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Challenge your adventurous self in this safari at the famous Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania! The Machame route can be completed in 5 days. On day 3 of the safari, you will go directly to Kibo with an overnight stay at the Arrow Glacier Camp, with your final summit attempt on day 4. This safari and trekking is an extremely physically and mentally demanding option and is not recommended for average climbers.
During this safari, you will stay in a hotel in Arusha and in the tents of Machame Campsite, Shira Campsite, Barranco Campsite, Barafu Campsite, and Mweka Campsite.
Also referred to as the Whiskey Route, Machame attracts around 25% of the total climbers on the Mount Kilimanjaro. LEM Carnivores Tours believes that this is the most varied and scenic route up Kilimanjaro. The downside is that accommodation on the Machame route is strictly tents only. This is more than made up for by the incredible sights you will be treated to, that will not be seen by those who have chosen the easier Marangu route.
From late afternoon sunsets at Shira, to the misty heights of Kibo at the great Barranco Wall, the Machame route provides the more adventurous hikers with stunning photo opportunities. The day walks are longer and steeper and generally physically more challenging than the Marangu route, so you need to be fit to climb this route.
It is very important that your body is properly prepared for the physical challenge of the Kilimanjaro. The better prepared you are, the better you plan to conquer the highest point of Africa. Good preparation will make a significant contribution to your own confidence and your mental strength.
LEM Carnivores Tours’ staff will meet you at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and transfer you to Arusha where you will spend the evening. Before dinner, your guide will sit with you and brief you on the climb ahead. On this day, you will stay overnight at Arusha.
After breakfast, you will be transferred from Arusha to Machame Gate where all your supplies and your equipment will be prepared by your guide, his team of porters, and your cook. More than likely, it will be wet and muddy, so you will have to take an hour-long way of nearly 63 kilometers from Arusha to the Machame Gate. After you register at the gate office, you will begin your Kilimanjaro climb.
First, you will enter the rain forest (where it really does rain), so you can fully expect to take a wet and soggy hike along a muddy trail until you hit the halfway point to the Machame Camp. There, you will stop for lunch before heading off for the Machame Camp. By the time you arrive at Machame Camp later in the afternoon, your porters will already have arrived and started preparing everything for your arrival; your tents will be pitched and water will be on the boil.
You will be given a supply of water to wash with and later on, your cook will prepare dinner for you. You can expect temperatures to drop to freezing point at this campsite. On this day, you will stay overnight at Machame Campsite.
After an early start, you will be served breakfast at Machame Camp. Then, you will climb for an hour or so before leaving the glades of the forest. The gradient eases off a bit as you hike through moorlands for a further 2 hours until it’s time for lunch. After a quick lunch and a short rest, you will continue your ascent up a rocky ridge leading onto the Shira plateau.
On a clear day, you will see from there the Western Breach with its awesome glaciers in the east. A short hike from there will bring you to the Shira campsite, where you will be spending the night. Again, the porters will have your tents pitched before you arrive and will boil drinking and washing water before your cook prepares your dinner. At 3850 meters, the temperature in the evening will drop to more than just a few degrees below freezing. On this day, you will stay overnight at Shira Campsite.
From Shira Camp, the route turns east towards Kibo and you will find yourself hiking through semi-desert conditions and fairly rocky conditions surrounding Lava Tower. To get there, you will hike for about 5 hours and attain an altitude of over 4450 meters. You will have lunch before beginning your ascent towards Lava Tower at 4600 meters.
After lunch, you will descend again by approximately 650 meters down to the Barranco Camp. This will take a little over 2 hours of hiking. On the way, you should make the most of the excellent vantage points along the way which overlook the Western Breach and Breach Wall; a good time to get your cameras out to get some stunning pictures.
The camp is located in a valley just below the Breach and the rather impressive looking Great Barranco Wall. You can enjoy the magnificent sunset while you wait for your cook to finish preparing a well-deserved dinner and the porters get your tents ready for a night of rest in subzero temperatures. On this day, you will stay overnight at Barranco Campsite. The altitude is at around 4200 meters above the sea level.
If you like, and this is highly recommended as it improves your chances of success by 75%, day 5 can be spent as an acclimatization day. On this day, you will walk from Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp. It will take around 4 hours over 7 kilometers through Alpine Desert. Your guide will use this walk to assess your strength and stamina for the summit ahead.
This also assists your guide in determining the pace you should summit at and what time to wake up to begin hiking to the summit. On this day, you will only ascend by 360 meters, hence giving you sufficient time to acclimatize.
After breakfast, you will leave Barranco Camp and make your way up the Great Barranco Wall. This part of the climb looks far worse than it really is. Please remember this when you start the climb. From the Great Barranco Wall, you will then descend through the Karanga Valley over intervening ridges and valleys, to the junction that connects with the Mweka route. Make sure you fill up with water in the Karanga Valley as there will be no water at Barafu Camp where you will be spending part of the night. Carry your water in a thermal flask or it will otherwise freeze later.
Mweka is the preferred route down from the summit, so make a mental note to remember it. From this junction, it will take you almost another hour to reach Barafu Hut. At an altitude of 4560 meters, your tents will be pitched on a narrow, stony, and dangerous ridge, and are exposed to all the elements. You can bank on gale force winds and a freezing night out here. At the camp, your guide will advise you to familiarize yourself with your surroundings before dark, as you will be leaving at midnight to make the final ascent to the summit, and you won’t want to be caught stumbling around or causing an accident on the ridge at this stage.
You will also need to spend some time preparing your equipment for your summit attempt. Ensure that headlamp and camera batteries are in order and make sure you have spare sets of batteries available as well. Make sure you are in bed by 19:00. You will only have 4.5 hours before your wake-up call, so it’s important to get as much sleep as possible before. On this day, you will stay overnight at Barafu Campsite.
This day will by far be your toughest day of the climb and you will rise around 11:30 p.m. After some tea and biscuits, you will head off into the night towards Stella Point on the crater rim. The walk to Stella point is probably the most mentally and physically challenging part of the entire route for many climbers. You will be hiking for about 6 hours to get to Stella Point. There, you will stop for a rest and if the weather is kind, you will see a truly magnificent African sunrise. Departing from Stella Point, you will more than likely be walking through snow for the next 2 hours when you will finally reach the summit of Uhuru Peak at 5895 meters.
Don’t get too relaxed and spend too much time on the summit, even if the weather is good. Cold and fatigue will set in quickly and you may find it very difficult to get started again. So, spend a little time to enjoy the fact that you have conquered Kilimanjaro, get the camera out and take some pictures. Then, it will be best that you get moving again - it’s a long way down.
The first part of your descent to Barafu will take almost another 3 hours. There, you will stop for a short rest before heading down to Mweka Hut. It takes an average of 5 hours to work your way down the rock and scree path to the moorland and eventually back into the rain forest. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. As usual, your tents, dinner, and washing water will be prepared. On this day, you will stay overnight at Mweka Campsite.
After an early and well-deserved breakfast, you will have a short 3-hour and scenic hike back to the Mweka Park Gate, where you will sign your name and enter your details in a register. To make your achievement official, you will receive a summit certificate. If you reach Stella Point, you will be presented with a green certificate, and if you made it all the way to Uhuru Peak, you will earn a gold certificate.
Then, you will drive back to Arusha where you will stay at your hotel. You can take some time out for a bit of celebrating before getting a decent night's rest in a comfortable bed. On this day, you will stay overnight at Arusha.
On this day, you will depart back to your home.
This retreat will take place in Moshi, Tanzania.
This safari will provide you with daily breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. You will also be provided with tea and biscuits.
Kilimanjaro International Airport
Please book your flight to arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). Transfer from and to the airport is included. LEM Carnivores Tours will pick you up from the airport.
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