Even though it is hard trail to reach the summit of Kilimanjaro but, the Machame route is also known as the Whiskey route, given its reputation for being a tough climb, in contrast to the easier Marangu route, which is known as the Coca Cola route. Unlike the gradual incline and hut accomodations found on the Marangu Route, the climbers on Machame hike steeper trails, for longer distances, while sleeping in tents. Upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), Gideon Tanzania Safaris representative will pick you to Arusha Mount Meru Hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 1: Arusha to Machame gate (1490m) to Machame Camp (2980m)
Climate: Montane forest
Distance: barely 9kms
Time taken: approximately 7hrs
Early in the morning after breakfast at Mount Meru Hotel, you will depart to Machame gate from arusha barely 2hrs, for registration and urgent information before start ascending to Machame camp. You will then begin your ascent into the rainforest. During this section of the hike, you should expect rain, mud, and fog. The porters and chef, who move very fast up the mountain, will reach camp before you and set up your tents, boil drinking water, and prepare snacks for your arrival. After washing up, a hot dinner will be served.
Day 2: Machame Camp (2980m) to Shira Camp (3840m)
Distance: barely 9kms
Time taken: about 6hrs
Rise up in the morning at the mid of the Mountain, after breakfast guide and porters will lead your way to Shira camp, through the moorland climate. You will cross many streams and walk over a rocky ridge onto the Shira plateau that leads to Shira Camp. Similar to the first night, your tents will be set up prior to arriving at camp and the porters will prepare drinking and washing water for you. You will enjoy evening snacks then dinner prepared by our chef. Be prepared for a cold night as temperatures drop below freezing at this exposed camp.
Day 3: Shira camp (3840m) to Lava tower (4630m) to Burranco camp (3950m)
Climate: Low Alpine desert
Distance covered: barely 12kms
Time taken: about 8hrs
After early hot breakfast at Shira camp you will experience, a short ascending to Lava tower before descending to Burranco camp. Packed lunches are served at the Tower and hikers have the option of climbing the massive Lava Tower weather permitting. The 6800m descent gives hikers a huge advantage to allow their bodies to adjust to the conditions of high altitude. Camp is located in a valley below the Breach and Great Barranco Wall (“Breakfast Wall”). Drinking and washing water and dinner will be served as hikers view the sun setting.
Day 4: Burranco Camp (3950m) to Karanga Camp (4000m)
Climate: High Alpine desert
Distance: barely 4kms
Time taken: about 2 hours
Early in the morning after breakfast at Burranco camp, you will experience a short ascending to Karanga camp. Hikers state that this Class 2 hike is usually much easier than they anticipated. At the top of the Wall, you will have a view of Heim Glacier and will be above the clouds. The trail then winds up and down in the Karanga Valley. This is an ideal hiking day for acclimatization.
Day 5: Karanga Camp (4000m) to Barafu Camp (4600m)
Distance: about 4kms
Time taken: barely 3hrs
After morning breakfast, Guide and porters will lead your way to Barafu camp, where you will stay preparing for summit day. The word “barafu” in Swahili means “ice” and this camp is located on a rocky, exposed ridge. Tents will be exposed to wind and rocks so it is important for hikers to familiarize themselves with the campsite before dark. An early dinner will be served so hikers can rest before attempting the summit the same night. Your guide will brief you in detail on how to prepare for summit night. Get to sleep by 19:00.
Day 6: Summit Day, Barafu Camp (4600m) to Uhuru peak (5895m) to Mweka camp (3100m)
Distance covered: about 7kms ascending and 18kms descending
Time taken: about 8hrs ascending and 9hrs descending
Your guide will wake you around 23:30 for tea and biscuits. You will then begin your summit attempt. The route heads northwest and you will ascend over stone scree. After enjoying the magnificent sunrise, you will continue ascending for about 2 hours on a snow-covered trail to Uhuru Peak. Reaching the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro is a lifetime accomplishment! You will be able to spend a short time on the summit taking photographs and drinking tea before the descent to Barafu begins. The hike down to Barafu Camp takes about 3 hours. The Mweka Trail will lead you through the scree and rocks to the moorland and eventually into the rain forest. Mweka Camp (3100m) is located in the upper rain forest, so fog and rain should be expected. You will have a dinner, wash, and rest soundly at camp.
Day 7: Mweka Camp (3100m) to Mweka Gate (1980m) to Arusha
Climate: Montane forest
In the morning rise and shine, after breakfast at Mweka camp, you will proceed to descend heading to Mweka gate. Hikers who reached Stella Point (5685m) receive green certificates and hikers who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m) receive gold certificates. After receiving certificates, hikers will descend into the Mweka village for 1 hour (3 kilometers). You will be served a hot lunch then you will drive back to Arusha for long overdue showers and more celebrations.