7 Days Kilimanjaro Climbing Machame Route

7 Days Kilimanjaro Climbing Machame Route

The seven day Machame variation is the ideal schedule for this route. On the 7 day Machame route, the trek from Barranco to Barafu is broken up into two days, allowing for a short day just prior to the summit attempt. This is important because summit day begins very early, around midnight, so climbers are sleep deprived going into the toughest day on the mountain. By having a short day beforehand, climbers can be better rested.

Arrival Day: Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport

You will be picked up from the Kilimanjaro International airport by a Mama Africa Safaris representative and conveyed to your accommodation in Arusha or Moshi where you will overnight, relax, and prepare in anticipation of the adventures to come.

    • Overnight: Arusha or Moshi.
    • Meal Plan: Bed&Breakfast.

Day 1: Machame Gate to Machame Camp

  • Elevation: 5,380 ft to 9,350 ft
  • Distance: 11 km/7 miles
  • Hiking Time: 5-7 hours
  • Habitat: Rain Forest

The drive from Moshi to the Machame Gate takes about 50 minutes. The journey passes through the village of Machame which is located on the lower slopes of the mountain. As we leave the park gate, we walk through the dense rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge until we reach the Machame Camp.

Day 2: Machame Camp to Shira 2 Camp

  • Elevation: 9,350 ft to 12,500 ft
  • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-6 hours
  • Habitat: Heath

We leave the glades of the rain forest and continue on an ascending path up to a steep, rocky ridge. On the Shira Plateau, we pass through heather and open moorlands, then cross a large river gorge to Shira 2 Camp.

Day 3: Shira 2 Camp to Lava Tower

  • Elevation: 12,500 ft to 15,190 ft
  • Distance: 7 km/4 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

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

We continue to the east up a ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower – a 300 ft tall volcanic rock formation. We descend down to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful Senecio Forest to an altitude of 13,000 ft. Although you begin and end the day at the same elevation, the time spent at higher altitude is very beneficial for acclimatization.

Day 4: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

  • Elevation: 13,044 ft to 13,106 ft
  • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

We begin the day by descending into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then we climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall we cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley. One steeper climb up leads us to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization.

Day 5: Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

  • Elevation: 13,106 ft to 15,331 ft
  • Distance: 4 km/2 miles
  • Hiking Time: 4-5 hours
  • Habitat: Alpine Desert

We leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are viewable from this position.

Day 6: Barafu Camp to Uhuru Peak

  • Elevation: 15,331 ft to 19,341 ft
  • Distance: 5 km/3 miles
  • Hiking Time: 7-8 hours
  • Habitat: Arctic

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.

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

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.

 Day 7: Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate

  • Elevation: 10,065 ft to 5,380 ft
  • Distance: 10 km/6 miles
  • Hiking Time: 3-4 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 to the accommodation in Moshi or Arusha.

For the climbers who do have a flight to catch, we will drive back to our office building in Arusha for quick shower and short rest before you are transferred to your respective airport for your inbound or outbound flight. This service is on complimentary.

Important Informations
Prices:
Price for 2 - 3 Pax : USD. 2,273 per Person.
Price for 4 - 5 Pax : USD. 2,029 per Person.
Price for 6 - 7 Pax : USD. 1,932 per Person.
Price for 8 - 9 Pax : USD. 1,861 per Person.
Price for 10 and Above Pax : USD. 1,828 per Person.

7 Days Kilimanjaro Climbing Machame Route Includes:
• 1 Nights’ accommodation at the hotel on Arrival.
• Return transfers between the hotel to the start / finish point of a climb.
• All Kilimanjaro National Park gate fees, camping / hut fees and climbing permits.
• Kilimanjaro National Park rescue fees (Kilimanjaro Rescue Team).
• Chief guide carries a Pulse Oximeter.
• Emergency oxygen (for use in emergencies only – not as summiting aid).
• Basic first aid kit (for use in emergencies only).
• All mentioned activities unless labeled optional.
• Flying Doctors insurance (AMREF) during the Climb.
• Qualified mountain guide, assistant guides, porters and cook.
• Breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as hot drinks on the mountain.
• Well maintained Camping equipment’s.
• Water for washing up daily.
• Porter to carry your duffel bag, with maximum weight of 15kg / 32 lbs, from one camp to the next camp.
• Kilimanjaro National Park certificate for your successful summit attempt.
• All Airport Transfers.

7 Days Kilimanjaro Climbing Machame Route Doesn't Include:
• International Flight and airport taxes.
• Travel Insurance.
• Passport and travel visa requirements (Tanzania visa is required).
• Customary tips for crew/day from group not from person (average tip is anything from USD $20/Chief guide | USD $15/assistance guide | USD $10/Chef | USD $5/@porter.)
• Alcoholic and soft drinks.
• Accommodation after Trekking (available on request).
• Visa fees.- USD. 50/person
• Optional but highly recommended travel and medical insurance.
• Personal hiking/trekking gear – you could rent some of the gear in Tanzania.
• Optional but highly recommended travel and medical insurance.
• Additional Private portable toilet on mountain - $100/group.

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Prepare for the altitude of Mount Kilimanjaro by training on a regular basis at least 8 weeks before beginning your climb. Physical exercise is important, and a routine should be at least 4 times a week, and include aerobic exercises, strength training and hiking.

What equipment do I need to bring?

The most common mistake that climbers make is that they over pack and bring far too many things.

Be selective in what you bring. Please note that our porters are limited to carrying 15 kgs of your personal belongings. Everything the porters will carry for you between campsites should be placed into a duffel bag (see list below), including your sleeping bag, if possible. All extra luggage (items you will not use on your climb), can be safely stored at your hotel.

Plastic, recyclable water bottles are not allowed on the mountain.  Water should be carried in Nalgene bottles, water bladders, or similar devices. You should be able to carry 3-4 litres of water with you at all times. Alcohol is not allowed on the mountain.

Checked luggage on airplanes can get lost or delayed on the way to Tanzania. You should prepare for this possibility by wearing or carrying on the items that are essential to your Kilimanjaro climb. While most clothing and equipment can be replaced in Tanzania prior to your climb, there are some things that you will not be able to replace.

 Clothing

1 – Waterproof Jacket, breathable with hood
1 – Insulated Jacket, synthetic or down, warm
1 – Soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell
3 – Long Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
1 – Short Sleeve Shirt, light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric
1 – Waterproof Trousers, breathable (side zipper recommended)
2 – Hiking Trousers
1 – Fleece Trousers
1 – Shorts (optional)
1 – Long Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric
4 – Underwear, moisture-wicking fabric recommended
3 – Sports Bra

Headwear

1 – Brimmed Hat, for sun protection
1 – Knit Hat, for warmth
1 – Balaclava or Buff (recommended)

Footwear

1 – Hiking Boots or Shoes, warm, waterproof
4 – Socks, wool or synthetic
1 – Gaiters, waterproof (optional)

Accessories

1 – Sunglasses or Goggles
1 – Backpack Cover, waterproof (optional)
1 – Water Bottle (Nalgene, 32 oz.)
1 – Water Bladder 3 litres e.g. Camelbak
1 – Towel , lightweight, quick-dry (optional)
1 – Pee Bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night (recommended)
Dry Bags or “Ziploc”-type plastic bags, to keep your things dry and separate. Note that there is a general ban on plastic bags in Tanzania, however Ziploc-type bags for toiletries are permitted for visitors. Ziploc-type bags for toiletries are permitted for tourists.

Equipment

1 – Sleeping Bag, warm, four seasons*
1 – Camp Pillow, inflatable (optional)
2 – Trekking Poles, collapsible (highly recommended)*
1 – Head Lamp, with extra batteries
1 – Duffel Bag, 70L-90L capacity, for porters to carry your equipment
1 – Daypack, 30-35L capacity, for you to carry your essential items
*may be rented on location, subject to availability
*may be rented on location

Other

Toiletries
Prescriptions
Sunscreen
Lip Balm
Insect Repellent, containing DEET
First Aid Kit
Face Mask (REQUIRED)
Hand Sanitizer (REQUIRED)
Toilet Paper
Wet Wipes (recommended)
Snacks, light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional)
Electrolytes, powder or tablets (optional)
Camera, with extra batteries (optional)

Paperwork

Passport
Vaccination Papers
Insurance Documents

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is a significant physical challenge and you should prepare yourself properly. Being physically fit is important for many reasons. Strong, conditioned legs make it easier to walk uphill and downhill for sustained periods of time. General aerobic fitness allows the body to function efficiently with less oxygen. A fit body is more likely to withstand the stress of consecutive days of hiking and camping. Finally, a positive mental attitude can really help when fatigue and doubts arise.

How hard is it to climb Kilimanjaro?

That’s a difficult question to answer because some people don’t train much and fare very well, while others engage in a disciplined training program and succumb to the altitude in a few days. We’ve heard marathon runners tell us that climbing Kilimanjaro is the hardest thing they’ve ever done. The best advice we can give is to train adequately, as described below, and get yourself in the best possible hiking shape. The mountain is a big unknown, and you won’t know with certainty how you will react until you are there. In a recent survey, on a scale of 1 (easy) to 10 (difficult), respondents rated their climb with an average difficulty of 7.

The best exercise that you can do to prepare for Mount Kilimanjaro is hiking.

To sufficiently prepare for climbing Kilimanjaro, the best exercise you can do is to hike. After all, that is what you will be doing on the mountain. Ideally, you should try to hike as much as possible on hills or mountains to simulate climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Doing day hikes is superb training. For those who do not have access to hills and or mountains, the next best option is to train on stairs.

You should start training for climbing Kilimanjaro at least two months prior to your departure.

If you’ve never hiked before, you should start with shorter time intervals, a slower pace, and no weight (in your day pack) and then gradually increase all of the above as your fitness level improves. Remember that on Mount Kilimanjaro, you will walk slowly for prolonged periods, and carry probably no more than 20 lbs in your day pack. Therefore, in your training, it is better to increase the time interval/distance and keep a slow pace than to shorten the time interval/distance and increase the pace. Try to train three times a week, for at least one hour per session, at a minimum. If you can do day hikes for four to six hours, with moderate elevation changes while carrying a 20 lb pack, then you’re probably ready for the real thing.

Your longest/hardest workouts should be performed two to four weeks before your departure. For the last two weeks, you should taper off your training and in the final days, rest so that your body has time to recover before your actual climb. In addition to walking/hiking, you can also supplement your training with exercises such as running or cycling, which will increase your aerobic capacity.

It is imperative that during Kilimanjaro training, you wear the boots that you intend to climb with so that they are sufficiently broken-in (to prevent blisters). Additionally, you should wear the day pack you intend to carry so you’re your shoulders/back/hips get used to the points of contact and weight (to minimise chafing and soreness).

All climbers should have a medical check prior to attempting the mountain. Ask your doctor if high altitude trekking is permissible for your age, fitness level and health condition. Ask if you have any pre-existing medical conditions that can cause problems on the climb. Ask if any of your medications can affect altitude acclimatization. Ask whether Diamox can be taken with your existing prescription medicines (this is a medication frequently used to reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness).

If you have any medical issues that could make climbing Kilimanjaro more dangerous for you than the average person, we need to be informed of this before you book.

Such medical issues include but are not limited to: spine problems; circulation problems; internal problems such as diabetes, hypoglycaemia, intestinal or kidney problems; respiratory issues such as asthma; high or low blood pressure; head trauma or injury; heart conditions; blood disease; hearing or vision impairment; cancer; seizure disorders; joint dislocations; sprains; hernia.

The minimum age for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is 10 years old. There is no maximum age. However, the climb is strenuous and presents health risks, especially to people in high risk categories. Serious consideration should be given to anyone under the age of 18 and over the age of 60. The climbers on the extreme ends of the age spectrum should definitely consult their doctor.

Our minimum fitness requirements are that each climber must have a resting heart rate of under 100 beats per minute. We will check your resting heart rate before your climb. If your resting heart rate is above 100, you will be required to see a local doctor prior to the climb to get approval. The average resting heart rate is 60-80 beats per minute.

Travel insurance is required to participate on this trip. It is prudent for you to protect your investment against trip cancellation, interruption, delays and unforeseeable expenses. Standard travel insurance provides coverage for:

  • Trip cancellation
  • Trip interruption
  • Missed connection
  • Travel delay
  • Baggage delay and personal items lost
  • Hurricane and weather
  • Employment layoff
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Emergency medical
  • Medical evacuation and repatriation
  • Financial default
  • Terrorism

At a minimum, the insurance should protect you against trip cancellation and trip interruption, should you need to cancel your trip due to circumstances such as training injuries or sickness or emergencies.

Your travel insurance must cover high altitude trekking up to 6,000 meters

Your package includes membership of Flying Doctors’ Society of Africa.  In case of medical emergency, you are entitled to free, unlimited air ambulance evacuations.  All hospital costs, medical treatments, medicines etc. are not included in this service and it is essential that you have additional insurance, as detailed above.

For our international customers, we recommend that you obtain travel insurance through World Nomads.

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