Mount Kilimanjaro, 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 accommodations found on the Marangu Route, the climbers on Machame hike steeper trails, for longer distances, while sleeping in tents.
Kilimanjaro International Airport
Upon arrival to Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met and transferred for overnight accommodation at Your Hotel in Moshi or Arusha. Your head guide will meet you for your briefing, gear check and arrange for you to hire any equipment you may need.
You’ll be picked up from your Moshi or Arusha accommodations and make the drive to Kilimanjaro National Park. Here, you’ll liaise with your guides and begin your ascent through the verdant rainforest that clothes the lower reaches of Kilimanjaro. Hiking for 5-6 hours through this ancient jungle, you’ll get to go on a miniature safari as you spot wildlife such as black and white colobus monkeys along the way. You’ll finish your day at Machame Camp (3,000 metres), where your porters will be waiting with your tents pitched, hot water ready for bathing, and food ready to reenergise you for the day to come.
You’ll be up bright and early today, but it’s a shorter day of hiking. The lush forest gives way to scrubby moorland today, making for an entirely different hiking experience. You’ll arrive at Shira Camp by the mid-afternoon, giving you time to relax and soak in the stunning views of Kibo glacier from the Shira Plateau.
Your first goal today will be the intimidating form of the Lava Tower (4,640m) and you’ll set off for this distinctive landmark immediately after breakfast. After ascending 700m to the Lava Tower, you’ll descend gradually towards Barranco Camp at 4,500m. Your trek again takes you through different vegetation zones and you’ll set up camp at the scenic Barranco Camp in the shadows of the imposing Barranco Wall. Considered the most beautiful of all of the camps on Kilimanjaro, Barranco will be your base for the evening.
You’ll get your first real taste of mountain climbing today, as you’ll tackle Barranco Wall for a bit of old-fashioned rock climbing. After this initial trial, you’ll continue for another 3-4 hours until you reach your camp in the Karanga Valley, Stopping in time for lunch, you’ll have the afternoon to relax and acclimatize.
After your breakfast, you’ll continue on for another 2-3 hours until you reach Barafu Camp. Your hike takes you across an alpine desert, making for a truly otherworldly day of hiking. As you’ll be summitting tomorrow, it’s important that you eat a full meal and drink plenty of fluids before turning in for the evening.
You’re starting your day early today – just after midnight, in fact! Your climbing team will wake you with a cup of hot tea and a light snack for energy as you get dressed and prepare your daypack for the adventure ahead. You’ll be hiking in utter darkness for the next 5-7 hours, so take it slow and you’ll arrive at Stella Point a few hours before dawn. From here, there’s another two hours of intense hiking before you reach your ultimate goal: Uhuru Peak. Standing at 5,985m, you’ll be able to experience a spectacular sunrise and take in the panoramic view. You’ve done it! After snapping your photos and soaking it all in, you’ll begin the descent back down towards Barafu Camp, where you’ll stop for lunch and some celebration. After a bit of rest, you’ll continue down to Mweka Camp to overnight.
It’s a day of celebration today, as you’ll enjoy one last breakfast on the mountain before descending to the Mweka Gate. Here, you’ll get to celebrate with your porters and guides, provide them with their tips for their hard work, and collect your certificate of completion. Your driver will then whisk you away to your Moshi or Arusha hotel to get some well-earned rest.