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Kilimanjaro climb – Machame-Mweka route.

Machame route.

The Machame route, also commonly known as the “Whiskey” route. It is the most popular route on Kilimanjaro. Machame’s draw is in its scenic beauty. However, the trail is considered difficult and challenging because it is a steep and short itinerary. Therefore, this route is better suited for the more adventurous folks or those with some high altitude, hiking or backpacking experience.

The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the south, beginning with a short drive from Moshi to Machame gate. The path leads hikers through the rainforest to Shira Plateau. Here, many of Kilimanjaro’s routes converge. Then the route turns east and traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route.

Mara Expeditions offers Machame as a seven-day group climb or as a six-day private climb. The six-day variation combines days four and five, going from Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp without staying at Karanga.

Day 1: Nairobi to Moshi:
We pick you from your hotel to join a shuttle to Moshi via Namanga and Arusha. Lunch will be served en route, reaching Moshi town at 16:00hrs. {Airport (KIA) pick up can be pre-arranged for those flying, depending on their time of arrival}  Check in at our hotel for overnight. We will gather in the evening at 18:00hrs for a pre-climb briefing and an equipment check. We will also confirm you have the appropriate mandatory medical coverage and travel insurance.

Day 2: Machame Gate to Machame hut 3,000m (6-7hrs walking) (F/B)
After breakfast, we board our transfer vehicle to Machame gate for registration formalities. The climb starts from Machame gate (1,830m), we walk through the lush lower slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Slowly gaining altitude while enjoying the diverse flora and fauna of the rainforest, you will arrive at the first Machame hut, situated at 3,000m above sea level

On a clear day, we may get our first close look at the glaciated dome of Kibo if the evening clouds permit.

Day 3: Machame camp to Shira camp 3,840m (4-6hrs walking) (F/B)
A shorter day climbing up a steep ridge to reach a small semi-circular cliff known as the Picnic site, and continue up a gentler ascent through the lower alpine moorland, which is known for beautiful wild alpine flowers. The most spectacular views of Kibo peak can be seen from Shira camp.

Day 4: Shira camp to Barranco valley 3,900m (5-7hrs walking) (Full Board)
Today we walk on a gentle ascent and panoramic views. We traverse the southwest side of Kilimanjaro, passing underneath the Lava tower and the final section of the Western Breach and after hot lunch the bottom of the Lava tower (4,600 m.) we descend to the bottom of the Great Barranco valley (3,900 m.)

Day 5: Barranco camp to Barafu camp 4,600m (7-9hrs walking) (F/B)
A steep climb up the eastern wall leads us just below the Heim Glacier, where we may have some spectacular views of Kilimanjaro. We then take a steep exit up the Great Barranco wall, which divides us from the southeastern slopes of Kibo. The trail continues down into the alpine desert of the Karanga valley. After a short break for a hot lunch, we take a steep climb out of Karanga, and an easy path on compacted scree with wide views through this empty and dry landscape up to Barafu camp. 
The two peaks Kibo and Mawenzi can be seen from Barafu camp. The rest of the day is spent relaxing bearing in mind the final summit ascent early night.

Day 6: Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka camp 3,100m (13-15hrs walking) (F/B)
Wake up before midnight in the cover of darkness so that we begin a steep climb over loose volcanic scree which has some well-graded zig-zags. A slow but steady pace will take us to the rim of the main crater, Stella Point, at 5,735m. We will rest there for a few minutes to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. The strong ones can continue slowly to make the one hour round trip from here along the crater rim to the main peak (Uhuru 5,895 m), which is the highest point in Africa. A few minutes to appreciate your accomplishment and a brief photo session. The descent to Barafu is amazingly fast, and we stop at Barafu camp for some refreshment, we continue to descend to reach Mweka camp.

Day 7: Descent – Mweka camp to Mweka Gate to Moshi (3-5hrs walking) (F/B)
A gentle walk takes us down through the rainforest to Mweka gate successful climbers will receive their summit certificates. After lunch, we drive back to Moshi town for overnight.

Day 8: Departure day:
After an early breakfast, we board the shuttle to Nairobi. We have the option to join other safari extension options.

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