Kilimanjaro's Machame Route 8 Days

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calendar   May 27, 2017 - Jun 03, 2017 tag   $1,769 member   7 Book Now
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    What's Included?

  • 8 day adventure, 6 of which include 3 meals a day
  • 2 nights of accommodation in Moshi, breakfast included
  • Airport Pickup from Kilimanjaro Airport
  • All Ground Transfers
  • Accommodation while trekking*
  • National Park Entry Fees
  • Fully-licensed, English-speaking guide
  • Porter service on the trek
  • First aid kit
  • Trip completion certificate
  • Farewell Dinner


*The Machame Route is tent camping.

The Machame Route is one of the best options for climbing Kilimanjaro and reputed to have the highest success rate. This scenic route offers a longer period for acclimatization and takes different routes up and down the mountain so you don’t do any backtracking over the same terrain. It features a tented camping experience as opposed to the Marangu Route which makes use of an extensive mountain hut system.

Your trip starts when we pick you up from the airport at Kilimanjaro from where we will take you to a hotel in Moshi for the night and you will be introduced to your mountain guide who will ensure you have all the necessary gear for the climb. The next morning it's about an hour drive to the park gate where you will begin the trek. The first day of trekking is about 5 hours through the beautiful rainforest at the base of Kilimanjaro to the Machame Camp. The trek continues on the second day through increasingly sparse trees and bushes into moorlands and finishes at Shira Camp. The third day of trekking is quite helpful for acclimatization as you ascend to the Lava Tower (15,000 feet / 4600m) before descending to the campsite in Barranco Valley. The area before the campsite is known as the "Garden of the Senecios", which features many huge senecio plants as well as the shorter lobelia plants. The fourth day starts with the ascent of the Barranco Wall, which is the most difficult climb and involves some easy scrambling. Continuing from the Wall the trail levels out and descends a bit to the Karanga River where you will take lunch before reaching the high camp at Barafu. The vegetation has disappeared completely by the time you reach Barafu and you’re a presented with a barren volcanic plain. The afternoon is spent resting here and the push to the summit begins at 11pm when you gear up for a midnight departure. Leaving at midnight it's a slow and cold 6 hour climb to the crater rim and then another hour traverse of the rim to Uhuru Peak the final summit. Having reached the summit you will descend again to Barafu take a short nap break and then continue to the lower elevations at Mweka Camp. One of the reasons for such a long day of trekking is to avoid problems with acclimatization and get you back down to a lower elevation quickly. The sixth and final day has trekkers continue through the montane forest to Mweka Gate where transport will be waiting to take you back to Moshi where you will enjoy a final farewell dinner with the staff before departing the following morning.

Day 1 - Kilimanjaro Airport to Moshi

Arrive in Kilimanjaro and transfer to your Hotel in Moshi. Evening we will brief about the climb and review the gear you have brought to make sure nothing additional is needed.

Day 2 - Machame Camp

(9,927 feet/3,026 m), 7 miles/11 km (5 to 7 hours)
We will pick you up at the hotel in Moshi after breakfast and drive about an hour to the Machame gate where the trek starts. From the Machame Park gate it’s a gentle climb up through dense rainforest to the Machame Camp.

Day 3 - Shira Camp

(12,355 feet/3,766 m), 3 miles/5 km (4 to 6 hours)
The morning starts with a personal introduction to your trekking team. The hike is different today as the jungle gives away to zones of giant heather and moorland. If you have enough time you take a short hike to the Shira Caves after reaching camp.

Day 4 - Barranco Camp

(13,066 feet/3,983 m), 6 miles/10 km (5 to 8 hours)
Leaving Shira camp in the morning you climb towards the main peak Kibo, with the western glaciers clearly visible across the rugged high-altitude desert of volcanic rocks and boulders. The trail ascends to the Lava Tower site (15000 feet / 4600m) before descending back down into Barranco Valley. Its 6 to 7 hours walking and the total ascent is only 110m total but having climbed much higher and dropped back down assists acclimatization.

Day 5 - Barafu High Camp

(15,239 feet/4,645 m), 5 miles/9 km (5 to 8 hours)
The day starts with a challenging climb up the steep Barranco wall (some scrambling but not technically difficult) before dropping into the Karanga Valley where you take a break for lunch. If you decide to add an extra day it will be spent at Karanga Camp. Those on the regular itinerary will continue after lunch to Barafu Hut having hiked a total of 5 to 8 hours and ascended 650m. This is the highest camp and the push to the summit will begin at 11pm when you start getting your gear ready.

Day 6 - Uhuru Peak Altitude

(5895 m/19340 ft) Walking Distance: 3 miles/5 km ascent + 7 miles/12 km descent (10-16 hours)
The day starts at midnight with the final push to the summit. It's a cold and grueling six hour hike to summit rim up a steep slope. The trail is doable but steep with many switchbacks. The summit rim is reached just about sunrise and it's a fairly level hike around the rim to Uhuru Peak the ultimate summit and highest point in Africa. Going down you will head back to Barafu Hut for a short nap and snacks before continuing down to Mweka camp (3068m/10,065feet). One of the reasons for such a long day of trekking is to avoid problems with acclimatization and get you back down to a lower elevation quickly.

Day 7 - Mweka Camp to Moshi

From Mweka campsite it is a 4 to 5 hours descent through the forest to Mweka gate to collect certificates and meet the vehicle. Return to Moshi for the night and to have a final farewell dinner with your guides.

Day 8 - Departure Day

After breakfast, according to your flight time we will drop you at the airport or assist you in catching the shuttle to Nairobi. End of our services.

    Extra Cost and Exclusions

  • Tanzania entry visa $100 for US Citizen and $50 for all others.
  • All the meals are included on the climb but we only include breakfast while you are in Moshi.
  • We suggest a minimum tip for your climbing staff of $200.


    Climbing Gear

  • We will provide tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad.
  • We will provide a duffel bag that you repack your personal gear into for the porter to carry.
  • You are responsible to bring your own personal gear (Check gear list).


Solo Travelers

We don't charge solo travelers any extra fees. Solo travelers can expect their own hotel room in Moshi and a private tent during the climb.

Discontinued Climbs

Some climbers may actually finish the climb ahead of schedule and others may have problems with altitude or decide to come down earlier for other reasons. If you do get back to Moshi early you are responsible to pay the costs for your extra hotel nights ($35 per/night) and meals. Keep in mind, our costs are the same regardless of when you end the climb. So even if you are climbing fewer days than scheduled keep in mind that we have already paid the staff, purchased, food and rented gear for all the days you were supposed to be on the climb.

Cancellation Policies

We understand things happen and plans change and will refund your deposit minus a $150 cancelation fee. Once we have made arrangements for the climb such as renting gear and buying food the deposit is not refundable. If your travel dates change we can generally reschedule you at no extra charge, but please provide at least 7 days advance notice.
At Trekkinghero, we love to trek!

FAQ

Who can go?
How difficult is climbing Kilimanjaro?

The trek to the Barafu Hut is only moderately difficult with a good trail with the only really steep point being the Barranco Wall. The final push to the the summit ridge takes about 6 hours and is very steep and cold. This last steep section is mostly switchbacks and then some easy rock scrambling near the top. Your guide will set a very slow pace. Most reasonably fit individuals can make it so long as they are not having any difficulty acclimatizing.

Are there any age limits for climbing Kilimanjaro?

The official age limit set by the Kilimanjaro National Park Authority for climibing Uhuru Peak is 10 years old, we usually recommend a minimum age of 13 years. If anyone in your group is under 16 years of age please inform us in advance so arrangements can be made.

Why is a guide necessarily? I've trekked/hiked/camped before - can't I guide myself?

Guides are a requirement on Kilimanjaro set by the Tanzania National Park Service

Is previous trekking experience really necessary?

While it’s not technically required it's a good idea. Kilimanjaro is not the easiest trek and its good to have some previous experience and know what you are getting into and what trekking is.

Preparation
What should I pack for my trip?

We have a complete downladable packing list or if you want more details visit our blog post on packing for Kilimanjaro Machame Route.

What's the best time of year to book a trek in Kilimanjaro?

March and April are the rainy months at Kilimanjaro so we recommend that you avoid this time period.

I am landing in Nairobi. How do I get to Kilimanjaro?

We can arrange airport pickup and accommodation in Nairobi as well as make arrangements for transfer to Arusha by shuttle. The charges are as follows per/person - $40 airport pickup, $30 Transfer to Arusha. If you are staying overnight in Nairobi we can arrange accommodation for $50 to $70 at the Comfort Hotel located in the CBD just across the street from where you will catch the shuttle to Arusha in the morning. Flights are also available from Nairobi to Arusha and generally cost $200 one way.

Are any permits required for climbing Kilimanjaro?

Permits are required and included in the cost of the trek. You will get your permit at the Machame gate on the first day of the trek.

What type of insurance should I have? Where can I obtain a policy?

Your park entrance fee includes cost of rescue off the mountain which will be organized by the Tanzanian National Park Service in conjunction with our team. In addition, it is strongly recommended that you have adequate travel insurance. While the park service will provide rescue services your travel insurance will cover any cost related to cancellation charges, unexpected curtailment of your holiday, medical and repatriation expenses including air ambulance, personal accident, delay loss or damage to your personal effects. If you don't have it already we recommend either Cover More or World Nomads.

About the trek
How long does it take to climb Kilimanjaro?

The Machame Route requires 6 days of trekking. Some individuals opt for an extra acclimatization day which is spent at Karanga Camp.

How long do we spend walking each day?

The typical time spent walking is about 5 to 6 hours. On the summit day you will spend 12 to 16 hours trekking. However, you will be given a few hours to rest at Barafu so that this long day of trekking is broken into two parts. We make the summit push and decent all in one day to avoid acclimatization problems.

Room and board
What kinds of accommodations are available on Kilimanjaro?

We offer tented camping on the Machame Route. Your camp crew will set up the tents before you arrive. Tents are on twin sharing and private tents may be available for individuals travelling alone. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag.

Will my mobile phone work? What about internet access?

Your mobile service may work at one or two points on the mountain but don’t count on it. We have tested mobile internet cards from both Vodacom (Tanzania) and Safaricom (Kenya) and were not able to access the internet. If you have a phone call that needs to be made during the trek please speak with your guide and he may be able to arrange something.

Can I charge my phone or camera during the trek?

The Machame Route does not have any charging points available so bring spare batteries.

Where will our drinking water come from?

Drinking water is obtained on the mountain and then boiled before it is provided to you. Disposable plastic water bottles are not allowed on the mountain.

What about showers?

Your guide can provide you with a bucket of hot water both in the evening and the morning for washing.

Where do we eat our meals?

Lunch are packed and eaten on the trail during the day. You will take lunch and dinner in the dinning tents that are set up.

Health and safety
What physical criteria will ensure I'm fit enough to trek?

You should be in good enough shape to walk continuously throughout the day. Good overall fitness, flexibility, and healthy will ensure you trek safely and comfortably. Those with acute or chronic health conditions impacting their stamina, range of motion, coordination, or balance may have difficulty completing the trek. If you are in doubt about your own physical readiness, consult a physician well in advance of booking your trip! General hiking experience and comfort with the idea of multi-day hiking will also ensure you are 100% ready to trek!

How will we deal with altitude acclimation?

The best scenario is to acclimatize slowly. The 6 day trip up Kilimanjaro is a fairly rapid ascent and trekkers should report any problems to their guide. Common symptoms of mountain sickness include headaches and cough.

What do I need to know about sun protection?

It may seem counter-intuitive, but your skin is in more danger of sun damage on the mountains than while at the beach! The sun’s intensity increases dramatically as we rise in altitude, and fresh snow reflects exponentially more UV rays than does the sand. You will need to protect your skin with clothing and sunblock. A sunblock specifically for mountain conditions is recommended. If you wear prescription eyeglasses its recommend that you get your prescription fitted to sunglasses.

What happens if I get sick or injured while trekking?

We take all possible precautions to proactively ensure the safety and wellness of our trekkers, but rest assured that our guides are trained and experienced in dealing with emergencies. Each guide is trained in first aid. In the case of altitude sickness, you will immediately be taken to a lower altitude. If necessary, your guide will utilize the park rescues services for immediate evacuation.

Are solo female travelers safe climbing Kilimanjaro?

Yes, we ensure the travel safety of all our trekking guests, both male and female. We have longstanding, strong relationships with the lodges we frequent, and know them to be safe and reliable. In addition our guides are consistently mindful of all guests' whereabouts while trekking. We travel in small groups, all the better to easily maintain continual contact.

Practical matters
What should I pack?

We will provide you a complete packing list on receipt of your trek. It is possible that you can rent gear once you reach Moshi but it tends to be expensive and the quality is not great. If you need any specific equipment beforehand we may be able to help you with some supplies free of charge.

What sort of footwear is recommended?

A good pair of hiking boots are important for the final climb as they help to keep your feet warm and provide adequate ankle support. Tennis shoes are sufficient on the other days of the trek.

How much can a porter carry?

Porters on Kilimanjaro are allowed to carry 15Kg plus their own personal belongings.

Should I tip my guide? How about my porter?

The following are the suggested minimum tips. Head Guide: $90, Assistant Guide: $60, Cook: $60 Porter $30.

How much money should I bring along?

You should bring enough to cover the tips at the end of the trek. Other than that our treks are all-inclusive. We cover accommodation, food, park fees, permits, and many other costs, as a means of making your adventure as stress-free and convenient as possible. Previously, it was possible to buy snacks and other items on the trek but the park service has eliminated all vendors and once you get on the mountain there are no opportunities to spend any money.

What communication options exist while trekking?

Your guide should be able to arrange a phone call or to get a message relayed in the case of emergency. Don’t expect any communication options although it is possible you will have cell signal in some locations.

What if I end my climb early?

Some climbers may actually finish the climb ahead of schedule and get back to Moshi early. Its also the case that sometimes climbers either have problems with altitude or decide to come down earlier for other reasons. If you do get back to Moshi early you are responsible to pay the costs for your extra hotel nights ($35 per/night) and meals. The reason behind this is that our costs are the same regardless of when you end the climb. So even if you are climbing less days than scheduled keep in mind that we have already paid the staff, purchased, food and rented gear for all the days you were supposed to be on the climb.

What is your cancellation policy? How about other terms and conditions?

Please check our Terms and Conditions page.