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    Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing Machame Route

    Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing

    *Machame Route* 

    7 Days 6 Nights


    Hiking & Trekking Overview:


    Mount Kilimanjaro is located three degrees south of the equator in Northeastern Tanzania. It is the tallest mountain in Africa and is the highest free-standing mountain in the world. This immense mountain is made up of three volcanoes: Shira, Mawenzi, and our goal, Kibo, the tallest one in the middle.

    Machame Route is a beautiful route up Kilimanjaro that allows you to experience the southwest and south sides of the mountain, since you go up one way and down another.

    All your equipment and supplies are carried by porters and a cook prepares all your meals.

    The Machame Route is normally completed in 6 days, and this greatly helps your acclimatization. The Machame Route takes you high to Lava Tower (4,630 m/15,190 ft) on day 3 then brings you down for an overnight at Barranco Camp (3,950 m/12,960 ft). This intermediate ascent and descent is the secret to a successful acclimatization, and is the reason that this route has a high success rate.


    Day 1:

    Arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport followed by pick up and transfer to the Springlands Hotel for overnight Dinner and breakfast included.

    Overnight: Springlands Hotel
    Meal Plan: Dinner


    Day 2:

    Machame Gate (1490 m) - Machame camp (2980 m), Hiking time: 7 hours,

    Distance: About 18 km's - 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. 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 rainforest. You will receive a lunch pack at the gate and you can also drink bottled water you bought at Springlands Hotel in Moshi.

    There is a possibility of rain in the forest, which will transform the trail into a very soggy, muddy and slippery experience.

    In the evening the porters will boil drinking and washing water and the cook will prepare dinner before you retire to your tent for the night.

    Night temperatures can already drop to freezing point at Machame campsite.


    Day 3:

    Machame camp (2980m) - Shira camp (3840m), Hiking time: 6 hours. Distance: About 9 km's – 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 4:

    Shira (3840m)-Lava Tower (4630m)-Barranco camp (3950m), Hiking time: 7 Hrs, Distance: About 15 km's - 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). Definitely the toughest day so far. It is normally at 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 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 Campsite.


    Day 5:

    Barranco to Karanga Valley - Barafu camp (4550m), Hiking time: 7 hours

    Distance: About 13 km's - Habitat: Alpine desert

    Totally exposed to the ever-present gales the tents are pitched on a narrow, stony, and dangerous ridge. Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the terrain before dark to avoid any accidents.

    The summit is now a further 1345m up and you will make the final ascent the same night.

    Prepare your equipment, ski stick and thermal clothing for your summit attempt. 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 some precious rest and sleep for not more than 5 Hours.


    Day 6:


    Barafu camp (4550m)-Uhuru Peak (5895m)-Mweka (3100m), Hiking time: 8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak, 7/8 hours to descend to Mweka, Distance: About 7 km's ascent - 23 km's 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).

    From Stella Point, you will normally encounter snow all the way on your 2-hour ascent to Uhuru Peak. The time you will 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. 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 Camp (3100m) for Dinner and Overnight.


    Day 7:

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

    Hiking/Descend time: 3 hours,

    Distance: About 15 km's Habitat: Forest

    After Breakfast, From the Mweka Gate, you will continue down into the Mweka village, normally a muddy and long hour walk.

    In the Mweka village drive to Springlands Hotel and you will be served a delicious hot lunch!! You now drive back to Moshi for a long overdue hot shower, Overnight in Springlands hotel.

    It is recommended and tips are highly appreciated at the end of their trip. Tips can be given to the Guide at Springlands Hotel.

    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.




    *Two nights accommodation at the Springlands Hotel in Moshi (before and after the climb)
    First night includes breakfast
    Last night includes dinner & breakfast
    *Return transportation from Moshi to/from the starting/finishing point on the mountain
    *Qualified guides with mountain crew
    *National park fees
    *Tents and sleeping mattresses
    *Cutlery / Crockery / Eating utensils
    *Mess tent (for dining) / Mini camping chairs / Tables / Candles
    *Rescue Fees
    *Pulse oximeters
    *First aid kit
    *Guides, porters, cook, waiter salaries
    *Boiled water on the mountain
    *All meals on the mountain (breakfast, lunch & dinner)
    *Guides, porters, waiter, cook accommodation and entry fees on the mountain



    *Single rooms supplement at Springlands Hotel (except on the 1 person rate)
    *Airport transfers
    *Guides, Porters, Cook & Waiters tips
    *Meals and drinks not specified
    *Gear for your climb
    *Items of personal nature
    *Additional nights beyond the two standard hotel nights included
    *Emergency oxygen



    Important Travel Advice: 


    If you arrive at the Kilimanjaro Airport, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Moshi or Arusha. We recommend at least one rest day before starting your trek. If you are transferring from Nairobi, this can act as your rest day. If you have time, enjoy a guided walk through the local rice fields and rainforest, do a little shopping in the town of Moshi, relax at the swimming pool, or get a massage.

    Your guide will provide a briefing the evening before your trek, and you must separate one bag for the trek from your other luggage. Rental equipment is available. Extra luggage can be stored in a locked storage room at your Moshi hotel at no charge.

    The next morning, enjoy a hearty breakfast before last-minute trip preparations at the trekking office. Depending on the route you take, the drive to the trailhead can take up to one hour and can be very bumpy.

    Once you reach the park gate, climbers are requested to make their final preparations for the climb and sign the national park registration book. Porters will be seen arranging their packs containing the food, water, and other equipment. Make sure that you have all your day pack items with you as the porters travel very quickly. Your guide will be pleased to assist with any additional information.

    The average hiking day begins between 8-9am and is about 5 to 6 hours, walking very, very slowly. The distances you will hike each day are very moderate so as to acclimate a little at a time. Your guides will repeat over and over, "pole pole" (po-ly, po-ly), which means "go slowly" in Swahili.

    The terrain lower down is absolutely gorgeous and fascinating. Higher up, the views are vast. There is little to do at the camps themselves, so take advantage of the slow pace to absorb the scenery and take every photo opportunity.

    The hike to the summit starts around midnight depending on your route and speed of your group. You will go as high as you feel fit. Some people stop at the crater rim, and others continue to the very highest point on the mountain. Your guides will then take you down as quickly as possible to minimize any altitude problems. You will continue past your last campsite to the next one for overnight.

    You can add an extra day at the Horombo Huts (3,690 m/12,100 ft). You can spend a full day and a second night at Horombo. On this day, you can either rest at the huts or take a stroll up to the Mawenzi basecamp then return to the Horombo Huts. This extra day will help your acclimatization, and further your understanding of the mountain's weather and altitude. After your pause, you will continue up to the Kibo Huts on your fourth day for your midnight start to the summit.


    Tips for guides and porters on Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru:

    You will be given an envelope at the Springlands Hotel after your trek for your tip money. You can use U.S. dollars, Euros, TZ shillings, or a combination of these. It helps if you have small bills to tip everyone individually. There is no need to take money on the mountain with you.

    The typical tip is $15/day for guides, $10/day for assistant guides and cooks, $7/day for porters. This is from the whole group, not per hiker.
    Expect 1 guide per 8 hikers, 1 assistant guide per 3 hikers, and 1 cook per 8 hikers:

    Expect porters as follows:
    - 2 porters per hiker on the 5-day Marangu Route (minimum of 4 porters)
    - 3 porters per hiker on a 6 or 7-day trek (minimum of 5 porters)
    - 4 porters per hiker on the 8-day Lemosho Route (minimum of 8 porters)
    - Sometimes extra porters are required based on the weight of your luggage.

    Budget $200 per hiker for tips for a 6-day trek.
    Gifts: Guides and porters also appreciate your warm clothing, shoes, and packs. You may want to bring some older clothing items for this purpose.

    Celebration: You are also welcome to invite your guides back to the Springlands Hotel for drinks and/or dinner (on you) as a thank-you in addition to their tip.


    Recommended Gear List:


    Kilimanjaro Climber's Packing List Notes

    The pack that the porters carry is limited to 15 kg (35 pounds)
    Overweight or extra luggage will require an extra porter at $5/day
    Store electronics in sealed water-proof bags (double sealed if possible)
    Wrap clothing in plastic bags
    In the day pack, take along water, sunglasses, camera, binoculars, rain pants, and jacket at a minimum.
    Add any other items you might need during the day, since you may not see your porters until the end of the day.
    You may want to bring some older items of warm clothing as gifts for your guides and porters or donations to the Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society.
    You can leave extra luggage in a locked storage room at the Springlands Hotel for no charge.
    You can leave valuables in a safe deposit box at the Springlands Hotel for $1/day.


    Day pack, for you to carry
    Large duffel bag or backpack, for porters to carry
    Plastic bags


    You want your inner layer to be wicking – no cotton
    Your next layer should be insulating and warm, and your top layer should be water proof but breathable.
    You will need clothes for hiking during the day, lounging in the evening, and for sleeping.
    Layers are important as temperatures vary greatly.
    Kilimanjaro may be near the equator, but it gets cold up there!

    Shorts, for first and last day only
    Pants, for hiking and for lounging in the evenings
    Short-sleeved or t-shirts
    Long-sleeved shirts, for hiking and for lounging in the evenings
    Long underwear
    Fleece jacket or wool sweater
    Fleece pants
    Down jacket or ski parka (for temperatures well below freezing plus wind)
    Rain jacket, needed in hot rainforest and cold snow
    Rain pants, needed in hot rainforest and cold snow
    Sport bras, for women

    Cold Weather Accessories:

    Mittens and/or gloves (waterproof, one thin pair, one thick pair that can be layered)
    Wool or pile hat
    Balaclava or neck gaitor
    Hand and foot warmers (chemical activated)


    Be sure to break in your shoes before the hike!
    Trekking shoes for hiking during the day, preferrably warm, waterproof, and with ankle-support – not too light and not too heavy
    Tennis shoes or sandals for lounging in the evening
    Hiking socks for warmer conditions
    Wool socks for colder conditions
    Sock liners to wick away moisture


    Sleeping bag (Rated -25 degrees C/-10 degrees F or colder is recommended)
    Sleeping pad and repair kit
    Tents are supplied by Zara at no charge
    Foam sleeping pads are provided by Zara at no charge (Thermarest is highly recommended, however)


    Water bottles 
    Get 3 liters of bottled water before the trip (available at the Springlands Hotel).
    Your guides will boil water for you along the route, or use steripens for water sanitization.
    To prevent water from freezing on summit day, keep your water source inside your jacket.
    For Camelbacks, blow air back into the bladder after each sip and drink often.
    Gatorade or other drink mix helps with taste and minerals.
    Water filter or iodine purification tablets
    Sun hat with brim
    Money ($400 or more in cash and/or travellers cheques, including some small U.S. Euro, or Tanzanian bills
    Ski or trekking poles
    Headlamp or flashlight
    Camera, film, tripod
    Video camera, tapes
    Bring extra sets for headlamp/flashlight and camera as cold weather shortens their life
    Notebook, journal, pencil, and pen
    Pocket knife
    Electricity adapter
    Energy bars, hard candy, snacks, and comfort foods
    Playing cards, games, books, frisbee, football, kite
    Chocolate or pens for village children, momentos for guides, porters, and other climbers
    Umbrella, particularly useful in the rainy season, can be purchased in the market for around $2
    Plastic bags and zip-lock bags for waterproofing
    Sewing kit
    Salt, pepper, and spices for bland food
    Business cards
    Alarm clock
    Calculator (for currency conversion)
    Swim suit for hotel swimming pool


    Toilet paper (and baggie to carry used paper while on trail)
    Small towel
    Toothbrush and toothpaste
    Handi-wipes (moist towelettes for cleaning)
    Hand sanitizer
    Glasses, contacts, solution (take contacts out each night to prevent blurred vision)
    Comb, mirror


    Yellow fever certificate
    Medical insurance
    Address book
    Vaccination records
    Airline tickets
    Cash, travellers cheques, credit cards
    Maps, guidebooks
    Make copies of passport, TZ visa, airline tickets/schedule, and travellers cheques numbers.
    Leave a copy with someone at home and put a copy in a separate place in your luggage.

    First Aid:

    Ibuprofin, Aceteminophen, or Aspirin
    Throat losenges
    Sunscreen (SPF 15+)
    Lip balm with sunscreen
    Insect repellent
    Disinfectant, Antiseptic cream
    Bandages and tape
    Diahrea medicine
    Ace bandage
    Melatonin (1-3mg) or other sleep aid
    Malaria pills (talk to your doctor)
    Antibiotics (talk to your doctor)
    Prescription drugs (talk to your doctor)
    Diamox (talk to your doctor)


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