Machame Route is one of the most popular routes as it follows the same path on ascent and descent.
Kilimanjaro’s Machame Route has the advantage that the summit day goes up and down the same trail, allowing each member of the group to climb as high as he or she is able before descending with one of the guides. This eliminates the need to sleep in the summit crater, lessening the total number of nights needed for acclimatization. Machame passes through five different environmental zones from the tropical montane forests on the lower slopes to the barren scree of the summit. Between Barranco camp and Barafu camp the route traverses under the huge hanging glaciers of Kilimanjaro’s steep southern flanks, the most scenic area found anywhere on the mountain.
Day 1 & 2 – Acclimatization Camp, Arusha National Park
African Environments has a private acclimatization camp inside Arusha National Park at the foot of Mt Meru, just a 45 minute drive from Kilimanjaro Airport. Itikoni Camp is located at 6,500ft making it the perfect location to start your acclimatization for Kilimanjaro. Staying at Itikoni Camp is a great opportunity to get on your hiking boots, stretch your legs, have a whole day to recover from any jet-lag that you may experience from your flight and get to know your African Environments Trip Leader who will help you with your gear check and expedition packing. A transfer from Kilimanjaro International Airport to Itikoni Camp – for the first two nights – will be included in your expedition package, before the beginning of the mountain expedition.
Day 3 Machame Camp – 9,000 ft
From the Machame Park Gate we start our hike through the Montane Forest – it will take us about six hours to reach our camp on the upper forest edge.
Day 4 East Shira Plateau – 12,300 ft
Our hike today will be about five hours. We ascend the Machame route climbing above the old Shira Hut. Camp will be in the upper heath zone.
Day 5 Barranco Camp – 13,000 ft
A hike of about six hours will take us up to 14,000 feet just below Lava Tower and then back down to our camp in the Great Barranco Valley. The views of the Great Breach Wall are better from this camp than anywhere on the mountain.
Day 6 Karanga Valley – 13,000 ft
Our three hour hike today climbs out of the Barranco Valley and ascends to over 14,000 feet. We then traverse under the glaciers of the southern slopes of Kilimanjaro before we descend into Karanga Valley for the night.
Day 7 Barafu Camp – 15,500 ft
As we continue traversing from the Karanga valley we will have close-up views of the mountain’s Southern Glaciers. We will traverse for a couple of hours before we begin our 1,600 foot ascent to Barafu Hut.
Day 8 Summit and Mweka Camp – 19,340 and 10,500 ft
We will start our ascent to the summit (19,340′) very early in the morning while it is still dark. This will allow us to be near the crater rim as the morning sun is rising. After taking in the view from Uhuru Peak we will begin the long descent back to Barafu Hut and on down to Mweka Hut.
Day 9 Descend and to Arusha
A final descent of 4,500 ft brings you down to Mweka Gate where your team will have prepared another scrumptious and fresh lunch and your transfer vehicles will be waiting to collect you. Here you will say goodbye to our mountain staff before heading to the hotel near Arusha for a farewell dinner and either overnight or a day room and departure. Extend your Tanzanian vacation with African Environments on safari, walking safari or other adventures.
Other Kilimanjaro itineraries:
Ultimate Kilimanjaro, 10 nights
The most scenic and successful itinerary time and money can afford, this is African Environments speciality itinerary. It allows the most time for acclimatization and therefore has the greatest summit success rate. Similar to the 7 night/8 day route, it has a longer, slower ascent with an extra night at Lava Tower. The route has the added benefit of traveling across the Shira Plateau, a World Heritage Site and one of the Kilimanjaro wilderness areas.
Wilderness Shira, 9 nights
This complete Kilimanjaro itinerary is the most successful trek on the mountain with 98% of the climbers reaching the summit. One of the best features of the route is the longer, slower ascent which gives the body time to acclimatize to the altitude gradually, greatly increasing the success rate. The route has the added benefit of traveling across the Shira Plateau, a World Heritage Site and one of the Kilimanjaro wilderness areas.
Machame, 7 nights
This is a beautiful 7 night/8 day route following the Machame and Barranco Valleys before making a direct ascent to the Kibo Summit. Only 5 nights on the mountain makes acclimatization more difficult, it helps to have spent two nights at our 6,000 ft private camp on Mt Meru. This route traverses under the massive southern glaciers of the mountain offering stunning views of the Southern Ice Fields. The final ascent is up and down the same trail so it has the great advantage of allowing everyone to climb as high as they can before descending with a guide.