This is probably the most beautiful route up Kilimanjaro. All your equipment and supplies are pottered and a cook prepares all your meals. Where accommodation on the Marangu route is in huts, the Machame route offers strictly tents only. This makes Machame (also referred to as the "Whiskey route") better suited to the slightly more adventurous hiker, however rewarding him with a scenic splendor such as not seen on the Marangu route. From late afternoon sunsets at Shira, to the misty revelations of Kibo at the great Barranco Wall, the Machame route offers the adventurous hiker a stunning scenic "slide show" over 6 days. The Machame route is normally completed in a minimum of 6 days. There is an added benefit to this, as you are afforded the most valuable commodity on the mountain - acclimatization. The Machame route takes you high to Lava Tower (4630m) on the day 3 and brings you down by nearly 700m for an overnight at Barranco camp (3950m). This is the secret to successful acclimatization.
DAY 1: Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport. You will be met at the airport and transferred to the Babylon Lodge in Marangu for accommodation and dinner. If you arrive early, you will spend day for relaxation in the beautiful lodge as you enjoy the Kilimanjaro weather
DAY 2:Machame Gate (1490m) - Machame camp (2980m)
You will depart Babylon Lodge and leave for Kilimanjaro National Park (Machame gate). After registration, you will start your ascent. Depending on the weather You will have a lunch stop about half way and will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon.
DAY 3: Machame camp (2980m) - Shira camp (3840m)
You rise early at Machame camp and after breakfast you climb an hour or so to the top of the forest and then for 2 hours at a gentler gradient through the moorland zone. After a short lunch and rest, you continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau. By now you will be able to see in an easterly direction, the Western Breach with its stunning glaciers. You are now due west of Kibo and after a short hike you will reach the Shira campsite at 3 840m.
DAY 4 : Shira (3840m)-Lava Tower (4630m)-Barranco camp (3950m)
Habitat: Semi desert
The route now turns east into a semi desert and rocky landscape surrounding Lava Tower, where you reach an altitude of 4630m after about a 5 hours walk. Lunch is served in a designated area before ascending the rocky scree path to Lava Tower (4630m)After lunch you descent again by almost 680m to the Barranco camping area and after reaching the high altitude of 4600m at Lava Tower, the true acclimatization benefit of this day becomes clear. This descent to Barranco camp takes about 2 hours and offers great opportunities to take some beautiful photographs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall. The camp is situated in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while you wait for the preparation of your dinner and overnight at Barranco Camp site.
DAY 5 : Barranco camp (3950m) - Barafu camp (4550m)
Habitat: Alpine desert
After spending a night at the Great Barranco Wall (a very imposing sight at first), you make your way up this awesome looking obstacle, which in the end normally turns out easier than what you anticipated. Topping out just below the Heim Glacier, you now appreciate just how beautiful Kilimanjaro really is. The route then heads down through the Karanga Valley over intervening ridges and valleys, and then joins up with the Mweka route. This is the preferred route down from the summit, so remember it. Turn left up the ridge and after another hour or so, you reach Barafu Hut.
The last water stop on the route is the Karanga Valley, as there is no water at Barafu camp. Barafu is the Swahili word for "ice" and it is a bleak and inhospitable camping area to spend the night. The summit is now a further 1345m up and you will make the final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment for your summit attempt. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get some precious rest and sleep for not more than 5 Hours.
Barafu camp (4550m)-Uhuru Peak (5895m)-Mweka (3100m)
Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea you shuffle off into the night. This 6-hour walk to Stella point is for many climbers, mentally and physically the most challenging on the route. At Stella Point (5685m) you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting). From Stella Point you will normally encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. At Uhuru peak, enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your life. The walk back to Barafu from the summit, takes about 3 hours. Here you will have a well earned but short rest and collect the rest of your gear, before heading down to Mweka hut (3100m). The camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Dinner, and washing water will be prepared.
Mweka camp (3100m) - Mweka Gate (1980m)
After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 3-hour and scenic hike back to the Park gate. At Mweka gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates.
A vehicle will meet you at Mweka gate to drive you back to the Babylon Lodge in Marangu. At Babylon Lodge you will have hot water showers and there after it will be time to celebrate with your guides and porters. Kilimanjaro beer for those who drink and barbecue will be a good way to celebrate your success of being to the highest point in Africa! The guides will also sing for you Kilimanjaro songs and the jovial mood of the evening will make your trip worth remembering!
You can add an extra day by breaking the trek from Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp (Day 4) into two days. If you choose this option, you will hike from Barranco Camp over the Great Barranco Wall, and descend to a camp in the Karanga Valley on Day 4. There is water at this camp. Then, on Day 5 you will hike from the Karanga Valley Camp to the Barafu Camp, summit on Day 6, and finish your descent on Day 7.
DAY 8: After breakfast you will depart for the airport or other destinations in Tanzania. We will be glad to arrange for you a tour to see the wild life of Tanzania or to the beautiful spice island of Zanzibar through our partner company (please inform us if you are interested in the same and we will be glad to arrange for you everything)