This 8 day climb ascends Kilimanjaro via the Machame Route and is highly recommended for an uncomplicated but spectacular climb. It is certainly one of the most popular, although there are others that offer similar views and levels of difficulty.
Although the route requires only six days to climb and descend, we suggest an eight day itinerary to allow for acclimatization and recovery.
Day 1: Arusha
We begin at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to Arusha/Moshi for a good night’s rest and briefing on the climb.
Day 2: Machame Hut
Our first real day, and the tour gets under way early, as we drive to the Machame Gate. After registration we start our first hike, which takes 5 – 6 hours through forest and plantation to the Machame hut campsite (3000m).
This can be a muddy start, but by the time we reach the hut, the landscape is already changing into open moorland and offering good views.
Day 3: Shira Hut
The destination today is the Shira hut campsite at 3800m. Expect 6 – 7 hours trekking across open moorland and rocky ridges. There are several steep inclines to tackle and we have to cross a substantial river gorge, before reaching our base.
As we reach the Shira plateau, there is a notable drop in temperature and dehydration is common amongst inexperienced climbers.
Day 4: Barranco Hut
Up early and on the way to our next camp at Barranco (3940m). This is an unusual day as despite hiking for up to 7 hours, we gain only about 100m altitude. Essentially, we travel eastwards, towards Kibo, climbing to over 5000m, but dropping back down as we approach the Barranco hut campsite.
This is a day of great views as we cross the Shira Plateau and head to the Lava Tower before heading down to the camp.
Day 5: Barafu Hut
Our destination today is the Barafu hut, a good 6 – 7 hour hike away. We begin by tackling the Barranco Wall, a step section with superb views waiting at the top. A great scene is the morning sun picking out Mount Meru away to the south – stunning! Then we descend into the Karanga Valley over a tricky section of ridges and continue onto Barafu. At 4600m, the landscape is much more barren and the atmosphere a lot thinner.
Day 6: Uhuru Peak
A very early start to make the ascent to the summit. About 1 a.m. we rise and prepare for this last stretch. It is eight hours of hard trekking to Stella Point (5745m), but is worth every second. You can stand on the highest point in Africa and relish your achievement and the magnificent views of the glaciers, ice walls and the continent spread out below.
Next is the descent back down. It takes approximately three hours to reach Barafu, where we stop for lunch and a rest before continuing on to the Mweka hut campsite (3100m) for a well deserved evening’s recuperation.
Day 7: Mweka Gate
The last trek takes just five hours through the forest before we reach the Mweka Gate. Then you will be driven (no more hiking) to your hotel where you can sleep in a comfortable bed after a good meal.
Day 8: Arusha – Airport
It’s your last day, so have a lie in and a decent breakfast before we take you to the airport for your departing flight.