Machame Route - Mount Kilimanjaro
Details & Itinerary
The Machame route, also known as the “Whiskey” route, is the most popular route on Kilimanjaro. Machame’s draw is in its scenic beauty. However, the trail is considered difficult, steep and challenging, particularly due to its shorter itinerary. Therefore this route is better suited for more adventurous folks or those with some high altitude, hiking or backpacking experience.
Day One: Arrive Arusha
Today your flight arrives Kilimanjaro International Airport. After you clear customs and collect your luggage, you will be met by an Odyssey Safaris representative and transferred to your accommodations. You will be assisted with checking in at your hotel and given a brief for the trek ahead. Welcome to Tanzania!
Day Two: Arusha – Machame Camp
After breakfast in your hotel you will be given an overall briefing from your guide. At 9am you will be met by the rest of our guides and porters. Following a final cross-check of equipment and supplies, our staff will drive you to the Machame Gate. Anything you do not want to take with you on the mountain can be left at a lock up in the hotel. Once at the gate you will be given a packed lunch and after registration with the Kilimanjaro Park office your climb will begin with ascending into the rainforest.
During the day at about half way up we will have a break and you can enjoy your packed lunch. We will reach the Machame Camp in the late afternoon. After your arrival and registration at Machame Camp you will be taken to your camp and tent which has already been set up by the porters who ran ahead, where you will greeted with boiled drinking water and hot washing water. Once you have freshened up and settled in, a hot dinner will be served in the mess-tent.
Day Three: Machame Camp – Shira Camp
You will be woken up after your first night on the mountain with a nice cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate at 6:30 am in your tent. After breakfast we leave the rainforest and continue our ascent crossing a small valley into open moorlands where the vegetation is sparse with small shrubs and up to a steep rocky ridge. After a short break, our route turns onto a river gorge and up towards Shira Plateau where you will catch your first glimpse of the Western Breach and its stunning glaciers.
Continuing on to Shira Camp, where the the cook will welcome you with boiled drinking water and hot washing water. You can then put your feet up with some snacks and a hot lunch. After lunch, there is plenty of time to explore the Shira caves, take pictures, write your journal or just relax and rest until being served your hot evening meal. Due to the camp being very exposed it can get very cold and sometimes windy.
Day Four: Shira Camp – Lava Tower – to Barranco Camp
Your daily morning wake up with a hot drink will be followed by a hot breakfast and then we pack up leave Shira Camp for a 4-5 hour trek to the well-known landmark of Lava Tower (4,600m) for acclimatization. Once reaching Lava Tower we will have a short break for lunch for some bonus acclimatization before starting a 2 hour descent by 650m to Barranco Camp. This is following the golden rule of acclimatization ” climb high and sleep low”.
This will be our toughest day so far but the climb offers multiple terrific opp-ortunities for photos. As we descend through the valley, the amazing sight of the Giant Groundsels is bound to stop you in your tracks. Barranco Camp gives you a beautiful view of the Western Breach and Breach Wall and be prepared with your camera while you are waiting for dinner for what could be one of the most spectacular sunsets you have ever seen as the sun drops down into the valley.
Day Five: Barranco Camp – Barafu Camp via Karanga Camp
Today the climb has a technical challenge! We start to climb Baranca Wall – also known by its nickname “breakfast wall”, meaning after climbing this wall your breakfast has been burned away. Don`t worry, it is much easier than it looks and the view down to Moshi is fantastic. After crossing Karanga Valley we will arrive at Karanga Camp. Once again you will be welcomed with boiled washing water and some snacks, followed by a hot lunch. This is the last place for the porters to collect water for the rest of the ascent.
After lunch we complete the “Southern Circuit” and make our ascent to Barafu Hut and enjoy again a spectacular view of the summit. We will arrive at the camp in the afternoon and you will get served a hot late afternoon meal. Our guides will give you a final briefing to prepare you for the summit day. Time to relax and enjoy the nice spirit in the camp and perhaps some reflection on what you have accomplished so far! It is also a good time to cross check and prepare your equipment and clothing. Good food, lots of water and sleep are the keys to a successful summit. We advise you to be to bed before 7pm to be rested for your wake up hot drink at around 11:30pm.
Day Six: Mount Kilimanjaro Summit
The wake-up tea will be served at 11:30pm with the departure at midnight. After a hot drink and some biscuits we will start the challenge for the summit. Our initial 6 hour climb begins in the dark with only our headlamps and guides to show us the way through the thick scree and winding pathways of Ratzel and Rebmann Glaciers until we reach Stella Point. Many say this is the most challenging part of the entire climb but you will be rewarded with what is perhaps the most emotional and beautiful sunrise you have seen or ever will see in your life.
After taking some pictures at the sign, and a short rest we will join the last part of the Marangu Route to continue 1 – 2 more hours to reach your ultimate goal – the summit – the highest peak of Africa – Uhuru Peak at 5.985 m. Congratulations!! You are now standing on the “Roof of Africa”. Our guides will take pictures of you at the world famous Uhuru sign and post it on Facebook for your family and friends at home. After a few minutes spent at the summit, due to the altitude and cold, it is important to start our descent. We will descend through sliding scree and winding pathways for about 3 hours back to Barafu Camp.
On reaching Barafu camp the rest of our team will congratulate you and welcome you with a hot lunch. You will have the chance for a longer break before we start the next descent to Mweka Camp. Trekking poles are very useful in this part of the descent. In the camp you will have a last fantastic view on the summit – finding it hard to believe that only a few hours ago you were stood at the top. And after this long day, you can enjoy your dinner and your last day on the mountain.
Day Seven: Kilimanjaro – Arusha – International Flight Home
After breakfast you descend once again through montane forest and around midday after saying farewell to your crew, you are picked up and transfer back to your hotel to freshen up and thereafter to your other destination or airport for flight home.