Conquer the highest peak in Africa – Tanzania's Mt Kilimanjaro

Trek the amazing Machame Route to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest point. At high altitude, it's a challenging journey through uniquely varied terrain. Camp out at night and enjoy incredible scenery along the way. Then at the very top of Uhuru Peak, rising 5,896m above sea level, feel the exhilaration of achievement and marvel at the incredible views.

Start
Marangu, Tanzania
Finish
Marangu, Tanzania
Countries
Tanzania
Themes
Walking & Trekking
Code
YKXA
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 16
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
456kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Size up mighty Mt Kilimanjaro from the lush tropical surrounds Marangu
  • Travel with a group of experienced guides and porters with 1 guide for every 2 passengers
  • Spy hiding monkeys and colourful bird species flitting through the rainforest
  • Spend a night camped out on the Shira plateau
  • Marvel at the Hiem, Kersten and Rebmann glaciers
  • Catch a dazzling sunrise from Stella Point on your way to summit Africa's highest mountain peak

Itinerary

Jambo! Welcome to Tanzania.
Our hike begins at the Kibo Hotel in the foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro.

Please make sure you are at Kibo Hotel by early evening, as your tour commences here with a full briefing and kit inspection before dinner by an experienced Kilimanjaro chief guide, in preparation for the start of our trek.

Please note that it is sometimes necessary to have this meeting on the morning of Day 2 if someone arrives late. Please check at reception for up to date information on where and when this important meeting will take place.
Located in the heart of Marangu and just a short walk from the village’s bustling market, and shops (including some excellent coffee shops brewing locally grown coffee), Kibo Hotel is Marangu’s most iconic building and one of the most historic buildings in the whole of Northern Tanzania. It is also located within very close proximity of beautiful waterfalls and ancient Chagga caves, used originally to hide cattle from attack from invading Maasai tribes.

Originally founded in 1886 by a German family in partnership with the then Chagga Chief Marealle, the building was originally intended as a base for Kilimanjaro expeditions and in fact played host to Hans Meyer and his crew who, in 1889, led the first successful expedition to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Still owned by the current Chagga Chief and his family, the building retains many of its original features and the walls in public areas are covered in historic antique maps of Tanzania and of the Mountain, as well as photos of famous past guests – including ex-US President Jimmy Carter, who stayed at the hotel before and after a successful Kilimanjaro climb in 1988. With its beautiful landscaped gardens, lawns and views of the lush Marangu forests, it really is an ideal place to take in the history of this incredible area of the world, as well as to unwind after a strenuous Kilimanjaro climb.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:

http://d3oxn90f3yphmd.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/file_attach/52735_product_altitude-sickness.pdf
We meet our guides and porters after breakfast and sort out all our gear before we set off for our 1-hour transfer by road to the South Western side of Kilimanjaro and the Machame Gate at the entrance to the Mt Kilimanjaro National Park. Each person has a personal porter and there are extra porters for the food, etc. Please read your trip notes on for further information about your guides and porters and a detailed packing list.

We begin our walk around lunch time, starting with a pleasant stroll through the rainforest. In the forest, there are many species of brightly coloured birds and different types of monkey can be seen and heard. Beneath the leafy canopy it can be wet and muddy but it is not very cold.

We arrive mid-afternoon at the Machame Huts where we make camp. The huts fell into disrepair some years ago, so with the help of our porters, we set up tents for the night. Enjoy an evening meal prepared by the porters and savour the first night of sleeping outdoors.

From Kibo Hotel to Machame Huts, we ascend to 3,000 m (9,800 ft) and walk for 15 km (approximately 6-8 hours).
Our second day on the mountain takes us out of the rainforest and up a steep ridge into moor land. You'll notice the vegetation getting more sparse as we ascend and several distinct species, including the giant groundsel and lobelia, will soon be the only plants dominating the harsh landscape. We camp on the edge of Shira plateau where there are excellent views of the snow-dusted Kibo peaks.

From Machame Camp to Shira Camp, we ascend to 3,840 m (12,600 ft), covering 12 km (approximately 5-7 hours).
Today is a great day's walk with many ups and downs as we traverse river valleys. The undulating landscape offers a great chance to acclimatise and as we ascend to the more rugged areas of the mountain, there are great views of the Kibo Massif and its magnificent surrounds. Tonight is spent at Barranco Camp.

From Shira Camp to Barranco Camp, we ascend to 3,900 m (12,800 ft) and cover 12 km (approximately 5-7 hours).
Today is an important acclimatisation day as you are going to be walking for the morning only. Climb the Barranco Wall (not a technical climb) and then follow the Kibo South Circuit. If the weather is clear you can expect to have some magnificent views of Kibo's southern glaciers. Arriving at your camp at around lunchtime you can enjoy great views by the river in the Karanga Valley.

From Barranco Camp to Karanga Valley Camp Camp, we descend to 4,200 m (13,780 ft) and cover 7 km (approximately 4 hours).
From Karanga you head up to the intersection of the South Circuit and the Mweka route where you’ll start climbing up a ridge to Barrafu Hut. Barrafu is Swahili for ‘ice’ – it can be very cold here at night!
You should arrive at Barrafu around late lunchtime, allowing plenty of time to rest before the final summit attempt.

From Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp, we ascend to 4,600 m (15,100 ft) and cover 3.5 km (approximately 4 hours).
At around midnight we are woken by our guides and hot tea and biscuits are served to give us energy before the long, difficult ascent up scree, and sometimes snow, to Stella Point (5,780 m). We pass the giant Rebmann Glacier en route and hopefully arrive at Stella Point in time for sunrise and superb views of the crater, the glacier glistening in the morning sun, and maybe even of the world around.

From Stella it is a further 1-hour hike along the rim of the crater to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m), the highest point in Africa. From the summit, take in unforgettable views of the crater, the ice fields and the vast and distant East African plains below. After photos and back-patting we begin our descent. Back at Barafu Camp, enjoy a well-earned lunch and much thicker air. After lunch, we continue on to Mweka Camp for the night and have a well-deserved rest.

From Barafu Camp to the Uhuru Peak summit, we ascend 1296 m and cover about 4 km (approximately 8 hours). The descent takes approximately 3 hours.
Today we continue to descend the mountain, traversing alpine meadows and rainforest to the Mweka park gate. From Mweka Camp to the Mweka gate, we trek for 10 km (approximately 3-4 hours) descending a total of 1,300 m (4,300 ft). Here we have lunch after checking out of the park and then the transport sent to meet us returns us back to the Kibo Hotel for a relaxing shower - a real treat after the physical exertions of the last few days! Relive and share our experiences of the past six days on the mountain with fellow travellers.
You are free to depart at any time on the final day of your trip.
Transfers to Kilimanjaro Airport or a shuttle to Nairobi can be arranged locally. Please speak to your leader at the welcome meeting.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 8 dinners
Transport
Minibus
Accommodation
Camping (with basic facilities) (6 nights), Hotel (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Services of highly experienced guides and porters
  • Fully catered trek including National Park entrance fees, climbing fee, tented camps & rescue services (7 days)

Dates

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Important notes

1. Passenger Self Assessment Form required for this trip.
2. A single supplement is available for this trip.
3. Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude.
4. Please arrange your flights to arrive at Marangu hotel before 4pm on Day 1 in order to attend the very important pre-climb briefing and information session.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Kilimanjaro - Machame Route trips score an average of 4.33 out of 5 based on 3 reviews in the last year.

Kilimanjaro - Machame Route , June 2016

Kilimanjaro - Machame Route , September 2015