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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.The Machame Route climb can be done in a minimum of six days on the mountain. However, it is most often tackled over seven days, for a better altitude acclimatization schedule. The trek begins at Machame Gate, located in the southern base of mountain, within its lush, fertile rain forest.
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, and the descent follows the Mweka trail.
Note: This is an indicative price per person, based on hiking with a party of two people. Your flights to and from Tanzania are not included. National flights are included where applicable. No rights can be derived from the prices mentioned on the website.
One hour’s drive from Moshi to Machame gate, where we complete park formalities, meet our crew of porters and start to climb! The first section of the route climbs steadily and passes through magnificent, dense rainforest. This path is less well-trodden so it can get somewhat overgrown in places and it is often wet and muddy underfoot.
Our route continues on up through the forest until we reach the steep ascent onto the Shira Plateau, where there are rewarding views of the mountain. Looking back, you will be able to see Mt Meru rising high above Arusha town in the distance.
Walking now on high moorland, the landscape changes the entire character of the trek. We traverse the southwest side of Kilimanjaro, passing underneath the Lava Tower and the final section of the Western Breach and finally reach camp The day has been spent at altitude (up to 4600m), but we have followed the mountaineering code of ‘walk high, sleep low’ to aid your body’s acclimatization to altitude.
Our day starts by descending into the Great Barranco, a huge ravine. We then exit steeply, up the Great Barranco Wall, which divides us from the southeastern slopes of Kibo. It’s a climb over rock, not technical, but long and tiring. Passing underneath the Heim and Kersten glaciers, we head towards the Karanga valley, which is our last stop for fresh water before the summit. Scree now forms the terrain as we walk through arid and desolate land towards Barafu camp.
We start off at around midnight, and walk steeply upwards to the summit glaciers. We will be climbing scree for 4 to 5 hours but gain incredible height over a short distance. The views are spectacular. We should be on the crater rim at Stella Point (5739m) as the first rays of the sun hit us. Spectacular ice cliffs within the crater surround us and the views to jagged Mawenzi peak and beyond are breathtaking. Another hour’s walking takes us to the summit, Uhuru Peak (5895m). We begin our descent by returning to Stella Point and then descending on scree slope and track back to Barafu Camp for breakfast, before finally heading down to Millennium Camp for a long well-earned rest.
A gentle trek takes us down through the rainforest to Mweka Gate, where we complete park formalities and receive certificates, which you can hang up with pride! We are then met by our vehicles and return to the hotel in Moshi, where you can treat yourself to a welcome hot shower.