6 DAYS MACHAME TREKKING ITINERARY
The following is day by day itinerary of the most famous route on Kilimanjaro, the Machame route. Important things to note on the itinerary are the elevation gains, the distance to be covered each day, and notable features or things to do each day.
This itinerary is a 6 day trek via Machame Route
Day 1 – Machame Gate (1800 meters) to Machame Camp (2835 meters):
Africa Nature Photography will pick you up from your hotel in Moshi or Arusha and transfer you to the starting point – the Machame gate. At the gate you will register for the climb and immediately after you are cleared for the trek, you will start your trek following instructions from your head guide. Today’s trail is through a thick tropical forest where you will be able to spot some wild animals. Today’s final destination is Machame hut where you will have your hot dinner. In the afternoon you should have stopped somewhere and had a packed lunch.
Trekking time: 5-7 hours
Zone: Tropical Rainforest
Altitude gain: 1035 meters
Day 2 – Machame Camp (2835 meters) to Shira Camp 2 (3,850 meters):
After breakfast at the camp, you will start this trek towards Shira Camp 2, leaving the tropical rainforest zone and enter the low Alpine desert zone. Today’s trek is relatively steep which will take you through the Shira plateau. You will have your first great view of Kibo peak and Mount Meru.
Trekking time: 4-6 hours
Zone: Tropical Rainforest then Low Alpine Desert zone
Altitude gain: 1015 meters
Day 3 – Shira 2 Camp (3,850 meters) to Lava Tower (4,600 meters) and then Barranco Camp (3,900 meters):
After breakfast, you will start a long and tough trek leaving the Shira plateau towards the Barranco Camp. Before reaching the Barranco camp, you will pass the well-known Shark’s Tooth formation called Lava Tower. Along the way, you will see giant groundsels plants also Senecios Kilimanjari.
Notice climbing high to 4600 meters then going to sleep at Baranco camp 3900 meters will allow you to acclimatize.
Distance: 11.5 km
Trekking time: 5-7 hours
Zone: Low Alpine Desert zone/ High Alpine Desert zone
Altitude gain: 750 meters then attitude loss of 700 meters
Day 4 – Barranco Camp (3,900 meters) to Barafu Camp (4,673 meters)
Instead of camping at Karanga camp on this day like those who do the 7 days12:00 AM Machame Itinerary, you will simply pass the Karanga camp. Before passing camp, you will have climbed the Great Barranco Wall to reach the top of Karanga Valley. The 257 meters rock face may look intimidating but climbing it is easier than you may think. You will need to be extra careful as you scramble towards the top of the wall. You need neither technical skills nor any special trekking gear to climb the Barranco Wall.
Once you reach the top of the Barranco Wall you will be welcome with great views, it is time to pause and take great photos before you start trekking through a series of inclines and declines towards Karanga Camp. You will continue your trek towards Barafu camp after you have passed the Mweka Trail junction. At Barafu Camp, which is the base camp, you will have an early dinner before you rest to prepare yourself for the summit attempt. You will have great views of Mawenzi peak and Kibo peaks at Barafu camp.
Distance: 17.5 km
Trekking time: 10-12 hours
Zone: High Alpine Desert
Altitude gain: 773 meters
Day 5 – Barafu Camp (4,673 meters) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters) and then Mweka Camp (3,100 meters):
This is the day you have been waiting for. Your mental and physical stamina are going to be tested to the limit. You will start summit night at around 11:00 PM or 12:00AM depending on how your head guide sees it fit. Important tip, put your snacks and bottle of water under your first layer jacket. After you have checked that you are well dressed and have all trekking gears for the summit attempt, you will start the steep slope in a pole pole style (slowly slowly). Your big stopping point is at Stella Point (5756 meters) where you can have snacks and hot tea.
After a short rest at Stella Point (not more than 5 minutes), you will continue hiking to Uhuru summit. After the Uhuru summit, a tough descent will be waiting for you. You will descend to the base camp, rest a little bit, then descend further to Mweka Camp. We chose to descend to Mweka Camp(3100 meters) to give you a chance to relax well and have enough oxygen unlike the other option of resting at Millenium Camp (3950 meters) which is still higher compared to Mweka Camp.
Distance: Total 10 km to the summit and back to the base camp, then from base camp to Mweka Camp it will take approximately 11 km
Trekking time: 6-8 hours to the summit, then another 6-7 hours back to the base camp. From base camp to Mweka Camp you may spend 5-8 hours.
Zone: Glacial zone and all preceding zones.
Altitude gain: 1222 meters, altitude loss: 2795 meters.
Day 6 – Mweka Camp (3,100 meters) to Mweka Gate (1,640 meters):
After your breakfast at Mweka Camp, you will start a final descend to the exit gate. The walk on this day is through a tropical rainforest. At the Mweka Gate, you will have to sign out and be handed certificates of completion. If you successfully reach Stella Point you will be handed a green certificate. If you successfully reached Uhuru peak, a gold certificate will be handed to you. After all administrative procedures have been completed at Mweka Gate, you will be transported to your hotel.
Distance: Total 10 km
Trekking time: 3-4 hours.
Zone: Moorlands at Mweka Camp then descending to Montane forest zone at Mweka gate.
Altitude loss: 1460 meters
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