KILIMANJARO JOINING GROUP – MACHAME ROUTE
The Machame route, also referred to as the “Whiskey” route, has become the most popular route on the mountain Kilimanjaro. It is characterized by longer days and steeper walks compared to the Marangu route. This challenging route is better suited for adventurous individuals and those with prior hiking or backpacking experience. Beginning from the south and heading east, the path traverses underneath Kilimanjaro’s southern ice field before reaching the summit. It is recommended to spend at least six days on this route, with seven days being preferable. The Machame route boasts a diverse and visually stunning landscape. However, the heavy crowds can detract from its splendor.
Day 1: Machame Gate (1,790 m) – Machame Camp (3,010 m) (Machame Route)
Lava Tower to Barranco Camp
Elevation: 15,190 ft to 13,044 ft
Distance: 3 km/2 miles
Hiking Time: 2-3 hours
Habitat: Alpine Desert
The day commences with a descent into a ravine, leading us to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. We then ascend the non-technical, yet steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. Upon reaching the summit of the Barranco Wall, we traverse a sequence of hills and valleys until we reach the Karanga Valley. Descending sharply, we proceed to climb steeply once again until we arrive at Karanga Camp. This shorter day is designed for acclimatization purposes.
Departing from Karanga Camp, we head towards the junction that links up with the Mweka Trail. Continuing upwards, we pass through the rocky section until we arrive at Barafu Hut. This marks the completion of the Southern Circuit, providing stunning views of the summit from various angles. We set up camp at this point, rest, and enjoy an early dinner in preparation for summit day. From this vantage point, the two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are visible.
Very early in the morning (around midnight), we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. Near Stella Point (18,900 ft), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.
From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. 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 with dreaming the Adventure of Machame Route.
Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak
Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft
Distance: 5 km/3 miles
Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
Uhuru Peak to Mweka Camp
Elevation: 19,341 ft to 10,065 ft
Distance: 12 km/7 miles
Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
Habitat: Rain Forest
On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us back to the hotel in Moshi and mark the end of Machame Route Climb Kilimanjaro with Kilinge Adventures.