentle grade walk takes you across the high altitude Shira Caldera to Moir Hut with fabulous views of Arrow glacier. We will camp here for the night at 4200m.
Today we breakfast slightly later (07.30) and our walk is short, being only 4km but still taking between 3.5 and 4 hours of walking time. Our departure time today will be 08.30 and we will enjoy a hot lunch at 13.00 at Karanga and have the afternoon to enjoy the views before dinner at 18.00. Our altitude gain today is only 160 metres. After this, the rest of today’s walk becomes a bit easier as we first descend to the gully below, and into the cold but beautiful Karanga Valley. We then continue and finally climb up a steep series of zig-zags until reaching the Karanga Camp.
Another short day -in terms of distance – begins with our breakfast at the camp at 07.30 and another 08.30 departure. Today we will ascend about 500 metres in a distance of around 5km and walking time once again is between 3.5 and 4 hours. We will be aiming to arrive the Barafu Camp by 13.00, when we will be rewarded with a hot lunch. (With tomorrow being the summit day, it will be important to relax and prepare for the hard work ahead.) Dinner tonight is served at 17.30, giving you time to get to bed early. At the end of this valley is today’s goal, the Barafu Camp, at which you arrive after a short, steep scramble and a walk.
Today is the most challenging day, but hopefully with the great sense of achievement of reaching your goal – the summit of Kilimanjaro! Our schedule for our ‘Summit Day’ is of course very different. Rising at 23.00, we take our tea and biscuits (23.30) before a midnight departure. The day starts with the long, tough climb from Barafu at 4600 metres to Stella Point at 5745 metres; for some of this you will be walking on scree, making your trek more difficult. From there it is another 150 metres of ascent and 45 minutes’ walk to the summit.
Our goal is to reach the summit by around 07.00 then celebrate reaching the top, take our precious photos and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience. After the summit, we return to Barafu, where we rest for a couple of hours, take a hot lunch and then leave again at 13.30 to continue to descend to Mweka Camp (3100 metres) where we spend the night. We would expect to arrive at 17.00 and take our dinner at 19.00. (In total, we cover around 17km today with about 13 hours of walking.)
Still thrilled by your achievement, breakfast is taken at 07.00 and at 08.00 you can take the chance to reward your trekking team at the ‘Tipping Celebration.’ Departure is at 09.00 and you descend down to Mweka Gate at an altitude of 1640 metres, where you will be served a hot lunch at midday and be presented with your hard-earned certificate. Your transport will be waiting to return you back to Planet Lodge in Arusha, where you can choose to relax – or celebrate!
After a good night’s rest at your lodge, you will take breakfast ready for the scheduled check-out by 10.00. (If you wish to remain in the hotel during the day, please advise us of this when you book your trip and we will inform you of the cost for day room which ends at 18:00hrs, and then make the booking on your behalf.) If you have booked a transfer to the airport, you will be collected from your hotel and dropped off at the airport. For those travellers who have booked to go on safari, our guide will be meeting you in the evening to provide you with a briefing.
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