09 Days Kilimanjaro via MACHAME ROUTE with 2 nights before at after the climb
Arrive at Nairobi airport, Kenya and drive to Tanzania border then proceed to Arusha for lunch. After lunch head moshi town where you spend a night at hotel on slopes of Kilimanjaro.
Note : there is an option of flying direct to Moshi then be picked to the hotel.
Drive to Machame Gate and then start the six hour walk to Machame Hut at 9840 feet. You will be walking through the rainforest, and the track can be very muddy, so good boots and gaiters are recommended. Machame Hut is on the edge of the forest and at the beginning of the moorland. There are good views of the mountain from here. The water supply is down a steep valley side.
It is a 6 to 8 hour walk to Shira hut at 12,500 feet, situated on the Shira plateau. The walk starts with quite steep inclines, and you soon get some of the best approach views of Kibo. You should also be able to see Mount Meru, about 50 kms to the south, above the clouds.
Once you reach the Shira plateau it is noticeably colder and you will need to have a fleece jacket or sweater with you. About now you will also start to feel the effects of altitude, so drink and walk slowly.
Another day without much height gain, but many ups and downs, to Barranco Hut at 12,800 feet. The day’s walk is effectively a west to east traverse with a height gain at the end of the day of only 300 feet. However during the day’s walk you will ascend to almost 15,000 feet and then drop back down at Barranco camp.
You should allow about 7 hours for the walk and enjoy the incredible views of Kibo ahead of you and down the valleys to the plateau and rainforest below. You should fill your water bottle at the stream about halfway through the day’s walk. The camping spot at Barranco is perhaps the most spectacular on the Machame route.
It takes about 7 hours to get to the Barafu hut at 15,100 feet. Allow about 7 hours and make a point of leaving very early in order to reach Barafu in good time for an early supper and sleep. This is the first morning that an early start is recommended since it seems wise on the previous days to sleep as much as you can in order to build up your reserves. The first part of this day’s climb is spectacular. It’s probably the last time for a long time that you’ll feel half human – so enjoy it!
You start the day with a climb of what appears to be an incredibly steep face. However the guides and porters carrying the gear ahead of you will show you that it is in fact a good path. At the top of the steep section there are marvellous views of Meru to the south lit up by the early morning sun.
From here on you continue to cross the typical valleys and ridges that radiate from the summit downwards. You will stop for lunch in the Karanga valley and overnight at the camp, you should eat as much as you can here because you may not feel too hungry high up. It is also the last water point.
After breakfast hike up moonscape ridges to Barafu camp. There is a new toilet here, but other camping conditions are poor. Eat as well as you can and get to sleep early because you will be getting up at 11pm for soup or tea and the start of the summit attempt. It cannot be stressed enough that up to this point you should have been drinking and eating as much as possible including a good intake of high energy snacks.
Start in the very early hours with the 7 hour walk to Stella Point on the rim of the crater. You must remember to go as slowly as you can. There will be enough guides for your party to divide into slow and very slow groups. It is crazy to rush, and speed could cause your climb to end in disaster. Drink a lot as you walk and take high energy snacks. You will begin to see a change in the light at about 5.00am and from then on the top will become discernible. At Stella Point you have climbed Kilimanjaro and you will receive a certificate after the climb.
If you are feeling good, you can continue to the highest point, Uhuru, but it is further than it looks. Your guide has been instructed to forbid any climber who has been sick from continuing. Remember that this is the point of maximum risk to your health and that you must be prepared to take advice from your guide and colleagues and be reasonable if they feel you should descend. The rewards on the top are superb views of the summit glaciers and ice walls and, of course, standing on the highest point in Africa – 19,340 feet.
The descent commences at Stella Point and leads steeply down over snow and later broken rocks and scree. After about two hours you reach the Barafu hut and stop for some refreshment. From here the path is much clearer and you reach the South Circuit Path. Cross straight over here and continue steeply down to the Mweka Hut on the edge of the forest. The hut is two small buildings at 10,100 feet. Repairs are being scheduled for the Mweka Route and this may involve descent in using other adjacent paths.
The home run!!!! The steep descent continues through the forest following a broad ridge. This path can be slippery so trekking poles are useful here. The path improves and after about four hours you reach Mweka gate. Your vehicle will be waiting for you and you’ll soon be in the bath with a drink and the prospect of a good meal in Arusha hotel.
Depart early and travel back to Kenya by road (can be optional to travel by Air from Kilimanjaro International Airport- EXTRA)
Arrive at Nairobi late afternoon.
5- 6 days via MARANGU ROUTE.
Fondly referred to as the “Coca-Cola route”, Marangu is still the most popular route on Kilimanjaro. This is partly as a result of being the only route on Kilimanjaro according trekkers relative luxury of sleeping in huts along the entire route as well as the possibility to accomplish the route in 5 days, (nonetheless, this shorter trekking itinerary available on this route is not always the best option due to insufficient acclimatization before the summit attempt). However though, there is a possibility to spend an optional extra day to acclimatize at an altitude of 3720m to enhance the chance for a successful summit attempt. Generally, huts accommodation and the availability of mineral water, soft drinks, chocolates and beers on sale in the huts is what sets this route apart from the other camping trails.
Trip tips: Accommodation on this trip is in a comfortable Hotel before and after the climb and in mountain huts throughout the climb. Guides leading the trek always walk along with the climbers and closely monitor the trekker’s adjustment to altitude. All personal and trip equipment is carried by local Porters – you only carry a day-pack with personal gear. We buy fresh produce locally and to ensure good standards of hygiene all food is prepared by our own staff. We can cater for special dietary requirements and there are no extra food-kitty payments.
7days Itinerary for the Marangu route (ex – Nairobi) – For the 8 days option on this route with better acclimatization, simply include an additional acclimatisation day at Horombo hut as day 5 of the itinerary below.
Nairobi – Arusha by road.
Departure from Nairobi is in the morning hours for a 4-5 hours journey via Namanga boarder to get to Arusha town. On arrival have lunch then take the rest of the afternoon to sort out your trek gears. Dinner and overnight at Impala Hotel or similar.
Marangu Gate (1980m) – Mandara hut (2700m)
Hiking time: 5h Distance: Approximately 12kms Habitat: Montane forest
Ascent: +720 m
After breakfast at the hotel we leave Arusha behind and head for the mountain via Moshi town and Marangu village. The drive from Arusha to the Kilimanjaro National Park gate, takes about 2 hours. Once at the park gate, all hikers are required to sign in at the Park office. Porters will in the mean time arrange and sort packs, containing the trek equipment as well as clients bags. Make Ensure your daypack items are separated for you to carry (drinking water, lunch pack, few extra clothing, medicine etc.) as the porters ascend a lot quicker than us. Our guides will how ever be available to assist all the time. From the gate we ascend on a cleared ridge trail through the rain forest. The forest is normally suffused with mist and dripping with beards of moss and is home to most Kilimanjaro animals. Today’s trek takes us 5 hours and ascends 720m to reach the first nights stop – Mandara hut. The mountain camp comprises of a group of wooden A-framed huts positioned in a forest clearing and all supplied with solar generated lighting. Each hut is fitted with 6-8 sleeping bunks and a total capacity of 60 climbers. Water is piped into the camp from springs above and there are flush toilets behind the main hut.
Mandara hut (2700m) – Horombo hut (3720m)
Hiking time: 6h Distance: Approximately 15kms Habitat: Moorland
From Mandara hut the trail passes through a short stretch of forest then skirts the base of the Maundi Crater before emerging into the moorland. It is well worth a short detour to scramble up the rim of the Maundi Crater for the first impressive view of the Kibo Crater. On a clear day, Kibo will glimmer in the distance, showing off her majestic glaciers in the morning sun. Once we’re in the open moorland we’ll get the chance to see some of Kilimanjaro’s spectacular plants eg: the endemic giant lobelia and groundsels. Today’s trek takes 6 hours and ascends 1020m to reach Horombo hut for a welcome rest, evening meal and overnight. Retire to bed early today and get a last good night’s rest – Horombo hut is a cluster of huts perched on a plateau and buildings similar to Mandara hut but with an added capacity of 120 climbers! Normally bustling with hikers, guides, porters and with an atmosphere of adventure and excitement. We’ll meet both ascending and descending hikers here.
(Optional acclimatisation day at Horombo hut (3720m) An extra day at Horombo is very essential to unseasoned trekkers for additional acclimatisation. A hike towards the Mawenzi hut, passing the Zebra Rocks (about 3 hours up and 1,5 hours down), being greatly recommended. This hike will further assist with the process of acclimatisation. Always remember to drink enough water and move slowly!
Horombo hut (3720m) – Kibo hut (4700m)
Hiking time: 6h Distance: Approximately 15kms Habitat: Alpine desert
After breakfast ascend higher into the Alpine desert habitat. From Horombo there are two trails to the “Saddle” (area between Mawenzi and Kibo peaks). The upper route forks right passing Mawenzi that’s rocky and rough underfoot but very scenic. The alternative lower route forking left that’s much easier to trek but more plain but passing the last watering point along the way. We must fill our water bottles with all the water we required until our return to Horombo hut after two night’s or otherwise be forced to buy Mineral water at Kibo hut. Situated in the barren Alpine desert, Kibo hut is built of stone and contains bunk beds for 60 climbers, but has no streams with water nearby. It is however possible to buy mineral water and soft drinks at the camp. There are platform toilets behind the hut. The summit is now a further 1195m above and we make the final ascent this same night. Prepare all summit equipment and go to bed early and try to get as much rest and sleep as possible.
(Summit Attempt) Kibo hut (4700m) – Uhuru Peak (5895m) – Horombo hut (3720m)
Hiking time: 8h to trek up to Uhuru peak, 6h to get down to Horombo Distance: Approximately 6kms ascent, 21kms descent Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit
Ascent: +1195m / Descent: -2175m
We are arisen before midnight, and after taking some tea and biscuits we totter off into the night with the going getting tougher as we progress. The first section of the trail consists of a rocky path to the Hans Meyer Cave (5,150m), then the path steeply zigzags up to Gillman’s point (5,681m) on the crater rim. This section has lots of stone on it’s scree, requiring a great physical effort. Probably the most demanding section of the entire route – here we do the Kili shuffle and move slowly.
From Gillmans Point expect snow all the way up to Uhuru peak (5895m), the highest point in Africa. Total exhilaration and satisfaction – you made it. Weather conditions on the summit will determine how long we’re able to spend taking photographs. Advise: Avoid stopping here for too long, as it will be extremely difficult to start again due to cold and fatigue – after cerebrations at the summit we have a 6 hour descent back via Kibo hut to Horombo hut for our overnight. The return to Horombo hut will seem surprisingly fast compared to the ascent with the total time spent walking on this day being around 14 hours, so be prepared for a very tough day. Later in the evening you enjoy your last dinner (with soft drinks and beer for sale at the camp) then a well-earned restful night.
Horombo hut (3720m) – Marangu Gate (1980m)
Hiking time: 6h Distance: Approximately 27kms
After breakfast continue the descent (6 hours), passing the Mandara hut, down to the Marangu gate. Successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Gillman’s Point (5685m) are issued with green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak (5895m), receive gold certificates. From here we’re driven back to Arusha for a refreshing hot shower, dinner and celebrations!! Overnight in Impala hotel or similar
After breakfast we commence our journey back into Nairobi and arrive in the afternoon hours.