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6 Nights / 7 Days Machame Route

Day 1: Moshi

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Depart Arusha for Moshi .Dinner and overnight at a Moshi Hotel.

Day 2: Machame Hut

Drive to Machame village, the climb starts at the end of the tarmac road. Walk through shambas (farms) then forest to the Machame hut (3000m, 6hours).

Day 3: Shira Hut

Continue along the steep ridge going on to rock ridges and through heather. The route turns west into a river gorge, reaching Shira hut (3800m, 5hours).

Day 4: Baranco Hut

Continue east towards the lava tower. Shortly after this, You descend to Baranco Hut.(3940m,4hours).

Day 5: Barafu Hut

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A short scramble to the top of the great Baranco and then a traverse overscree and ridge to the Karanga Valley 4000m, 3 hours.. Beneath the icefalls of the Heim, Kersten and Decken glaciers, after climbing out the Karanga Valley the trail ascends a ridge to the Barafu Hut. A bleak location with little vegetation at 4600m, 3hours walking.

Day 6: Barafu hut

An early start for the ascent to the rim of the Kibo Crater between the Rebbmann and Ratzel Glaciers 4hours.the last section before the rim can sometimes be snow- covered and an ice axe or ski-stick is useful for balance. From here a further hour leads to uhuru peak, from where there are often fine views of Mt.Meru to the west and the jagged peak of Mawenzi to the east. Descend to the Barafu hut in the giant heather zone on the forest edge, those with energy on the summit may wish to descend to the Reutsh Crater and visit the dramatic ice pinnacles of the eastern icefields.

Day 7

A three to four hour descend through beautiful forest brings you to the park gate and your waiting transport back to the Hotel for overnight.

Day 8: Arusha

Depart after breakfast , transfer back to Arusha.

6 Days Climb Mt Kilimanjaro Machame Route

Route Duration: 6 Days

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Total hiking distance: Approximately 100 kms

This is probably the most beautiful route up Kilimanjaro. All your equipment and supplies are portered 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 – acclimatisation.

Day 1

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Machame Gate (1490m) – Machame camp (2980m)

Hiking time: 7h

Distance: Approximately 18kms

Habitat: Montane forest

Your day starts early with a briefing, followed by breakfast and a 45-minute drive from Moshi (910m) to the Machame village (1490m). The guides and porters prepare and pack the supplies and your equipment in the village. You will receive a lunch pack and you can also buy mineral water in the village.Depending on the condition of the road, it is possible to drive from the village to the Machame gate, but if not, the muddy 3 km walk will take about 1 hour to complete.

After registering at the gate office, you start your ascent and enter the rain forest almost immediately. There is a strong possibility of rain in the forest, which will transform the trail into a very soggy, muddy and slippery experience. You will have a welcome lunch stop about half way and will reach the Machame camping area in the late afternoon.

Day 2

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Machame camp (2980m) – Shira camp (3840m)

Hiking time: 6h

Distance: Approximately 9 kms

Habitat: Moorland

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. The porters will boil drinking and washing water, before serving dinner. The night at this exposed camp will even be colder than the previous night, with temperatures dropping to well below freezing.

Day 3

Shira (at 3840m) to Lava Tower (at 4630m) to Barranco camp (at 3950m)

Hiking time: 7h

Distance: Approximately 15 kms

Habitat: Semi-desert

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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).

Definitely the toughest day so far. It is normally around this point, where for the first time, some climbers will start to feel symptoms of breathlessness, irritability and headaches.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 acclimatisation benefit of this day becomes clear.

Day 4

Barranco camp (3950m)- Barafu camp (4550m)

Hiking time: 7h

Distance: Approximately 13 kms

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.

Day 5

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(Summit attempt) Barafu camp (4550m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Mweka (3100m)

Hiking time: 8h to reach Uhuru Peak, 7 – 8h to descend to Mweka

Distance: Approximately 7 kms ascent – 23 kms descent

Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night. You will head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. 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).

Day 6

Mweka camp (3100m) – Mweka Gate (1980m)

Hiking time: 3h

Distance: Approximately 15 kms

Habitat: Forest

After an early and well-deserved breakfast, it is a short 3-hour and scenic hike back to the Park gate. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. View more tips on climbing Mt Kilimanjaro.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. From the Mweka Gate you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy 3 km (1 hour) hike.

6Days Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking Umbwe Route

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The Umbwe route is one of the shortest routes to the Southern Glaciers and the Western Breach. It is probably the most scenic, non-technical route on Kilimanjaro. It is quite taxing, primarily due to the relatively fast ascent to higher altitude, but the rewards are plentiful. Fewer people, pristine forest and shorter walking distances make it a great option for fit hikers. Add to your experience – OVERNIGHT IN THE CRATER

Day 1

Umbwe Gate (1800m) – Bivouac (first) camp (2940m)

Hiking time: 5h

After breakfast you will be driven to the Umbwe Gate at 1800m, passing through villages with coffee and banana plantations. On arrival at the Parks Gate your guide and porters will meet you. Sign the register before you enter the park for your first step to accomplishing a life-long dream. The air is thick with moisture and the path is usually muddy. The route initially follows a forestry track winding up through the natural rain forest. It then narrows and steepens to climb the ridge between the Lonzo and Umbwe rivers, with huge trees surrounding you. The path offers some spectacular views of deep gorges and if you are lucky, glimpses of Kilimanjaro towering above you in the distance. The camp is perched between huge trees and thick undergrowth.

Day 2

Bivouac (first) camp (2940m) – Barranco camp (3950m)

Hiking time: 6h

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Shortly after leaving the camp the forest starts thinning and is replaced by rockier terrain, sparser undergrowth and straggly, moss-covered trees. The path continues along a narrow, but spectacular ridge. As you gain higher altitude, catch glimpses of Kilimanjaro rising majestically ahead of you – etched against the blue sky. The path flattens as you approach Barranco Valley.

From the Umbwe ridge the route descends slightly to the Barranco camp. The camp is situated in the valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall, which should provide you with a memorable sunset while your dinner is being prepared.

Day 3

Barranco camp (3950m) – Lava Tower (4630m) – Arrow Glacier Camp (4800m)

Distance: Approximately kms

Habitat: Moorland / Semi desert

After breakfast you will start your hike towards Lava Tower, a famous landmark on Kilimanjaro. The path is steep and rocky, with views of Mt. Meru, Kilimanjaro’s little sister, punching her peak through the clouds.From Lava Tower you turn towards the Western Breach, a steep climb to Arrow Glacier camp (4800m).

Day 4

Arrow Glacier (4800m) – Crater (5700m)

Hiking time: 5h

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From the Arrow Glacier camp steep scree and rocky outcrops requiring a scramble lead up the Western Breach to the crater floor (5700m). This day will be the toughest challenge by far. After snowfalls the route can become icy and in these conditions an ice axe or ski stick may be required. When reaching the crater rim, you will be astonished by the view of snow and glaciers. Visible to you left is the Northern Ice fields of Kilimanjaro with the Furtwangler Glacier in front of you. Walk past this glacier to the Crater camp, situated at the crater rim. If time permits, you can climb to the Ash Pit (1 ½ hour). The Ash Pit is 340m across, 120m deep and is one of the most perfect-formed examples in the world. The campsite is very cold as snow might occur. Be one of a fortunate few to spend a night in the inner crater of Kilimanjaro.

Day 5

(Summit attempt) Crater (5700m)-Uhuru Peak (5895m)-Mweka (3100m

Hiking time: 2h to Uhuru, 7-8h to Mweka

You will rise around 04:00, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the early morning darkness. From the crater floor you will probably encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. Time spend on the summit will depend on the weather conditions. Do not stop here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue. Enjoy your accomplishment and a day to remember for the rest of your life.

Day 6

Mweka camp (3100m)- Mweka Gate (1980m)

Hiking time: 3h

Habitat:

Distance: Approximately kms

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Wake early to enjoy a well-deserved breakfast, and then tackle the five hour walk to the park gate. Pay your porters only when you know you and your equipment is safe at the gate.At Mweka Gate you receive your certificate of summit, after signing the register, and if you’ve completed the climb successfully. Climbers who successfully got to Uhuru receive golden certificates, while those who made it to Stella Point receive green certificates.

The itinerary above serves only as a guide. You can add an extra day if you so wish. You can summit Mt Kilimanjaro via Arrow Glacier or Barafu Camp with Umbwe Route.

6 Days Mt. Kilimanjaro Climbing Marangu Route

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Total hiking distance: Approximately 96 kms (excludes acclimatization hikes on day three)Affectionately known as the “Coca-Cola route”, Marangu is by far the most popular route to the summit of Kilimanjaro. This could partly be as a result of the fact that the Marangu is the least expensive route, but more so, perhaps the fact that it is possible to do the Marangu route in 5 days, thereby getting to the summit one day earlier than on the Machame route. This is not always the best way due to a shorter acclimatisation period. The Marangu route does however offer you the option of spending an extra acclimatisation day on the mountain. This extends the route to a 6-day march, greatly increasing your chances of success. Hut accommodation on the Marangu route forms one of the main differences, compared to the other routes. It offers you the relative luxury of being able to sleep in huts along the entire route. Mineral water, soft drinks, chocolates and beers are also sold at all the camps on this route. All your equipment and supplies are portered and a cook prepares all your meals.

6 Days – Itinerary for the Marangu route

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For the 5-day route, simply exclude the additional acclimatisation day at Horombo hut – day 3 on the itinerary below.

Day 1: Marangu Gate (1980m) – Mandara hut (2700m) Hiking time: 5h

Distance: Approximately 12kms

Habitat: Montane forest

The drive from Moshi to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate, takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Marangu, which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. Once you reach the park gate, all hikers are requested to sign in at the Park office and make their final preparations for the climb. Porters will be seen arranging and loading their packs, containing the food, water, cooking gas as well as most of your equipment. Make sure that you have all your daypack items (containing at least drinking water, your lunch pack and extra clothing) with you as the porters ascend a lot quicker than the hikers. Our guides will be available to assist with any additional information or needs you might have. You now leave the Park gate and ascend on a cleared ridge trail through the rain forest. The forest, suffused with mist and dripping with beards of moss, is also where most of Kilimanjaro’s animals are found. (An alternative and more scenic parallel forest trail, branches off the to the left a few minutes after the gate. This trail follows the edge of a stream through the undergrowth and offers you the option to rejoin the main trail either, after 1,5 hours hiking, or 1 hour before Mandara hut.)

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Your first night stop, Mandara hut, is a group of wooden A-framed huts in a forest clearing. Each hut features 6-8 sleeping bunks with solar generated lighting. The total capacity of the camp is 60 climbers. Water is piped into the camp from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut.

Day 2: Mandara hut (2700m) – Horombo hut (3720m)

Hiking time: 6h

Distance: Approximately 15kms

Habitat: Moorland

From Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest, then skirts the base of the Maundi Crater and then emerges into the transition from rain forest to moorland. It is well worth a short detour to scramble up the rim of the Maundi Crater for your first really impressive view of the Kibo Crater. On a clear day, Kibo will glimmer in the distance, showing off her majestic glaciers in the morning sun. Once you are in the open moorland you will get the chance to see some of Kilimanjaro’s most spectacular plants – the endemic giant lobelia which grows up to 3 m in height and the giant groundsel (Senecia Kilimanjari), which can reach heights of 5m! After about 6 hours from here you reach the Horombo hut, where you will have hot washing water, rest; an evening meal and overnight.

Day 3

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Horombo hut (3720m) – Acclimatisation dayHorombo hut is a village of huts perched on a small plateau, with buildings similar to Mandara, but with a total capacity of 120 climbers! Normally bustling with hikers, guides, porters and with an atmosphere of adventure and excitement. You will meet both ascending and descending hikers here. This extra day and night at Horombo is for additional acclimatisation. A hike towards the Mawenzi hut, passing the Zebra Rocks on the way (about 3 hours up and 1,5 hours down), is strongly recommended. This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatisation. Remember to drink enough water and move slowly! All meals for the day are provided at the hut. Retire to bed early and get a last good night’s rest.

Day 4

Horombo hut (3720m) – Kibo hut (4700m)Hiking time: 6h

Distance: Approximately 15kms

Habitat: Alpine desertAfter breakfast you now continue your ascent into the Alpine desert habitat. From Horombo there are two trails to the “Saddle” (which refers to the area located between the peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo). There is an upper route (right hand fork) and lower route (left hand fork) to choose from. The upper route (right hand fork) will be very familiar, as you will have climbed most of it the previous day towards Mawenzi hut. It is very stony and eroded. The recommended lower route (left hand fork) is much easier and nearly an hour, and it also passes the last watering point at 4130m. You will have to fill your water bottles with all the water you will need until your return to Horombo hut in two night’s time (unless you are willing to buy Mineral water at Kibo hut). Once again remember to slow down and drink enough water!!

Situated in the barren Alpine desert is Horombo hut, a stone build block house which has bunk beds for 60 climbers, but no streams with water nearby. It is however possible to buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp office. There are platform toilets behind the hut. The summit is now a further 1195m up and you will make your final ascent the same night. Prepare your equipment, ski-stick and thermal clothing for your summit bid. This should include the replacement of your headlamp and camera batteries and make sure you have a spare set available as well. To prevent freezing it will be wise to carry your water in a thermal flask. Go to bed at round about 19h00 and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible.

Days 5

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(Summit Attempt) Kibo hut (4700m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo hut (3720m)Hiking time: 8h to Uhuru, 6h to get to Horombo

Distance: Approximately 6kms ascent, 21kms descent

Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

You will rise around 23h30, and after some tea and biscuits you shuffle off into the night, and this is where the going really gets tough. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5150m), also a good resting spot. The path then zigzags up to Gillman’s point (5 681m), which is located on the crater rim. This section is very steep with a lot of stone scree, requiring a great physical and mental effort. Probably the most demanding section of the entire route. Do the Kili shuffle and move slowly.

From Gillmans Point you will normally encounter snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long you will be able to spend, taking photographs, before the 3 hour descent back to Kibo hut. After a short rest you gather all your gear you left behind for the ascent and head down to Horombo hut (3 hours) for your overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent. The total time spent walking on this day is around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp office) on the mountain and a well-earned sleep, filled with memories and stirring emotions.

Day 6 Horombo hut (3720m) – Marangu Gate (1980m)

Hiking time: 6h

Distance: Approximately 27kms

After breakfast you continue your descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. It is strongly recommended not to pay your porters any tips until you and all your gear have reached the gate safely. Click here for more info on tips. At Marangu gate you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Gillman’s Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive gold certificates. You now drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, dinner and celebrations!! Overnight in Springlands hotel.