Overview

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Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro with its three volcanic cones,  "Kibo", "Mawenzi", and "Shira", is a dormant volcano in Tanzania.  It is the highest African mountain standing around 4,900m or 16,000ft from its base, to 5895m or 19,341 feet above sea level at the peak (the Uhuru Peak/Kibo Peak). This statistical significance helped Mount Kilimanjaro secure the position as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, officially declared on February 11th 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania. 

                                                                                                                                                                                             Of the Kilimanjaro Routes, the Machame Route is the most popular. It is the route of choice amongst most trekkers because it provides impressive views and a variety of habitats.  (Unlike the gradual incline and hut accommodations found on the Marangu Route).  The trekkers on the Machame Route hike steep trails, for long distances, sleeping in tents overnight.  This Machame Route climb can be completed in a minimum of six days (five nights) on the mountain.  However, it is most often tackled over seven days (six nights), allowing for better altitude acclimatization.  

The trek begins at Machame Gate located at the southern base of the mountain within its lush, fertile rainforest.  The route heads toward the Shira Plateau before circling along the southern circuit halfway around the mountain, exposing the climber to great views from all angles.  The approach to the summit is made from the east. To descend the trekkers follow the Mweka trail.  

The Machame Route is approximately 62km or 37 miles from gate to gate and is designed for people who are physically fit and have some hiking experience.  

                                                                                                                                                                                             OUTLINE ITINERARY KEY    H-hotel, C-camping, B-breakfast, L-lunch, D-dinner/evening meal

Machame Route

DAY 1:                                               

Machame Gate to Machame Camp 1828m (5997ft) - 3032m (9948ft) Average hiking time: 7 Hours  The drive from Moshi to the Mount Kilimanjaro National Park Gate will take around 50 minutes.  The journey passes through the village of Machame located on the lower slopes of the mountain.  We will now leave the park gate and walk through the rain forest following a winding trail on a ridge.  Lower down the trail can be muddy and slippery so gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here.  We continue a short distance until we reach the Machame Camp. C-B-D-L 

DAY 2: 

Machame Camp to Shira Camp 3032m (9948ft) - 3847m (12621ft) Average hiking time: 5 Hours    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 large river gorge where we will eat dinner and camp overnight at the Shira campsite.. C-B-D-L 

DAY 3: 

Shira Camp to Barranco Camp 3847m (12621ft) - 3985m (13071ft) Average hiking time: 7 Hours     From the Shira Plateau we will head on East, up a ridge passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo.  As we continue we change direction and head South East towards the Lava Tower called Sharks Tooth.  Shortly after the tower we will arrive at the second junction, which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier at an altitude of 16,000ft.  We then continue down to the Barranco Hut at an altitude of 13,000ft where we will enjoy dinner and camp overnight.  Although ending the day at the same elevation as the days beginning, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day. C-B-D-L                                                                                                                                   

DAY 4: 

Barranco Camp to Barafu Camp 3985m (13071ft) - 4681m (15358ft) Average hiking time: 8 Hours   After breakfast we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall, to the Karanga Valley campsite.  We leave Karanga and meet the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail.  We 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.  Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day.  The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are to be seen from this position. C-B-D-L 

DAY 5: 

Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak (SUMMIT!!) descend to Mweka camp 4681m (15358ft) - 5895m (19338ft) 5895m (19341ft) - 3090m (10138ft) Average hiking time to summit: 10 Hours.  Average descending time: 7 Hours.   Very early in the morning (midnight to 2am) we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. We head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek.  At Stella Point (18,600 ft), we will stop for a short rest and be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see (weather permitting).  From Stella Point we may encounter snow all the way on the ascent to the summit.  At Uhuru Peak we have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.  Faster hikers will see the sunrise from the summit.  From the summit we now make our descent continuing down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch.  Gaiters and trekking poles will be required on the loose gravel going down.  Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon.  Later in the evening we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep. C-B-D-L 

DAY 6: 

Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate 3090m (10138ft) - 1641m (5384ft) Average hiking time: 4 Hours        After breakfast we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates.  At lower elevations it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help, shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).  From the gate we continue another hour to Mweka Village.  A vehicle will meet us at Mweka village to drive us back to a hotel in Moshi. C-B-L-D  

Day 7: 

Leisure time till late afternoon flight home Return flight H-B  
  

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE/FITNESS   The walking is straightforward on good paths, so you should enjoy walking and have a good level of fitness e.g. you should be able to enjoy two full consecutive trekking days in the Lake District (7-8hrs) without being exhausted at the end.  

A TYPICAL TREKKING DAY       

Starts around 7am (not a problem as its usual to go to bed early!).  As you get up its easy enough to pack all your overnight gear into a kit bag before enjoying a hearty breakfast ready to leave the camp site whilst its still fairly cool.  The pace on the trek will be leisurely with plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, take photos, and keep hydrated.  Lunch is usually by the side of the trail, again a pleasant relaxed affair that will help your acclimatization programme.  Another couple of hours trekking after lunch, you will then arrive at your overnight camp site ready for a well earned cup of tea and biscuits, leaving an hour or so to either rest or explore before a fine three course evening meal.  It is quite remarkable what the cook team can produce in these remote kitchens.  Although it rapidly gets chilly in the evenings, it is quite cozy enough to sit around chatting about the day.  There is a central dining/sitting tent where food and drinks are served.  Toilet facilities are usually outside.  Despite the basic facilities, it is a great experience to share.

WHAT TO CARRY                                             

This trek is fully supported by a team of porters.  You will only need to carry a light daypack at the very most.  A 50L rucksack is a useful size to comfortably fit in essential items such as water bottle, camera, sun cream, wet-weather gear and extra layers etc. 

USEFULTIPS 

Just in case your main luggage goes missing en route, it is a good idea to wear your boots on the plane. Most other things can be replaced but comfortable, well worn-in boots are more difficult to replace.  We suggest you carry a roll of toilet paper, extra can be bought en route.  Rubbish should be disposed of at the end of each day.  All water during the trek is boiled but will still need purifying.  Don't drink any alcohol before or during your trek it acts as a diuretic.   

EQUIPMENT 

A detailed equipment list is provided on booking.  Specialist items such as sleeping bags and down jackets can be hired from ourselves.

BAGGAGE 

For your own comfort, travel light.  Normally airlines restrict baggage to 20kg, but you will be wearing boots and one set of trekking clothes.  Some items can be left at the hotel for your return.  Important items should also be packed in plastic bags.  A 50 litre rucksack is needed to carry a fleece, rain gear, gloves, water bottle, camera and guidebook. 

HEALTH 

A valid yellow fever certificate is only required if coming from an area where there is risk of yellow fever. Otherwise no other health documentation is needed to enter Tanzania.  Please consult your doctor regarding what medical precautions you should take prior to your journey.  Care should be taken on how to deal with the possibility of catching malaria.  Mountaineering above 5000m requires good physical fitness and health.  It is advisable to consult your doctor prior to making your booking if you have any doubts.  Do NOT climb higher than 9000ft (2700m) if you have: a respiratory infection, sore throat, cold, cough, high temperature, nose bleed. or any health problems which may be affected by high altitude mountaineering.   All our leaders hold first aid certificates and carry a fully equipped first aid kit for medical emergencies.  However you should bring your own supplies of plasters, blister prevention pads (compeed), Paracetamol etc. and any medication you are taking.  Consult your GP or a vaccine Specialist for professional advice or visit the website www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk  Non spring bottled water should never be drunk without first sterilizing with iodine, chlorine tablets or by boiling.  ALTITUDE  If this is your first trip to high altitudes you may have concerns about the effects on your health ie altitude sickness.  Don't worry, our itineraries allow sufficient time to acclimatize.  At worst you may experience a headache or a little breathlessness.  The best way to avoid such symptoms is to do everything slowly, walk at a gentle steady pace and drink plenty of fluid.  Should you be the exception, we can allow you to stay an extra night at a lower level and follow with one of our local guides.  
SPARE DAY 

Enjoy the wonders of Moshi.  Sightseeing tours can be arranged and would include visiting the temples or a local school.  Simply wandering around the huge array of shops, markets, cafes, bars and restaurants in Moshi is a fascinating experience. 

INSURANCE 

Insurance which covers mountain rescue and medical expenses is essential.  This is available through the BMC or www.etravelensure.co.uk you should note there are no official mountain rescue services on Kilimanjaro and that any evacuation in the event of a serious medical emergency to the nearest hospital will be by land.  We will require a copy of your insurance prior to departure. 

INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS 

If you are delayed longer (unusual) we can re-book your International flight but additional costs will be incurred.  Tickets can be changed according to availability and the class of ticket, you may need to upgrade and be flexible on your return date.  All additional payments would need to be paid for in Africa (card payments accepted).  

VISAS AND PERMITS 

UK citizens and most EU nationals can purchase Visas on arrival.  It is recommend that you purchase your visas no more than 3 months before your departure date.  Please contact Mountain Edge for up to date information.  Passports must be valid for at least six months after the end date of the trip. 

RESPONSIBLE TOURISM 

We employ local staff to work alongside our own group leader giving employment beyond farming.  Be prepared to wash using bowls of warm water or wet wipes.  We recommend you dispose of burnable rubbish at each camp site.  You can avoid plastic bottles of water by bringing iodine tablets and a refillable bottle to drink local pumped water.  Soft drinks should be purchased in glass bottles that can be recycled. 

LOCAL COSTS 

Most meals are inclusive, please see the key above.  Individuals are responsible for alcohol drinks throughout and hotel meals are on half board basis only which gives the flexibility to choose where you eat. Once again if you arrive back at your hotel before the trek has finished, you will be charged the difference. 

CURRENCY 

Tanzania shilling, UK Sterling, Euros and US Dollars can easily be changed at the hotel or in Moshi. 

TIPPING 

Tipping is generally expected and part of everyday life.  We generally tip our own local staff at the end of the trek. 


contact us for full itinery