The seven-day Machame route starts its approach of the mountain from the southwest, at Machame Gate. From there, you trek steeply up through rainforest to Shira Ridge, before crossing the Shira Plateau. At Lava Tower you join up with trekkers hiking the Lemosho route and Shira route.
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport where you are met after passing through customs. Transfer toNgare Sero Mountain Lodge and have a comprehensive briefing and equipment check with your climbing manager and your guide. Overnight at Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge
Drive from Arusha to Mt Kilimanjaro National Park, passing by the village of Machame to meet your climb crew at the Machame Gate. As you begin the gentle ascent, the trail winds though the verdant afromontane rainforest that beards Kilimanjaro’s lower slopes. Moss and tattered lichen dangles from tall branches, tree ferns rest in soft cradles, and begonias, busy lizzie impatiens, and violas bloom year-round in multiple colors on the forest floor. Many species of birds – as well as colobus monkeys, blue monkeys and other creatures of the forest – can be seen and heard. The first camp is set amongst giant heather at Machame Camp.
Leaving the glades of the rainforest behind, you continue on an ascending path along a steep ridge onto heather-clad moorland. This is known as the heath zone and, as the vegetation becomes more sparse, attractive helichrysum and lobelia are the only plants dominating the harsh mountain landscape. Various geological features can be observed, ranging from lava tubes to glacial valleys. A picnic lunch is taken on trail today. Continue up a rocky ridge onto the Shira Plateau. By now you can see the Western Breach with its stunning glaciers, and after a short hike you reach the Shira Camp. Your tent tonight can definitely be described as “a room with a view” looking out towards the snow-dusted Kibo peaks. Overnight Shira Camp.
Today is a walk-high sleep-low day. You ascend into alpine desert towards the main peak of Kibo, where the western glaciers become clearly visible. Lunch is taken as a picnic en route. If you feel very strong there is an optional ascent of the 300-foot-tall Lava Tower before descending to Barranco Camp in the afternoon, passing through the strange yet beautiful ‘Garden of the Senecios’ (giant groundsel), which also features many giant lobelias. The Barranco Valley is one of the prettiest areas of the entire trail. This is long day but the next time you head to this altitude is in two days’ time, making this a great acclimatization day! Overnight at Barranco Camp.
You now have a relatively short day to reach Karanga Camp, after conquering the intimidating Barranco Wall. Be prepared to use all four limbs as you traverse the wall to the top of the Karanga Valley. From here, follow a path that sojourns through many inclines and declines to Karanga Camp, arriving in the late afternoon. Our selection of Karanga Camp is strategic – significant time at altitude is essential for safe acclimatization. Sunsets here are particularly spectacular with views of the southern glacial valleys and ice fields towering over 3000 feet above you. Overnight at Karanga Camp.
Today is another half day ascending to Barafu Camp. Once again lunch is taken in this high camp, allowing plenty of time to relax before the summit bid. Desolate alpine desert and, at times, strong winds rip over this camp, yet in the evenings splendid views of Mawenzi Peak are the norm. A relatively early dinner is taken before resting for the evening. Overnight at Barafu Camp.
Depart just before midnight for the final summit bid. Patience and persistence is the name of game to reach the summit, and this is the coldest, windiest section of your adventure. Most likely by dawn, as the first rays of light start to appear across the Tanzanian landscape, you arrive near the rim at Stella Point, at an altitude of 18,652ft. Here, you are rewarded with the most glorious sunrise you are ever likely to see, appearing over Mawenzi Peak
Ascending via Stella Point affords a relatively short final section to Uhuru Peak, the Roof of Africa! Take as many pictures as you can! After a short celebration at the summit, begin the ebullient trek down. Go slowly and enjoy the wonderful rainforest scenery as you head towards Mweka Camp, arriving before dusk. With every step the air has more and more oxygen so although your legs will be jelly your heart will be light. Overnight Mweka Camp.
After breakfast you descend once again through montane forest and at around midday, after saying farewell to your crew, you are picked up and transferred back to your hotel for a well-deserved shower and a celebratory dinner!
Today you have a dayroom to pack, freshen up, and get ready for your flight home or your onward adventures in East Africa.
Pickup and drop-off are available
What is happening around Tourism, Culture and Events in Leon Adventure