|MACHAME ROUTE 7 DAYS 6 NIGHTS + 2 NIGHTS @ THE HOTEL IN MOSHI
Day 1: Upon arrival you will be met by our representative at Kilimanjaro Airport and transferred at Bristol cottage in Moshi for overnight. Bed & breakfast. Meet your climbing guide for briefing and final gear check.
(Data is approximate. Distance: 64km / 39 miles in 7 days. Elevation Gain: 4,891m / 16,044’ Elevation Loss: 5,020m / 16,444’)
Day 2: Start: Machame Gate 1830m/6,000’. End: Machame Hut 3000m/9,900’. Elev gain: 1200m/3900’. Time: 6 hours on average. Distance about 10km (6 miles).
We travel by a Van from the Bristol cottage in Moshi to the Machame trailhead, winding through coffee fields and small forests of ferns and flowers. After registering with the park service, we meet our porters from the different Tribe, indigenous to the slopes of Kilimanjaro. They are an integral part of our African journey and become friends and provide insight into their culture and society. Our climb begins on the edge of a rain forest (elevation 5,800’). Below the watchful eyes of the monkeys, we trek seven hours to the Machame Camp (10,000’) and set camp for the night.
Day 3: Start: Machame Hut 3000m/9,900’. End: Shira Hut 3800m/12,500’. Elev gain: 800m, 2,600’. Time: 4–6 hours, average distance about 8km (5 miles).
Leave the Machame Hut, cross a small valley and begin our ascent. The environment changes from heath forest to moor lands. These moor lands are littered with two species of giant groundsel, Senecios and Lobelia. Halfway up the trail we meet a river gorge and ascend across the Shira Plateau (12,300’). We sleep at Shira Camp.
Day 4: Start: Shira Hut 3800m/12,500’. End: Barranco Hut 3900m/12,900’. Elev gain: 2,100’. Elev loss: 520m/1700’. Time: 6-9 hours, average distance about 10km (6 miles) * Day includes critical acclimatization gain and loss. (*Lava Tower option: additional 600’ gain/loss.)
Today we climb to 14,800’ while crossing a ridge and view the plains far below. Here we eat lunch and admire the ancient glacier ice of the Breach Wall before dropping to our 12,800’ campsite at Great Barranco.
Day 5: Start: Barranco Hut 3900m/12,900’. End: Karanga Valley 4055m/13,300’. Elev gain: 400m/1,300’ Elev loss: 300m/1,000’. Time: 4 – 5 hours, average distance about 5km (3 miles).
We climb up and over the Great Barranco, topping out at about 14,500’ before dropping to our camp at the Karanga River at about 13,000’. This completes another day of acclimatization as we pass below the famous Breach Wall, the largest ice and rock face in Africa. (The Breach Wall climbing route, known as ‘The Icicle’, was first climbed in the early 1970’s by Reinhold Messner.) Daytime temperatures can reach (80°F), while evening temperatures often drop below freezing.
Day 6: Start: Karanga Valley 4055m/13,300’. End: Kosovo Camp 4,760m/15,600’. Elev gain: 700m/2,300’. Time: 5 hours, distance about 5km (3 miles). From the Karanga River we climb about 4 hours to our Base camp Barafu (15,000’). As we wind through beautiful and rarely traveled regions, we enter a high desert zone, littered with volcanic boulders. Looking south we view the desert plains as the pinnacles of Mawenzi Peak tower before us. At Barafu we prepare for the summit attempt. We spend our time packing and preparing for the early morning, 12:00am departure.
Day 7: Base camp to Summit Start: Barafu camp 4,600m Summit: Uhuru Peak 5896m/ 19,344’. Elev gain: 1136m/3886’. Time: 8-10 hours, distance about 7km (4 miles)
Summit Day! Awake at midnight and prepare gear for the ascent. We climb wearing headlamps until the predawn light is reflected off the African plains. Following a distinct ridge we approach the crater’s rim, then traverse northwest along the rim to the main summit, Uhuru Peak (19,340’). From here we view the Bismarck Towers, rock pinnacles along the rim and the hanging Rebman Glaciers. As the sun rises over Africa, we are privy to a panorama of incredible views. To the north stands the second highest mountain on the continent, Mt. Kenya (5199m/17,056’), with its unique twin summits. The southern exposure reveals the sprawling plains of Tanzania and East Africa and Mawenzi Peak
After Summit descent. Start: Uhuru Peak 5896m/19,344’. End: Millenium Camp 4000m /13,000’. Mweka Camp 3100m/10,200’. Elev loss: 1869m–2,796m (6,133’–9,170’). Time: 6-9 hours, distance about 13km (8 miles). After enjoying the view from the top, we descend to Barafu pack camp, and begin our traverse down the Mweka route on the southern side of the mountain.
Day 8 Start: Mweka Camp 3100m/10,200’. End: Mweka Gate 1800m/5,580’. Elev loss: 1300m/5,900’. Time: 4-5 hours, distance about 7km (4 miles). The sunrises are exquisite as we awaken below the towering mountain. We descend through the lush green landscape of the Mweka route into the thickest jungle we have yet encountered. The environment becomes primordial, with 20 foot-tall fern trees creating a prehistoric atmosphere. After reaching the Mweka Gate we drive to the hotel in Moshi for overnight.
Day 9: Transfer airport or start your Safari. Hotel check out time is 10am
End of climb.