Machame route is the second-most accessible trailhead of the non-stop routes, making it ideal for clients and tour operators, especially those based in Arusha. It is known as one of the most scenic routes with its sweeping views across the Maasai Steppe to Meru, and the impressive Barranco Valley.
This drive is from Arusha to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. You will leave the park gate and walk through the rainforest on a winding trail up a ridge. Lower down, the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. You will continue a short distance until you reach the Machame Camp.
Meals & Drinks:
After breakfast, you will leave the glades of the rainforest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the little valley and walking along a steep rocky ridge covered with heather. The route turns west onto a river gorge. There will be time for rest, dinner, and an overnight at the Shira Campsite.
From the Shira Plateau, you will continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As you continue, your direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth.” Shortly after the tower, you will come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft. You will continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft. Here you will rest, enjoy dinner, and have an overnight stay. Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you started, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
After breakfast, you will leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco. You will scramble easily to the top of the Great Barranco and then traverse over screes and ridges to the Karanga Valley campsite (3h, 4000m), beneath the icefalls of the Southern glaciers.
After breakfast, you will leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. You will continue up to the Barafu Hut. At this point, you will have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here you will make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo can be seen from this point.
You will wake up early in the morning (midnight to 2:00 am), and you will continue your way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You will head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. At Stella Point (18,600 ft), you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are likely to ever see (if the weather permits). From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you’ll have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. From the summit, you will now make your descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut Campsite, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, you will enjoy your last dinner on the mountain.
A 3-4 hour descent through the beautiful forest brings you to the park gate. Upon arrival, you will meet the African Travel tour representative and drive back to the hotel in Arusha where you have booked directly for drop off. Otherwise, you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro Airport for your onward flight back home.
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