6 Days Kilimanjaro The Machame Route KILIMANJARO CLIMB
CLIMBING MOUNT KILIMANJARO VIA MACHAME ROUTE 6 Days – a slightly challenging but very scenic route.
Accommodation : Tents
Standard Duration : 6 Days although an extra day at Shira or Karanga valley is recommended to help acclimatize. This is much quitter route as opposed to Marangu and involves a rather gradual ascent unlike that on Umbwe Route. The walking is rather strenuous.
6 Days Kilimanjaro the Machame Route
MACHAME HUTS – SHIRA CAMP
From Arusha drive to the Machame gate to climb Kilimanjaro with the Machame Route, often called the “Whiskey Route. From the Machame Park gate is a gentle climb up through the enchanted, mossy-green forest carpeted with unique -busy Lizzie flowers, begonias, and ferns. Around 95 minutes after the end of the 4WD track, the path widens and this spot is popular for lunch. As you climb, you’ll notice the increase in gradient and the fact that the path is getting narrower. Around two hours after the lunch spot, you shall spot the Machame Huts, a grass field with level pitches for camping. Equipped with toilets too! Pitching your tent as high as possible provides the best views. First camp amongst the giant heather at 3,000m. Ascent of 1,200m and 5 to 6 hours walking.
MACHAME HUTS – SHIRA CAMP
Emerge from the giant heather zone and hike through fine open moorland to the Shira Camp. By the Shira Cave at 3,840m, Trek up to the Shira Plateau while keeping in mind that. This track is skinny, narrow, and exposed to direct heat while being extremely dusty. Herds of eland up here (& occasional lions) and there are fascinating geological features in the old volcanic caldera. Which can be viewed during a half-hour optional walk in the afternoon. Encountering multiple viewpoints, the gradient of the trail will increase exponentially up to the lunch spot. Even though the difficult part of the trek for the day has been completed, the one to come is nothing less. After around an hour from the lunch spot, the plateau is gained and so are the Shira Camps just twenty minutes later. Ascent 840m and 4 to 5 hours walking.
SHIRA CAMP – BARRANCO HUTS
From Shira, climb towards the main peak Kibo, with the western glaciers clearly visible across the rugged high-altitude desert of volcanic rocks and boulders. Even though you cover almost 10km on this day, you will be disappointed upon finding out that you just gained 138m in height. You start out with a slight ascent towards the western slopes of the Kibo then going towards the east with a very slight incline. When you spot a largely flat, rocky surface, that’s where you’ll have your lunch. After 15 minutes, that will be the highest point you’ll reach for that day. Then you’ll go downhill and you’ll spot the Barranco Valley which is not far away from the Barranco Campsite, where you’ll be spending the night. Skirting around its base and under the imposing western Breach, descend into the sheltered Barranco Valley for mid-way camp at 3,950m. 6 to 7 hours walking and only 138m total ascent but having climbed much higher and dropped back down assists acclimatization.
BARRANCO HUTS – BARAFU HUTS
This is a very long part of the trek. The start is the most challenging when the climb starts, being almost vertical on an incline and having to use your hands assuming its rock climbing! After around 90 minutes, you reach The Great Barranco Wall’s summit where you have immaculate views to enjoy. The Karenga Valley is the last place you can collect water before the summit so you’ll need to fill up and, drink up! The valley is like a small green oasis with bird nests. Further after the Karenga Valley, the path bends more east and descends into a shallow valley, and at the end of the valley lies the Barafu Huts. Get rest and food as you’ve got a long night ahead!
BARAFU HUTS – UHURU PEAK
The final ascent starts at around midnight and this is so that trekkers can see the sunrise from the summit and also get enough daylight allowing for the long descent back. Although you can leave excess luggage at the Barafu Hut, it is unsafe and your equipment may freeze if not insulated. It takes around 6 hours up to Uhuru Peak and you should be there in time for a glorious, well-deserved sunrise! Point to reach Stella Point on the crater rim for sunrise another 40 minutes and you are at the highest point on the continent (Kibo:5900m), usually in the warm sunshine. Return on the Mweka descent route.
MWEKA GATE – ARUSHA
From Mweka campsite it is a 4 to 5 hours descent through the forest to the Mweka gate (depending on individual fitness) to collect certificates and meet the vehicle. Return to Arusha for the night.
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