Machame, 7 nights

The shortest itinerary African Environments offers; recommended for those who have hiked at altitude before and know their limits.

This is a beautiful 7 night/8 day mountain route following the Machame and Barranco Valleys before making a direct ascent to the Kibo Summit. Only five nights on the mountain makes acclimatization more difficult, hence why we include two nights at our 6,000 ft private camp on Mt Meru within Arusha National Park. 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.

Day 1 and 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

After driving from the Lodge to the Machame Park Gate, we begin our climb by hiking for about seven hours through the Montane Forest to camp on the forest edge. It is a long day’s hike so African Environments recommends it for those who are physically fit. Lunch will be had along the trail and snacks provided by our crew. Your Trip Leader will stop at regular intervals to ensure that the group is well hydrated and coping with the first day’s hike.

Kilimanjaro Machame 5 nights1

Day 4 Shira Hut – 11,800 ft

Another five hours of hiking takes us above the old Shira Hut to our camp in Kilimanjaro’s Upper Heath Zone on the Eastern side of Shira Plateau.

Day 5 Barranco Camp – 13,000 ft

The route for day three ascends to 14,000 feet, then dips down below Lava Tower to camp in the Great Baranco Valley. From this camp the views of the Great Breach Wall are better than anywhere else on the mountain.

Day 6 Barafu Camp – 15,500 ft

We climb out of the Baranco Valley and traverse under the glaciers of the southern slopes of Kilimanjaro with spectacular views of the mountain’s Southern Glaciers. After descending into Karanga Valley, we make a final 1600 foot ascent to Barafu Camp

Day 7 Summit and Mweka Camp – 19,320 ft, 10,500 ft

Our 4000 foot ascent to the summit from Barafu Camp will start at around 1:00 AM. This will allow us to be near the crater rim at sunrise and on top of Kilimanjaro (Uhuru Peak) a few hours later. After taking in the view from the top of Africa, we will begin the long descent back to Barafu Hut and on down to Mweka Hut.

Day 8 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 8 night/9 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.

Acclimatization Machame, 8 nights

Kilimanjaro’s Machame Route has the advantage that, the summit day goes up and down the same trail (see map below). 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/Barafu passes though five different environmental zones from the tropical montane forests on the lower slopes to the barren scree of the summit. Between Barranco camp, night 4, and Barafu camp, night 6, the route traverses under the huge hanging glaciers of Kili’s steep southern flanks. Arguably the most scenic area found anywhere on the mountain.