Elevation Gain: 1,200 meters, 3,935 feet
Distance: 9 kilometers
At 9am, leave Moshi for Machame Gate, where you will meet the our porters and cooks that will spend the next seven days trekking with you to Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa. Once you arrive, you will have a chance to wait at the gate while the staff registers your climb and the porters and guides make final preparations.
Your first day's destination is Machame Camp. Each day, porters and cooks will walk ahead to set up the camp in time for your arrival. On the first day, hike through the moss-covered trees of Kilimanjaro's cloud forest. The forest will thin at the end of the hike and vegetation will change to include heathers, tall grasses and wildflowers. If the weather is clear, view the surrounding area and your ultimate destination, Kibo Peak.
Elevation Gain: 840 meters, 2,760 feet
Distance: 7 kilometers
Although considered to be the easiest day on the Machame Route, today's trek includes several uphill sections. Carry plenty of drinking water, as the exposed hike can be hot on a clear day. There are several viewpoints from which you can see the plains and forests below and Kibo and Mawenzi peaks above.
As you gain altitude, notice the change in vegetation. The trees diminish in size, giving way to Kilimanjaro's famous high altitude plants, Scenecio kilimanjari and Lobelia deckenii. After eating lunch, climb the Shira Plateau, created when Kibo's lava flows filled the Shira crater. Continue to Shira Camp, where you will relax for the rest of the day. Kibo lies to the west and Mount Meru to the east.
Total Elevation Gain: 690 meters, 2,264 feet
Distance: 10 kilometers
Although this up and down day ends with an elevation gain of only 110 meters, by early afternoon you will have climbed 690 meters to a height of 4,530 meters before beginning your descent to Barranco Camp. This day is crucial for acclimatization.
After breakfast, hike east on the Shira Plateau before reaching the junction for the Shira and Lemosho Routes. Continue on through the barren landscape before stopping for lunch. Shortly after lunch, reach the highest point of the day before descending quickly to Barranco Camp. Faster hikers can take a detour via Lava Tower, a 300-foot lava formation jutting out of the mountainside.
Barranco Camp, set among stands of Senecio kilimanjari, is considered to be the most scenic campsite on the Machame Route.
Elevation Gain: 250 meters, 2,120 feet
Distance: 13 Kilometers
Leave Barranco Camp after breakfast for Karanga Valley. The day begins with a 1.5 hour scramble up Barranco Wall. This is the hardest part of the day and in some places you will have to use your hands to pull your body up. After reaching the top make a short descent into the greener Karanga Valley. We will stop fro lunch at Karanga camp on the ridge above the valley for over night.
After breakfast begins the hike to Barafu Camp. On the way to Barafu, view several of Kibo's glaciers as well as the junction that connects the descent route, Mweka, with the Machame trail. During day four, hike by the Heim, Kersten and Decken Glaciers. Although the trail to Barafu passes through alpine desert with little vegetation, Barafu Camp offers stunning views of Kibo and Mawenzi peaks.
Elevation Gain: 1,295 meters, 4,240 feet
Elevation Loss: 2,795 meters, 9,170 feet
Distance: 18 kilometers
At Barafu Camp, eat breakfast and take a short break. You still have another three to five hours to go before reaching Mweka Camp.
Elevation Loss: 1,600 meters, 5,250 feet
Distance: 10 kilometers
After breakfast, finish the trek with a descent to Mweka Gate. Your last hike on Kilimanjaro is a beautiful one, passing through Kilimanjaro's cloud forest. Watch your step during the descent, as the trail can be slippery. Our vehicles will be waiting at the lower station of Mweka Gate to take you back to Moshi.
You now drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, dinner descent bed and celebrations!!