Mt Kilimanjaro at 5896m, is the highest mountain in Tanzania and Africa. It has three main volcanic peaks, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira. Kilimanjaro is located near the town of Moshi which is few minutes from Kilimanjaro Airport, it is also a protected area under Tanzania National parks. Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s most accessible high summits, a beacon for visitors from around the world. When climbing Mount Kilimanjaro you have an option to choose a route for trekking because there are several routes and one them is Machame known as “whiskey route”. This is an ascending route located on the South-West of the mountain and it has five stations namely Machame hut, Shira cave, Barranco, Karanga and Barafu. It is the most popular path that many people choose to climb Kilimanjaro as it provides the most beautiful views and different habitats. Here is the 6days 5nights schedule for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro using Machame route.
Day 1: Machame Gate – Machame Camp
After breakfast you will drive from Hotel to Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Machame gate which takes about 50 minutes. At the gate, your group leader will follow up and complete all important criteria as required by the park. When we complete this, it will be the time to leave the park gate and walk through the rain forest. Lower down the trail can be muddy or slippery. The elevation from Machame gate to Machame camp is 5400feet to 9400feet covers a distance of 11km which can take 5-7hours.You will have dinner and overnight at Machame camp.
Day 2: Machame Camp – Shira camp.
After breakfast, we leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path, crossing the little valley walking along a steep rocky ridge, covered with heather, until the ridge ends. The route now turns west onto a river gorge, the elevation from Machame camp to Shira camp is 9400feet to 12500feet, a distance of 5km and the hiking time can be 4-6hours.Dinner and overnight at the Shira camp.
Day 3: Shira camp-Lava tower-Barranco camp.
After breakfast we will continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth.” Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft. We now continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft, the distance covered is 10km and can take 6-8hours to Barranco camp where you will rest, enjoy dinner, and overnight.
Day 4: Barranco camp-Karanga camp-Barafu Camp
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite. Then, we leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We will then continue up to the Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. The elevation is 13000feet to 15000feet, distance of 9km and hiking time can be 8-10hours.At this point if the weather is clear two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo will be seen, we will prepare for the summit day, dinner and overnight at Barafu camp.
Day 5: Barafu camp – Summit-Mweka Hut
Around 2am midnight, we will continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers, elevation of 15300feet to 19345feet and will cover a distance of 5km which can take 7-8hours. We then ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim and this is the most mentally and physically challenging part of the trek. At Stella Point 18600 feet, you will stop for a short break and from there you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak, you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and Africa.
From the summit, we will descend continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, but stopping at Barafu camp for lunch. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon so gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down are crucial. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner and overnight on the mountain.
Day 6: Mweka camp – Mweka park gate – Hotel at Moshi
After breakfast, we continue the descent down to the Mweka park gate, at lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy so gaiters and trekking poles will help. Once at the park gate office you will be awarded a recognized certificate of achievement for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. From the gate, you continue another hour to Mweka Village and you will be picked up by a vehicle to drive you back to hotel in Moshi.