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HIKING POLEPOLE UP TO KILIMANJARO: The Machame route, 6 days / 5 nights

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  • 1
  • 6 Days

Cyprien Semushi the Storyteller

Lobelia Tours and Travel

For anyone wishing to visit East Africa and Rwanda as a local, we are the team to contact!

  • Local time:21:06

HIKING POLEPOLE UP TO KILIMANJARO: The Machame route, 6 days / 5 nights

The Machame (Whiskey) Route is the most popular camping route on Kilimanjaro. It’s a rugged combination of routes which begins through the rainforest at Machame Village on the southwest side of the mountain, and over six days, rises onto the edge of the Shira Plateau, down into the beautiful Great Barranco Valley, then circumvents the Kibo massif counter-clockwise through alpine desert until reaching Barafu Camp. From here, the trek to the summit is done overnight to the crater rim on the steep scree slopes of the east-south-east facing Mweka Route. The trek winds through some beautiful scenery, which changes quite dramatically every day. The route done in six days is physically challenging for most people. The last two days (the trek from Barranco to Barafu and then the overnight trek to the summit) require mental and physical toughness, due to the high altitude and short amount of time to rest before the overnight summit attempt. There are no huts on this route; the accommodation is in mountain tents and dining is in our mess tents.

DAY 1

MACHAME GATE-MACHAME CAMP

Departure from Arusha will be at around 8am for the Machame Gate, about 1.5 hours drive. Upon completion of entry formalities, begin walking through the mist on a 4 x 4 track for about an hour into the forest. The track ends, and the trail continues up through the dripping, verdant forest. Trekkers will likely hear the many exotic birds in the canopy above, and many even see black & white colobus monkeys and sykes monkeys as they hike along the forest floor. The trek is quite long (12 miles / 20 km), though not very steep, and it takes from 5 to 7 hours trekking to reach the first camp. Machame Camp is just above the forest zone, in the heather zone. When it is clear, there are views of jagged Shira ridge and the summit itself. Read more

Machame Camp
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DAY 2

Machame Camp -Shira Camp

Wake early to a steaming cup of tea of coffee served in your tent, and then after breakfast, begin up the steep track through a savannah of tall grasses, and trees of giant Heather and Erica. The clouds should clear for a beautiful view of the Western Breach and the glaciers atop which mark the summit; Uhuru Peak. Scramble around large boulders as you enter the moorland zone, marked by the bizarre lobelia and senecio plants, and volcanic rocks draped with lichen beards which protect wild alpine flowers growing at their bases. You’ll reach camp after descending a small valley and crossing a brook, then ascending up onto the Shira Ridge, after a total of about 4 to 5 hours of trekking. Read more

Shira Camp
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DAY 3

Shira Camp -Barranco Camp

Proceed steadily upward over long ridgelines of high desert about 4 hours, and break for lunch at about 14,500 feet (4,420 mt.). After lunch, continue to Lava Tower, a 300 foot-tall volcanic plug which marks an exposed pass at 15,000 feet (4,600 m). In the afternoon, descend the steep track into the Great Barranco Valley. Barranco Camp is set on a col (flat area) enclosed on three sides with steep valley walls and the Kibo massif itself. Hanging glaciers glint in the sunshine above, amidst the eerie landscape of plants such as the giant groundsels (Senecio Kilimanjari), and the uniquely endemic Giant Lobelia. Trekking time is from 6 to 7 hours. Read more

Barranco camp
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DAY 4

Barranco Camp- Barafu Camp

The day begins with a scramble up the steep ‘Barranco Wall’, then we trek 3-4 hours and stop in the Karanga Valley for a hot lunch. In the afternoon the trail turns steadily uphill. The temperature will grow colder and the landscape more sparse as we near Barafu Camp. Barafu Camp is set on a small, exposed flat area on a ridge, acting a base camp from which you will make your summit attempt at midnight tonight. Eat and drink as much as possible before retiring to your tent for rest and sleep. Read more

Barafu Camp
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DAY 5

Barafu- Uhuru peak Camps-Mwe

The steaming hot drink will arrive very early on this momentous day. A midnight wake-up call is the start of a juggernaut (12-17 hours of trekking). You begin trekking at 12:30 to 1am. The temperatures range from just below freezing at midnight, to between 10 deg. F (-12 deg. C) to –10 F. (-23 deg. C) just before dawn at the summit. The winding path of endless switchbacks will take form and shape in the shadows of the Ratzel and Rebmann glaciers at early dawn, and behind you the spires of Mawenzi will be silhouetted against the red glow of the sun from beneath the clouds. After about 6 hours of walking, you will come to the edge of the crater, at Stella Point, at 19,000 feet (5,790 mt.), which is the end of the steep track. From here, there is a gentle slope upward about 1 hour to Uhuru Peak. After a short time at the summit, descend the steep scree trail back to Barafu Camp for some rest, then again summon your strength for further descent to Mweka Camp for the night. Read more

Mweka Camp
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DAY 6

Mweka Camp- Mweka Gate

Descend straight to the gate (2-3 hours), where you’ll have lunch and will be awarded climbing certificates.

Departure
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ACCOMMODATIONS

Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Arusha

TRIP PACKAGE

Package includes

  • Transfer from/to the airport
  • Transport during the tour
  • Accommodation
  • Local guides
  • Information services
  • Entrance fee
  • All meals

Package excludes

  • Airfare
  • Personal expenses
  • Visa, consular 76fees or any other formalities.
  • Tips
  • Beverages
  • Additional journeys and transfers
  • Mountain trekking gears (available for hire)

REVIEWS

5 Reviews

Prosper Ishimwe, United States

Getting that closer to a gorilla is the best experience that ever ​ happened to me. Lobelia Tours guides are the best. The outstanding ​ service is commendable. See you again in in two years time!

Viviane Nkuza, Belgium

We loved the gorilla trek experience in the volcanoes. Thanks Lobelia ​ Tours and Travel Agency, my husband and I had great moments in Rwanda. ​ Your attention to details is incredible. We will surely come back!

Olivier Heinen, Germany

I have travelled to Rwanda a couple of times and know the country quite ​ well - yet there are situations where I like to benefit from Lobelia ​ Tours' great experience and excellent network. Most of all when it comes ​ to the question of transportation in some more remote areas, which can ​ be difficult to reach if you are traveling individually and without your ​ own vehicle. If you need a Mototaxi to pick you up at an appointed time ​ in the middle of nowhere, these guys are going to arrange it for you ​ (and much more)! Their office is located centrally in Kigali and ​ dropping in while planning your next trip is never a waste of time! Read more

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THE TEAM

Gilbert Nizeyimana

The Visoke Climber

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The Forever Trekking Lady

For anyone wishing to visit East Africa and Rwanda as a local, we are the team to contact!

If you have any questions or you want to customize your trip we are here for you at any time.

  • Languages:French
  • Local time:21:06

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