6 – 7 days Machame Route
Day 1: Machame Gate (1828masl) – Machame Hut (3020masl);
Habitat: Montane forest
Distance: Approximately 11kms
Hiking time: 7hrs
You can begin your climb on day one from a hotel at Machame village or either Moshi or Arusha town. You will travel to Machame Gate through Machame village on a tarmac road cutting through the Wachagga farms and coffee plantations. Signing in at Machame Gate may take some minutes depending on the number of hikers but this allows plenty of time to get yourself prepared by ensuring you have your day pack ready with extra clothing, water, and lunch box. The path to Machame Hut is amazing with species of fern and moss dominating the lower canopy. Different species of trees, shrubs and herbs have found a home in this zone creating an impressive scenic beauty and, in those trees, the melodies of Turacos and other birds can be heard. It is approximately 11kms to Machame Gate.
Machame Hut is a camp site at the beginning of the heather and moorlands zone. Here temperatures can get below zero overnight. You should arrive into camp before sun down and have enough time to clean up, have dinner and retire to sleep and prepare for the next day.
Day 2: Machame Hut (3020masl) – Shira camp (3847masl)
Habitat: Heather and moorlands
Distance: Approximately 5.2kms
Hiking time: 6hrs
Today’s path is a little more adventurous with a steep gradient at the beginning. The more you climb the more the beauty is exposed as you approach Shira Hut. The lower landscape is so vividly clear, with the moorlands giving a hint of those volcanic features ahead. After walking a distant of approximately 5.2kms, you will finally be at Shira Plateau. A beautiful spot where Shira and Kibo peaks can be seen. Food and overnight accommodation are provided at Shira camp.
Day 3: Shira Camp (3847masl) – Barranco Camp (3984masl)
Habitat: Semi desert
Distance: Approximately 10.7kms
Hiking time: 7hrs
After breakfast, you will prepare your day pack complete with lunch box and begin your slow climb to Barranco via Lava Tower (4642masl). At this point, the landscape is vividly clear and the lava cones can be seen at a distance. The path cuts through the semi-desert exposing the beauty of the volcanic features. After hiking to the Lava Tower, the path descends to Barranco where you will have dinner and stay overnight.
Day 4: Barranco Camp (3984masl) – Karanga Camp
Habitat: Alpine desert
The path up the Barranco Wall is short but adventurous. It ensures that you hike through a very steep gorge and ridges. The wonderful land consists of rivers, huge rocks and stone scree, Senacio species and heather amongst other beauties. Lunch, dinner and overnight at Karanga camp. NB Walking poles are not permitted on the path up Barranco, so will need to be stored safely in your day bag.
Day 5: Karanga Camp () – Barafu Camp (4681masl)
Habitat: Alpine desert
A walk through this desert land can give someone the impression of walking on a different planet. The lava cones you were seeing from a distance are now very close and they look remarkably alive. The snow-capped Kibo on your left looks attractively dressed in white. You should arrive at Barafu Camp at least early afternoon where you will have a lunch and spend the remainder of the day resting and getting prepared for the summit. Your evening meal will also be served early at 5:30 or 6:00pm to give you more time to rest and prepare. At 11:30pm you will be woken up for a cup of tea and some biscuits and use this time to do your final preparations for summit attempt.
Day 6: Barafu Camp (4681masl) – Uhuru Peak (5895masl) – Mweka Camp
Habitat: Rocks, stone scree and snow lands
Distance: Approximately 4.5kms ascent and 10.8kms descent
Hiking time: Approximately 8hrs to Uhuru and 6 – 8hrs to Mweka
The journey to Uhuru should begin at Midnight. The zigzag path cuts through a steep land of rocks and stone scree. The ice lands above Stella Point has given a path to Uhuru Peak and you will walk through here on your way. At Uhuru Peak, you will have some time taking pictures and feeling a sense of satisfaction. The journey back to Barafu camp begins soon after. It should take a short time to be at Barafu Camp where you will rest for a while before starting the trek to Mweka camp a little lower. Mweka camp is at the edge of the forest zone and the climate here is almost that of the lower lands. Once at Mweka Camp, you will be offered a washing bowl with water to refresh yourself before having dinner and retiring to sleep.
Day 7: Mweka Camp (3090masl) – Mweka Gate (1641masl)
Distance: Approximately 8.5kms
Hiking time: 6-8 hrs.
The path passes through the forest on a gentle slope. For plant lovers, this zone is a little paradise. If you are lucky enough, you may spot an antelope picking leaves or berries, or a black and white Colobus monkey in the trees. On arrival at the gate, you will be given your certificate of achievement as a memory of your climb. Your trip will end at the hotel.